Nine of our best ‘Befores’ and ‘Afters’ (so far!)

By the time this post goes live I’ll be back at work and maternity leave will be over (sob). As far as January blues goes this is a huge one. But I’ve also had almost ten months sat at home thinking and planning about the next stage of our house and so I’m really ready for a few resolutions and goal settings. I’ll be sharing our plans in more detail in another blog post this month as we really want to tackle the ‘middle’ third of our house in 2019, and this involves some major work, so as some motivation before we turn our house completely upside down once again (and for a little bit of fun) I thought I’d share some of my favourite ‘befores’ and ‘afters’…

#1: The Extension

It seems a logical place to start with as this was the first ‘big’ job we did. We had an ugly, single story extension already built when we bought our house:

Which we then pulled down:

And then rebuilt:

(Yes the render will match one day!). Other than the block work and the render we did everything (demolition, ground works, wiring, plumbing and the roof) ourselves and having a full height extension with matching roof has just made such a difference to the way the house looks.

#2: The Living Room

The living room is the room we spend around 90% of our time in when we’re awake. It’s safe for the kids to play in (and contains all their toys) is warm (unlike the majority of the house) and is comfortable. It’s crazy to think that it looked like this a couple of years ago:

We had got the extension weather tight by this point but were just in the process of starting all of the wiring (which literally took months!). Nowadays it looks like this:

#3: The Bedroom stud wall

When I was looking through the pictures I found this great one of us starting the frame work for our bedroom wall:

Although I don’t have a completely like-for-like picture (I was originally stood in the middle of the wall which divides the bedroom and ensuite) it would almost look like this:

There was nothing at all here when we started and now we have a couple of beautiful rooms that I am not just really proud of – but I adore using! My bedroom is absolutely my escape from everything and I have woken up in such a good mood every single morning in that room (I definitely didn’t in the other two rooms that we slept in originally!) and having never had an ensuite before I adore it! (I’ll share the reveal photos of that properly soon).

#4: The Living Room (Again)

This was a photo of our living room just as we were about to plaster:

By this point we’d done almost all of the hard work and we were only around a month away from finishing it all. Here’s the after:

#5: The Front Garden

There was very little to the front garden when we bought the house:


Initially we dug the front up to lay new drains, and more recently we’ve pulled out the ugly concrete dwarf wall, fitted a front door. started the porch, laid the front to lawn and created a front path. The ‘finished’ picture is still a million miles away from finished but it shows how far it’s all come:

#6: The Nursery

It seems so long since I’ve shared any photos of the nursery (which we now refer to as Ewan’s bedroom, but will soon become Harris’s bedroom so to save confusion we’ll call it the nursery still!). It was our first ‘finished’ room (and basically the project I took on heavily pregnant and unable to do too much to help Lee with the extension). Work involved re insulating the room, re plastering and exposing the wooden beam, before the usual painting and decorating. Part way through, the room looked like this:

It’s had a few different iterations since then but one of my favorite is this one:

I took this so long ago – the chair has gone, and those clothes I’d hung on the wardrobe didn’t fit Ewan back then and are now too small for Harris. Over the next year or so we’ll have to tweak this room to make it grow up with the boys but I absolutely adored it back then and I still do now.

#7: The Bedroom

This photo was taken as we were just starting with the roof insulation. We were so excited that we were having a change from wiring but then realised how much we hated the insulating – it was vile stuff.

It was worth doing though to have the vaulted ceiling because our bedroom is the only in our entire house that has high ceilings:

#8: The Garden

Weeks of extension building followed by digging up a weird patio meant that our grass was in a fairly sorry state. We wanted to start looking after it as soon as possible so that it was nice and established for the boys to play on it.

Eighteen months on it looks like this:

There’s still a lot that we need to do with the garden (including sorting that pond out!) but it’s a couple of years down the priority list. Right now it’s a good place for the boys to run and play and enjoy the sun.

#9: The Bedroom (again)

And one final one of the bedroom. This wall used to be the old gable end of our house. It had the bits of original render, and the scar of the old window that we’d bricked up.

After a lot of work we now have beautiful smooth walls:

Fingers crossed we’ll be able to push on and make some more progress in 2019 because as much as I love seeing the finished bits of our house there are so many unfinished bits that I just hate.

As well as the house renovation I’m really going to try hard to blog twice a week. Last time I returned to work and blogging just stopped. I was just so tired juggling a full time job, a one-year-old and another pregnancy and then we had all of the house to do as well. This time round I’ll have two young kids to try and balance (although no plans yet for another pregnancy at least!) so I’m really hoping that I’ll be able to make the time for this too. Wish me luck…

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