Top tips for renovating and finding the perfect stone tiles.
We have been working with Lucy from Victoria Road Restorations, helping to choose her stone floor tiles and guiding her through the process to find the perfect fit for her latest project. We have loved following the journey and were pleased to be part of it, initially just for the kitchen and hallway and then also in the basement of the property.
Lucy at Victoria Road Restoration is on her second restoration project. The first was creating her dream home where she developed the bug for renovating and design, then more recently she has been working on an investment property called The Hollies which is almost complete after just 6 months. We sat down to chat with her and find out her top tips for anyone thinking about renovating.
This is your second project now, how has the process been? Has it been easier to make decisions as you have experience now?
So this is our second project, our first one being our own house so it was a very personal process so lots of thought and planning, lots of pinterest boards for inspiration. It wasn’t necessarily driven so much by costs and budget as we were going to live in it compared to our second project which is an investment so there are slightly different factors at play. We have found this project slightly more challenging as you are thinking about the buyer, rather than yourself, so much more about what the mass market would like. The other challenge is that we want to sell the house for a decent price so the finish has to be quality but also driven by costs.
How we have approached this project is that it is an old farmhouse, so any interior decisions have been sympathetic to the property. Anyone who wants to buy a home like this wants to see the beautiful original features.
Projects can obviously vary in time, and this maybe is taking a little bit less time as it is your second project. At what time did you start to think about the flooring and other interior aspects?
I think a lot of people who are doing renovations often think the same, that they have ages because the building work needs to go in, so I don’t need to make interior decisions now. Yes, you do!
This property is going really quickly, we started in December and we have nearly completed it now in June. One of my top tips though for anyone doing a renovation would be to have good communication with your builder but understand the lead times. Yes, the property may still look like a building site, but before you know it your builder will need interiors and finishes on site. One thing that can really hold up a build is if you are dilly-dallying about decisions so start thinking about interior decisions earlier than you would expect.
As I mentioned this build has been really quick, but it was still a surprise when the builder turned around and said I need flooring decisions now when there is no roof on the house.
How did you first hear about White Hall Flagstones?
So the property is an old country farmhouse so I knew I wanted the floor to look amazing and fit with the property so this was definitely something we were willing to invest in because we wanted to put a quality product down to give the house the best quality finish we could. So I started doing some research but to be honest, I asked on my Instagram page and was recommended White Hall Flagstones. They said they had got their flooring through White Hall and everything from the service to the product were exceptional so I reached out to Richard to start discussing the project.
What was the process like for choosing the stone as that can obviously be a difficult decision?
I wanted a quality finish and authentic feel to the property and liked the idea of working with a more local company. Once I started talking to Richard, his knowledge of the product really helped me in terms of making the decision. I had a thought in my head of the kind of stone I wanted, but I am no means an expert in stone flooring. I knew what I was looking for having created pinterest boards and searching through instagram, but it wasn’t until I spoke with Richard that I learnt more about the different types of stone tiles that there are, the different colours and how that colour would have an effect on the room.
I thought I wanted a darker grey stone but Richard pointed me in the direction of the Provence stone which actually works so beautifully in the space and with the rest of the colour scheme. So from that point of view the service was absolutely fantastic as he was so knowledgeable and helpful.
So after initial discussion Richard came out to visit you, as we do with larger projects. Did that cement his knowledge and the decision you had made?
After our initial phone conversation I quickly got Richard's passion and knowledge for flooring. I mentioned that I wanted it to look like it belongs in the house and he completely agreed. That is what White Hall created with this unique range of stone tiles for, to make them look like they’ve always been there. I was completely sold when he talked about the stone and then he came to the site and bought the samples with him.
I was really led by Richard and it was so great that he bought a whole range of stones. We looked at the stone against different walls, in different lights in the hallway and kitchen, it really made a difference and I actually went a slightly different design route after Richard's suggestions.
With all of the difficulties in a building project, how confident did you feel about your flooring once you’d decided on the floor?
It’s always difficult, seeing the samples I did think we had made the right decision. I am good at making quick decisions but there is always the possibility of walking away and spending too much time thinking about it. Sometimes you have to trust your instincts and also trust the experts. As Richard was so confident that the Provence stone was the perfect one for us, I felt really comfortable in our choice. In fact now that the floor is down it looks better than I ever could have expected so he was 100% right. I think that is also a key takeaway for anyone looking at renovations, trust the expert, you don’t have to make all of the decisions yourself. Richard had seen so many floors in so many settings that it was great to lean on his expertise. It’s not like going to a faceless shop, it really was the 1-1 experience which was great. Initially we decided to only do the hallway and the kitchen, once we saw it fitted though and how beautiful it looked we also decided to put it in the basement as well.
What’s your favourite thing about your new Flagstone Floor?
I think the main thing is that when you walk in it works with everything else, it compliments everything and looks like it has always been there. If you do take the time to look at it you can see it's a beautiful floor, but it works so well that you don’t notice it and I mean that as the biggest compliment because it just works with everything in that room. It works with the colour we have painted the woodwork, it works with the walls, it works with the age of the property and it just pulls it all together.
Did you find the choice enough?
When I looked at the website I narrowed it down. I had in my mind the look I wanted to go for, having created pinterest boards and looking through instagram. I think there is just the right amount of choice. You can see how the different stones work in different properties. To be honest though I wouldn’t have selected the Provence stone so I am so glad that Richard bought it with him as he thought it would work. Throwing a wild card in there and having someone to challenge your opinion was really useful. I also found that the names of the stones correlated to the kind of property that you are doing. I also found looking on the White Hall instagram really helpful to see the different stones in different real life homes.
Having been through the process, what are the top flooring tips you’d recommend to your followers that you’ve picked up on this project?
- Start researching early
- Always get lots of samples and do your research in terms of instagram and talking to other people. From your instagram I could easily find people who have had the Provence stone and direct message them to find out about their experience.
- Look at the flooring in the different lights in the room.
- Don’t scrimp on costs. Flooring is not easily changed and it is the kind of thing that you will only ever put down once. It is definitely worth investing in. We wanted the floor to feel as much a part of the fabric of the building, as the doors and the staircase to give it some longevity.
- Trusting the expert's opinion and their knowledge.
If you want to get some expert advice on stone tiles and Flagstones for your home, then get in touch with us or give us a call on 01432 870 855, we would love to help you bring your latest project to life.
*We worked with Lucy as an Influencer so the product was supplied at a discounted rate.