House Tour
comments 11

Before and After – From 2012 to 2019

Dark Mid Century Living Room

I’ve been reflecting hard over the past few weeks (new year does that to you doesn’t it!?) about just how much work we’ve done to our humble abode over the last six years. The landscaping was the last big project we did and i’ll be getting photos and writing that up when the weather takes a turn for the better. Nobody needs to see our garden right now with its dead plants and bald back lawn.

One of the reasons I went into interior design in the first place was to give our house (and my hubby) a bit of a break. I’m always wanting to change things at home, but now I get my rocks off at work, with a few house projects here and there at home, a nice mix. But something that’s happening more and more, is i’m feeling a little deflated that our house isn’t quite as big, fancy or wow as some of the houses I get to work in. Theodore Roosevelt was on the money when he was quoted as saying; “Comparison Is the Thief of Joy“. You’re not wrong Theo!

So i’m writing this post as a bit of a reality check, for me really. I also thought some of you guys might like to see the house as it was when we bought it at the end of 2012 and compare the before and after shots. Like for like. The before shots are all from the original house listing, so not mine. The after shots are all by me, taken yesterday, so ya know, pretty recent, not much has changed since then. Promise!

Welcome to the before and after tour of Making Spaces HQ:

Before – The Living Room

After – The Living Room

Before – The Separate Dining Room

After – The Open Plan Kitchen/Dining Room

Before – The Old Kitchen

Hand painted birch plywood kitchen fronts

After – The Open Plan Kitchen

(newly reconfigured layout, the new hob is where the old washing machine was and the toaster is where the old kitchen door was)

Before – Master Bedroom

After – Master Bedroom



I’ve decided, this is the room I will be changing next. We’ve had this dark teal-y blue for over three years now, but i’m ready for a change. I’ve only just decided this after taking these photos, so the idea of an update will be brewing for a while…. one for later this year me thinks.

Before – Second Bedroom

After – Charlie’s Bedroom

Before – The Family Bathroom

After – The Family Bathroom

 Before – The Old Box Room

After – The Open Plan Landing/Work Space

Before – The Loft Space

After – The Loft Bedroom





(Photo credit – Katie Lee for MADE.COM)

As you can see, we’ve changed a fair amount over the past six years but there’s still stuff to do. Here’s the list:

  • New front door (I painted it whilst we saved up for a new one)
  • New windows (They’re all blown, they don’t fit and they’re ‘orrible)
  • Re-pointing (It’s a mess)
  • New garden furniture

Once those bits are done, it’ll just be me playing with ideas and faffing about for the rest of my days. Or who knows…. maybe one day i’ll actually be rich (ish) and we can afford to move to my dream house. Only time will tell…


  1. Sarah Sarkhel says

    It’s absolutely lovely – such amazing transformations, lots of imagination and so much hard work in just six years. I think you should give yourself a pat on the back, no need for comparisons at all..!

    • Karen Knox says

      Ah thank you Sarah! You’re not wrong about the hard work. It was quite nice to write up this post actually, little reminder of where we started 🙂

  2. Kate says

    One of the things I find very irksome about nearly all the house improvements in blogs, instagram and designer magazines is they mainly feature as a minimum a Victorian or Edwardian property with high ceilings and well proportioned rooms. It’s very different dealing with ( let’s be honest) the rather meaner dimensions of the average post world war 11 houses where so many people live and are keen for inspiration to improve. I love house of hackney, timorous beasties, Osborne and little wallpapers for example but for a 3m x 4m room with 2.4 ceilings and uvpc windows, I’m not so sure!
    So that is one reason I like your blog. You’ve done wonders with your house and you’re always thoughtful with your advice. But I do agree, your windows are horrible and need to go!
    Can’t you find a good sponsor for some powder coated aluminium. I’m sure many people would be interested.

    • Karen Knox says

      Hear hear! It’s much harder to make a “normal” “average” house look half decent. No period features to highlight or high ceilings to showcase fabulous lighting.
      And yes – window. I know. But we are sooo skint after the landscaping we’re having to save up again from scratch. Believe me when I say I’ve tried the sponsored route and no joy. BAH!

  3. Arthur Prudent says

    Hi Karen,
    converting your loft is definitely the most cost-effective way to add extra living space to your home. Have you been using sound insulation in your loft conversion?

  4. Sarah says

    I have read your blog on your kitchen /diner and it’s really inspired me to rethink the extension I was planning. You have really done an amazing job with the space. Can I ask how it went fitting the washing machine, boiler fuseboard etc under the stairs as we also have a pantry that I am hoping to reconfigure by moving the door out of the kitchen and into the hallway. Any pics?

    • Karen Knox says

      Hi Sarah, I can’t attach a pic here i’m afraid, but will ping one over to your email address asap!

  5. hi! was just wondering where the two chairs in the loft are from (the round rattan one and the white one with the brown shaggy rug over it)? thank you! <3

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