UK Lifestyle Blog

10 April 2016

Project House | Our Before Photos & Our Plans

We've officially been living in our home 3 weeks this week, the time has been flying by, what with work, and hosting our friends and family to show them what we've done so far. I have been wanting to write up this post since I took the photos on the first day we moved in, however, with no internet, and no time, it has taken me until now to finally sit down and get all of it put into text. These past 3 weeks have been a long, hard slog. On the day we got the keys, after taking these before photos, we began the painting.

 I wanted it to be very light and bright, but not pure white. I told my other half I wanted a colour between white and cream, which he didn't know even existed! In the end we opted for 'Timeless' by Dulux. The perfect white, but not white. The walls were already fairly light, but very yellow toned, I thought it would be easy to paint, but believe me, it was harder than it sounds! We had limited day time hours, and painted a lot at night, which means you can't really see the imperfections until the morning. It took two, sometimes even three coats, and many hours.

A lot of what we wanted to do with the house is cosmetic and decorative, a bit of sprucing and finesse. There are just two rooms that we want to completely change; the upstairs bathroom and the kitchen. They are both fully functional and fine for now, but not quite to our taste. I have spent hours pouring over Pinterest and instagram at kitchens and bathrooms and will talk about some of my ideas further a long in this post. It's difficult to finalise what I want when I know that it's something that you will rarely do twice.

We also still have a mountain of boxes to unpack, wardrobes to build, and more painting to do, but I really wanted to document our progress with each room. I thought it would be perfect to share our before photos all in one post, and then hopefully when the house is finally complete (if you can ever say that) I can do a full after post.

So here are our 'before' photos, and what we have planned for each of the rooms.

The Living Room

What I love about our living room, and annoyed that I forgot to capture in these photos, is the huge bay window. As well as the stunning fire place.  This room didn't need too much doing to it, we first painted the whole room in 'timeless' to make it even brighter. We then picked out some new paper for the fireplace, which is a very light cream and pale gold, again to make the room lighter and much more neutral. We also plan to add some greenery in the form of real and fake plants, I find adding plants to a room makes a home much more cosy and inviting.

  We are also going to switch the wall light fixtures to something more opulent and grand. The overall look we're going for is bright, yet cosy, with mixed textures, cabinets and lots of pictures.

The Dining Room

Again, the dining room is a blank canvas. We want the dining room to be a good entertaining space, I got so excited at the prospect of hosting Christmas dinner and parties here that I almost wished it was winter again! Again following the theme of the house, we wanted it light, bright and fresh.

We have painted the skirting boards white to elongate the walls and make it look cleaner. We also plan to have a gorgeous display cabinet in one part of the alcove, and a set of drawers the other side. I would like to create a bar type display with the smaller cabinet, it would be perfect for all our gatherings.

 We decided to keep this room simple, with lots of light whites and creams, and the odd pop of gold here and there.

The Kitchen

This is one of the rooms we would like to completely change. We'd like to emphasise the bright airy feel by putting in new lighter flooring, Update all the cabinets and add pretty worktops. We're thinking very white with mixed metallic for the pop of colour. This is in keeping with the rest of the house, giving it a modern and clean look.

  We're going to add a baking storage unit on the opposite side as I have a lot of pretty baking stuff that I don't want to hide away inside a cupboard.

 We would also like to create a breakfast bar area with tall stools, to create an alternative space for a quick bite in the morning. It would be perfect by the end window as our back garden gets all the sun, meaning this room get's the most light.

Downstairs Bathroom

The Downstairs Bathroom is the total opposite to the one upstairs, it's very modern and up to date. The walk in shower is perfect for those days you just need to be in and out quickly. The layout and suite is perfect, so all we really want to do in here is add some décor; shelves above the toilet, and a pretty window display.

Our Bedroom

We wanted a really luxurious feel to our bedroom, it's the only room we have decided to throw in some dark colours. We're doing this in the form of rich chocolate browns.  The overall colour scheme is white, chocolate brown and silver.

 I like the idea of clashing modern pieces with antique pieces, we have picked some gorgeous modern lamps to go on our dark chocolate bed side tables (look out for my bedroom transformation post in the near future!). These look perfect with my vintage style silver mirror and candle holders.

The bedroom should be a tranquil place, which is why we want to keep it very minimalistic and cosy.


The Guest Room

This room looked like it once belonged to a little, as cute as it is, it's not to our taste! We want to create a luxurious guest room/spare room. We plan to white wash all the walls and add a stunning white and silver bed with matching accessories. We want to make it feel homely in a simplistic inviting way, we will have plenty of guests over the next coming months with our wedding coming up , and intend to have it completed by then!

We are also storing my make-up table and our double wardrobe in this room to give our master room more space.

The Master Bathroom

This is the room I'm most itching to get started on, we are planning to rip out the wall and floor tiling and replace them with something more subtle. We are going to have simple white subway tiling on the wall, and white marble tiling on the floor.

 The bath will be replaced with a stunning roll top, claw foot tub - I can't wait for this! We will also be taking out the old radiator and replacing it with a long heated towel rack.  Perfect for those cold evenings. We want to create some more storage space too, and add a few plants.

So that's all of our before photos! I thought I would also insert a close up of the before paint colour and after paint colour, as you can't really tell from the photos.

As you can see, the walls were very yellow toned before, but they are now a more white stone colour.

So there we have a sneak peek of some of the rooms we are re-working, one month in an we are getting there bit by bit. The only room that is almost at completion stage is the dining room! That will probably be the first of my room reveals, so keep your eyes peeled!

If you fancy a nosey at the kind of look we are going for then feel free to have a browse of my Home Décor Pinterest page.

I hope you enjoyed this post, I can't wait to share our after results with you!


1 April 2016

Our Tips For First Time Buyers

We have officially lived in our new house just over two weeks now, and I decided to share some of the things we learnt in our journey to buying a home with you, to try and help any one whose looking to move, or buy their first home. There was a lot of things we discovered, and things we didn't realise when it came to buying a house. All you're ever told is that it's expensive and stressful, which, I guess you could say, it is. I'd probably say it's more frustrating than stressful, but I suppose it depends on your circumstances, we were just moving out of our parents homes, so we only really had one room to pack away, and all the time we needed to do it. I can imagine that if you had a time restraint to move, then it would be all the more stressful.  

 So let's begin with our tips.

1. Arrange a mortgage appointment before starting to look at houses. It's always best to know what you can afford before you start looking. Work out what you think you can comfortably afford a month including a rough estimate of bills etc. This will really help you stick within your budget.

2. Make a short list of requirements. Do you need to be in an area where you can commute easily? How many bedrooms do you need? Where are the nearest schools, shops, bars etc. However, remember to bear in mind your budget, and be realistic to what you can afford when setting your requirements.

3. Have a good look online and select a few different types of properties, in different locations. This will help give you a taste of what properties you like, and what areas you're willing to live in.

4. View them in person. This was my absolute favourite part, it's probably the nosey person in me, but I just loved looking around houses. We viewed a lot before finding this one, but sometimes a house will feel completely different to the picture.

5. Make a list of positives and negatives (if there are any) to the houses you've seen. Sometimes you'll know right away if you like a place or not.

6. Once you've found a house you like, visit it at various times of the day and week. This will give you an indication of how busy the road is, where the sun will be and how good parking is, etc.

7. If all checks out well, be prepared to make your first offer! Set yourself a minimum and maximum that you're prepared to go to, and don't be disheartened if your first offer is rejected. Don't be scared of putting a much lower offer in. If your first offer is accepted, think what you could've saved if you'd started lower!

8. Accepted Offer! Once you have your offer accepted the real work begins. Solicitors, bank appointments, packing, and lots of waiting.

 Once our offer had been accepted. the next few weeks were very busy with emails and appointments, and then the waiting begins. The solicitors and surveyors will get to work and prepare all there documentation, but we didn't expect it to take as long as it did, and I must say you need a lot of patience. It's definitely all worth it in the end though, when the keys are in your hand.

I'm planning a few more posts coming up soon, including; a packing and preparing to move post, and maybe a first day check list post. I may also share a sneak peek of our 'before' house photos, which are the first thing I did when we got the keys. I wanted to document our journey from house to home, because it's a really special part of our lives.

I hope you find this helpful, and if any of you have your own tips please leave them below!

Let me know if you would be interested in any of these ideas or suggest anything you would particularly like to know or see!
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