Fifi Mcgee is a country bumpkin at heart who runs a successful lifestyle and interior blog site. Having a passion for all things home decoration and a love of creating a humble, homely country cottage feel, Fifi draws from first-hand experience of running her own renovation to create blog posts which explore the elements that go into creating the perfect renovation.
Having always had a flair for design and a love of the countryside, along with fiancé Neil who is an amazing Brighton wedding photographer, the couple took on the daunting challenge of buying a house in need of some serious renovation and love back in July 2016. The house, a 1930s three bed semi-detached had received little care and attention since the swinging sixties with every wall and ceiling wallpapered and lacking modern necessities such as central heating. The couple’s mission was to inject a farmhouse inspired country cottage cosiness into this Brighton city home. Almost as ‘retiring to the country’ without actually having to do so.
Among other interior design questions perhaps one of the most compelling questions was when considering replacement windows, was PVCu or timber the best option. Fifi asks the age old question of:
“If your house has all plastic windows which need replacing but you want a more traditional vibe, is it OK to get timber windows on some of them or should all of your windows match? Also, what’s a better option? PVCU windows or Timber windows?”
To answer this question Fifi spoke to the Wood Window Alliance who are a brotherhood of bespoke window makers in the UK, for advice and they provided some myth busting information which helped identify the best option one of which was:
Will wood rot quickly, surely PVC-U windows will last the test of time and won’t discolour?
The answer: Plastic degrades, whereas Wood Window Alliance-standard windows have an estimated service life of around 60 years* – that’s twice the life of PVC-U windows. Plastic windows can become discoloured and brittle as a result of exposure to the sun and unlike wood framed windows, they can’t be repaired. In fact, once you maintain and repaint wood windows, their lifespan starts all over again. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that well-maintained, good quality timber windows can last a century or more.
Having decided upon timber as the best option, and after trawling through window websites finding very little inspiration, Fifi found inspiration in our Garden House project and opted for a Bereco Traditional Flush Casement window which created the perfect modern farmhouse look for the kitchen. Fifi says:
“I knew these were the style of windows for us. I love the way they are traditional looking with thinner frames, and come in almost any colour imaginable.”
The colour chosen was a Farrow & Ball colour match No. 15 Bone which really is the perfect neutral earthy finish which not only ties in beautifully with the kitchen units but is reminiscent of a classically English country farmhouse. Described as a soft grey with a touch of green this creates a timeless look and being slightly darker in tone than other neutral finishes this creates warmth making the kitchen calm, yet cosy. To complement this, Fifi chose a Traditional Flush Door which acts as a back door to the kitchen keeping the space warm and cosy and with Neighbourhood Watch Approved Cylinders as standard this ensures the maximum peace of mind in home security.
In one of Fifi’s recent blog posts she says “Bereco made the whole process of designing the window and door super easy after I stumbled across one of their brochures online and instantly saw a sage green window and door case study they had done on a modernisation of a farmhouse that was bang on the vibe I was looking for. They made everything as simple as it could be, providing me with guides and advice on measuring the openings and sent an in depth sample pack and mocked up drawings of how the final window and door would look.”
Watch the video to see the before and after story here
Read more about this beautiful renovation journey and browse all the design inspiration you need here.