Traditional townhouse in Edinburgh New Town.
Project: Detailed survey. Restore and repair deteriorated sub-floors. Installation of 560mm wide, random length flagstones in Velentre Tumbled Limestone. Design and install parquet using 500 x 100mm prime grade engineered blocks.
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most admired examples of Georgian street planning in Europe, Edinburgh’s New Town needs very little introduction. It was ‘the’ place to live in the 18th century and the grand homes which attracted the city’s worthies back in the day are just as coveted in the 21st century.
But while the New Town’s graceful facades have remained almost unchanged for hundreds of years, it’s now rare to find an original property that hasn’t been converted into apartments or offices. So, when Strathearn were invited to collaborate in the renovation of a traditional four-storey townhouse on historic Northumberland Street, we were thrilled.
A heritage project is always an interesting challenge and this was one was no exception. The years had taken their toll on Northumberland Street’s sub-floors leaving them uneven, sloping and bulging. So before we did anything else, our first task was to carry out essential repairs and restore a strong, stable base to ensure the new flooring would look wonderful and last for another few centuries – at the very least.
Another delicate aspect of working on older properties is finding the balance between authenticity and practicality. Understandably, our clients were keen to respect the townhouse’s original character but they also wanted to reflect their own design ideas and create a welcoming family home. This was familiar territory for us and we knew several of our ranges would fit perfectly.
To recreate the drama and grandeur of a traditional hallway, our clients opted for large flagstones in Velentre Tumbled Limestone. The rich grey colour combined with irregular tile lengths and a softly worn surface looked incredible. The newly restored sub-floors ensured a beautiful fit. And, once sealed, the tiles were prepared to cope lastingly with the pressures of a high-traffic entrance hall.
Classic parquet was the ideal route for the rest of the ground floor. 500 x 100mm prime grade engineered blocks were chosen and we carefully designed the traditional herringbone pattern to flow cohesively from room to room. Architectural features like bay windows were defined by an elegant plank border and the choice of a bespoke oil finish added an individual contemporary accent.
Our clients’ choice of furniture and innate sense of style completed the transformation of this gracious 18th century townhouse into a unique and characterful 21st century family home.