All posts filed under: Property Development

Integral Garage Conversion - Before

Thinking of converting your integral garage?

Happy New Year everyone! Did you have a lovely festive break? I hope so. Have you taken your decorations down yet? Are you looking around the place desperately wishing you had more room? I know I am. But as buying and selling is becoming more and more costly, not to mention slightly impossible given the current climate (**coughs – Brexit**) more of us than ever are extending, expanding and increasing the square footage of our existing homes. A lot of us already have the space we need, we just don’t use it too wisely. Cue the introduction of a recent remote project i’ve been working on: A familiar sight if ever I saw one. The integral garage. The garage with the car parked outside on the drive. Who actually parks their car in garages anymore? Nobody. Apart from my father in law who swears his car will rust and explode if it’s left outside in the mizzle. Anyway – i’m sure the next picture is what a lot of you are more used to seeing in …

The Garden Room

The Garden Room

I’m sure you’ve caught a glimpse of the Victorian property i’m working on already, either on here or Instagram. But there’s another space i’ve been working on that leads off from this cottage kitchen. Before Through that stable door, there’s The Garden Room. You can just about see it through the window. As i’ve already mentioned, this single skin, timber built conservatory will be knocked down to make way for the big extension in the next few years. But until then…. we are making good, using every trick in the interior design book to transform this unused space into a room that can serve many purposes, whilst the homeowners save up for the dream kitchen, diner, family room. Let me show you the floor-plan, so you can see how this large, previously unused Garden Room will be given a new lease of life, function and purpose and some of the tricks we’re using to disguise the quirks imperfections. The Garden Room is built off what was originally the external wall of the house, which means all …

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 am so very grateful. 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 make decisions around spatial planning, flow, lighting plans, first fix wiring and plumbing. Here’s what Google has to say about …

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: …

Large Bay Window

Upper Brook Street Project – Final Reveal of the Guest Bedroom

Typing typing as fast as I can…. It’s final reveal time everyone! Oh how I love a final reveal. Especially when it’s as awesomesauce as this one. Eeeee!! (If you’d like to catch up on this project, pop back a few posts to this one.) First, it’s time for before pics. A large master bedroom which was to become a guest bedroom. But not just any old guest bedroom, oh no siree. The weird recessed/built in wardrobes were going and an ensuite was coming. This is how the room looked when I started working with the homeowners: The entire house had been chopped up over time, converted into flats at some point, and then back again into a house. The walls and doors were in the strangest of places and it was time to breathe life back into this beautiful Edwardian home, and put those walls back where they were originally built over 100 years ago. This was back in January. Want to see what it looks like now? After Before It’s completely unrecognisable isn’t it? In …

Aluminium windows loft extension

What we’ve learned from doing a loft conversion…

If you hadn’t heard about our loft conversion, you’ve obviously been away from the entire internet since last summer. It’s pretty much all i’ve talked about over here. In fact there are 18 blog posts all about the process. Just click the image below, for a peruse at your leisure. This is a bit of a round up post, looking back at all the stuff we’ve learnt since last year. Thought it might be helpful for those of you out there who have your own projects in mind at home. Here’s what we found out. Loft conversions/extensions take longer than you think. You may have read online that loft extensions/conversions take around six to eight weeks. A-hem. I don’t think so. Ours took nearly four months. Then we had several weeks afterwards where we were finishing off flooring, painting, built in storage. If we’d been told that at the time it was going to be around 15 weeks, we would have dealt with the timescales in a much more rational way, but it seems some building companies tell …

Ikea FALSTERBO Marla Singer

The Loft Landing – Final Reveal

There’s just one space left to reveal now from the loft extension. You guys will have seen the open plan landing/office below with the staircase leading onwards and upwards to our new second floor. Open Plan Office Space But what you may not have worked out just yet is how it all connects together. Designing individual rooms can be tough, but designing rooms and spaces that connect with one another, not just physically but aesthetically, that’s a real challenge. Especially transitional spaces like hallways and landings where walls and levels connect over several floors. How do you make these work? This is the view standing at the bottom of the staircase. Remember i’m in my office here too. The element of shared space which works so well here, the office enhancing the staircase and vice versa. Here is the floor plan of the second floor. I saw the landing as another room in itself. They’re often neglected spaces, quite narrow and can be dark. I didn’t want any of these things to be the case. …

Laurel Marble Hex Tiles

The Loft Bathroom – Final Reveal

It’s here. It’s flipping HERE! Week 20 or something are we now? I dunno, I stopped counting after 17… My ideas for the bathroom are finally up and at ’em and I can’t wait for a sit down and a biscuit. I don’t think i’ve had a day off since September. God, I need a day off. Anywaaaay, here was the vibe I had in mind for the bathroom. Strictly monochrome, in keeping with the loft bedroom. If you haven’t seen that yet, I reckon you should have a quick pop over here so you can see how the two spaces connect. Our new bathroom was going to be 2m x 2m. So, small, but a good size for a second bathroom i’d say. These tiny spaces are certainly not easy to plan at all. And i’ve lost a fair amount of beauty sleep over this space, i’ll tell you that for free. Here’s where we were at the beginning of December. Before And here’s where we are now. After We have a bathroom! I …

The Open Plan Work Space – Final Reveal

Here it was pre Loft Extension.  In our box room, which was less than 2 x 3m. It was the perfect spot for me to set up Making Spaces HQ. It really wasn’t big enough to be a bedroom. In fact it wasn’t really big enough to warrant its own door, so we took that off over a year ago anyway. Top Tip. If you’ve got a door you never ever close, get rid. Give yourself another square meter of space instead. And a better view. And more natural light. Go on. Our 1960’s, 3 bed-semi had a very traditional layout, pre-build. Our plan was to incorporate the small, box room into the landing area, so it looked something like this: If you’ve been following the build, you may remember we were sacrificing our box room in order to accommodate the staircase of our dreams. You can read more about that over here. The plan was to keep our landing open plan, light, spacious and my office would simply sit exactly where it was before. I do …