Over the last few years we’ve kept up a fairly intensive period of work on our family home. From building an extension through to re-decorating pretty much every single room going, we’re finally in a position to say that our house is done. Ish. The eagle-eyed amongst you may have heard me allude a couple of times to our plans to move house and whilst we’ve been keeping an eye out, we keep coming back to the fact that we love this house. It’s the place where my husband cooked a bbq before heading to the church to get married, the space where we found out we were going to be parents and the home where we’ve raised our kids. It’s on the edge of a village, has a large, South-facing, flat garden and a great space downstairs that’s perfect for family living. So, at the end of last year we decided we were being silly to consider moving. And whilst I’ll never say never, (for now) we’re happy staying put!
In making the decision to stay here, we decided that our ‘finished’ house actually could do with a little work to turn it into an even better family home. What does that look like? Read on to find out more about what’s next for our family home…
The Extension: Stage Two
2020 marks the year we really need to make a decision as to whether or not we want to go ahead with phase two of our original extension plans. We’ve got activated planning permission to build a master bedroom above our garage, were just yet to decide if we want the upheaval of major building works… again. To do the work, it means moving our existing family bathroom into the current nursery, removing the airing cupboard (and as such moving all the water tanks!) and then accessing the new room through there. Whilst it won’t give us any extra bedrooms (we’ll still stay as a four bedroom house thanks to the loss of the smallest bedroom to a bathroom), it would mean we’d have four decent sized rooms instead of three and a box. It’s oh so tempting but it’s unlikely to add substantial value to our house other than to cover it’s own cost and the thought of living with an upstairs that’s a building site again is pretty terrifying! That said, the littlest is fast approaching the age of needing to move out of the cot so if we’re going to do it, now seems as good a time as any!
If we don’t decide to go for the above garage extension, then our next stage will be to look at whether we could do something with the loft space. We could use a modular staircase kit from Fontanot stairs designers to help us fit access in without losing too much space on our first floor. The roof apex isn’t the highest so we’d have to look at the potential to add in dormer windows along the back which could certainly work and would allow us access to some of the better countryside views out of the back. It would be another substantial piece of building work but would allow us similar benefits to going above the garage… who knows, we may even contemplate both! Even if we decide not to go for a loft, we’re going to look at boarding it out properly and getting the insulation replaced to help reduce heat loss in the main house.
The Family Bathroom
Either way – the one main room of the house that we’re yet to sort is the family bathroom. We’ve done some brief remedial work to it – including me giving it a lick of paint and balancing on a bath at 30+ weeks pregnant. Last year we replaced the bath side panel and fitted a new shower but in reality, it’s the one room that lets the place down. I’d love to have a separate bath and shower which our current set up doesn’t allow for, so depending on all of the choices we make around an extension, there’ll be knock on implications for the family bathroom – it’s all go!
One of the first rooms that we decorated and it’s really starting to show. We took down a conservatory to add the extension and, whilst we kept the french doors in place, the room can be dark as a result. The cream, and entirely child-impractical, carpet has taken a bashing and the sofas (also cream… ahhhh pre-parenthood life!) are in desperate need of an update. It’s the one room of the house where I feel we’re yet to truly finish things off and it needs a bit of character put into it. Shelves need to go up on the back wall, we need to make a decision on what to put above the fireplace and the soft furnishings need a re-fresh… This year is definitely time for a new carpet at the very least!
As much as I love calling it a nursery, the smallest room isn’t really housing a baby anymore – she’s most definitely a toddler these days! This year will undoubtedly call for an upgrade to her room and a decision on whether she’s going to stay in there or move into what is currently the spare room. I love her room as it is right now but if we keep her in there then I’m definitely intending to make it a little more funky – I’m very tempted by chalky white walls, Dalmatian style spots and splashes of colour. Thankfully there’s no rush for her to come out of the cot as she’s happy in there for now but within the next twelve months I’m confident that will change – I can’t believe my baby will be all grown up!
Obviously that’s not all we need to but it’s a good start! This year we need to get some plants back into the garden, the porch needs some softening on the inside (it’s pretty sparse right now!) and I really need to get some prints and photos up in the main areas of the house. I’m sure I said the same in last year’s house update but it’s something I’m awful at doing yet really appreciate once it’s done, we have thousands of photos to choose from that’s the issue! In an ideal world I’d also love to freshen up our bedroom to make it feel warmer but it’s unlikely I’ll get Dave to agree… I think the above list is big enough already!