March 2017 Update: I wasn’t sure how to go about updating this page. I didn’t want to lose the sentiment of my original home tour post, and thought it might be interesting to see how we’ve changed things by keeping the original pictures so I decided to add little update comments (like this one) and of course, some pictures of the updated spaces, to keep you up to speed with all the changes that have taken place around here since the original post (which was back in early 2015 at the end of my first full year of blogging). New text will appear in bold….
Whenever I stumble upon a new blog that looks exciting, the first thing I look for is that little button that says ‘Home Tour.’ I just LOVE a good nose around somebody else’s place whether it be in real life or just a virtual tour. I am very conscious of the fact that I haven’t yet posted a home tour and I feel it has been remiss of me not to invite you in to take a look around before now.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while and in my mind, I was planning to do the home tour when I got to my first blog-birthday but when that came, I was in the throws of embracing the new year and keen to have a look back over my year of blogging and reminisce.
If I’m honest, part of the reason I haven’t done a home tour yet is because, of course, lots of my home is not ‘visitor ready’! There are some areas that need lots of TLC to get them looking their best but with a year of renovations ahead, it’s likely the other areas won’t ever be looking any better than they are now while our attention is focused elsewhere so I may as well go ahead and share the whole shebang now and then, when we make changes and update, I will have great ‘before’ pics, right? I should probably preface this by saying, obviously, I knew you were all coming. I tidied up for you (and in some cases, I haven’t even done it that well!) My home NEVER looks like this. More often than not, it’s a mess. But that’s just part of family life isn’t it? There are some rooms that I love and some that I don’t like that much – yet! I feel like our home is always a work in progress and we will never really get to the end of it all. But that’s another story.
So, without further ado, won’t you come on in? Kick off your shoes and make yourself comfortable. Let’s start with a floor plan so you can get an idea of what you’re looking at.
The front door leads into a nice wide hallway. On the right side, double doors lead to the living room. The next door on the right leads to the den which leads through to the conservatory. All three rooms are linked via two sets of double glass doors.
Mar-17 Hallway Update:
As you can see, not much has changed in our hallway. Our Command Centre is still working its magic and while we do suffer from this being a bit of a ‘drop-zone,’ (think kids school bags, shoes and sports kits!) on the whole, it’s not too bad.
(see posts about how we introduced our command centre here and here as well as how we updated it here. Also, read about our weekly planner here and here and find out which diaries and planners I use here.)
The living room is probably my favourite place in the house. It is comfortable, calm and a really relaxing place to be. It’s warm in the winter and cool in the summer and if we’re all home, it’s the place we hang out together in the evenings.
Mar-17 Living Room Update:
The kids love the new cosy sofa’s but their favourite spot is sitting on the floor next to the fireplace warming their toes! You can read more about our living room and my thoughts on decorating with duck egg here and my suggestions for colours to pair it with here.
The den is mostly used by the children. It has barely been touched since we moved in and it started life as our dining room. The dining area off the kitchen had a sofa area and a small table and chairs where we ate all of our meals so the dining room was only ever used if we had to seat more than just the four of us. Consequently, it became a bit of a dumping ground and we soon decided it was a complete waste of good space.
When the children were still young, my husband was always complaining that their toys took over the living room, so one day we decided to move the dining table into the kitchen and move the sofa from the kitchen into what would henceforth be referred to as ‘the den’. First, it was really just a play-room where the children played with their toys and generally made a massive mess. Then, as they got a bit bigger, it became more of a living room for them. We added a TV and got rid of the old sofa to be replaced by the two super-comfy chairs that were in our living room before we replaced them. Now-a-days, we have the X-box in there and it’s where our son plays his video games. It is well-used – and it shows!
We desperately needed to do something with this space but we have been hindered by the dreaded CONSERVATORY. (I wrote that in capitals so you could imagine it in a dramatic horror-film-trailer type voice.) The CONSERVATORY is through double-doors off the den. It is nothing but a pain. It’s too small to be useful, too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter, we have had to fix several roof leaks and the double glazing has stopped working so the windows are covered in a permanent (and very attractive) condensation.
It is the CONSERVATORY (o.k, I’ll stop now) that has prompted the renovations we are about to under-take. We thought about just replacing the windows and the roof but we knew we wanted to replace the kitchen too so we thought we should just go all-in and get everything sorted out at once. Note that I haven’t shared a picture of it, it’s too shabby and I can’t wait for it to be gone!
Mar-17 Conservatory Update: Well, none of those planned improvements have yet taken place! When we got quotes to do everything we were hoping to, it became clear that we couldn’t have it all! We had to prioritise and for us, the kitchen was a clear winner. As a result, we cleaned out the conservatory and at least made it a more useable space.
My plan for the time being is to use this room for smaller decorating projects (for example, to paint a bookcase or chest) as there isn’t much furniture in here to worry about and I have the large double doors to the garden which provide plenty of ventilation as well as all the light I could need. Not the prettiest spot, but at least it’s useful! Read more about our conservatory struggles here.
On the left of the hallway is the WC, then the stairs and finally the kitchen/dining room. There is a door from the back of the kitchen (just behind the fridge/freezer in the picture below) through to the utility room and then the garage.
The L-shaped kitchen/dining room (as it is now) make so much more sense with the large table in than the sofa we had before. We love this space and it has served us well but I can’t wait to make it even more amazing.
Mar-17 Kitchen Update: So, the kitchen has been through few changes since these pictures were taken to say the least!!
First, we added our gallery wall to the dining area, which I loved and was very sorry to say goodbye to. Read more about our gallery wall and get a ‘how-to’ here.
We all spend so much more time in here now. Family meals at this dining table just feel so much more relaxed and cosy now. I can’t quite work out why but we are definitely making the most of this space for family time and entertaining too! Read more about our kitchen update here.
Through the back of the kitchen is the small utility room and under-stairs closet, followed by the garage (which looks absolutely nothing like this any more! Argh!)
The stairs curve around to the right and lead to an upstairs landing area which wraps back around the stairs.
Here is a floor plan of the first floor. Our bedroom is at the front of the house above the garage in a section that reaches further forward. Consequently, some of the room is in the eaves of the roof. I love this, it gives the space a bit of character and makes it look bigger than it otherwise would.
We went for pink in the bedroom (amazingly, the hubby did not object when I suggested pink – I was expecting opposition.) I think it worked out well, I love how calm and peaceful this room is. It really is a retreat for me; my favourite spot when life gets crazy is sitting in that armchair with a book and a cup of tea. Ahhhhhh.)
Mar-17 Update: Nothing much has changed in either the hall and landing or the master bedroom. We plan to re-decorate the hall and landing soon and replace our stair carpet which has been in desperate need since we moved in 13 years ago!! Let’s not talk about the current state of the garage o.k?
The guest bedroom is not my favourite! When we bought the house, the people who lived here before had four boys so all the bedrooms other than the master were painted blue. When we moved in, we were terrified that we had bitten off more than we could chew financially so we needed to do all our updates on a shoestring. In this room, we whipped around with a coat of paint and I bought some really cheap curtains from a mail order catalogue and paid for them weekly. Since then, we have done nothing apart from paint all the furniture white. We haven’t even got around to hanging a picture over the bed.
There is definitely potential in this room but if I’m honest, generally, it’s filled with piles of washing, ironing and paperwork. Does every home have a room like this? Please tell me it does?!
Mar-17 Guest Bedroom Update: The guest bedroom became our son’s bedroom back in October 2015.
I can honestly say that he still absolutely loves his new room. It’s his favourite place to be and I’m so glad we made that change when we did so he could still really make the most of it. Read about how we panelled this room here and more about our son’s new bedroom here.
Our daughter’s room is at the back of the house which, because we are perched on a hill has views out over fields and then the town beyond. It’s south-facing so it gets lots of natural light and if she could only keep it tidy for more than five minutes it would be a real haven for her.
Mar-17 Bedroom 3 Update: This room still belongs to our daughter and we decorated it back in the Spring of last year with the help of the lovely people at Laura Ashley.
When I look back at those old pictures, it makes me appreciate the transformation all the more.
If you could have seen her bedroom before, this would be the biggest surprise of all!! Now she has this gorgeous room, she really makes an effort to keep it looking lovely at all times and we are so proud of her efforts! Read more about our daughter’s bedroom update here.
Also at the back of the house, the other side of the family bathroom, our son’s room has the same view but is slightly smaller. He does have the advantage of a wall of hidden storage though, which, in my opinion makes up for the difference in dimension. He’s not sure he agrees.
He is keen to move into the guest room and do a swap and we are happy for him to, but I’m trying to put him off until the ground floor renovations have finished as I’m imagining we will need to use the guest room as our makeshift kitchen/dining area while the work is done and the more space we have, the better!
Mar-17 Bedroom 4 Update: This room is definitely still a work in progress!
That pretty much completes the home tour other than a quick peek in the garden which is just a patio and grass – perfect for a kick-around with the football!
We are not the green-fingered type I’m afraid. Our last house had a long garden edged by beautifully planted borders. We spent hours out there trying not to completely ruin it but I’m afraid the people who bought it from us may feel that we failed in our attempts!! I remember dreaming of a square of grass which required zero maintenance and what do you know? We found it!! Read about our garden updates here.
I hope you have enjoyed our little tour, it’s been lovely having you, I do hope you’ll call again! Until next time….xoxo!
Mar-17 Update: And that’s it really – our garden never receives the attention it should! We are always too busy working on the inside of the house and the weather is so poor during the summer, it never seems worth the effort but this year may see a change – you never know!!
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