Surrey Cottage Renovation

Our Decorbuddi Meredith Brodie restored this beautiful country cottage and prepared it for rental.

A full design and project management project, the scope of work included: total rewiring and installing new lighting, re-plumbing with a new boiler, removing and replacing all ceilings, re-plastering all walls, installing a new bathroom, reconfiguring and installing a new kitchen including installing RSJ, painting and decoration, sanding and refurbishing the downstairs flooring, carpeting the upstairs floors, furniture and furnishings.


In short, the property was very much in need of updating:



Getting Started

Renovating a rental property is all about identifying how to achieve the maximum return on your budget. It is essential to have a clear budget when you get started. In this case, we had £50,000, which for the extent of the scope of work, is pretty tight.

We managed the project from start to finish, enabling us to retain responsibility for the quality of the end result, within the agreed budget. Clear organisation and planning ensured seamless implementation. All costs were tracked and the client kept updated so that they also felt in control and comfortable throughout the process.

We created a spreadsheet, making detailed notes of outgoing costs such as: materials, contractor fees, skip and tool hire, inspection fees, disposal costs and so on. All costs relating to the renovation were accounted for. Even smaller items such as plug socket covers and lightbulbs.

A contingency was established to allow a buffer for the inevitable surprises that occur in a project of this nature.


reconfiguration & installation Of The New Kitchen

Purchasing all of your building materials from one supplier can be the simplest and quickest route, but it is rarely the most cost-effective. Shopping around to find the best deals on materials really pays off when it comes to a new kitchen.
For this project, the kitchen was most definitely a priority. Installing a new kitchen can considerably improve both the ongoing rental and selling price of a property. It is the feature most potential tenants and buyers look for when searching for their future home.
Meredith reconfigured the space to function considerably better than it had done previously. We then researched the options available, approaching a number of brands to compare the qualities and prices.
The final choice was a Wren kitchen, that Meredith managed to purchase at a greatly discounted price.

Bathroom Refurbishment

The bathroom transformation was achieved within the budget by retaining the existing bathroom layout. Even minor alterations to a bathroom plan are likely to add significant labour costs.  Conversely, all fixtures and fittings were replaced to achieve a quality design that would stand the test of time. Existing walls were stripped down, flooring removed and the old fixtures and appliances updated.


Tiles are low maintenance, which makes them perfect for a room prone to humidity and a worthwhile investment for a rental property. In this case we managed to source the tiles from a discontinued range, making them even more cost effective. Sourcing competitively priced wall and floor tiles without compromising on quality takes time, but ensuring that the space is properly watertight is the best solution, avoid the risk of rot and further damage in the future.


Choosing a similar style tile for the flooring, opened up the room, maximising the sense of space in the littlest room in the house.


Downstairs, the flooring was sanded and refinished. Upstairs, we chose an “unnatural” sisal which, whilst not quite as aesthetically pleasing as the real thing, is still in keeping with the desired look and feel and has the added benefit of being able to steam-clean for easy long term maintenance.

The walls and ceilings were painted white throughout. A natural choice for small, dark cottages, white is also perfect for a rental property. It enables the landlord to remove marks and refresh the house quickly at the end of each tenancy, without need for expensive paints and colour matching. 

We achieved the best long term value for this renovation project by allocating most of the budget to the fixtures and structural bones of the property, leaving little for new furniture and accessories. However, with careful editing of the existing pieces, combined with uncompromising sourcing and skilled styling we created the desired end result: a quaint and charming characterful cottage you would love to live in.

Project Credits:

Decorbuddi Interior designer: Meredith Brodie

Photography: Jess Madsen Photography

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