12/05/2012 08:39 am ET

Charles Dickens' London Home Reopens After Refurbishment

Following a ᅡᆪ3.1 million ($5 million) refurbishment, the London abode of author Charles Dickens will reopen to the public next week, reports The Independent.

The house, at 48 Doughty Street in central London, has been stripped of as many modern features as possible, according to the paper. The goal was to make the home look as if Dickens had "just stepped outside."

It is very exciting to see the museum restored to the way it was when Dickens lived there...He lived and breathed the place," Mark Dickens, head of the Dickens family, told the London Evening Standard. "To have a centre of excellence where his heritage lives on and where people can understand the man and have a sense of him is vital."

Dickens lived in the house, where he penned "Oliver Twist" and "Nicholas Nickleby," from 1837 and 1839, according to Daily Mail. Visitors to the home can see Dickens' dining room (complete with place names for famous visitors) his marriage licence, and his original writing and reading desk, as well at the house's attic and kitchen which have been opened for the first time.

Dubbed "The Great Expectations project," the refurbishment effort was funded largely through the Heritage Lottery Fund. It also included a restoration of neighboring 49 Doughty Street to accommodate a visitor center and cafe.