On a very normal and average day at the start of October, Mr E and I did a very exciting thing. We signed a contract for work to begin on a new extension for the side of our house. This is something that we have talked about literally for years, but it is something that I quite honestly never believed would actually happen. So to us, signing the contract was a huge step and something that made me feel quite emotional.
We have lived in our little home for six years in August. It certainly isn’t our forever home, in fact we didn’t think we would ever stay here as long as we have, but it is the first house we owned together and that makes it extremely special. The reality is actually our home isn’t really that special at all, a small three bed on a nice estate on the edge of a not particular inspiring town. But at the time when we bought it, it had good transport links to London and Cambridge where we working and was in a good distance to all my family. Over the years we have really put our stamp on it too and we all love the space we have created.
When we first moved in our house was very much a blank canvas. The previous owners taste was not our style at all, so we painted everything beige and put down beige carpets throughout. At the time we bought our home in the midst of the recession, so we were on a ridiculously high five year fixed rate, as well as having other sky high outgoings, it meant that money was super tight. As such we bought cheap furniture and accessories and it lacked the little things that made a home your own. It didn’t feel like our style or space, but we had our home and that was all that mattered.
Over the years we have lived with redundancy, maternity leaves, tough times and there have been points where I honestly didn’t think we would be able to pay our bills that month. I remember crying to Mr E, wondering whether we would ever be able to have another baby after Mads, because our salaries hardly covered the bills, let alone saving up money to go on maternity leave after me being part time. It is a struggle so many families go through, the costs of childcare, of losing a full time salary, or even of redundancy, but that is what makes this extension something which makes me so incredibly proud. Through a lot of hard work and through these tough times, we have managed to achieve this, and although not much it means the world to us.
So work started on our little extension in November. We basically just extended our living room out by few feet, got rid of our internal doors and made it open plan. The plan was to finally get a dining table that we could all sit around, instead of a cramped table shoved up in the corner, and just a bit more storage for the girls toys.
It’s been a tough few months at some points, we have lived with a lot of dust, a lot of upheaval and a few tears along the way to. I think it has been made harder by the fact that I have been pregnant and when you are knackered, the one thing you want to do is lie on the sofa and not have five builders there beside you! But now it is finally finished and we are so proud of it. I still can’t quite believe this is our house and Mr E and I will look at each other in slight disbelief sometimes. It isn’t anything particularly special, but it really has transformed our home. Of course, we have saved for years for all this, we haven’t just gone out and furnished it and done it all over night!
I thought I would do a little tour of our new space but I took so many photos that I have had to cut them into two posts. So this post is dedicated to the new living room area of our house and then I will do one of the new extension part later. I have also done a little room tour video which I will put in my next post…
As you walk in our living room from the hallway, we now have this gorgeous sideboard where our cramped old dining table used to be. It’s from Next and is their Valencia Sideboard. It is the perfect size for the space and has huge big deep drawers, which is great to get clutter away from other parts of the house.
I had a John Lewis voucher and couldn’t resist this hashtag light, it adds a really subtle light to the room in the evenings meaning we can turn our main spotlights off.
I really wanted to make the room so it had a lot of clashing styles and patterns. I love all the little trinkets we have got and the geometric style as well.
One thing which has really transformed the room is the flooring. Before we had beige carpet which was getting very bobbly and stained. We spent a great deal of time researching flooring, looking at high quality laminate and also real wood floor, before settling on Karndean flooring. This wasn’t cheap, about £2k altogether but after many recommendations we decided to go for it. We absolutely love it and what is great about it is that you couldn’t tell it wasn’t real wood, yet at the same time you can take strips up one at at time if for any reason you damage it. It is also apparently really hard wearing.
This wall used to be purple, but we decided to change it, firstly because I much prefer yellow and grey together and secondly because it makes the room flow better as the doors in our new extension are grey. Not much has changed here, but we have added a couple of cushions from H and M Home on there.
These shelves were from eBay and we have had them a couple of years (I can’t find the link- sorry!) but they were super cheap and I love that we can have some random little trinkets on display. I originally went with a retro sort of style for the living room and that shows in the little caravan, the chiming doll and the vintage camera.
These little wooden peg dolls are from Rock and Pebble and we have had them a couple of years. Luckily we have one extra for when the baby arrives so we can add his initial to the gang too!
Our little mustard side table is from Habitat and is the perfect fit for the side of the sofa. The two layer glass light is from John Lewis and again we have had it a couple of years now, but I love the industrial style of it and the fact it has another mustard glass layer underneath the top one.
You can see into our new extension from here, the large archway is where our external doors to outside used to be so you can see that although small, it has made a huge difference. The ‘Yay’ banner is from a lovely little online shop called Nor-folk.
You can see from this photo where they have taken out our original window. We were originally going to have a pane of glass fitted but once it was finished we actually decided that we quite like it open. It gives a real sense of space and is a great place to put a vase with some flowers on. I can’t remember where we got the ‘You are Simply Wonderful’ print but I love it.
I absolutely love our new grey rug which is from Wayfair, I think it really makes the room. I know that not everyone is a fan of clashing patterns and prints but I love it and think it goes really well with the wallpaper.
Our sofas are still our original ones from Next and we kept the curtains in the background, although I am going to change them to grey when I get the chance.
I got this geometric grey throw in the sale at West Elm and I love it, it is really nice to snuggle up with in the evenings. Our wallpaper is Orla Kiely Stem wallpaper and I adore it- we have had it a couple of years but I still love it and we get a lot of comments on our feature wall, although I know it isn’t to everyones taste. I don’t think you can get the yellow style anymore but they do have other colours. We got ours from John Lewis.
And there you have it. Our new, improved living space. We are utterly thrilled with it and still can’t believe it is ours. The wood floor has made such a difference and made the space feel so much bigger and we love the fact that we now have a bigger space where the table used to be. I love the colour scheme we have chosen and all of the clashing prints- I know it certainly isn’t to everyone’s tastes but I love it.
The best bit however is our new extension- however I will have to share that in a different post as otherwise this post won’t load properly as it will be full of photos!
(You can check out some of our other interior posts here!)