I had a totally different post I had intended on writing today but sometimes, you just have to go with what’s on your mind at the moment. And at the moment, I am trying to put my thoughts together on what we’ll be tackling in the house. I know I’ve shared a few rooms that are looking pretty good at the moment (the living room here, the guest bedroom here, the master bedroom here and I’ve been working like a little busy bee on the bathroom this week) but I don’t want to give a false impression that the house is going to be ‘done’ that quickly.

Coffee table styling with fresh flowers and gold accents

Don’t let my pictures fool you – there’s plenty to be getting on with!

Well, I say ‘done’ – if you know me, you know that nothing is ever truly finished and I can tweak and change until the cows come home. But I kind of wanted to explain my thought process behind how we are going to be updating the whole house over time. It’s a good sized property – not a sprawling mansion by any stretch of the imagination but a nice size family home. And this means there’s quite a lot to do. Of course, it wouldn’t seem natural if I didn’t share what’s was happening with the house here on the blog. It’s where I’ve always talked about my home and my plans and my inspiration. It’s what I do. So here we go…

The Extension

When we first viewed the house, we knew it had the potential to be opened up to create a nice open plan kitchen/diner. I talked a little bit about our plans for the kitchen in this post. But even if you haven’t read it, that’s fine, because I’m going to go into a fuller explanation in this post.

So what you see above is the current layout of the ground floor of the house – you may remember this from my empty house tour post. Some of the measurements are wrong (this is the one that was in the listing) – the rooms are actually a bit bigger than what’s listed here but our basic plan is to move the kitchen from one side of the house (the west side) to the other (the east side), remove the walls between the sitting room and utility room (using RSJs) and open the space up.

The existing utility room and that weirdly shaped bathroom are going to be completely ripped out and the layout will be rejigged to create a new smaller utility/mudroom in what is currently the rear entrance and we’ll be shaving off some space from what is currently the kitchen to fit a small bathroom/shower room in that spot. The current kitchen will be turned into my office with french doors leading out to the garden. Now, this is a SUPER ROUGH mockup below so please don’t pay too much attention to the details (I have proper ones that I’ve done myself that are more to scale and we’ll have official ones done by the architect) but it will just give you a better idea of what we’re hoping to do.

On the east side, you can see there is currently a big square ‘hole’ between the rear porch and the current bathroom. (Go on, scroll back up to the original layout so you can see…) That is where the new extension will go as you can see in the second layout image.

Outside of house extension plans

There’s a little sneak peek of where the extension is going to go. This picture was taken on our second viewing of the house, in the middle of miserable January so excuse the fact that it’s a little bit of a jungle there. I’ll be sharing more of the garden once Spring actually decides to arrive – everything is just really late to bloom this year. I know it doesn’t look very big in the pictures but that gap is actually 3 metres wide and if we take it right to where the adjoining property is, you’re looking at a pretty decent size kitchen which will look out into the back garden. And as I said before, my heart is set on a glass roof here so fingers crossed we can get it through planning permissions.

Utility room before pictures

This eyesore of a utility room and bathroom will eventually be the location of our dream kitchen. Yep, it’s hard to picture, I realise.

I’m in talks at the moment with an architect so this is not something we are planning as a full DIY. We’ll get the professionals in to create the extension to make sure it’s fully building regulation compliant, get all the relevant planning permissions, etc. Wayne will probably do as much as he can on the internal stuff (laying flooring, possibly installing the kitchen, tiling etc) but the big stuff will be left to the experts.

old wood kitchen before photos

I genuinely can not WAIT to say goodbye to this kitchen.

But First… A Full Re-Wire!

However, there’s also another big job that we’re aware that needs doing – and that’s that the electrics in this house really need to be brought up to date. It’s a huge job where carpet and floorboards get ripped up, walls are opened up and pretty much every room in the house is affected. It’s not a fun or easy job and it’s very disruptive and messy. At the moment, we’re considering what our options are (do we do the electrics while the extension is being done or will that result in too much chaos/upheaval? Can we do one side of the house before the extension gets underway and then the other when the building work begins?) There are a lot of factors to consider – the main one being that in a case like this, the absolute best option would be to stick stuff in storage, move out for a while and let the builders get on with it. We, however, do not have this option. We have to continue living here (and for me, working here) while the building work and re-wiring take place. It’s possible to do this, of course. Not pleasant, mind you, but possible.

So in light of all the work that is required and knowing that all this has to get done sooner rather than later, I can’t really start doing too much in terms of decorating because of the aforementioned ‘ripping out and opening walls’ situation. The only room so far that I’ve painted is the upstairs family bathroom because aside from lighting, there isn’t much in the way of electrics in there so I don’t imagine there will be too much upheaval (and it’ll be easy enough to touch up the paint if need be).

Farrow and Ball Calamine Paint in bedroom with accents of burgundy

But there’s no point updating flooring, adding wallpaper and buying pretty things when these big jobs are coming. This is part of the reason I’m simply making our rooms liveable at the moment and working with the colours, flooring, etc of the previous owners. It’s also why we haven’t installed any lighting anywhere (did you notice the bare bulb hanging down in the bedroom image above?!). No point until the electrics are completed.

So we are a little bit in limbo right now. We have a lot to get on with in terms of choosing the contractors we want to work with and deciding the order in which to do everything. And then, of course, comes all the planning, drawings, applications and so forth. Karen from Making Spaces created an invaluable guide on her blog around what work should take place first when you are planning on a big redecorating project and I think her words are absolutely spot on so have a read of that if you are going through a similar process!

Bathroom shelving styling

A little sneak-peek of the bathroom so far…

That doesn’t mean that I will be able to resist possibly throwing some paint on a wall in the meantime because, well, I can’t help myself and if it makes a room just a bit more bearable to spend time in for the next couple of months, then for me, it’s probably worth the £25 tub of paint. But the big stuff in terms of flooring, wallpaper, etc will all have to be done in time. First things first, the electrics. Once that job is ticked off the list, then I can at least get on with upstairs rooms as well as the living room. But we’ve got a way to go before that can all happen.

So in the meantime, I just want to thank you in advance for your patience. The kind of work we’ll be doing first won’t necessarily be pretty for a while but I’ll be sharing the plans, what updates I feel I can make at this point, how I’m working with what I have at the moment, all the inspiration I’m gathering and of course, I’ll enjoy having you around for the journey if you fancy it. Stay tuned, there’s SO much more to come.

Now it’s your turn… have you ever had to live through a large construction project or have you had your home re-wired? How bad is it REALLY? I just need a bit of reassurance that it will be worth it in the end! ;)

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