Do you ever think about those sliding doors moments – how although life has gone down one route, a slight tweak here or there that you weren’t even aware of could have led to a completely different set of circumstances?
Take our homes for example. There’s no denying that I’m blissfully happy in our 1930s suburban London renovation project, warts and all. Would I also be happy with a modern Brooklyn penthouse? Well, you wouldn’t need to twist my arm.
I’d also take a Cotswolds country cottage with room enough for my army of donkeys, goats, chickens and ducks, or a pared-back tranquil Scandinavian bolt-hole by the coast full of calming colours and neutral textures.
I love getting a little peep into completely different design elements through shows like Grand Designs – I always start off wondering how it will all come together and by the end feel completely inspired to see an entirely alternative interior to my own. The feel is always modern, such as eco-friendly cladding or industrial/floating staircases as featured by Fontanot UK but always feels in-keeping with the ambition of the projects.
Now though we’ve got half an eye on potential extension plans and with that come sooo many things to think about I don’t even know where to start. If we do build a ground-floor extension (rather than just reconfiguring our downstairs space), do we stick with what I refer to as a ‘period-modern’ angle ie being true to a 1930s look and feel, but with modern finishes and energy-saving efficiency, or go all out modern?
Part of our renovation plans still include making some changes to our loft conversion bedroom that the previous owners installed. We’re of course super grateful that they did the bulk of the work but it is in need of some smarter design ideas. One of the things we’d love to do is replace the bedroom windows with doors and a Juliette balcony complete with stainless steel stair hand railing.
This would mean too taking out the bedroom radiator that currently sits under the window and either relocating it or more ideally, adding underfloor heating in the bedroom. It’s a lot of upheaval but would be worth it to add extra light into the room and create the bedroom we really want.
What would you pick differently if you didn’t live where you do? I love some of the more traditional elements of our home include our herringbone wooden floor (replacing the worst carpet ever) and reinstating picture rails in our upstairs bedrooms where they had been taken out. Our bay windows lend themselves to shutters and we’re slowly adding column radiators around the house.
It’s so exciting to think about how much our home will change over the next three years but also really hard to imagine. I started this blog when we bought the house to document all the changes I knew we would make over the years and I’m so glad that I did. Sometimes in the midst of the work, or not even anywhere near the work, it’s hard to imagine it will ever turn out for the best. Yet when it’s all done and you stop and see how far you’ve come you know it will always be worth it.
For now, my New York penthouse and Cotswolds country bolt-holes will remain a dream and I’m pretty ok with that. Maybe in another lifetime…
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