The VPR Blog

Restoring Picture Rails

One of the easiest and most effective restoration projects in high ceilinged rooms is to reinstate the picture rail.

 Picture rail 800x534Picture rail serves two purposes in high ceilinged rooms. Firstly, it provides an elegant if slightly fussy way of hanging pictures without drilling holes into plasterwork.

Secondly, it gives decorators a cut off line between the colour on the lower wall and that on the frieze. This can allow for a second or, if there is also a dado rail, third wall colour.

Personally I always paint the frieze in white so it becomes an extension of the cornice and ceiling. That way you get lots of light-reflective white at the top of the room thus allowing for more adventurous darker colours on the lower wall.

Read more ...

Restoring Period Ceilings

restored period ceiling

It is too easy to underestimate the work involved in restoring period ceilings. Justin Vogler looks at some tricks of the restoration trade.  

They add a mint to heating bills, attract dust, take days to decorate and even make changing light bulbs a challenge. Yet it is the grandiose high ceilings, replete with graceful cornices and trim picture rails, that set period properties apart and give them their distinctive elegance and charm.

Read more ...

Vintage Property Restoration: The Wallpaper Curse

It is easy to overlook but stripping old wallpaper can add thousands to restoration costs.

You’ve at last found the right house. It’s in a state but you’ve worked out costs for the new kitchen and bathroom, new carpets, rewiring repointing and painting throughout. You’ve even remembered to include a wedge for paving the drive and doing the garden. What can go wrong?

Hopefully nothing, but if you’re looking at one of the many period house that has several generations of vintage wallpaper and/or woodchip on the walls and (even worse) the ceilings, you might be in for an expensive shock.

Read more ...

Stamp Duty Reform: Where’s the Incentive for Redevelopment?

Osborne’s reforms provide no incentive for the restoration and redevelopment of empty properties and will increase house prices, writes Justin Vogler.

In my last blog I described how my bidding pattern in an auction was influenced by calculations about the £250k stamp duty threshold. Last week George Osborne announced that he was scrapping the threshold system in favour of a graduated rate.

If they work, Osborne’s reforms will remove a major distortion in the housing market.

Read more ...