All posts filed under: Building

Renovation Budget

‘Fake it until you can make it’ – What do you do when your budget won’t stretch?

You may (or may not) remember I started working on a rather big and exciting project earlier this year. The Old Forge The plans for this cottage renovation and soon to be holiday let are all pretty much sorted and despite a slight glitch with planning (which was super annoying and dished out but a week before the build was due to start) it’s looking positive we can get started within the next few weeks **crosses fingers**. During the wait for all the faffy paperwork to be shuffled, signed and filed, we’ve been chugging away with the family home instead. They sure do love a project! The floorplan below gives you an idea of their home, how the nooks and crannies of the cottage fit together and how they’re used. The sections marked in red were the bits to be demolished ready for Phase 2 of the big build. You can see how small and quite fiddly the kitchen/dining space is, there are seven doors in and around the heart of the home, along with beams, …

Garden landscaping

Time for the BIG garden overhaul – The landscaping has finally begun!

It’s time. Finally! After 6 years of being in our normal, average sized, 1960’s semi-detached, family home, we’ve done all of the big building jobs inside. Which can only mean one thing; it’s time to tackle the outside! And it couldn’t have come at a better time as our driveway was falling apart. Let me walk you through some of the garden projects we’ve done to tart up the space whilst eagerly awaiting the big overhaul. Back in 2015 You can see what a bad state the driveway was in then, another three years on and it was becoming, well, embarrassing. Summer 2015, The Chalkboard Wall The outdoor blackboard worked a treat to disguise that ugly concrete brick wall for a few years, but after the loft extension in December 2016… … our outdoor space took a hammering and was completely neglected during the epic 17 week build. I gave it a little budget revamp as part of the #UKHomeBlogHop in Summer 2017. It got us through Summer 2017, but 2018 was the year we …

Why consultations are REALLY important – New project time!

Earlier this year, I wrote a post about when to get an interior designer on board which went into some detail about what we do and why we really should be involved from the beginning of a project.  If I had a pound for every person emailing me to say they’ve just completed a build and now want some help with the interior design, well i’d have at least £100 by now. Not a lot of money admittedly, but that’s a lot of people thinking I just do sofas and paint colours. Incorrect. This brings me onto a consultation I did at the beginning of July at a beautiful, five bedroom, double fronted, 1930’s house. Original ground floor-plan The homeowners had been there for about four years already and had made a brilliant start at putting their stamp on the place. With most of the messy, building works already done, I was asked to go over for a consultation for the hallway, stairs and landing. Always the last place you should decorate peeps, because they …

wall lights

Planning a build? When do I get an interior designer on board?

Hello, i’m back and the first thing I have to say is a genuinely, heartfelt thank you. Thank you for your very kind comments and feedback, emails, messages and DM’s on my last blog post. I cried my little eyes out reading them, each and everyone one made my heart swell. I am so very grateful, so once again… And so to continue spreading the love, joy and general good vibes over at Making Spaces HQ, this blog post i’m sharing one of my biggest bug bears. Yep, i’m doing what I do best everyone, and moaning. Normal service has resumed. So what’s got me going off on one this week? I’ve always hated the job title, interior designer, most people still don’t really know what we actually do, but as i’ve mentioned before, paint colours and cushions really are about 0.6%. Cushions in the Upper Brook Street Project I’ve noticed more interior designers referring to themselves as ‘interior architects’. I can’t class myself as that by any means, i’m certainly no architect, but I do …

Next Door at the Old Forge

New Project – Next Door@TheOldForge

Sometimes a project lands, and it’s almost too good to be true. This is one. When someone contacts you to design the interiors for what will become a unique, interiors focused, two bedroom holiday let in North Yorkshire AND gives you carte blanche to push yourself with the overall design, you know you’re going to have fun. This won’t be just any old holiday let, it’s being converted and remodelled from a Victorian cottage and outbuildings, attached to what once was a forge. The Old Forge, which is next door is now the homeowners’s family home. They bought these most wonderful buildings set in a large plot and enormous gardens five years ago and it’s literally dripping in history and period features. Their 10 year plan is to renovate the main family home, which they have nearly finished (bar a large extension for a kitchen/diner family room) and to convert the rest of the attached buildings to a holiday rental. So here are the bare bones of the cottage and remaining outbuildings, soon to become: …

Aluminium Door Making Spaces Home Update

Out with the old – In with a new aluminium sliding door

I do love sharing projects with you guys, especially the ones at our place, as you get to see just how normal our house is and how the smallest of changes can make the biggest of differences. This is certainly one of those projects! Photo from last summer’s #UKHomeBlogHop We’ve finally got rid of the horrendous French doors that lead out onto the garden. I’ve always hated them, but when we moved in, it was at the bottom of a very long list of priorities to sort. They don’t look too bad in this pic above, that’s mainly because I’ve styled the crap out of the space, but the reality was they didn’t close properly, they were too small for the opening and they let a whole heap of cold inside. Before Updating the back of the house is something we’ve been putting off for ages. It was a faffy job, needing the old walls knocking down before the window co could fit the new, much improved door. Our first choice? An aluminium sliding door, …

Lego Storage

Charlie’s bedroom – Part 2 – The Plywood Wall

Charlie’s room has ended up being a much larger project that originally planned (sorry Pete). The whole design process has been bubbling away in the background for a few months now and am so excited to finally share Part 2. (Part 1 here). This kid’s bedroom is all about the plywood!! There are still plenty of pieces left to go in (carpets and single bed) but it’s the joinery that’s really transformed this room. So let’s get on with the pics shall we? Before After Before | During After I absolutely love it. It’s so mental to see an idea in your head executed so accurately. The guys from Leeds and London based Bare Joinery are mega. Give them a follow, because i’ve been bullying them to set up a proper Instagram account for months and i’m going to look like a right numpty if it’s tumbleweed. The design is a perfect marriage of function and form. I’ve finally reclaimed the living room (and several other parts of the house) and have managed to get all …

Charlie’s Bedroom Re-design – Part 1

What a week! The Interior Design Collective launch completely blew my mind. It seems quite a few of you think it’s a rather good idea. Which is brilliant. View this post on Instagram What. A. Day. Up and at em at 6.45am ready for the @interiordesigncollective launch at 8am. The usual morning marathon of feeding, watering & dressing the small person & getting him to nursery for 8.45am. Homeward bound to my desk to write a Blog post (link in bio) and answer a million (slight exaggeration perhaps) messages and emails after the BH weekend. Followed by an hour's phone meeting with my best design buddy @fionadukeinteriors all about PR malarky. Then a run (got to keep going with my #c25k training). Followed by 5 phonecalls from my joiner @bare_joinery (whilst trying to get showered, dressed and make lunch). Whizz to Sainsbos to buy fizz for tonight and a present for a 5 year old's birthday before collecting the child early from nursery and taking him to a Beauty and the Beast birthday party at …

Valchromat – It’s not just MDF

You guys already know all about my love of raw materials. I think half of our interior is made from plywood, OSB and bog standard MDF. Like this: Built in MDF shelves. Left bare, because I liked ’em like that. My dad, (actively) did not. Birch plywood featured heavily in our recent loft conversion. Varnished, bare and stained black. Oh and the poplar plywood floorboards. Don’t forget those. Orientated Strand Board (OSB) has been used in a few projects now too. The first being in my home office, 18 months or so ago where I made my own desk top. Still going strong and getting better with age…. ….and again in a commercial design project where it was used for bespoke wall units, a conference table, standing desk and modular display/room divide. I think it’s fair to say, if I had the choice of having something built from solid oak or walnut, you know, something proper posh and pricey or something from ply, MDF or OSB… i’d go for the underdog. You can make your …

Open plan landing and staircase

Banisters, balustrades and building regs

So where were we? That’s right, we were here. Awaiting new carpets, a banister and handrail. I did not want a banister or a handrail. But the building inspector does. And I guess it’s not that realistic to keep it like this forever. Even though is looks so purty. After mulling over several ideas (metal, glass, A.N. Other, you can check out all of my ideas here on Pinterest) we stuck with what we knew and also what we liked best. Timber. Not just any old timber though. Two 24mm sheets of birch ply laminated to form a 48mm depth board and then ripped into cross sections. These lengths would become our “spindles”. We fixed a timber baton to the ceiling to make sure the top of the spindle, once screwed in, aligned itself vertically so the bottom of the spindle attached perfectly to the side of the staircase stringer. The baton was filled and sanded back several times, then caulked and painted over in emulsion to make it appear part of the plastered ceiling. …