Anyone that reads this blog or follows me on social media will know that our extension was a complete labour of love. It had a fair few hiccups along the way but it’s finally finished – we have guttering, the last bit to be done, and a shiny new dining table which we’ve been waiting two months to be delivered.
You can see our old home in this post I wrote before the work started. We wanted to make our downstairs a more sociable space, a space that could grow with our family – with a dining table we could move easily around, a new kitchen and a work space for me. We also wanted a utility room and a downstairs toilet – a massive luxury for us, having never had one before.
The work started last October and was meant to be finished by Christmas. In the end we had a problem with the steel joists which meant work had to stop for three weeks over the festive season. When work finally started again it was full steam ahead – and it was all definitely worth the time, energy and dust that it took to get to this point.
We now have a big, open-plan kitchen and dining room. We chose a Howden’s kitchen – in Burford Grey Tongue and Groove – with an island in the middle of it – which is home to my recipe book shelves too, something I have always wanted.
There is plenty of worktop space for small appliances and preparing food and we have a 1.5 bowl ceramic sink which goes so well with the kitchen. The worktops are solid oak and they will need quite a lot of maintenance – we have already oiled them four times and this will be something we do regularly throughout the life of them. It protects them, preserves them and keeps them standing up to life with a family.
The splash back tiles took some choosing – who knew there were so many different types of tiles?! We wanted something like metro tiles but as we have those in our bathroom already we didn’t want them in the kitchen too. Instead we went for these more rustic tiles that fit well with the feel of the room and also have a matt finish which gives a nice finish rather than reflective glossy tiles.
All of our kitchen cupboards have integrated storage solutions – pull out shelves, vegetable drawers and tall larder units. But our main investment was to buy plinth drawers that go inside the kick board of each unit. They have created so much extra space and are something I hadn’t seen before. We also got a handy drawer that fits under the sink. It goes around the pipes and makes the space so much more usable.
We also decided on integrated appliances to make everything a bit more streamlined – and to look automatically tidier! So we have a full height larder fridge and a full height larder freezer which are perfect for a family kitchen as well as an integrated built-under oven, hob and dishwasher. They’re all Beko appliances and they do the job perfectly.
One splurge we made was to get underfloor heating – mainly because I didn’t want radiators messing up the look of the room. Saying that out loud makes me laugh but it’s true – and it’s the sort of thing you have to think about when planning a space like this. We also made the biggest wall of the room into an exposed brick wall using brick effect tiles. The wall is one of my favourite parts of the room – it was such an expense but it was so worth it. Pretty much like the whole extension!
We looked everywhere for a dining table to suit the space and ended up having to order one from Etsy. We then oiled it – so many times – to give it the same protection as the kitchen worktops and I’m so pleased with it – it fits the extension perfectly and is a real focal point.
The chairs were ones I looked for everywhere. They’re quite popular restaurant chairs at the moment and I originally wanted a rustic finish but found these glossy black ones in Asda at a bargain price and just had to get them. I ordered the bar stools to match which weren’t as much of a bargain but still fit the room so well.
Our utility room is home to our washing machine and anything else we want to hide in the cupboards! I know it will always be a bit of a dumping ground but it’s so lovely to have a space to put things and close the door on it.
The utility room leads to our downstairs toilet – probably my new favourite room in the house. It’s so lovely to have a downstairs toilet and it makes family life so much easier. Plus, I added a smile sign, a couple of vases and a little bird to make it a bit more homely – and I love it.
One of my favourite parts of our extension is my work space. It’s lovely to have a desk and somewhere to keep my laptop, planner and camera. I’ve always worked from the sofa until now so this space is heaven for me. I just need to get a new chair – and have decided on this one from Ikea.
We’ve also created a bit of an entrance hall as you walk into the extension with a coat rack and shoe storage unit. It’s turned into somewhere the children put their shoes on for school, drop their school bags when they get home and where we all meet before a day out.
The whole extension is such a bright and homely space. We’ve got five Velux windows in the roof which really let the light stream in and we painted it white to make it as bright as possible. We’ve also got bifold doors which are amazing to open up and let the fresh air in – as well as making the garden and house flow so nicely.
Outside the extension has completely transformed out house. It looks so different – the pitch of the roof is different and we really made the extension as big as we could whilst still keeping side access. It’s such a great space.
But, it has left us with the garden being a mess and needing so much work doing to it. It’s always the way isn’t it – you finish one room and then you need to instantly sort another! But, as far as the extension goes we couldn’t be happier.
Here’s a little video tour I made if you’d like to see more: