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David shows us inside his beautifully renovated Aberdeen home

Offshore head chef David Murphy has given his beautiful west end home a major makeover.

David Murphy's beautiful home in Aberdeen's west end.
David Murphy has put his own stamp on his wonderful period home. Image: Alex Hutcheon + Co

It’s safe to say that David Murphy isn’t a fan of woodchip wallpaper.

From plastering and painting to building a deck and polishing the floors, David loved every part of renovating his period property in Aberdeen’s west end but says that the woodchip wallpaper was his greatest challenge.

“There’s no easy way to get it off, the stuff should be illegal,” says David.

Perseverance pays off though as David’s hard work is reflected in every inch of this beautifully renovated home.

Here he shares his DIY tips and why it’s best to avoid woodchip wallpaper at all costs.

David Murphy with a fireplace behind him
David Murphy has enjoyed transforming his period property. Image: David Murphy

49 Beaconsfield Place

Who: David Murphy, 39, a head chef on a gas platform in the north sea.

What: A ground floor period property built in 1893, with a private entrance. It’s part of a double upper with two bedrooms and two living rooms.

Where: Beaconsfield Place in Aberdeen’s west end.

As told to Rosemary Lowne. 

“I’d returned home from living in London and was looking for a property while renting a room.

This one became available in 2018 and I moved quickly, putting an offer in the day after it came on the market.

The flat was in good condition for its age and the biggest selling point for me was that all the original wood, skirtings and doors were intact and most of which had never been painted while the garden was south facing.

The living room in the Aberdeen renovated home. There are three couches, dark painted walls, wooden floors, a bookcase and a fireplace
Dark tones perfectly complement the high ceilings, polished floors and corning in the living room. Image: Alex Hutcheon & Co
The reception room with a yellow armchair, a brown leather sofa, dark wooden coffee table, woodburning fireplace and a table with four chairs around it.
Pops of colour and artwork add character to this attractive reception room. Image: Alex Hutcheon & Co

There had been no previous renovation work on the home for some time so I basically started from scratch, doing one room at a time over the next few years.

I started with the living room and bedroom so I could move in.

The work included lifting old carpets, sanding, staining and polishing the floors and waxing all the original wood.

I also re-tiled the fireplace in the living room and stripped the dreaded woodchip paper off almost every wall as well as plastering and painting.

The kitchen with sleek dark cupboards, grey marbled countertops and a patchwork tile backsplash
The sleek and stylish kitchen has all the right ingredients. Image: Alex Hutcheon & Co
The bedroom has a double bed, two rustic lamps hanging on either side of the bed, a wallmounted print above the headboard and two bedside tables
Green walls add a crisp and fresh element to this beautiful bedroom. Image: Alex Hutcheon & Co

I then moved onto the other rooms, exposing a previously covered fireplace in the dining room and installing a log burner.

The bathroom was fully ripped out in 2020 and redesigned completely with a Victorian style high cistern toilet and vanity table as well as a Crittal shower screen and walk-in rainfall shower.

I also tackled smaller jobs such as restoring the original tiled Victorian vestibule and polishing and waxing it.

The front garden was renovated in 2020 which involved me ripping the entire garden out and I designed the layout using Brazilian slate tiles and I also added a granite bird bath.

The bathroom with a victorian style toiler, modern walk-in shower with houseplants in it, and a modern sink
The bathroom has a boutique hotel feel to it. Image: Alex Hutcheon & Co
The fireplace in the living room
David has brought period features like this fireplace back to life. Image: Alex Hutcheon & Co

In 2020, I built the decking with my friend who then went on to start his own decking and fencing company (Thomson Decking & Fencing).

The decking adds an amazing extra living space in the summer as the garden is south facing so it’s a total sun trap.

There are also three outhouses, two of which I knocked into one large one which could be used as an outdoor gym/office, or perhaps a garden apartment/third bedroom.

Renovated Aberdeen home with maintained traditional features

For my home, I envisioned a contemporary style with dark tones which maintained all the original features.

I also wanted to mix vintage furniture with classic items like the Chesterfield sofa.

The garden in the renovated aberdeen home
The decking is David’s proudest DIY achievement. Image: Alex Hutcheon & Co
The patio furnature in the garden of the home in Aberdeen after the renovation.
The garden is a suntrap during the summer. Image: Alex Hutcheon & Co

The entire flat is a palette of Farrow & Ball paint with dark blues and greens including Green Smoke, Railings, Inchyra Blue, Studio Green, Pigeon and Hague Blue.

Overall, the greatest challenge would have to be the woodchip wallpaper as there’s no easy way to get it off, the stuff should be illegal.

But I love the way my property turned out, I wouldn’t do anything differently.

For me, the decking at the back is my proudest achievement as it’s just amazing in the summer as you can step out onto it from the kitchen and have breakfast in the sun.

My top tips for anyone undertaking a similar property would be to check if there’s woodchip wallpaper on the walls when you view a property, if there is, brace yourself.

And if you’re considering putting woodchip wallpaper on a wall, you should take a long hard look at yourself.”

49 Beaconsfield Place, Aberdeen, is on the market for offers over £279,000.

For more information check out the website or check out David’s Instagram page @westendrenovate