I’ve mentioned my schoolfriend Nat on these pages before and I’m pleased as punch to be sharing her home tour with you guys today.
We went to stay with them recently and on the drive home Rich would not stop banging on about the kitchen (to be fair, it is the dream kitchen. If I can make our kitchen look half as nice I will be a happy bunny) and Lyra has been pestering me about moving to Bath ever since.
Without further ado I’ll pass you over to Nat to tell you all about the reno.
When my husband called me to tell me he’d made an offer on a house we’d seen a few days earlier my first reaction was nooooo….we had just returned from living in France with a three year old and a 12 week baby in tow! How on earth was I going to manage a big project, could we afford all the work, wouldn’t it just be a drain on our finances/time plus 100 other questions and worries I had in my head!
However, with a little persuasion, my husband helped me see the potential and we started on our renovation project of our upside down bungalow in Bath. Bath is such a beautiful city and while we would have loved a Georgian Town house project I think the appeal of the countryside views and big garden for our boys to run around in was too much for us to resist.
We had fantastic builders who helped us along the way and have created our dream family home. The house itself is a 1980’s bungalow with all the living areas on the top floor (including bedrooms) and then we have created a more formal lounge (thank you Lisa for designing this) and study on the ground floor. As the house was previously a tired-out rental we had the challenge of improving the layout and trying to inject a bit of character into it. This involved stripping the house right back to bare bones, knocking down internal walls, a complete overhaul of plumbing and electrics, moving the front door and adding a window to the gable end. The refurbishment took six months in total.
The style we have predominantly gone for is industrial, dark greys mixed with wood, accent lighting and accessories and I’m really happy with the finished result. (The many late nights researching radiators, sockets, paint colours, taps, tiles and any other number of decisions obviously paid some part in this!)
I sit writing this looking out of the windows at the island of one of my favourite rooms in the house, the kitchen. We had some great design advice to move the existing kitchen from the pokiest darkest corner of the house to the middle of the house in the biggest brightest room and that was the real focus. I had always dreamed of having dark cupboards and now we had a room bright enough to cope (Farrow and Ball – Railings). Everything now flows from this room, it truly is the heart of the house and where we spend all our time and by moving our front door to the back of the house we were able to create a terrace area which leads directly off the kitchen and connects us to the garden.
From this we knocked down some internal walls to create a dining and play room space (complete with huge cupboards to hide all the kids toys!). We have continued the industrial theme with dark grey doors and skirting to match and this is mirrored downstairs in Farrow and Ball Down Pipe which also is painted on the chimney. I love that the kids can be running about upstairs and actually use their bedrooms with them being on the same floor as the living space and then downstairs once they are tucked in bed we can escape to our lounge.
So there you have it. How impressive is the transformation?! I’m currently trying to persuade Nat that she needs Cox & Cox’s new cocoon chair in her lounge.
Has anyone else carried out a major house renovation (with or without kids), and survived? I’ve gotta admit, after seeing Nat’s lovely home, I’m tempted…