We were very, very lucky on our trip to the United Kingdom, not just in the fabulous weather, but because we could stay with our lovely relatives — and they live in lovely homes.
It’s rare to be able to step foot inside one actual home when visiting a foreign country, and we were able to see lots of them. We also toured some “stately homes” with the rest of the tourists, but it was the privilege of sitting and taking tea in a real Georgian sitting room, or sleeping in a true Edwardian bedroom, or enjoying the garden of an old English cottage that made the trip even more special.
The first home we stayed in was that of our first-cousin-once-removed in Edinburgh. Naomi’s was the oldest home we stayed in, built before 1800. The building had once been a brewery with the bottom two floors for commerce and the third floor, where Naomi’s flat is located, made into a comfortable home for the proprietors. At one point the one apartment was made into 3, sometime in the 19th century, but it’s been re-converted to one unit. So some of the features were changed plus a modern kitchen and bathroom were added. But a lot of the original Georgian decor remains.
Here’s me standing outside the front door to the building. The stairs are located just behind this wall, stone stairs to the third floor, then concrete ones up to the more-recently modernized fourth floor. Naomi’s is on the third floor.
NOTE: We were staying in a private home. The place wasn’t staged for photographs, it was set up for living (and Naomi lives a very active life). So I won’t be showing whole rooms, just snippets of the features that made the rooms truly Georgian.
Here’s a Googled photo that illustrates what you can expect to see in a Georgian Room.
The Georgian builders and decorators revered symmetry, so the fireplace is centred on one wall. The windows are very wide and high, coming within inches of the ceiling and set deep into the thick walls. The panels at each side of the windows are actually shutters which can be closed over the windows at night (although most homes don’t use the shutters any more and have draperies instead).
All the rooms are beautifully proportioned, with high ceilings and a feeling of spaciousness.
Naomi’s apartment is split very nicely by a wide corridor, with transoms above the doors allowing some light in from the rooms on either side. Since the flat takes up the whole of the third floor, she has windows on three sides and a lot of light flooding in.
Here’s one of the transoms — a work of art by itself. And the beautiful plaster crown moulding along the top of the walls. The Georgians also tried to bring sculpture into their homes, and that is reflected in the ornate plasterwork you see here on this arch in the apartment.
Imagine living in all this beauty all the time! We were so lucky to spend just a few days in this wonderful Georgian home.
We just heard your interesting piece on the return of the leaky condo on NW this morning. At the end of the show, the host said that to read more about leaky condos: to go to your blog. I can’t find anything about leaky condos on your site. BTW We live on the 12th floor of a Burnaby condo and we like it much better than the house we lived in for 39 years. Your advice about getting a depreciation report was very wise. At last year’s Strata AGM, we voted for it although one young woman kept insisting that it was a fairly new building (2007) and was a needless expense. Thank God, the majority voted against her point of view!