‘I have so many more memories to make here’
June 21, 2023
When Kate Glynn, (@claremont_bythesea), inherited her parents’ home in North Wales back in 2018, selling the seven bedroom, four-storey Victorian property was never on the cards – instead they turned it into an impressive holiday rental renovation. With its stunning sea views towards Anglesey and Puffin Island, Kate, who works in a museum in Manchester, and husband Joe could imagine their children, Florence, Pearl and Jude enjoying the same weekends on the beach she’d enjoyed as a child.
A family affair
The house has been in Kate’s family for over 80 years – in the early 1980s her parents bought it from her grandad. ‘My mum was an art teacher in Liverpool, and we stayed in Wales at weekends. ‘She decorated the whole place with a creative eye. After she died when I was in my early twenties, my dad lived there on his own for many years and the house was never updated.’
After Kate’s dad passed away, she inherited a house that needed a complete renovation. ‘I was always going to keep it, as all my childhood memories are wrapped up here,’ she says. ‘But it needed everything doing – new windows, roofing, rendering, plumbing, electrics and replastering, as well as a new kitchen and bathrooms.’
The best of both worlds
The plan was to create a holiday rental renovation that sleeps eight in four king-size rooms and reserve the three top floor rooms for Kate and her family to enjoy holidays when there are no bookings. ‘It works really well as we can lock away our stuff up there and we don’t have to worry about bedroom changeovers,’ she says.
Changing the layout
One of the biggest alterations was knocking through the two ground-floor rooms to create an open-plan kitchen diner. At the same time, the old kitchen on the first floor was turned into a bedroom, while a small kitchenette became an additional shower room. ‘When you have eight people in a house, you need that bigger, more social space for cooking and chatting,’ says Kate.
Managing the budget in a holiday rental renovation
Throughout the project, Kate and her husband Joe have been careful to preserve the character of the house, but to its size, the work cost over £100,000, so the couple remortgaged their home in Manchester to pay for it. However, undertaking a holiday rental renovation from a distance during a pandemic was challenging to say the least. ‘People definitely took advantage of our situation, and we made some bad decisions,’ admits Kate. ‘Some trades were good, but others were unreliable and difficult to pin down.’
Looking to the future
There’s also potential to make more of the basement rooms, which have been rewired and plastered, with plumbing in place for a future kitchen and bathroom. ’It would make an ideal games or play room,’ says Kate. ‘I’ve already designed it in my head; I just need a budget and to convince Joe.’
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Décor-wise, Kate found Instagram and Pinterest a great source of inspiration but was very much influenced by her late mum. ‘She loved art, William Morris and bold colours, so it’s a bit of a tribute to her but with a few modern twists,’ she says.
Mixing old and new
With the budget swallowed up by the holiday rental renovation, Kate had to be quite savvy when furnishing an entire house. She sourced items on Ebay, discovered ex-catalogue sites and shopped at John Lewis & Partners and Homesense for beautiful yet affordable items that would make each room shine. ‘Some pieces were already in the house, and I’ve added a few vintage pieces of furniture, as well as bargains from discount websites and Facebook Marketplace,’ she explains.
The couple’s hard work has certainly paid off as the house has been attracting some lovely families. ‘We have had some amazing reviews from guests,’ says Kate. ‘Everyone really appreciates the décor, the space, the view and the local sights.’
And although Kate is happy in Manchester, there’s always a strong pull towards their seaside retreat. ‘The house is very special to me, and we use it quite a lot,’ she says. ‘I’d like to think that one day we might return to live here.’
For information on renting Claremont, visit boltholesandhideaways.co.uk.
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