CR035: Warp Weft
Photos: Claire Richardson / Narratives
Text & Styling: Clare Weatherall / Narratives
It was the energy and the sense of potential that the stylist Leida Nassir-Pour had always loved about Brighton. Originally from nearby Lewes, she had moved to the coastal city after dropping out of art college in Huddersfield in 1998. But after 11 years, just as she was ready to buy a home of her own (until then she had rented), Nassir-Pour realised she had been priced out of the market.
It was a day trip of flat-hunting in Hastings with her partner, Will Evans, a writer, that rekindled Nassir-Pour’s energy. She found Hastings suitably ungentrified, and describes the visit as ‘a little like stepping into an episode of The Sweeney in 1977’. What they fell in love with was one third of a former pub whose quirky conversion into a two-bedroom home meant it had received little attention from prospective buyers. ‘The entrance is at the back, so you have to walk through the old pub courtyard to get into the
house,’ Nassir-Pour says. ‘It put people off, but we loved it.’ Within six months they had made the move.
Closing time for the pub was in the mid-1960s, when it became an antiques shop; the conversion into three homes followed in the early 1980s. Although the pub character had been obliterated by a lot of MDF, the original floors remained, albeit covered in black tar. ‘Stripping them back was possibly the worst thing I’d ever had to do in my life,’ Nassir-Pour says. ‘We had sticky black sooty residue everywhere for three months.’ With only a small budget for renovations, the couple did much of the work themselves. ‘We were either killing ourselves or nearly killing each other.’ ‘I started waitressing in the restaurant across the road,’ she says. ‘We needed the money for the refurbishment, and the less time I was in the house the better.’ The work got done, however. And while there is little sign of the home having once been a pub, a certain turn-of-the-20th-century character has been reinstated.
Winter, Autumn, Collections, Conversions & Renovations, East Sussex, Fashion, Hastings, Natural, Neutral
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