Fam­ily friendly

By ex­tend­ing the ground floor of their Vic­to­rian home, Sarah Bloom­field and Ste­wart Pettey have cre­ated an open-plan space that’s per­fect for adults and chil­dren alike

Real Homes - - CONTENTS -

Find out how Sarah Bloom­field and Ste­wart Pettey ex­tended their Vic­to­rian home to cre­ate an open-plan space, plus shop painted fur­ni­ture

ASa fam­ily of five liv­ing in a typ­i­cal Vic­to­rian ter­race house, it wasn’t long be­fore Sarah and Ste­wart re­alised their home was too small. ‘We were spend­ing an in­creas­ing amount of time in sep­a­rate rooms,’ ex­plains Sarah. ‘It didn’t help that our old din­ing room – right in the mid­dle of the house, with one small win­dow – was pretty gloomy, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing the long, dark win­ter months.’ The cou­ple con­sid­ered mov­ing to a larger home, but as they loved the area they lived in so much, they de­cided a bet­ter op­tion was to in­vest in their cur­rent prop­erty and ex­tend at the rear to cre­ate the space they des­per­ately needed.

Plan­ning the ex­ten­sion

Hav­ing been im­pressed by sim­i­lar ex­ten­sion projects that their friends had com­pleted, the cou­ple chose to use the same builders, In­curve Con­struc­tion, who then in­tro­duced them to ar­chi­tect Jo­hanna Ahrberg Jack­son from Ahrberg Jack­son De­sign. ‘Dur­ing the first meet­ing with Jo­hanna, we dis­cussed our life­style and how we planned to use the space,’ says Sarah. ‘We were both keen to main­tain the char­ac­ter and over­all look of our Vic­to­rian home. The big­gest prob­lem we faced was that there were sev­eral dif­fer­ent floor lev­els in the house with steps lead­ing up to the kitchen, another step to the din­ing room and then one more into the en­trance hall. We were con­cerned that this would be a bar­rier to achiev­ing our goal of one large room.’

Hav­ing taken on board all of the cou­ple’s ideas and con­cerns, Jo­hanna came back with a se­ries of de­sign con­cepts for them to choose from. ‘She showed us that by lev­el­ling off the new and old space, we could cre­ate the lay­out we had in mind,’ Sarah ex­plains. The ex­ten­sion would have clearly de­fined zones, with ar­eas for cook­ing, eat­ing and re­lax­ing, while a pitched roof with sky­lights would bring in plenty of light and en­hance the feel­ing of space.

Kitchen fea­tures

With the ar­chi­tec­tural de­tails de­cided, Sarah and Ste­wart fo­cused on choos­ing the lay­out, colour and style of their new kitchen units. The cou­ple con­fess to spend­ing months study­ing in­te­rior mag­a­zines and trail­ing around kitchen show­rooms for in­spi­ra­tion. ‘Al­though we didn’t know ex­actly what we wanted, I’ve al­ways liked Shaker-style kitchens and Devol’s prod­ucts im­me­di­ately stood out from any­thing else we’d seen,’ says Sarah.

Their first Devol kitchen crush was a photo fea­tur­ing dark navy units with brass han­dles, teamed with a white mar­ble work­top, but fol­low­ing a trip to the com­pany’s Northamp­ton­shire show­room, the cou­ple had a re­think. ‘We felt that the deep blue might be a lit­tle over­pow­er­ing, es­pe­cially as we in­tended to have a wall of cup­boards op­po­site the kitchen painted in the same colour,’ says Sarah. ‘We chose a softer blue-grey shade that still adds plenty of colour with­out dom­i­nat­ing the space.’

Choos­ing the right floor­ing was another ma­jor con­sid­er­a­tion, and al­though Sarah loved the idea of fit­ting a wooden floor, she was con­cerned it would be dif­fi­cult to main­tain. ‘I’m a child­min­der, so didn’t want to be con­stantly wor­ried about spilling paint, glue and glit­ter on a beau­ti­ful wooden floor,’ she says. In­stead, the cou­ple in­vested in hard-wear­ing, porce­lain wood-ef­fect tiles, and al­though these, com­bined with the un­der­floor heat­ing they chose to in­stall, took them over bud­get, they are more than happy with their fi­nal choice. ‘After months of var­i­ous spillages, plus scoot­ers and trikes rac­ing around on it, the floor still looks as good as new,’ says Sarah.

Fin­ished scheme

The work took six months to com­plete and the fam­ily lived in the house through­out the process. ‘The hard­est part was when the rear of the house was knocked out,’ ad­mits Sarah. ‘It was an odd feel­ing know­ing that the back of your beau­ti­ful Vic­to­rian ter­race was now a pile of bricks.’ The project has achieved ex­actly what the fam­ily had hoped, how­ever, as it’s brought them closer to­gether. ‘Of­ten, I’m pre­par­ing dinner while my daugh­ter is at the ta­ble do­ing some­thing cre­ative, and the boys are sit­ting watch­ing tele­vi­sion,’ Sarah says. ‘There were mo­ments dur­ing the process when Ste­wart and I missed our old house, but now it’s fin­ished, we are thrilled with the out­come.’

‘There were mo­ments dur­ing the process when we missed our old house, but now it’s fin­ished, we’re thrilled with the out­come’

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