FINDING a new home to live in was a real family affair for Anwar Qais.

The account manager had grown up as part of a close-knit family living in Birkby but, like his two sisters, left home to go off to university while his parents remained in the area.

However, after a few years living in Manchester, Anwar decided to return to his home town and the rest of his family soon followed suit.

They all wanted to be together under one roof again and Anwar was tasked with finding a home spacious enough to suit his family’s needs.

He explained: “My sisters and I had grown up living in the area and our parents never left so it seemed natural for us to come back and live there. We’d always been happy living in Birkby – it’s a fantastic area with a great, diverse community and it’s really come into its own in the last few years.

“I had a friend who had a five-bedroom house he was thinking of selling on Halifax Old Road. It wasn’t on the market so I was lucky as I was the first in through the door to see it.

“It was pretty dilapidated, but it was a lovely big property and I loved all the Victorian features. With it being an old house it also had a lot of space which was essential because there was going to quite a few of us living there.”

He said: “We loved the house and the space it offered, but it needed a lot of work and we completely gutted it. It needed everything doing to it, from the basics such as new heating and plastering to replacing the kitchen, bathrooms and everything in the bedrooms.We even had the front of the house sand-washed to give it a more appealing appearance.

“In terms of the look of the house we decided that the most important thing was to retain its character while still updating it and giving it a modern feel.”

The family was delighted to see that the property had a wealth of period features still intact. These they brought back to life with some restoration work and incorporating them into the style of the rest of the house.

Anwar added: “There were a lot of original features that had been retained throughout the house such as the large skirting boards and ceiling roses and some needed some work to restore them.

“In the hallway there was a nice thick embossed pattern on the walls that went all the way up to the top of the house and we used gold paint to pick out the rose details which worked really well.

“In some of the bedrooms we found original fireplaces which had been painted over so we restored them and we did the same with the cornicing in the living room where it had become cracked.

“Having all these original features is lovely – they act as real focal points to the rooms and really enhance the property.

“As we were working on the house we even found some Victorian wallpaper that was a green sooty colour so the features really were kept intact with this house.”

The blending of a contemporary interior with the house’s many original features has worked extremely well and the family has created a superb light and modern home while keeping its Victorian charm firmly intact.

They have used some particularly striking accessories to complete the look, such as the three stunning chandeliers which grace the living, dining rooms and hallway.

“My mum picked them up when she was out in Saudi Arabia,” said Anwar.

“They’re a gold-brassy colour with five layers of crystal balls and they tie in really well with the other gold and silver accessories we’ve got throughout the house.”

Outside the property – which has a great view of the nearby Norman Park – has a good-sized garden which has been landscaped. Victorian style railings surrounding the house have also been added to complete the look.

Anwar said: “The house was a real family effort, but I love everything we’ve done with it.”

The rest of Anwar’s family have now moved out of the home and he and his partner are looking to sell it as they want to be closer to Sheffield where they both work.

The Halifax Old Road, Birkby house is on the market for £269,995. To arrange a viewing contact Boultons estate agents on 01484 515029.