Southsea Lifestyle – Free Magazine for Southsea, Old Portsmouth, Eastney & Gunwharf Quays

Welcome Home

Another Southsea Lifestyle reader throws open their doors and talks about the changes they have made to their home. Words by Kate Thompson

When Catherine Bradshaw first saw their future home in St Ronan’s Avenue, she admitted she felt a little downhearted.

The Victorian property was suffering from lack of love, and a disastrous layout that meant you effectively went outside to reach the tiny kitchen, passing through a room with a plastic roof covered in moss optimistically called a ‘breakfast room.’

“The beautiful Victorian French doors had been removed and somehow found their way onto the shed roof,“ explained Catherine.

It was only when friends who lived close-by shared their plans for their home that Catherine and partner John Santy started to see the potential – they worked with Joe Moser from the Design Team Studios to make their dreams a reality.

It took seven months to transform what had been a warren of ill-conceived small spaces, and transform it into the stunning, airy kitchen/dining/living area you can see today.

“We lived in the basement while the work was progressing with an eight-month old puppy just to make things more interesting,” she recalled.

While any major works can bring their challenges, Catherine and John enjoyed a relatively pain-free transformation process.

“We were both new to Southsea, and this project was an excellent introduction to the amazing community around us.

“One after the other, nice tradesmen came into the house and it was amazing how everybody knew everybody else,” she said.

Being south facing, the kitchen gets a lot of sun, as the couple run Aura Canopies, John was able to make and install a bespoke canopy to provide shade when needed.

Where possible, they used independent suppliers and tracked down a handle-less matt finish kitchen from a tiny supplier unearthed by

“We liked the kitchen-diner so much, we were inspired to renovate the rest of the house, we love it – I wouldn’t change a thing,” said Catherine.

Posted in: Articles, Home & Garden