Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Home: Bringing love to a forlorn Edinburgh tenement in this beautiful renovation

© SYSTEMRani Bolam's tenement kitchen, Edinburgh.
Rani Bolam's tenement kitchen, Edinburgh.

Who:

NHS nurse and health visitor Rani, 32, her cat Dolly and her dog Vinnie

What:

A two-bedroom Victorian tenement

Where:

Edinburgh city centre


I bought the property in 2015.

At the time of purchase there was a lot of renovation work to be done to make it liveable, including a damp proof course and removing a rotten floor in the en suite.

This was done on a really tight budget as a first-time home owner. During the pandemic, I have then upgraded the kitchen by painting the units and adding extra units and replacing the worktop, and slowly, every room has been redecorated.

The property is bi-level.

You enter on the street through a hallway to a kitchen/living space, and there is also a bathroom on this level. Downstairs on the basement/garden level is a hallway, two bedrooms and an en-suite shower room.

I was living in a rented tenement before I bought the property.

I am a tenement girl and cannot imagine living in a new-build. I love the character that comes with period properties – enough to put up with the draughty windows and uneven walls! When I viewed the flat it was in serious disarray. Luckily, I managed to see past a lot of the cosmetic stuff (including three sofas in the bedroom!) to a good shell underneath.

The property had not been updated in quite some time.

When putting in my offer I knew it needed a damp proof course, which is why I was really glad it was fixed price as I could budget this. Once I got the keys, I realised the en suite floor was rotten and would need addressed fairly urgently.

When I bought the property I thought I would be living in a lovely decorated flat by about three months, but it actually took about 10 months until everything was complete and it felt like home.

I lived in the flat throughout all the work going on. I have slept in every room – including the kitchen!

I have always been very conscious of my budget.

I like to keep it tight and reuse where I can. I’m a big fan of scrolling Gumtree, Facebook Market Place and secondhand shops for furniture and household parts.

In terms of labour, I have tried to reduce costs where able. YouTube taught me to tile, wallpapering the hall was a first for me, and my friend and I have just embarked on building built-in bookcases from scratch.

This has been a massive challenge but it’s been so enjoyable teaching myself new skills, feeling confident with power tools and seeing the end result.

Throughout the flat I have added bits of art I have picked up in some of my favourite Edinburgh shops.

Places such as Curiouser And Curiousier, and illustrators such as Laura Jones (@skeletondraws), Stay Home Club and Emily Hogarth, as well as bits I’ve brought back from holidays. The gallery wall in the guest room is a homage to travels. I enjoy decorating but worry I am too much of a control freak for an interior designer.

I love how welcoming my home feels.

This is my first home I have owned and I have such a strong emotional attachment to it. It has also seen through many stages of my life, love, heartbreak, losing loved pets, and a pandemic.

I am good at closing a chapter and moving on, however, and I often dream about my next home. Although I am not ready for another massive project – yet!

Follow Rani on Instagram: @theedinburghtenement