SarahBeenySpringIssue2017 - 239
'IT'S CHANGED THE WAY WE ARE AS
A FAMILY. WE'RE ALWAYS IN THE
EXTENSION TOGETHER, AS PLANNED'
ROOM TO LIFE
Wren Kitchens, which looked like the dream room
I had imagined. We did look at lots of others, but
ended up going back to the first one.
It fitted what I wanted but wasn't too traditional
- as the house was modern that wouldn't have worked.
We wanted an island and to have that all-important
dining room table, plus to be able to cook and eat and
look out and see everything that was going on in the
garden through the bi-fold windows.
My favourite part of the new kitchen is the larder
- I love it! It's so simple - it's just shelves - but it
works so well. You don't lose things at the back, the
cereal packets fit, and you can put bottles of water
upright and they don't fall over. Everyone should have
a larder, they are brilliant!
We also have a wine rack and the wine went in
straight away; the builders were laughing at us when
we did that as we had nothing else in the kitchen at
the time, just the wine!
The main room has worked the best - I was surprised
how much space the extension opened up and we still
don't use a quarter of it. I don't know what to put in
there - we are talking about having a pool table.
The whole space has worked brilliantly; it's changed
the way we live as a family. We are always in that room
all together as we had planned.
Occasionally, our son, Harry, will go into the old
sitting room, which has become the games room, but
not very often. He and his sister even do homework in
the big room, so they don't feel as isolated.
We cook and chat and it's lovely - just what Alex
and I wanted. We also have underfloor heating in
there, which is wonderful.
The best buy was the kitchen - I negotiated the
price down from £35,000 to £14,000, so I was proud
of myself. The only other new piece of furniture so far
is the sofa, which fits perfectly in the space.
We did change the size of these rooms, as on the
original plans the utility room was bigger than the
study, but the builder said we didn't need it that big
as it wasn't usable space. So we increased the size of
the study and decreased the utility room dimensions.
Before the extension, we couldn't fit our washing
machine or tumble dryer into our small kitchen, so
had to go outside in all weathers and into the garage to
put a wash on or use the tumble dryer. This room has
made a big difference, having it all inside in the warm!
The office is a bit of a secret room as it's hidden
and Alex is the only one who really uses it. If I work
from home, I stay in the back room and look out at
the garden as the office can get cold.
The one bad thing with the underfloor heating is
that it warms the kitchen-diner really well, but the rest
of the house is freezing! This is because the thermostat
is in the family area, so if you crank it up to warm the
rest of the house, this area becomes too hot and you
have to open the door.
In the winter, we didn't move out of the room
because it was too cold everywhere else, but as we
don't use the rest of the downstairs of the house that
much, it doesn't matter.
CHANGING THE PLANS
The guest bedroom was built on top of the garage,
so we just needed to add a little staircase and alter
the shape of the upstairs landing. Originally, I was >
www.athomemagazine.co.uk MAY 2017 | 239