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Thursday, 24 November 2016

Planning a Home Renovation Part 1

D I Y in a weekend just got supersized!  With only 4 weekends 'til Christmas, we are undertaking major works at home 😱...  I know right.

There is demolition, plastering, re-flooring, building cupboards and painting to be done before restoring the house to normality then decorating for Christmas.  We must be mad.  If you follow us on Instagram you will have seen the start.  If you stand back, 4 weeks is plenty of time, however, we are working with 4 WEEKENDS only!  maybe an extra day or two in between, but that is still only 10 days.  We will either fly or crash and burn; either way, we've started so we'll finish!

The most important thing is the planning.  I have a notebook just for this project and a basket to collate all of my ideas.  Did I mention that there is no budget.  As in, there is no money.  Perhaps a few hundred for the entire project.  Are we mad?  Probably.  Again, I go back to planning.  We have been planning this job for almost two years and have been squirrelling away materials needed.  So from hat perspective, we are OK.  The final item, a  steel beam landed in our laps, for free, two weeks ago, hence the start of the project.  Did I say, planning was super important?  I did?  Well it is.  A list of everything we would need was drawn up and checked over and over.  It helps having a builder for a husband, I did annoy him a lot though.  I asked every question that exists and reverted to toddler days with a lot of 'Why?'  Everything happens as it is supposed to.  My new moto.  Stops me from freaking out, I have written a schedule of works though and am being pretty militant about keeping to it, to the irritation of all involved.
Everything happens as it is supposed to.

Having designed for clients and worked on jobs with my husband before, I have had experience at 'Project Managing' an would like to share a few tips with you.

Know what you need

What is it you would like to achieve and why. Your overall goal.  Remember wants and needs are different, ensure you priorities your needs.  Our last big project was the loft conversion.  We knew we needed more rooms and I figured, with that being done and it changing the way we lived upstairs, I may as well redesign the top floor at the same time.  So the bathroom and other rooms were re-designed and decorated to tie in with the additional space.

This new major project is about how we use the downstairs living space.  The boys are getting bigger and are needing more moveable space.

Our need is space in our living areas.  


How will you achieve your need.  What needs to be done.

The layout of our small terraced railway cottage, 2 small rooms and the kitchen, just doesn't allow for fluid movement and can often cause accidents and fights.  We are always all cramped into one room or the other; it is also not a good use of premium space.

There isn't any where to extend without losing outdoor space and I LOVE my garden and will not give up another inch, so opening the space up is a natural transition.  It allows for better supervision, actual use of every corner everyday, and for being able to pass each other without bumping into and object or person.

If opening up your spaces or extending isn't an option for you, perhaps changing furniture, re-organising and purging un-necessary items will help.  Have a look at how I changed my under stairs cupboard to maximise the use of that space.  Doing that freed up other areas in my home.


Write a list of all the things you do in your space.  I put everything for the two rooms on mine.  

My List
  • Eating
  • Home Office
  • Littles Homework/arts and crafts/LEGO building
  • Littles get dressed for school whilst parents have breakfast
  • TV
  • Family Movies
  • Gaming
  • Board/family games
  • Entertain Guests
  • YouTube filming
  • Photoshoots
  • Laundry
  • Dancing


My next thought turned to where I would keep all of the things that was already in the rooms and what else I could jam in.  We had a small selection of books in the dining room, but books were hidden all over the house.  I want them all to be in one place with only the odd few else where, such as the littles room, where bedtime stories are read and 'currently reading' books on bedside tables.  Not only that, as we are a family of readers and I am encouraging the boys to read more, having visible books and making them a feature will, hopefully, facilitate that.

Crafting, homework, board games and office.  If you've seen my vlogs on YouTube you will know that I don't have space for an office, not only that, I actually don't a set area, so use our dining table as an office desk and set it up each morning for work.  All of my office essentials are boxed, beautifully might I add, and stored in a cupboard when my 'working day' is finished.   I also have a crafting cupboard which stores archive papers and photos as well.  We will continue to use this system as built in cupboards work well for our needs, they keep everything neat and hidden, but we will be building new cupboards so that they all match as there are currently none in the living room.  Having an extra cupboard built in means I can house the board games, LEGO; it drives me nuts that they empty the boxes onto their bedroom floor, so aim to keep it where I can supervise.  I also plan to make a section to keep the littles homework as they often need the crafting supplies and it is always done at the dining room table under supervision.  

The games console, amp for speakers, DVD player DVDs and all TV/audio related paraphernalia will be kept in a cupboard we salvaged from a street corner.  It has beautiful details and will be painted to match our style.  Look out for the 'How To' on that coming soon.

The other things we keep in the rooms are crockery items which are used as display also.  Those will go on spare shelves on the build -ins.  All of my display items are useable. The things we use for dinner or parties like vases, lanterns, cake stands and my jug collection etc... There is no room for things that can't double and triple up in use.  They look so pretty under a spotlight too!

The Laundry storage has been sorted, if you haven't seen that, pop on over to that post here >>>LINK

Selection of storage boxes from +HomeSenseUK 

Well!  I think that is quite enough for you to get on with for now.  More in Part 2.  

Don't forget to subscribe here and on YouTube and follow us on Instagram to see how we progress.

Tomboy -X-

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