Project of the Month May 2024

20th Century Manor House Renovation

Nestled in the scenic countryside of Barnsley, a magnificent 20th Century Manor house stands as a testament to architectural heritage and meticulous restoration. Built in 1820 by the original owner and local quarry owner, this manor farm once boasted two wings, one of which has now been demolished, with farmyards, barns, and stables extending to the rear. The property, recently restored to its former glory, is the proud residence of Chris and Amanda Brundell, who have undertaken an extensive renovation project since their purchase in 2017.

The Project
When Chris and Amanda moved from Leeds to Barnsley, they were enchanted by the manor’s historic charm but faced the daunting task of renovating a house that had been empty for two years. Many original features had been lost to poorly executed previous renovations. Determined to restore the manor’s historical essence, they embarked on a comprehensive renovation journey, encompassing both the interiors and the expansive gardens.

The renovation reinstated elegant plaster covings, high skirting boards, and original fireplaces. Additionally, a scullery was transformed into a modern bedroom and wet room. The six-bedroom, four-bathroom manor also includes a sitting room, dining room, snug, and kitchen, each space requiring the skilled touch of a master decorator.

Kai Baus: The Decorator
Kai Baus of KB Painting & Decorating has been instrumental in the manor’s transformation. Having previously worked on the property when the Brundells first acquired it, Kai was no stranger to the challenges and potential of this historic home. With over a decade of professional experience and a passion for detail, Kai brought his expertise to every corner of the project.

Kai’s work on the manor involved meticulous preparation and expert application of high-quality materials. The process began with addressing the numerous hairline cracks that had emerged due to the building’s natural movement over the years. Using a systematic approach, Kai opened up each crack with a Stanley knife, dusted them off, and applied Zinsser Peel Stop for added durability. The cracks were then filled with Ronseal Smooth Finish Hairline Crack Filler, sanded, refilled, and sanded again to ensure a flawless finish.

For the priming stage, Kai utilized Tikkurila Optiva Primer on all walls and ceilings, followed by two coats of AR2 for the ceilings and Dulux Trade Vinyl Matt for the walls. Woodwork received a superior finish with Tikkurila Otex Primer and was completed with Dulux Trade Satinwood in Pure Brilliant White. Throughout the project, Arroworthy brushes and rollers were used to achieve a professional, smooth finish.

Challenges and Triumphs
One of the notable challenges Kai faced was ensuring that every fine hairline crack was thoroughly treated to prevent future visibility. This intensive prep work extended the project’s duration but ultimately contributed to the superior outcome. Additionally, selecting the perfect colour for the hall, stairs, and landing proved to be a collaborative effort. Kai went above and beyond, providing the Brundells with various colour samples and ensuring their satisfaction with the final choice.

Client Satisfaction
Chris and Amanda Brundell were exceptionally pleased with the results. They were particularly impressed with the attention to detail and the smooth, impeccable finish achieved throughout the manor. Their trust in Kai’s abilities has grown over the years, evolving into a valued professional relationship and friendship.

Kai Baus: A Decorator’s Journey
Kai Baus, originally from Germany, has a rich background in painting and decorating. His career began with a three-year apprenticeship at Heinrich Schmidt, a large German company. After gaining experience in Germany and spending a decade working in Spain, Kai moved to the UK in 2006. In 2015, he established KB Painter & Decorator, offering a full range of decorating services, from wallpapering to panelling.

Kai’s philosophy centres on attention to detail, reliability, and professional excellence. His passion for the craft is evident in every project he undertakes, making each day an opportunity to learn and perfect his skills.

Quote from Kai Baus
“The Job took longer due to intensive prep work and unforeseen amount of hairline cracks, but it was worth every minute of it. I’m really impressed with the finishing and how stunning this hall, stairs, and landing look now.”

The renovation of the 20th Century Manor house is a shining example of dedicated craftsmanship and historical reverence. Thanks to the expertise of Kai Baus and the vision of Chris and Amanda Brundell, the manor has been lovingly restored, blending its rich heritage with modern elegance. This project, sponsored by Brewers, stands as a beacon of quality in the world of trade decoration.



If you would like to submit a project to be considered for June’s Project of the Month submit your project using the button below by the 18th June we will make our selection. *

* By entering this competition you irrevocably agree that you have obtained the homeowner/ developers permission and furthermore undertake that you indemnify Trade Decorator should this not be true. *

If you have any problems submitting your project please email your project details to us including your name and company name to:


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