Introducing the #FFHouseReno

Well where did January go?! Over here it was in a constant state of anticipation for our extension project to get underway, under leaden skies, flat light and constant rain. I for one will not be sad to see the back of January!


How the house will hopefully look when it’s finished!

On a more positive note I thought I would share with you our plans for the building project we have just embarked on (yes, it’s underway as I write – you can follow along on Instagram and I usually update my stories daily with progress if you’re really keen on keeping up!) and get a little bit excited about the planned results! It’s been a long time in the making and what we are doing has evolved through the planning process too, so I’ll talk you all through it here.


The current layout of the house.

Initially the brief was ‘a glass box extension to create a living/dining family space adjacent to the kitchen.’ As you will see from the existing plans below, we currently have a living room, a dining room and a kitchen downstairs, plus the W.C. but the rooms are all off the hallway and just not ideal for family life. We very quickly realised after having Bea that we needed space where we could watch her while we cooked etc and this is even more necessary with Cora as she is a little terror! Also, our Kitchen is just that, a kitchen. We have a peninsula with seating at the worktop which is where we often feed Bea or eat together, but it’s a bit like the three monkeys sitting in a row, isn’t ideal for incorporating a high chair, and I long for a kitchen table to eat around. Although we are lucky to have a dining room it’s a total pain hauling everything in there and then it means there are two rooms to tidy after dinner instead of one!


The ground floor plans: The blue area is the new living space where the deck used to be, the utility area is green and the new WC is pink.

As the plans progressed I started to think about other things that would make family life easier and the biggest thing I wanted was a utility room. Currently our washing machine and tumble dryer are in the cellar, which although dry is damp and dusty and cold, not to mention filthy. It’s a bit like having it in a cross between a garden shed and a garage, and tricky to go down there when there are children crawling or toddling about the house too, that I can’t trust not to come after me. The stone steps to get down are the stuff of nightmares where parenting is concerned. To have those upstairs, with a sink for dirty jobs and a second fridge/freezer plus some storage is pretty much the holy grail for me and I set about trying to convince Pete we needed one. As it happened the back of our house is a bit like a tetris block when viewed from above and extending just the kitchen didn’t square off the house without going around the corner too – this meant a bigger living/dining space and making use of the space which is currently a bin store, into a utility room.


The first floor plans – the purple area shows the new extended bathroom.

As time went on this project became the final stage in creating our medium to long term home, (I’ll never say never to moving again but we plan to be here a while!) and once the idea of the utility room worked out we then had the option to build upwards and extend our family bathroom which is currently a bit awkward and certainly not ideal for the whole family to be in at bath time. Extending the bathroom also meant we could do something I had seen a neighbour down the road do which was take the awkwardly placed separate toilet off the landing and put it into the bathroom. The landing currently doglegs around the toilet, so removing it meant the landing would be much more spacious and we could put in a window to bring light onto that level as it currently only gets borrowed light from other rooms.


How the exterior looks to the rear currently.

Initially we (well, Pete,) discussed the plans as phase one and two. Living/dining area first then the rest later, but as the scale of the project became apparent I became more certain that I was not going to do it twice, especially with the kids living through it too. We can’t afford to move out while the work goes on so I certainly don’t want to put ourselves through it again and it’s all so interlinked that it wouldn’t have made sense to stop and come back to it later either. There was no easy way of splitting the project.


What the exterior will look like.

As this also represents the final stage of our renovation, we can finally sort out the hall, stairs and landing which I have hated looking at since we moved in but it didn’t make sense to tackle (and later have builders traipsing through,) before we did the rest. As there will be walls knocked through into the hall and landing we will be replacing the floor, carpets, plastering, decorating and finally making it just the way I have imagined it.

So you can look forward to a lot more posts from me on bathrooms, living spaces, utility rooms, hallways, and all the details in-between, plus the smallest room in the house, our W.C. ;) Now the work has started although I’m anxious to see it progress I really cannot wait to have it finished and am so excited to crack on with the fun decorating part. So many decisions though!

Until next time…!

Rebecca

*All architectural plans and drawings by our Architects SpaceAP.

The Forever House Wish List

Although Pete and I love our house and have been very happy there for what would be 7 years this Christmas, I still have a forever house wishlist. I always think it’s interesting to hear what people would like in their dream house and I thought it would be fun to have a bit of a daydream today. Here are the things my dream forever house has – I’d love to hear about yours…



Kitchen with windows // Pale green tiles // Bar stools

A huge white kitchen dining room, full of light and space to cook and entertain all in one. In my minds eye it is across the back of the house, with Kitchen units along one wall then an island, then a wall of french doors, like an orangery leading out into the garden. It has a nice flat floor and I see our future children in a high chair next to the family dining table, and another madly tricycling around the table and island.


Skandi dining room

A utility room with access to the garden, where I can put the washing machine and maybe even a tumble dryer (I don’t have one now…) then dry the clothes on an airing rack hung from the ceiling. I’ll be able to wash my hands there after being in the garden and iron (who am I kidding?!) but best of all, shut the door on the mess!


Dressing Room

A Master suite. My bedroom is my sanctuary and whilst I don’t go to bed early and sit in bed (preferring to go straight to sleep,) I love lounging in bed at the weekend with a magazine, making lists or catching up on blog reads and I love getting ready to go out for an evening too. In a perfect world, I’d have a bedroom that lead into a dressing room and then through that into a big bathroom and a freestanding tub. If we had guests or children I could escape here and enjoy some solitude before rejoining the world again! (The SATC2 movie is solely responsible for this element of my dream house – I loved Carrie and Big’s apartment.)


Map headboard // Eclectic bedroom

Lots of spare rooms. Because Pete has 2 siblings and we’re almost equidistant from both parents, family get togethers are often cramped and somebody is always driving. I’d love us all to be able to have Christmas together without anyone driving home or sleeping on the floor.


Hallway

A big hall. One of my biggest bug bears about our current house is the hall. As it’s a terrace, the hall is only as wide as the stairs, which go straight up in front of you after a door to the right which leads into our lounge/dining room. It was always annoying when friends came to visit and goodbyes entailed a dance around each other to reach everyone within the confines of the hall. Now lots of them have push chairs or car seats too, I long for a hall that is big enough to stand in and dump all those things too!


Garden

South facing garden. This is one of this things our current house has, (well, it is SW facing,) that has made me determined to keep in future too. We get precious little sunshine as it is and the ability to eat outside in the summer or sit in the garden scores high on my quality of life scale, so it’s a must for me that the next garden we have gets the sun in the evenings at the very least.


Yellow bath

A family bathroom. Our bathroom now is almost as big (or should that be small) as the hall and operates on a one in, one out policy. I grew up in a house where you couldn’t have a bath without someone coming in for a chat (poor mum!) and tooth brushing time was a family affair. As a result I crave a bathroom that has space in it for kids to be dumped in the bath and al the family to join in without a military planing exercise on how to negotiate opening the door and leaving or entering the room.


Kitchen Diner

That’s not much to ask is it?!

Pete’s list is funny in comparison to mine. All he wants is a garage and a driveway!

So, now it’s your turn. What’s on your dream house, or maybe even just your next house wish list? I’d love to hear what you’re dreaming of…

Love,
Rebecca
Xo

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