Our designer, Matthew, shares his experience of renovating his 1910 Edwardian home.

Renovating a 1910’s Edwardian Home


Matthew is not only an expert home extension designer here at Acre Design, Newcastle; he has also become a restoration expert whilst working on his own Edwardian Semi with his partner. Taking up a lot of their free time, this home has been a labour of love and it is STUNNING. I asked Matthew a few questions to find out what he has learnt so far… This is a super positive read if you need encouragement to take the plunge with your own project, thanks Matthew!


1. Completing your own project, how does this differ from designing for others?

When designing clients’ projects, I often see snapshots of the project and its progression over time. I’m not always involved in every stage of their project whereas with my own, I live through each and every change and I’m responsible for the progress I make.

2. What has been your proudest moment during your project

Finally finishing repairing, decorating and furnishing my living room and saw the finished result. The room is unrecognisable from the day that we got the keys!

3. What has been your biggest lesson?

To be patient and realise that sometimes, a job involves taking a step backwards in order to eventually go forwards – no matter how frustrating that can feel at the time!

4. Is there anything you would do differently if you could have a do-over?

I would approach jobs with more confidence. What once felt like a huge obstacle, now feels like an everyday task.

5. Will your personal experience impact/has this impacted your work as a designer? If so, how?

It has been interesting to experience the decision-making process and understand the client’s position when given various options. This has undoubtedly improved my problem-solving skills and ability to work under pressure and time constraints.

6. How have you found living in your home whilst work has taken place?

It hasn’t been anywhere near as difficult as I first imagined. It makes you realise how little you need in life and makes you appreciate the small things. It also helps with productivity and allows you to get more done in any spare moments you can.

7. Do you have any advice on managing living in your home during a renovation?

Be resourceful and creative – there’s always a way around a difficult situation. Don’t get too hung up on deadlines – enjoy the process as you sharp forget what the early stages of the project felt like.

8. What is your favourite part of your new space?

My living room is my favourite room we have renovated so far because of all of its original features. I’m proud that we were able to save some of the house’s character! However, I am currently finishing fitting the kitchen and I still have four more rooms to go after that. A man cave may be on the cards so my answer may change in the near future!

9. What do you get the most compliments on

Our Edwardian fireplace is in our living room. We are lucky enough to have the original surround which is incredibly detailed and measures approximately 8ft high. The windows also receive many compliments, probably because of their height and the original stained glass.

10. Where did you look for inspiration?

Instagram and Pinterest have been great for inspiration to see what others have done with their space and how people overcame problems.

11. Would you recommend any particular products or companies?

We were fortunate enough to have some great electricians fully rewire our house with minimal damage and mess. AMPS Electrical made a daunting job relatively stress-free! In terms of products, we have been enjoying high-quality paints such as Farrow and Ball and Craig and Rose. The coverage is amazing and the colour payoff is definitely worth the price. 12. How has your professional experience impacted your renovation project?

It’s been beneficial being experienced in this industry, particularly when working with other trades and communicating my ideas and vision.

13. Lastly, what helped you stay calm during what can be a very stressful time? Reminding myself of the end goal and how incredible it will feel when I get there.


You can follow Matthew and Lauren’s renovation project on Instagram here.

We hope that you find this information helpful, at Acre Design Newcastle we are passionate about all things sustainable and innovative. We would love to discuss your project with you in detail.

Take a look at our recent projects for further inspiration! Get in touch to arrange a free, feasibility discussion with Alistair. 

We considered an extension to our property, but had little idea how to proceed. We selected Acre Design from positive reviews posted and have not been disappointed. Help and advice was always available and the team led us through the process in a professional and timely manner. We have no hesitation in recommending them!

John McRiner

Contact Acre Build

CAI Building, Royal Quays,
North Shields, NE29 6DE

T: 0191 6808 088