Saturday, 11 May 2019

Interiors | We're house hunting!

I have big news... We've been scouring Rightmove because it's time for us to find a new home. Actually, scratch that. There's a lovely anecdote in the new Philippa Perry book 'The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did)' where a kid says "we've already got a home, we just need a house to put it in", which pretty much sums it up.

Anyway, we're house hunting. The type of housing mostly found in the areas we're looking in is the standard Victorian terrace - living room at the front, kitchen at the back, and then that awkward dining room in the middle. I say awkward because in my experience it's a bit of a no-mans-land. If you've knocked through and extended into the side return, then that room doesn't have any natural light. If you've knocked through into the living room at the front, then the tidal wave of toys and family nonsense just has a greater surface area to cover.

Sometimes people keep it as a dining room, other times it becomes a study or somewhere to store bikes or a music room. But the worst case scenario? It's a really massive hallway and, as such, a bit of a wasted space.

So what's the answer? I LOVE this solution by DHV Architects in Bristol. The middle room has been split in two horizontally, which gives half of the room over to the kitchen for use as a utility room (essential for us - seven people in a house means we need a huge room for laundry, shoes and coats, an extra fridge etc!).

The other half of the room is accessed via the living room at the front, divided off enough to create an office area or a snug. This is very appealing as I work from home, plus I would hope to design something that could work for my youngest from a sensory perspective - a den to hide away when the noise and bustle of family life becomes overwhelming.

Sourcing the right interior doors is key, obviously, as creating a division between the two room needs to be seamless and stylish. But then it's all fun and games in designing the layout of the office, ensuring there's enough storage (hello Mike's million and one vinyl records and my books), and then styling it up to make it an enticing place to work. At the moment, I don't have a desk and flit between dining table, sofa and bed. I know, I know, not good ergonomics at all.

And the rest of the house? We need five bedrooms which is a bit of a struggle on our budget, so I think we're probably looking at a building project of some kind. But my wishlist includes a sunny garden, a calm bedroom (one that's big enough for us not to have one side of the bed shoved up against a wall, as per our current set up), and plenty of room for our family to grow. After all, they'll be adult size soon enough, and a house for seven adults sounds more like a B&B!

For now, I'm resurrecting my Pinterest interiors obsession, so follow along there if you like. Here's a preview of what's on my main interiors board:

But I've also created more niche options, including:
The Green House
House of Yellow
Casa Pink
The Modern House
The Black Kitchen
The White House
Loving the living room

Do you have a Victorian terraced house? What's your middle room like? Would love to hear your ideas!
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