Thursday, 16 May 2019

Knocking through walls and creating a new doorway for our bedroom

The changing home plans in our quirky house has driven my poor husband mad. He’s had the house for ten years and has done lots of work on it which I am slowly unravelling. This year one of our main objectives in the house is to create a new bedroom for me and Sweep and this has required rearranging the rooms. The front part of the house was once a cottage and the rear was a church hall with meeting rooms on an upper floor. At one time the meeting room had been converted to be a self-contained flat with its own kitchen and bathroom but these plans were changed and it became an upstairs living room. However, a few months down the line and we (or rather I) changed our minds and decided that the room would make an amazing bedroom with an ensuite and another room off here for my son’s bedroom. To link the room with the cottage side we had to knock a door through into the landing of the cottage….Sweep was not thrilled at this as he had blocked up a door between the two sides years before…ooops. In my defence, life changes and the doorway we knocked through was yet another door that had been blocked up long ago, so Sweep found the lintel and easily knocked the bricks out to create a new doorway. I should add here that he has building experience and knows what he is doing, it's a supporting wall and you can't just start knocking doors through anywhere.
Knocking a doorway through


The next step was to shop around for internal doors and find one to suit the period style of the property. C&W Berry have a large range of doors from oak to walnut and glazed or unglazed. We needed a wide door of 2ft 9 and wanted a four panelled Victorian style. C&W Berry have a range of period styles on offer, 1930’s, Victorian, Edwardian and contemporary to suit your taste and also different sizes so something for all homes. Alas we did not know of them at the time and most of their doors are available for national delivery. We searched for ages until we eventually found one locally through reclamation that needed a lot of work – stripping the paint, sanding and shaping to fit the doorway. The door is now hung and needs to be painted, I’ve chosen grey, the house is slowly turning grey but it is such a great versatile colour. From the hallway side this will blend in from a dark grey walls up the stairs to a lighter grey on the landing, medium grey door and architrave, whilst the other doors will be white with grey architrave – we thought this would be a interesting visual way of differentiating the original other side of the house.
Interior door examples
Images from C&W Berry 


The door looks like a front door with a doorstep to another home to me, so I am going to add some playful accessories with a bumblebee door knocker, a door mat, a sign like a house name and a pot of plants on either side.
Vintage doorway
The new doorway, just the grey undercoat so far on the architrave

Bee door knocker from The British Ironwork Centre

As for the bedroom, we have picked the paint colours so far, a dark blue and a dusky pink on contrasting walls. Sweep is going to build a wall of shelving, a bit of industrial style but we shall see. We have been getting inspiration from coffee shops with scaffold board shelves, metal brackets and lighting made from Kilner jars. 

The staircase up to the room on the other side needs blocking, this was where all the Brownie, Scouts and Sunday School children would walk up the room. We had a plumber round recently and he recalls the room from his childhood Scout group. The stairs will then have a floor built over them to take advantage of the full size of the room.  Hopefully this will be done before his chimney sweeping busy period starts again mid August….eeek! Currently we are waiting for the next rainy period to start work on this again, it's too hot for indoor projects at the moment! I'll keep you updated on how this room development goes and show you the finished room of my dreams.

*Collaborative post

Friday, 3 May 2019

Ways to improve the future chances of selling of your home

Currently we are not thinking about moving house but always at the back of my mind I think well you never know, maybe one day we will downsize when the house gets to be too much to maintain. This year we are having quite a lot of work done to the property and fortunately my husband has building and carpentry skills and so is able to do most of the work himself to save money. We are altering the layout of the house to make it more functional and this would most definitely make the house more saleable in the future. The house was previously the church hall and meeting rooms so the space is unusual and vast – the front of the house is more traditional and so the aim is to make these two halves gel more together.

I have been thinking about ways in general to add to that saleability, elements that will make your home more attractive and appealing to future buyers.

Curb appeal
This is a must to and probably the easiest solution and the one I get most fun from. Our house was originally a murky pebble dash brown colour and my husband painted it white with a black border around the base – it instantly improved the look of the property. When I moved in years later, I wanted to paint the gate and doors in a soft grey colour for a classy look. Added to this are plants and flowers to soften the edges. Make sure fences are not broken and looking shabby, fix boundaries, add a new coat of wood preserver and generally do a walk around of the property removing broken pots and rubbish. Now is the time to take a trip to the tip to get rid of all those things that accumulate at the side and back of the house too. A lady I know is looking to move house and top of her list is to check out the garden, a little care and attention to the borders and beds can give people that warm glow and place your property to the top of their shortlist.
Old house
our house previously

white house
House now



Doors
The door to your home deserves to be a showstopper and where better for entrance doors that Pirnar, a company whose range of innovative doors will give the wow factor and improve the saleabiity of your home in the future. Their high quality artisan doors have been built to a high specification with features such as LED lighting on the door handles and smart lighting as you approach the door – enchanting and also with safety in mind. A door from Pirnar will delight guests and of course those future buyers, a great first impression showing your excellent choice in materials and a key indicator of what the rest of your home is like and the care you have placed in it.
Pirnar entrance door
Pirnar doors


Cosy sitting room
What could conjure up an image of cosiness better than a wood burning/multi fuel stove in a sitting room. With a hearth dressed with bundles of kindling alongside piles of logs and a mantel adorned with candles. Having a lovely fireplace will be attractive to potential buyers, it’s a focal point for a room and with the popularity of woodburners for cost saving, this will make your property stand out. My chimney sweep husband says if you’re selling, get your chimney swept and obtain a certificate of sweeping so your buyers can be assured it is safe.

The kitchen as the hub of the home
The kitchen is a room that will have the capacity to sell your home. The current trend is for sociable spaces and any steps you can take to alter and update the kitchen along these lines will pay off. Repainting the cupboards and changing the door handles is a quick update, I love white chalk paint and find it a cheap solution to perk up kitchen cupboards. The kitchen here is reasonably big but was initially very unsociable with no spaces to stop and chat, the room felt too transient. My husband built a central island that is a focal point and a space to perch and have a coffee. I have since also added a kitchen table and chairs, also new stools at the breakfast bar helped to change the room to one that felt very family orientated.  Think about how people feel in a space and if you anticipate moving one day, keep this in mind when making alterations. 

As mentioned, our home is unusual in that the rear has an adjoining village hall not in use anymore but now part of our home. We are having to think very carefully about how we develop this space and I think a family room will be the best option. A space for all, to eat, to play and to relax.

Kitchen space


*Collaborative post