I know you won’t believe me at first glance, but today’s house used to be a dilapidated bungalow. Interior Designer Kelly and her husband Phil have reconfigured and renovated their 1930s house to create a sophisticated family for their two sons and sausage dog, Brooke.

The Background

Having lived in our previous house for over 10 years we had decorated it many times and made all the renovations and alterations possible. We purchased the house as a couple and went on to have two noisy boys, we all happily squeezed in to our home that we shared with our sausage dog.
So, the search began, we wanted to stay in the area, we needed more space and wanted a larger garden, the budget was limited, we fancied a project (like so many other people) so properties were sold as quickly as they were coming on to the market. We decided to sell our home and if necessary rent so we were ready to pounce when that perfect property came up for sale.
We were lucky and didn’t have to wait that long and we sold our home within days but went through the usual stresses of selling a house, the first buyer dropped out and luckily (again) we sold it within another few days which went smoothly.
The project that we had been waiting for seemed to arrive at the right time, in the place, at the right time, and within budget – this was meant to be!
The first viewing there were no keys for the front door so using a ladder (and the owners consent obviously) we were climbing over the garden wall to use the back door as we were so keen to be the first to view the property.
Within minute of being in the property we made and offer which was accepted – hooray!

The Property

We fell in love with a one bed roomed bungalow that was riddled with dry root and damp and had been left to deteriorate for years. Built in the 1930’s the bungalow was double fronted with windows that wouldn’t look out of place on a old pub. The floors bowed from the root, the ceilings were black and you could push your fingers into the wet brickwork.
We were taking on a project that meant we had nowhere to live for approximately a year. My wonderful parents give us their house while the work was taking place!
The planning permission was granted for a three bedroomed house, we were extending in to the loft to provide the boys with a bedroom each and a bathroom to share while we going to sleep downstairs. The ground floor also had a living room, kitchen/diner, utility, bathroom and WC.
The first thing that w had to do was excavate the floors to pour a concrete slab to remove the dry root from the floorboards, the benefit being we could install under floor heating!
At one point the only part of the existing property that was left standing was three of the exterior walls. I loved the building process, there were so many decisions that we needed to make quickly and every night (at my mum’s house) we’d discuss ‘the house’, we’d often discuss ‘the house’ in bed, over breakfast, in the car, at work… We discussed the house round in circles, we really wanted to get it right.A year later we were in the finished building and over the moon with the results.
The new house quickly became our home, when some family came to visit I overheard our youngest son say “yeah, they don’t really bother us up here, we have our own space which is cool” which I found very funny. The one thing we knew we wanted was an open staircase opposite the front door so your eye can still see through the house in to the garden, the staircase was made from steel and cherry wall stairs.
On the ground floor our bedroom is simple and calm, plain and relaxing, heavy lined curtains that offers complete black out which I love. We have an en suite which has square white tiles and black hexagon floor tiles, black fittings and a large shower.
We built an extension which now is the home for the kitchen and dining room that suits everyday breakfasts at the breakfast bar, hosts family Christmas dinners and suppers with friends – it’s a great space that we spend so much time in and is the perfect size because ‘parties always end up in the kitchen’!
We have used crackle glazed metro tiles, exposed galvanised conduit and had concrete worktops made, it’s industrial but homely. We have added a pop of yellow to lift the industrial look. {Update} The tiles on the island are from Fired Earth.
The living room is dark and comfortable, the prefect place to all lie on the sofa and watch films in front of the log burner.

We have now been in the property for two years, we’ve made a few tweaks, got lots of ideas to add in the future so this family home will evolve with us as we grow older. Looking back on the experience we only have positive memories (we’ve forgotten the stresses and discussions about ‘the house’) – we love our home!

For more stylish home tours take a look in our archives.