Home Sweet Home

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I don’t even know where to begin explaining to you all how much it means to us to finally have moved into our forever home! If you have read my “On the move” blog you’ll already know the problems we encountered on this long painstaking journey, and to be honest there were several times along the way when we thought we would never get to move!

The relief we feel now we are finally moved in is indescribable – I don’t even care that each room is piled high from floor to ceiling in boxes which need sorting out, the important thing is that we are in and the mortgage is in place and the rest of our lives start now!

Before I start the list of 10,000 errands, address changes, setting up of new utility accounts, wills and life insurance etc, I wanted to blog about this amazing achievement and let you know about our plans for it!

We didn’t move too far away from our previous house, but we have upsized from a three bedroom semi-detached to a four bedroom detached. We wanted to be moved in and settled before we took the big leap to starting a family but we are in no rush to transform it into the house of our dreams – we’ve got the rest of our lives to get it done. The house is beautiful but does need modernising throughout, I’ve got big PLANS for each and every room which will take time and money but I want each room to be perfect and to work for us!

Here’s the rooms of the house and some rough idea of what we are going to do with them-

Lounge

It currently has a gas fire which we are very keen to change for a wood burning stove (hubby and I have both always wanted one!) and other than adding a stove, painting and decorating and replacing the carpet, there isn’t much more to be done to this room.

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When we were looking at houses, I really wanted a house which had a small space I could use as a study. I didn’t want to end up losing an entire bedroom and the separate dining room is too big to lose to study space, so I thought about utilising the bay window space at the front of the house as a small office area perhaps?

Along with the fact that my home office would be next to a huge cupboard under the stairs for storage space, I came across these similar ideas on Pinterest which I thought looked lovely

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Definitely food for thought anyway…

Kitchen

The kitchen is a nice almost square room but I can’t wait to modernise in here! There’s a breakfast bar almost the entire length of one wall which we just wouldn’t use (as there’s a separate dining room next door), so when we re-design it I want to make the best use of the space. I had a free-standing range oven in our old house which we unfortunately had to leave behind so I would love another one which is similar!

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I’ve already spotted some beautifully designed kitchens in Wren kitchens, along with some brilliant space saving ideas and new gadgets! I have always wanted a pantry and I came across this in their showroom the other day, isn’t it amazing? A corner of the room is cut off and a normal kitchen door put on the front and then bespoke shelving/racking inside!

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So it would look something like this….

They also had kickboard heaters which are a great idea as I won’t have to lose a load of wall space to a radiator, and also a kickboard hoover! You basically sweep the floors and then push a button and all the dirt is sucked in through the kickboard and into a container which you empty when full! What a brilliant idea!

I also really, really want granite worktops! They look so beautiful and don’t mark or leave scratches like the normal work surfaces. I really can’t wait to design this room but, due to the work and expense involved, I think this may end up being last on our house to do list!

Utility room

I’m very grateful to have the space for a utility room (we part converted the garage on our last house to a HUGE utility room and it was an absolute god-send) but I think to call this a utility “room” is a bit of a stretch! It’s more of a “corner” where you have just enough space for a cupboard and the washing machine and tumble dryer, but not much else. So this space is going to need some real thought as to how we can get the best out of it. It does already have a sink plumbed in in there though, which will definitely come in use, particularly when we are decorating and washing up dirty paintbrushes!

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Downstairs toilet

Not much to see here and not much to do really – I don’t think we have the space to change things around in here so it will likely be a straight swap for a new toilet and sink and a lick of paint in here – we can probably get this room re-done relatively soon in this case, no doubt places like B&Q will have some brilliant Christmas/New Year sales we can take advantage of!

Dining Room

I really love a separate dining room – several people have said we should knock the kitchen wall out and have an open space kitchen diner but I’m not keen, plus I will lose an entire kitchen wall where I won’t be able to add cabinets, and kitchen space is invaluable to me.

I’m going to keep the dining room furniture minimal – perhaps a table and four chairs and a sideboard for all the posh dining stuff I have…..still a bit undecided on this one!

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Conservatory

This was a bit of an added bonus when we bought this house – we aren’t huge fans of conservatories and probably wouldn’t have ever paid to have one built but it’s nice to have this one already here – it’s a big space and always useful to have an extra reception room!

Hubby isn’t keen but I am currently thinking of using the dining room for everyday use and having a small table and chairs in there and then having a big 6 or 8 seater dining room table and chairs set up in the conservatory.

This sounds strange but we are big entertainers and party hosts, so we often have all the family over at Christmas, Easter, Halloween and for big summer BBQ’s, so this set up would be ideal. I think hubby was leaning towards having some more sofas and a TV in here, but it is joined right on to our large lounge which will have a huge L shaped sofa in there….so I’m not entirely convinced. We will see how we feel once we have been living here for a while.

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One thing I know I do want which you are going to think is really tacky…. I really, really want a home bar! Not a Pat Butcher Eastenders style but more something like one of these –

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I think they look really great! I am undecided whether I am going to add it to the dining room or the conservatory yet (dining room seems the most normal place but would it be better in the conservatory, as this is where we would be seated for sit down dinner parties, and it would be easier to access from the garden during outdoor parties/BBQ’s etc?). Definitely something else to give some thought.

I would like some top shelves for best and unusual glassware and cupboards and fridges below and space for wine and mixers etc – this project is one of the ones I am most looking forward to designing!

I think it will look really effective when it is done and it will also save so much kitchen cupboard/pantry/fridge space having all the drinks/mixers/wines kept separately!

Master Bedroom

When we started looking for a house, one of the most important things on my list was the option to add a walk-in wardrobe. I have always dreamed of having one, but I didn’t want to have to reduce the value of any house we bought by knocking through from the master bedroom and into a smaller bedroom which we would then use as the walk-in wardrobe (basically making a four bedroom house into a three bedroom).

I thought about keeping the access to all four bedrooms the same but still converting one of the rooms into a wardrobe but thought this would be an expensive project and may be problematic over time. What if we had a couple of children and then one day my Mum came to live with me? We would be tearing out a lot of really expensive work to convert it back into a regular bedroom. Even if Mum didn’t come to live with us, I have an older Sister who has autism, and one day, she will be coming to stay with us on a regular basis for long weekends, so we will need a spare bedroom for her when the time comes.

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Anyway, I was upset at first that I had to forgo the walk in wardrobe but our master bedroom is such a good size, I will be able to get a beautiful set of wardrobes fitted around the room which will suit our needs perfectly. Two things I know I definitely want are a “shoe” wall, consisting of a row of shelves where I can show off my beautiful shoe collection, and an amazing dressing table to store all my lovely makeup goodies and Lush collection! I love the “Alex” drawers you can get from Ikea – ideal for dressing tables –

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My friend also introduced me to this amazing creation on Facebook a few months back

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It’s called a “Slaystation”!! Isn’t it incredible!!!? WANT WANT WANT!

One thing hubby and I have both agreed on for our master bedroom is investing in a much larger bed! After 11 years in a small double bed sharing with two large Shar-Pei dogs on the majority of occasions, having more space in bed will be absolute paradise! I think this purchase is going to be near the top of our “to buy” list!!

En-suite

I actually prefer our en-suite bathroom to the main bathroom! I’ve not seen this in any other houses we looked at but we’ve got a bath in our en-suite which is brilliant! In all other en-suites we looked at, they had a toilet, shower and sink – and some of them only had a toilet and sink! I’m looking forward to re-decorating in here and putting a nice deep whirlpool bath in – an excellent environment for Lush bath bomb testing!!

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Bedroom 2

This is going to be our spare bedroom with double bed in for guests. I don’t think we will need much more furniture than that – it has some built in wardrobes which I would like to replace but apart from that and a lick of paint and new carpet I don’t think we need to do much else.

As this room will be quite straight forward to get how we want, I should think we will end up decorating it quite early on, although I think once we have an older child and they want to move into a bigger bedroom we will have to consider re-designing it for them!

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Bedroom 3

This room joins on to the master bedroom and would have been the bedroom we would use as the walk in wardrobe if we had decided to stick with our original plans. Instead I think we will just use this as another spare bedroom with a single bed in for guests – we will give it some thought and make a decision once we have lived here for a while I think. It is a good size bedroom and is certainly bigger than a box room but I’m not convinced it is quite big enough to use as a walk-in wardrobe once you’ve taken into account the size of the window and the radiator….we shall see.

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Bedroom 4

We have decided we will use this room for the nursery once we welcome baby Evans into the world! It’s just the right size for a nursery and as we hope to get the “starting a family” plan underway as soon as possible, I think we will likely start the decorating in this room.

One thing I will have to do some research on is what to do with the window in this room – it faces the front and the windowsill and window is really low (not sure what style they call this?) – not too much of an issue for a baby but definitely something we need to sort out before said baby becomes an inquisitive toddler! Any advice on how to get round this would be gratefully received – I assume we can put up some sort of protective guard or something??

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Bathroom

We’ve got a good sized family bathroom which has a toilet, sink, bath and a shower over the bath – I am looking forward to re-designing this as it currently really bothers me the way the toilet is positioned facing the bath rather than straight towards you as you walk in the bathroom door…..strange!

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Garden

The garden was (in our opinion) one of the downsides to this house. The first time we saw the house we loved the big conservatory on the back but then were very surprised at how small the garden was when we first stepped outside. We were surprised that someone had put such a big conservatory on the back when there was only a small sized garden, but in all honesty, we aren’t avid gardeners and both work full time so a smaller sized low maintenance garden is just what we need.

In actual fact, the second (and third!) time we saw the garden we were pleasantly surprised, as it was bigger than we had first remembered, and to be fair, by this time we had thought about the idea of a conservatory and decided we would much rather have this additional living space than garden area anyway.

The garden is slightly overlooked by the house behind, but as long as we have the space to add a decking area for a BBQ and a pond eventually, then we are happy!

There’s currently a garden shed at the bottom of the garden (which I doubt we will use as we have a double garage at the front of the house) so a pond placed here out of the way of the sunshine would be ideal.

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Double Garage

Once we had looked at this house with a double garage, my hubby said he didn’t want to consider any other houses that didn’t have one! The space they offer is perfect – hubby is a carpenter by trade and therefore has mounds and mounds of tools he needs to keep safe, and he is also an avid fisherman and so has an array of fishing kit and accessories he needs to keep somewhere! He also has a home gym which he likes to have set up so this, alongside the usual bits and pieces you need to keep in the garage (additional chest freezer, lawn mower and other garden equipment, paints etc.) means you tend to fill up a single garage very quickly! I’ve made him promise me that he won’t fill a double garage with junk though!!!

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Sorry I have waffled on in this blog far longer than I had intended! It’s because I’m excited to get started on making this house our home! As you can imagine there will be a few upcoming blogs about the transformation of this house – if anyone has any interior design knowledge or links to blogs I could have a read of it would be very much appreciated!! All ideas welcome!

Off now to unpack the first of 10,000 boxes filled with god knows what!!!

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