Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Meanwhile....back in South-East London....

In the run up to moving to our little house we have been renovating our 1940/50s London ex council flat in order to rent it out. This has so far involved some minor redecoration, the installation of more storage heaters, lots of new electrics and preparations for a new kitchen. Sensibly or insensibly we are having a bespoke kitchen made by our very talented next door neighbours at Karl Marrow Furtniture.

Even though we are aware that this is a risky and probably more costly way of providing a kitchen for tenants (since we will only benefit from it for a few months and we won't be moving back in) ; the last kitchen was put in back in the 80's and so we felt that a quality remodel and redesign was well overdue, meaning that the kitchen we get will make the most of the space (the current one really does not), reflect and flatter the flats 50s design and it will last for another few decades - in other words we have waited so long to do this and we don't plan on doing this again any time soon!

The kitchen design itself is pretty quirky as it involves a secret utility cupboard which will be hidden by a sliding shelving unit. To explain this particular element properly it is going to take diagrams, photos and models, none of which i currently have so I think it would be best to leave this till my next post where i can do it justice.

For now, my main concern is all the dust that is generated. Never underestimate how much dust gets over everything and how much you will need to clean clean and clean again while you are living in a mid-renovated property.

The other area of the flat that requires attention is the garden. Once a beautiful rose garden with an apple tree centre and box hedging, lovingly tended by my husbands grandfather, fell into a brambled abyss through years of little or no attention. The garden has changed a lot over the years that we have lived there together, we have cleared it bit by bit and now have a lovely curved decking in one corner that sits under bi-fold doors that we installed two years ago (pic below) and a cute little [office] bunker at the bottom corner (called the bunker as its is half dug into the ground - very cool, but currently full of water - fail) with a little green roof (also in the picture), however we haven't really done much to it other then continually clearing it and peering over the fence enviously at our other neighbours glorious garden evolution. So this summer we will finish it and it is going to be a lot of elbow grease! Watch this space!

Here is the decking through the bi-folds with the bunker at the end

Newly stained decking

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The Plan

So.. given that we have some time before any renovations can start I thought I would show you roughly what we are planning to do. Helpfully my husband is a registered Architect so getting our ideas down on paper isn't too stressful.

Below you can see the existing and proposed plans for the new extension.

We currently have an outhouse that was built by a previous owner, we toyed with ideas of knocking this down, but this seemed a shame as its a large space and already has electrics and drainage; so we have decided to work it into the design by leaving a gap between the extension and the outhouse and over-cladding the outhouse creating a hidden gate, to house the water butts and other garden things that don't need to be inside. We want the cladding to look something like this where the windows are over clad (horrid UPVC) in the same way so you can only really see them when the light is on inside - this image is the closest I could get but i will put the model up at some point. We will change the UPVC door to match the aluminum doors on the extension therefore creating a lovely little courtyard area.
Given that the front of the house is North facing and has a big tree in front of it the natural light level from that side are not the best. So in order to avoid loosing the south facing natural light we have justified our decision to keep the outhouse by adding lots of roof lights and big bi-fold doors. The extension will be a smooth render, with the rest of the house to be re-rendered at the same time. We are thinking to stick with the off-white or perhaps a very light grey.

As you can see these are just the planning application drawings, however once the model has been finalized I will be putting this on too, so you can see better what we intend.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Lets start from the beginning

Welcome to my blog! I thought I should give you a little background...

I currently live in south-east London with my husband and cat, in just under 6 months we will be moving to our house in the Surrey/Hampshire borders to start a new new life in the countryside - well semi-countryside. We have big plans for this little house and I hope to share the journey with you through this blog.

Also, given my mild obsession with renovating and all things interior (OK, and exterior), I thought it would be a good way to share the things that I enjoy (and covet).

Here is our little house that we will be renovating
The things that we fell in love with most when we bought it were the garden ( way bigger than our little south east London garden) and the gorgeous brick open fireplace. The house was built in the 1930s and i love the cottage feel of it without it being too small.

For the last 1.5 years that we have owned it we have come to name it Arthur Road, and hence this shall be the name of my blog!