Our house renovation plans for 2018 and beyond


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Paid collaboration with The Roof Window Store

Next week marks six years since Cardiff Daddy and I moved into our house. It’s the second house we have owned together and is a proper ‘grown-up’ home with a garage and a drive. Although it might not be our forever-home we are certainly going to be here for a long time.

When we moved, we knew it would be a ‘project’ house. It was perfectly liveable – but stuck in a 1980s time warp and in desperate need of renovation and redecoration. The carpets were threadbare and dirty. The walls were papered with a horrible lining paper and painted a weird yellow colour. The Artex pattern on the ceilings is not to our taste at all. The house lacks storage. And as for the completely impractical and badly designed kitchen… don’t get me started!

Little Miss E, my eldest child, had just turned one when we moved – and her little brothers both arrived in the next three years. This meant any plans for renovations were on hold while I scaled back my work to look after my children and our finances took a hit. We painted some of the walls and re-plastered one of the bedrooms… but other than that our house is in an even worse sorry state than it was. Those carpets are even worse six years on. I find myself apologising when people come to visit for the first time about the state of the decor.

The house has such potential though! One day it will be wonderful… and I am hoping that day is getting closer.

Now that my children are getting older, and I’m able to take on more work, I’m hopeful that 2018 is the year we can finally start making plans for turning our house into our dream home.

There’s an odd ‘dead space’ to the side of our kitchen which is crying out for an extension. Perhaps even knocking into our back living room to create a modern open plan living space.

I’m also desperate to convert our attic into a master bedroom with an en suite bathroom. Littlest, my third child, is currently in the small box room and I’d love for him to have a bigger room. Plus it would mean I could claim his old room as a home office. I lost my work space when he was born and currently work in the corner of our living room. It’s not ideal and while I’ve been happy to make do for the last four years it’s not a long-term situation.

I’d like to get the loft converted first because I think it’ll make life easier when the downstairs extension is being done. The idea of working at home while undergoing major building work for several months fills me with dread. Especially as our downstairs room will become a make-shift kitchen/dining room and I probably won’t be able to see my desk for pots and pans and food.

Coincidentally both Cardiff Daddy and I had attic bedrooms as teenagers so we’ve both been keen to convert ours. We’re lucky that it is already a generous size. The previous owners built a bedroom over the garage so the attic space has already been extended. It’s a great size for a master bedroom with plenty of room for an en suite. I love the tiles on this one from Bathroom Takeaway with the Aquariss shower costing £469.97.

Our attic has the most beautiful red brick wall and arch around the chimney breast. In fact, I think it’s too beautiful to plaster over and would make a lovely feature in the newly-renovated room. I can see the arch surrounding the bed quite nicely.

I’ve also been researching clever storage solutions for loft conversions (you can see my Pinterest board here). It would be great to have some built-in draws and cupboards both for storing all the usual junk you find in an attic plus our clothes and other items so that we can keep furniture to a minimum. Our house currently feels cluttered because we lack good storage space so I’m planning as much built-in storage as possible.

Windows are huge consideration in a loft conversation – so it was great when The Roof Window Store got in touch as they have a great array of roof windows and accessories as well as handy articles on how to choose the best window for your roof and so on.

Roof windows have certainly come a long way since my teenage days. This one has an in-built rain sensor so that the window will automatically close when it senses rain.

I remember from my old bedroom that attic rooms get very cold in the winter but very hot in the summer. You also need good blackout blinds in attic rooms because curtains just don’t work on Velux roof windows. These Solstro DUR blackout blinds help to reduce warmth on sunny days and thus improve the energy balance of the house.

I’m still undecided on what colour or theme we’d choose for the new bedroom. I usually play it safe with pale neutrals – but I’m hoping the exposed red brick wall I mentioned earlier will give me the confidence to opt for something bolder. I love this look from Dreams – the Miller White Wooden Bedframe costs £399. The second photo is from OakFurnitureland with the bed costing £599.

Having an en suite bathroom is one of my house goals. Especially as my children get older and we are all vying for bathroom time. I’d love a walk-in shower unit with feature tiles and tasteful accessories that will be safe away from the children.

It’s such a big project and I have waited so long to get going – so I’m not going to rush into anything and will keep on researching ideas until I’m confident we’ve explored all opportunities and found the look we want.

I’ll keep you posted on how it all progresses!

Have you had a loft conversion? I’d love to hear what worked for you in the comments below.

This article was commissioned by The Roof Window Store but all words and opinions are my own.

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