Renovation Tour - A Double Storey Extension Creates A 5 Bedroom Family Home

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One of our very favourite island units has to be in the kitchen of @therhodeshome_, it's a wonderful large island unit which is finished in the loveliest grey. The size means it can accommodate both the sink and cooker, making it so practical and really sociable too. 

The kitchen extension was part of a larger double storey extension, which transformed the house to a wonderful 5 bedroom family home. What we love about this project is that the family took their time and carried out the renovation when it worked for their family, not rushing into it. Their patience clearly paid off as they now have the most wonderful family home.


We chat to the owner, Kier, who shares with us her renovation story and some lovely photos of her beautiful home.


Can you tell us about your home and renovation project?

We moved into our house in April 2009, just the two of us. We weren’t looking to move but a house came up for sale in my in-laws close just round the corner from where we lived and we decided to go for it. We were attracted to its large south facing garden, potential to extend and we already knew the quiet area. 

We made a few small changes in that first year but 18 months later, in December 2010, Harry, our eldest, was born followed by Jacob, our youngest, in June 2013. Years of extortionate childcare costs followed as well as years of planning the extension in my head. 

At the start of 2017 we contacted an architect and set the ball rolling. Our build started in September the same year but halted at the end of October as no more could be done until we had moved out and we were waiting on our tenants moving out of our rental. We moved out on New Year’s Day 2018 in the hope we’d be back in at Easter. This wasn’t to be! The Beast from the East hit and all work stopped for 3 weeks. The cold snap also caused havoc with burst pipes and collapsed ceilings which led to further delays. We finally moved back in on 26th May 2018, our 10th wedding anniversary, with no kitchen and 48 hours before we flew out to Mexico on our family holiday!

We extended our house from a three bedroom, two bathroom to a five bedroom, three bathroom with an open plan living space. We added a wrap around two storey extension, building over and behind the garage.

One of the most important elements to me was being able to access the kitchen from the front door. In the old layout you had to walk through the lounge and dining room to get to the kitchen. In order to achieve this we had to relocate the downstairs cloakroom and open up the entrance hall. 

It was also important that we had two decent size double bedrooms for the boys whilst also gaining two extra bedrooms. We achieved this by removing the back wall of the house and extending out by just 1.2 metres upstairs.

We love this island unit and the open shelves



What was your biggest challenge during the renovation?

During the build one of the biggest challenges was the constant decisions that needed to be made daily. We are fortunate that we both have flexible jobs that enabled at least one of us to have a face to face conversation with the site manager daily.

The wonderful bifolding doors that go out onto the patio



Did you have a budget and how did you stick to it?

We did have a budget and we stuck to it. It would have been very easy to let it get out of control. During the build you can get the mentality of ‘We might as well whilst we are doing it’. This can be dangerous! Where we did this we made sure we pulled back costs elsewhere. For example the children’s two bathrooms ended up being much cheaper than originally planned. I was realistic, these rooms will soon have two teenage boys in them, my luxury bathroom can come when they are older!

Lovely panelling in the study



What are you most proud of and why?

I’m proud of what we achieved in a relatively plain, square box home. When people walk in for the first time and say ‘Wow’, it gives you the best feeling. Is it our forever home, probably not. Would I do it all again, oh yes!

The hallway is so light thanks to the decor and flooring



Where is your favourite place in your home now?


My favourite place for the family is our open plan extension. It’s a room where we can all do our own thing from cooking, homework, watching tv and working in the office whilst still being together. It’s also a room where we come together to eat meals and watch movies. My favourite place for me is the utility. At the grand old age of 38 I finally had a tumble dryer inside! What a difference it makes when you are doing 10+ loads of washing a week.

How wonderful is this huge dining table in the open plan kitchen



What would be your biggest piece of advice for anyone about to start out?

My biggest advice would be it’s never too early to start researching options for internal fixtures and fittings. You don’t need to purchase them but it’s good to have in your mind what you are wanting. Towards the end of the build, decisions from paint colours to light switches to flooring options come thick and fast and it can be quite overwhelming.


Don’t be afraid to take the plunge and extend, it‘s worth all the stress in the end!

Looking out onto the garden - we love the apex roof which give the feeling of space



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

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Published: June 23, 2020


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