We live in a one bedroom garden flat, in a typical terraced house in London. It was built in the 1930s and from what I discovered buried in council records, it was converted into two flats- an upstairs and a downstairs- in the early 1980’s. Last year we refurbished the bathroom (which you can check out here) but this year, well, this is the year of the Big Fat Flat Renovation.
Shortly after we got married, we hired an architect to create some building drawings and paperwork of the property. We did the paperwork, submitted it to the council, and earlier this year, we were given official permission to build an extension.
Look! Jazzy before and after plans!
(The proposed plan is a little wrong- it should say Bedroom and not Living Room)
We were basically taking the existing layout of our flat and flipping it around and upside down and adding an extra bedroom. A lot more complicated than a straightforward extension to the back of the flat. Complicated is a running theme in my life after all!
A contractor was found and hired, a schedule put in place, everything was good to go and then…
…3 days before work was to start, I had a blazing row with our neighbour.
I can’t even blame it on that quick temper of mine, because the guy just came at me waving papers in my face. He didn’t approve of our extension, I said he had 7 months to have said something about it. I threw my hands up in the air a lot. Eh. Bull. Red Flag. Door shut in face.
To cut a long story short- we paid an eye watering fee because they hired a very expensive surveyor to basically say what I had been trying to tell them on my doorstep. Work had to halt whilst that all went through, which meant, we were 3 weeks behind schedule already.
Of course, 3 weeks ago, the weather was perfect and not the wet thunderstorms we have now. So, rain equals…yeah. More delays.
BUT WORK IS HAPPENING.
Every morning, at 8 on the dot, the team rock up and get to work. There’s a ritual tea order (builder’s tea so far, has not meant 3 sugars per mug funnily enough) and then Robin and I get out of their way and head to work.
Footings have been dug, concrete has been poured and as of yesterday, the start of a new wall has been built! I have never been so excited to see a brick wall in my life.
Other buildery stuff to do:
1) Knock down the bedroom wall
2) Install flooring, rooflight, new kitchen, and bifold doors
3) Knock down old kitchen
4) Remove chimney breast in old kitchen
5) Replace old french doors with new fancier doors
6) Remove chimmney breast in current living room
7) Recarpet those two new rooms
8) Building bespoke wardrobe and install new shutter blinds
9) Replace all doors, repaint whole flat
10) Redesign and build new garden space
11) Repaint new courtyard area
I don’t ask for much, right? Putting it in a list makes it sound easy.
The extension will become the new open plan kitchen and living space. To avoid it looking too ‘boxy’ I have it in mind to define the kitchen area from the living area with floor tiles.
The rest of the floor will be herringbone wood tile (or at least an ashy grey wood tile)
There’s the nook outside our bathroom where I want to lay down some Spanish tile…however, Robin and I have very different ideas when it comes to the finishings. He’d love a white minimal box whereas I am all about THE COLOURS (also, TEXTURE and BLACK WALLS)
In the meantime, this is the beauty that awaits me every evening when I get home. No filters, no edits, and not at all Instagram worthy…
Forget Glastonbury, I have a miniature version of it at happening at home.
I’m hoping the weather dries up so the guys can just crack on, but, this is England. June Gloom will become Blustery July.I’m really just looking forward to the structure going up, and the old kitchen being demolished…then I can get stuck into furnishings.
But for now, mini Glasto!