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Saturday, 30 January 2010

A Man, A Plan.....

Mr SLS is so very clever and has helped me turn our plans into jpegs and so I can now share them with you. It was spring before we had found someone who created a plan that we thought would work for us. We wanted a big kitchen-diner, a utility room, a pantry/larder and lots of storage for things like buggies, scooters, kid related junk really. So this was the final draft:

I was very excited, and had visions of Little Miss SLS being able to play outside while I whipped up beautiful organic homemade meals for our little family. I wanted to start yesterday. Builder in place, we started work in August.
Trenches were dug:

The original room was knocked down:

The garden trashed:

And I tried to cope cooking food in our dining/play/living/everything room. It was hideous. I hated every minute of it. I don't even have a photo of it as I loathed it so much I didn't even take one! I remember distinctly walking into our makeshift kitchen one morning after dropping Miss SLS at nursery and a wave of nausea crashing over me. Turns out I wasn't just being dramatic as Mr SLS said I was, I was pregnant. So when the build was 6 weeks in, I was 6 weeks pregnant. To the day.

Luckily the builder worked very quickly, and soon we had this:

I think for me the turning point was when the plasterboard went up. It really started to feel like a room (and we were 12 weeks in and I had stopped vomiting everywhere:

We were just waiting on the glass and concertina doors before we could plaster. It only took us 12 weeks to get to this stage. The architect had specified a beautiful glass retractable ridge rooflight that I fell in love with and was the reason for choosing the design. Sorry for the small pic, but you get the idea.

Sadly, the quote came in at £18,000. Needless to say, it wasn't going to happen. So our builder spoke to a glazier mate and came up with another solution. Not as elegant, but would work...

I have taken ages getting this post together, so I think we will leave it there for a bit and I will return with the final stages and the after photos!!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

30 October, 2004

Was a big day for us. We moved into the South London Semi (SLS, if you don't mind?). There were only three of us then, me, Mr SLS, and Miss SLS who was 15 months old.
I did have a few regrets about leaving our little house that we had renovated and brought little Miss SLS home to. It was a lovely house, but just too small for the longer term. So we packed it up, left it sparkling, and moved less than a mile away to our new home, our SLS. Sure, much bigger. But it was also colder, damper, mouldier, smellier... you get the picture. I can remember the first night putting little Miss SLS to bed and her screaming and screaming and I kept thinking she hated the place and would never settle here.

We knew we had work to do, it was just a question of where to start. The arrangement of rooms was totally impractical. I have tried to find an electronic copy of the original plans but have failed! So I will try to describe the lay out. When we moved in the ground floor consisted of the front room (lounge) the dining room, pretty typical Victorian lay out. Then there was a small kitchen with a pass through into the dining room. The kitchen had almost no storage or workspace at all. There were three doors in a room that was 10' x 10'. Behind the kitchen was a cloakroom (with very fetching pink tiles) leading a third reception room that was about 17' x 12.

Photo 1. Front reception to the left,stairs, dining room behind stairs, kitchen beyond. Note the lovely green carpet and delightful wallpaper.

Photo 2. Teeny kitchen with 3 doors and hardly any workspace or storage.

Photo 3. Rear elevation, rear reception was in the white painted bit.

Upstairs there were 5 bedrooms, 4 doubles and one very small single. And no family bathroom. Yes, you read that correctly. We had a toilet and sink on the first landing, and then on the third floor, a bath and sink. Very bizarre.

Clearly creating a family bathroom was high on the list of priorities. And the kitchen had to go. I had no where to store anything, and cooking a meal was so frustrating with no where to put anything down.
So sorting out the kitchen and family bathroom were our first priorities. We had some drawings made and the start of trying to make this place work for our family. I have the plans on my computer, but seem to be unable to upload them. I am going to consult with Mr SLS who is a bit of an IT guru to see if I can get them in another post for you and will continue with the story of our extension from there... so yet again stay tuned!!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Hi there, come on in!!

I have never thought of myself as blogworthy. I love reading blogs. It is like an unlimited supply of magazines. And I LOVE magazines. But we are about to embark on a new adventure in our South London Semi and I want to document it. So here we are.

We have been in this house for 5 years. It is a pretty standard Victorian semi detached London house. We are only the third family to have ever lived in this house. Amazing considering it was built in 1897. The woman we bought it from was born here in the 1940's. You would therefore think that it would have had lots of lovely character intact having had just two previous owners. You would be wrong. This family were guilty of many a style crime. Such as? How about replacing all the original sash windows with UPVC double glazing, taking out all upstairs fireplaces, replacing the original front door with a mock Victorian with triple glazing... I could go on, but I assume you get the picture.

So, we have been trying to very gradually return our home to her former glory, but in a more modern way that suits our little family of four. Wanna see??? Will try and dig out some old pictures for you to see. In the meantime, do you like my hall light? This hangs just as you come into the house, and I love it.