Renovation Tour - Bungalow Extension By The Sea







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This week's renovation tour (@whitstable_view) is of the most stylish bungalow, located in the beautiful town of Whitstable.

Charlotte and her husband saw potential in a bungalow which had been unloved for many years. On a tight budget, they have transformed it into the most wonderful family home, with a real sense of style and tranquillity. 

The home flows effortlessly from room to room, something that should be given particular focus in a bungalow where the rooms are all on one level. 

The views of the sea have been given priority, with large panoramic windows in the living areas of the home. 

Thank you to Charlotte who shares with us her renovation advice and how they managed to carry out the work on a tight budget.

Charlotte is an Interior Designer who offers online interior design service, so check out @whitsable_view to find out more.

The view from the lounge into the open plan kitchen

Can you tell us about your home and renovation project?

We wanted a more relaxed way of life after the madness of London so it was a natural place to look at Whitstable, we got married here and Luke's grandparents had a caravan here when he was young. 

We instantly saw the potential when we viewed this bungalow. An elderly man had lived here and nothing much had been done for years. Luke and I are both creative thinkers and quickly visualised how the space could best work for us by knocking down walls, extending rooms, enlarging windows and generally making the most of what was already there – the sea views.

We moved in before Christmas 2018 and we immediately started stripping wallpaper and planning the home. Being in visual merchandising for years and loving interior design, I loved the idea of designing our family home. Also Luke’s job means he thinks three-dimensionally and knows a lot about materials and how to treat them from a production point of view. 

We required planning for our little side kitchen extension but everything else we were able to do through building regulations – and it really was everything as the house needed gutting.

As well as the kitchen extension the house was re-wired, re-plastered, re-plumbed and had new windows and doors fitted. The wall between the living room and kitchen was demolished to open up the space and we made the living room window wider and deeper to better frame the sea views. 

The kitchen extension encroached across the bathroom window so we installed skylights there. 

We have two rooms in the extension – the utility room and another to house our fridge and oven, keeping the messy kitchen things out of sight of the open plan living/dining area.

The gorgeous vanity with the freestanding bath

What was the biggest challenge during your renovation?

The biggest challenge was living through the renovation with a 6 month old baby. It was all worth it in the end and we are lucky that Lara was so young she won’t remember, but we lived with no kitchen for 4 months and had a little put up table with the microwave on! Also we had to bath Lara in a little bath tub in front of the fire in the living room as we had no bath for a long time.

Also due to a complaint after the build we then had to apply for additional planning which we weren’t aware of so that was a rather stressful couple of weeks waiting.

The perfectly styled lounge

Did you have a budget and do you have any tips to stick to it?

Yes we had a budget of £60K. We had a floor plan of each room which each had its own cost breakdown, but we went over budget for each room as you never can stick to budget. 

We were so careful with our spending and spent more on certain items then others but we still run out ha ha, so we are slowly finishing off our exterior this year. 

Also just because something is old or was in the home previous to you owning it doesn't mean it can’t be adapted or reused. For example with our bedroom we still used all of our wardrobe carcasses and just replaced the doors. 

I also reused one of the old living room lights for the hall and bought the previous owners mid century sideboard furniture and side lamp. 

The bedroom has such practical storage around the bed

You have a beautiful contemporary / Scandi style. What influences it?

Aw thank you. I’m hugely influenced by Australian & Scandi Interior Design and architecture. 

I’ve always been into minimalistic design with plenty of storage. Having two children I needed to make sure we had lots of storage that didn’t affect the design of the family home.

The view of the sea from the dining area

What room do you love most and why?

I think it has to be the bathroom. It’s a little sanctuary space. It’s not a big room but we made it work for the space. Seeing panelling and terrazzo becoming popular is great but it was nice that at the time it was so different. 

But also the living room and kitchen has the best view of the sea which is so calming.

We adore the shower with the large terrazzo tiles

What do family and friends say about the work you have done?

They say we have achieved so much on such a small budget, with me project managing the renovation and Luke doing most of the work every weekend which he really enjoyed. 

And that the design is very clean and beautiful which is such a nice compliment. We still have some friends and family that need to see it finished as we completed the inside last summer.

The kitchen with the large pivot door, which frames the large space

If you are thinking about a renovation project in the near future and need some help finding an architect or architectural designer, we can match you with the most suitable ones for your project.

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