Real Homes - - From The Editor - Beth Mur­ton Act­ing Edi­tor @Beth­mur­ton

Ask home­own­ers the space they’d most like to have in their home and chances are a fab­u­lous kitchen-diner or open-plan en­ter­tain­ing area would fea­ture at the top of the ma­jor­ity of wish­lists. It’s cer­tainly top of mine, even more so dur­ing this busy fes­tive sea­son when our party guests typ­i­cally con­gre­gate in the mid­dle of our av­er­a­ge­sized kitchen, hand­ily block­ing ac­cess to the cooker/fridge/sink, or all of the above. Cue stress­ful dodg­ing of par­ty­go­ers and kids while prep­ping canapés and drinks.

Cre­at­ing a flex­i­ble, mul­ti­func­tional rooms was high on the agenda for many of the en­trants to this year’s

Real Homes Trans­for­ma­tion Awards, too. Look­ing through the en­tries, it was in­spir­ing to see how the own­ers had clev­erly un­locked the po­ten­tial of their homes, turn­ing dated, im­prac­ti­cal lay­outs into wel­com­ing spa­ces.

For me, what’s even more im­pres­sive is how many of the cat­e­gory win­ners il­lus­trate that you don’t need an enor­mous bud­get to trans­form your home. From Kath Pinkham-ed­wards’ glam­orous kitchen makeover to Pe­ter Grech’s lux­ury bath­room restyle, it was re­fresh­ing to see that up­dat­ing your space doesn’t al­ways have to mean flash­ing the cash.

Our over­all win­ner has pulled off an amaz­ing house trans­for­ma­tion on an in­cred­i­bly tight bud­get, but she still hasn’t sac­ri­ficed space or style. Spend­ing just £35,000, Jade Doutch has cre­ated the sort of ex­ten­sion

I dream of hav­ing in my own home. Open-plan kitchen-diner? Check. Cosy snug space where you can chill out in front of a wood­burn­ing stove? Check. Bi-fold doors that can be opened up to link in­doors and out? Check. And a bright, wel­com­ing vibe that makes friends and fam­ily in­stantly feel at ease? Check! When Jade ex­plains that the changes she’s made make her feel like she’s al­ways on hol­i­day in her own home, it’s clear that her hard work and de­ter­mi­na­tion to trans­form her home was worth ev­ery bit of her bud­get.

With the ar­rival of the new year, when we all start mak­ing plans for house trans­for­ma­tion projects for the next 12 months, here’s hop­ing we can all cre­ate that hol­i­day-at-home feel­ing in our own spa­ces. Happy New Year to you all, and all the best for 2019.

bridge­wa­ter a free emma christ­mas mug worth –£19.95 when you sub­scribe see page 122

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