With Lolly kicking off the week with her renovation updates, we say hello to the weekend with an interiors feature from the wonderfully eloquent Elle from Feathering The Empty Nest . You may remember Elle recently shared her story on how homemaking was helping heal devastating heartbreak. Today we’re in the kitchen chatting architects, AGAs and planning permission.
We are now a year on from Teddy arriving and leaving us all too soon; well almost, next week to be precise. The last year has flown by in many ways; I have immersed myself in this house, wished the time away, wished that I would feel better; more like “me”. Obviously, it’s never going to be that simple, I can’t just throw myself into house projects and hope it doesn’t feel like our son has died; but focusing on the house, as I have said many times before, always saves me.
In this latest burst of home renovation planning, I’ve focused my mind very much on the future and how I do see things (eventually) working out for us; and I think it’s saved me from time itself. I’ve stopped wishing it away now, and I’m just appreciating each day as it comes. I have learned to fill my days with new projects and ideas, and find myself worrying less and not stressing over the things have no control over.
So, what’s my latest obsession I hear you ask? The long-awaited Kitchen Extension of Dreams; let’s call it KOD from here on in, shall we? Well, I always thought that said KOD would happen at some point in this house, but I suppose I had imagined this year would be far too filled with “firsts” for us to have time for this; whether that be steps, birthday parties or family holidays. Of course, we’ve had none. So instead I am filling my head and days with planning a beautiful KOD we can all enjoy, especially when we do have a family in this home.
The Before Shots
We’ve had two visits from an architect, and a first round of drawings already. We were lucky in finding him as fortunately one of my husband’s commuting “train friends” who has also recently moved to our street, just happens to be a fabulous one! However, he was incredibly busy; but he passed us on to a colleague of his who had time to take our project on. Architect and husband have already tried to quash my dreams and stifle my “creative flow” (Although I think they called it realism?). Joking aside, it’s been fun, and it’s been quite wonderful to imagine what this house could be like with a space we can use all day, every day. A space that will be functional and fun for our current home life, but (let’s face it) is being created with the bigger picture in mind. The end goal, family life. We have a Victorian semi, so a house that really lends itself to being extending on the ground floor and turning the current dining room and kitchen into one space. Lots of houses on our street have done similar already, so we are hoping planning permission will be a breeze (positive thoughts on that one would be greatly appreciated!).
Extending the house at the side and the back (single story) is a huge project for us to embark on (especially for me, as someone who cannot stand the house being in total disarray!); but I am keeping the end goal in mind. Why are we doing this? We want this house to be a family home. So, I am pinning like a woman possessed on my Pinterest “KOD” board and spending hours of my life frantically googling “tumbled limestone tiles” and “copper taps”. It’s such a big project, but typically, I am already focusing on the details. For me it’s always the smallest touches that make it feel like something we’ve created; not the enormity of the structure, but the handles I have chosen for the cupboards, or the pictures hanging on the walls.
The vision for the space is simple; like most modern kitchen extensions, we want a room we can cook, eat and relax in one place. There will be an island, hopefully and AGA (please husband….pleeeease!) and lots of storage to hide all of the clutter away. I’m hoping for a neutral tone to the cabinets (Farrow and Ball “Hardwick White”, I’m looking at you) and a darker colour for the island. We are currently torn between wooden or granite work surfaces; jury is well and truly out on that one. Whatever we settle on for all of these things, I am certain that the additional ceiling windows and possible roof lantern will flood the space with light and make it a happy room that we all want to spend time in. I am envisioning myself enjoying drinks with friends, dinners with family and of course looking after a family of my own in that very space.
We are, as you can imagine, working to a budget; which is why I am googling so often. Pinterest and Instagram seem only to show me a world of fittings sand fixtures that could see me in financial ruin in next-to-no time. So, I am trying my hardest to find everything at the most reasonable price I can. As plans are finalised and planning permission (hopefully) granted, we embark on this latest project with optimism and much hope for the future of this family home. I also wonder; would I have had time to do this if Teddy had been here? Am I just paying this attention to detail because I can, because the time is there; because it saves my mind from wandering? The answer is, I’m not sure. All I can hope is that one day, when this project is complete, it will be filled with all of those firsts, and I will be too busy to care…..