From a young age, I’d witnessed my parents renovating our home and I always had ambitions to do the same one day. Having rented for a long time it felt strange to finally have a home we could call our own.
A place where we could decorate and put our own stamp on it. I say ‘our’ but I tend to make all the interior decisions in our house. Dan’s just happy to go with the flow (price depending).
Edie had already lived in five different houses by the age of four, so I was so excited to give her a stable home, somewhere she felt comfortable and safe.
Let the adventure begin
When you view a house you either get that gut feeling that it is for you or you don’t. For most people if they had viewed our house before we bought it they would have said a big ‘no’. It was hard to look past the terrible flooring, pink kitchen and very 80’s decor. However, I could see past all of these things. It was a good sized house, in a great family location and most importantly for Dan, it had a south facing garden.
Our offer was quickly accepted and we were over the moon. Getting all of the work done was stressful as I was working full time and was expecting (very early on). Looking back, I’m not sure it was down to the move or just human nature, but I lost the baby. Moving can be very stressful and with everything else that was happening it just wasn’t meant to be.
Dan and I dealt with the loss as best we could and tried to focus our energy on the house. I designed mood-boards for each room as clearly the inner visual merchandiser started to take over. Having not already lived in the house it was very hard to visualise what it would ultimately look like. The work commenced and it all started to come together.
The renovation began by the removal of all of the Artex ceilings throughout the house. You could say we weren’t a fan of the way it looked. This was such a messy job but the newly skimmed ceilings transformed the look and feel. It instantly brought the house into the 21st century.
Once we got the keys we realised the bannister was hanging on for dear life and was totally unsafe. Our carpenter kindly built us a new one along with a new front door. There are still so many things on our ‘to do’ list. Including new built in wardrobes, inner doors, radiators and the biggest one job of all – an extension and new kitchen!
I’m going to share with you how far we have come, showing before and after shots. I always love these types of shots as they really show the true transformation – so here we go.
The kitchen was the one room that put me off the house the most when we viewed it. It was hard to look past the garish pink splash-back and decor. We had a limited budget so wanted to make the greatest amount of changes for the smallest amount of money.
It’s probably easier to tell you what we didn’t replace than what we did. We kept the original cupboards – albeit removing a few wall hanging ones – and that was about it. However, we did paint the sides of them with colour matching paint. They all had this strange sticky sheet of gloss that had been stuck on them.
We replaced the sink, taps, lighting, window ledge, splash-back, oven, hob, flooring, extractor fan and worktops. We also plumbed in a dishwasher as there wasn’t one before. Washing up isn’t a favourite chore of ours! Then we ripped out the built in fridge.
This transformed it! It was like a brand new kitchen but at a fraction of the cost! One day we will extend and knock through, we felt for now this would see us through until that day. The walls are painted with Farrow & Ball Pavilion Gray.
The living room
The living room had wallpaper, up-lighters and a fireplace which was hanging on with sellotape. All old flooring was ripped up and new carpet was added. We purchased a new gas fire and limestone fireplace from The Fireplace Gallery.
The dining room
The previous owners didn’t like taking existing flooring up, they just kept putting more flooring down! Consequently we removed four layers and then put down Karndean flooring which now flows throughout the ground floor rooms.
The walls were re-decorated with Farrow & Ball Ammonite. We added two pendant lights and a picture wall which was a little idea I had seen on Pinterest. (Prints are from the Poster Store and Jennifer’s Studio and were gifted)
This room had great potential from the start. With gorgeous sunlight coming through french doors and easy access to the kitchen and living room, it was obviously the perfect place for the children to play.
Changing the flooring and removing the up-lighters made a big difference to the room. As well as re-decorating the walls with Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue. (The collection of frames & prints are from Desenio and The Birth Poster, all gifted)
The laminate flooring was removed and then we added a cosy carpet. The walls were re-decorated with Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue and Brilliant white by Dulux. Archie adores his room and loves his shark and whale theme throughout.
This room also had laminate flooring which was damaged in places. With a fresh lick of paint and a new carpet, it has been transformed into a really simple modern girls bedroom.
The bathroom renovation took place after we had moved in. It made a big mess and was quite disruptive but it was all worth it. We were desperate to change the built in sink unit and the shiny black tiles on the walls! However, when the tiles were removed it became obvious we were going to have to re-plaster the walls. There was also an issue with the waste pipe in the bathroom. We therefore build out slightly to hide the new taps and shower fixtures.
I adore the bathroom, the metro tiles are timeless and the deep colour gives the room depth. This is then complemented by the dusty pink accent colour which is soft and calming.
The master bedroom is a good size but we were put off by the look of the built in wardrobes. We have had to leave these for now as a quote for replacements made us fall off our chairs. One day hopefully!
We removed the fan lighting fixture and re-carpeted the room as well as completely ripped out the existing en-suite. We created a new built in shelf for our shower and made it larger. As well as re-tiling, we had a new sink and shower fitted.
The dressing room
This is the smallest bedroom, which was once Archie’s nursery! We removed the laminate, overhead storage and then carpeted the room.
Our garden was a total overgrown mess when we moved in! We even found a wheelbarrow thrown into the bushes along with rotting plastic toys and a rake! There was a humongous Yucca palm which blocked out all light to the playroom. Trees that bordered the back of the garden were so spiky they were dangerous when the children were playing outside.
We have only just completed this transformation four years on from moving in. With a south facing garden and the way the patio was arranged, come midday all the sun would have gone. With a landscape gardener we decided to replace the whole patio. We moved it from one side of the garden to the other. Choosing new grey flagstones, now the seating area has sun all day long.
We expanded the patio slightly and had a pergola built in a sunny spot. Some raised beds were created and an area for the kids to play after removing all trees and bushes. It’ll be finished off shortly when the new shed arrives but COVID-19 has put that on hold for the minute! Now we have such a child friendly garden, I certainly have developed green fingers and my wisteria is growing nicely!
It’s been a journey
There are so many other elements we have worked on, but being honest, I think the page isn’t long enough. We have also re-landscaped the front driveway, completely renovated the downstairs toilet and so much more.
This isn’t our forever home but it’s certainly a place we will stay in for many years to come.
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