Holland Road

Only a contract away from my new basement flat! The complete bottom floor of a refurbished terraced house near downtown Maidstone, it has a lot of potential. The pictures give an estimate, but as the owners haven’t finished their work yet, it’s far from complete. Once they finish I will be doing some painting, furnishing obviously, and then trying my hand at decorating. I have big ideas for the place, and a rare opportunity to begin all new. I’ve been looking into sofa beds, as it’s a studio now, with a large bedroom to be remodeled sometime in the next several months. Also trying to dream up a good color scheme. After spending so much time in warm, comfortable spaces designed by Linda O. over the past few years, I have a feeling in mind more than a palate. Hopefully I can hit my mark! Let’s do a virtual tour!

We start at the stairs, leading from the street to my front door. Need a sweep! (Buy broom.) Lots of brick around here, everything in brick. I like the look, some really nice architecture in brick. This whole block of houses is brick, some with parts plastered and painted, others painted brick, some bare. I was really looking for a place with an English-charm kind of facade. There are a lot of flats for rent in highrise or mega complexes, since there are 3 colleges in town, but as I could find those anywhere, I was really searching for the local look, something quaint. I’ll take a picture of the house sometime soon, so you can see.

Here you are in the hallway looking towards the front door. The floor will be carpeted sometime next week, the rubbish will be cleared, and light fixtures on. The gap to the left is stairs to the main house. The door will stay so that the landlord can continue to rent this as a room rather than a private dwelling, saving her in taxes, which reflects in my rent rate. Just left of the front door at the end is the loo: toilet and sink. The long wall between doorways will be the bedroom. At the start of the remodel, 2 years ago, they decided this was too much to bite off in one project, so it was sealed. It needs dirt and brick dug out, resealed, plastered, and floored.

Here  is the same hallway, looking from the other end. The bedroom is this wall on the right, gap for stairs up, then at the far end gap that is entryway to the rest of the flat. The hallway runs down the entire left side of the flat, with all of the rooms to the right. The door you see leads to the back garden, which is shared with the upstairs. They have a nice patio and a jungle of green, in a long, narrow yard extending 200 yards back. She says I’m more than welcome to do any gardening I like, and it feels pretty spacious back there.


The living room (chair not included) has track lighting, radiant heat in the floor, and 2 windows to the let in some natural light. Tight quarters as a living room/bedroom, but cozy size once the bedroom is completed. This first picture is taken from the hall, standing in front of the back door, facing slightly right. I like the built-in shelf there on the left, maybe for books or art. The next picture shows the right window, there is another on the left, both recessed between a middle wall. A shelf for… taking down? I’m not sure yet. A wire for tv comes through below it, I might need a flat panel to hang on the wall. You can see a bit of the flooring, not real wood, laminate or something, but I’m happy that it’s not carpet! So much carpet in the rentals I’ve been seeing, nice to have something new AND clean.


The bathroom is right of the the living room, or directly right if you’re standing in front of the back door. There is only a shower, no tub (those are a luxury around here). Racks for towels to the left, sink to the right. I like the separation of toilet and shower. Not that it will make a huge difference, but nice if I have guests perhaps. There is space in between for shelving, which I will certainly need!

I’m looking forward to a bathroom sink with one faucet, as opposed to hot side and cold side. Too hard to wash your face, eyes shut, two streams of water… I also like the tile floor in here.




The kitchen might be the hardest room to settle into. I really like it: large sink, stainless gas stove, tile floor. However, there are only cabinets on one side and below counter top level. That should hold my bake- and cookware, gadgets, & small appliances, but I don’t think I want my everyday dishes down low. Not sure how simple it will be to install cabinets on brick walls. My intention is to find a hanging rack for pots and pans, which I will hang to the left above the stove. Opposite there are 2 units, fridge and freezer. It would be nice to find an American style combined unit. I would also like to get a pantry (or more cabinets) for this side.

You can see there is lots of clutter to be cleaned out by the owner and the contractor. Some cleaning, some painting, a few more repairs. My move in date is November 6, although I’m cleared to move in bigger things as I can acquire them starting this weekend.

I’m very excited about the process. I like being the first tenant, everything is new for me, and I can decorate as I please. I will post pictures throughout the process, starting on move-in day when everything is clean, repaired, and finish work done, and then as I sort my design scheme and make my updates. I welcome your ideas and input!


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