Apart from mulling over how to make the outside look prettier, I haven’t told you much about my house at all have I? The reason is that ever since we moved in (2 years ago), we’ve been planning big changes. I didn’t want to spend any money on trying to tart it up temporarily, because it seemed like every penny I spent on that was a penny less I’d have to spend on achieving the real goals. I also couldn’t be bothered to spend time and effort – the place was perfectly live-able, just plain, a bit sad, and very very badly laid out. There weren’t really any improvements to tell you about, no point buying new furniture or things to suit the space, and I found the place too ugly to bother with pretty projects like decor.
I’ve not been sure where to start telling you about the plans, so I’ve just decided to go bit by bit and start at the beginning. So today, I’ll just show you the house we bought – the “Before”.
So here’s the house exterior. It’s one of only 2 sixties/seventies houses on a sort of cul-de-sac full of lovely Victorian houses:
It’s the ugly duckling. So what made us buy it? Well to be honest we very nearly didn’t. I saw the online house listing early on in our house hunt but didn’t even go to see it, mainly because of this photo of the garden:
The garden just looked too small. Our last house had a very small, dark garden and one of the big reasons we moved was to get a bigger, sunnier garden which people would actually want to spend time in with me. My husband and I wrote down the things we hoped to find in a new house, laid them out in order of importance then compared them. His is on the left, mine’s on the right:
You can see that big garden was top of the list for both of us. But after months of searching there was just hardly anything coming up for sale (at all, never mind in our price range). Our house sold and we stayed with my mum, 45 minutes’ drive away. That was a really long school run for my husband, for six months! We started to get desperate and looked again at things we’d ruled out. We came to see this place and went for it, using our heads not our hearts, because it ticked almost every box on our list. The only one it didn’t 100% tick was “Big garden”. The garden is bigger than the old one, but not big. At least its sunny!
So now for some photos of the sales listing we saw, and how it looks now. (I’ll talk about plans for each room in individual posts.)
The living room:
The conservatory, coming off the living room:
The old master bedroom:
So as you can see, it’s a bit of a mess right now! Before ripping it to bits, the only improvements we’d made to the house since moving in were:
- Get the telegraph pole in the garden removed
- Get a security alarm system
- Replace the electric shower in the bathroom when the old one broke
Next time I’ll tell you about the plans for the kitchen, and the challenges in there which are (hopefully!) going to be solved.