Real home: knocking through for more space without extending

Real home: knocking through for more space without extending

Completed Projects
Real home: knocking through for more space without extending
By knocking together a warren of disjointed rooms, Patsy and Al have created a new hub to their home without needing to extend
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Having  set their hearts on a popular leafy estate of 1970s and 1980s houses in Whitley Bay, Patsy and Al came across this house in a probate sale that fit the bill. ‘We were first to view and offered the asking price straight away,’ says Patsy. ‘The sunny plot wasn’t overlooked and the trees made it feel like we were in the countryside. There were a lot of small rooms not being used to their full potential; it had the space we needed.’ 
They had extended their former house, a 1930s semi, twice to accommodate their growing family. But for this purchase, the couple decided to find the space they needed by looking internally. Four months after moving in, they had plans drawn up to knock three disconnected rooms together into one large kitchen/diner/living area measuring a generous 44 square metres, with extensive glazing to the garden.
‘We had white kitchen doors in our last house and I really wanted to go for a dark industrial look this time,’ says Patsy. ‘With all the glass, light worktops and a light floor, I knew it would work.’ Kitchen, Second Nature (opens in new tab). Pendant lights, Matalan (opens in new tab). Stools, Beliani (opens in new tab). Basket, H&M Home (opens in new tab)
(Image credit: Katie Lee)
‘Access to the garden was through a utility that was bigger than the kitchen with a stone floor, felt roof and no heating,’ says Patsy. ‘A dining room in the middle of the house – with a serving hatch – had a lovely outlook over the garden, but didn’t lead anywhere, so it just served as a storage room.’
Profile
The owners: Patsy Jackson, a self-employed administrator ( @hepscotthousereno (opens in new tab)), her husband Al, a government officer, and their children, Hannah and Ellie
The property: A four-bedroom detached house in Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear, built in 1980
Project cost: £143,000
The kitchen was built around the sliding doors to make the most of garden views. ‘We didn’t want to compromise so picked the biggest we could get at 5.5m,’ says Patsy. ‘The old stone patio was extended and relaid with porcelain tiles.’ Doors, Visoglide Plus. Sofa, Made. (opens in new tab) Cushions, H&M Home (opens in new tab). Side table, Vasagle (opens in new tab)
(Image credit: Katie Lee)
The couple spoke to an architect and several builders to see if their plans were viable. ‘One builder just said, “I don’t like it and I don’t think it’ll work,” while others said we should extend out instead,’ explains Patsy. ‘However, I felt we already had the space we needed – it just wasn’t configured properly, and I didn’t want to lose too much garden.’
The separate lounge is a more formal space for bigger family gatherings. ‘Our Ikea sofas have removable covers,’ says Patsy. ‘We later found an Etsy shop that made new covers for them to give the room a lift.’ Sofas and footstool, Ikea (opens in new tab). Sofa covers, Petbitat Studio on Etsy (opens in new tab). Cushions, Tutti & Co, (opens in new tab) Dunelm (opens in new tab) and Made (opens in new tab). Pendant light, Matalan (opens in new tab)
(Image credit: Katie Lee)
Eventually Northern Property Projects agreed to take on the project. The work involved taking out three supporting walls as well as the corner of the house. All beams and structural supports were hidden in the first floor to maintain a seamless ceiling height. 
Part of the double garage was used to square off the kitchen and create a utility area at the rear. ‘Seven steel beams were needed in total, including a large goalpost that spans around the sliding doors,’ explains Patsy. ‘Cost-wise, it wouldn’t have been much more to extend.’
Suede-effect paint has been used to create a chocolate brown feature wall. ‘It’s quite subtle, almost like a lime wash effect, but gives the space a bit of richness,’ says Patsy. ‘The plug-in wall lights are superb. I love the light they give off and it frees up space on the bedside tables.’ Wall painted in Crafted by Crown (opens in new tab) Suede Effect Chocolate textured paint. Bed, Divan Bed Warehouse (opens in new tab). Wall lights, Creative Cables (opens in new tab). Bedside tables, Next (opens in new tab). Rust throw, Made (opens in new tab). Wooden star, Tutti & Co (opens in new tab)
(Image credit: Katie Lee)
The work was full of challenges. As the first floor joists ran the opposite way to how the builders expected, each one had to be cut to accommodate the steel beam. A soil pipe which was boxed in between the kitchen and dining room also had to be relocated and concealed above the sliding doors.
‘Ellie wanted black with yellow accents in her bedroom,’ says Patsy. ‘So I painted the wall black and attached constellation decals. The trundle bed has a pull-out mattress for sleepovers.’ Wall painted in Off Black, Farrow & Ball (opens in new tab). Decals, Jesabi on Etsy (opens in new tab). For a bed, try Happy Beds. Desk and chair, Ikea (opens in new tab). Wire notice board, Matalan (opens in new tab). Cushions, Asda (opens in new tab) and Primark (opens in new tab)
(Image credit: Katie Lee)
Elsewhere, the dated conservatory was given a new roof and anthracite window frames. A new boot room was created in the hallway and two new bathrooms were fitted upstairs. ‘We halved our en suite to make space for a desk area in Hannah’s bedroom,’ says Patsy. ‘And the family bathroom felt cramped as the pipes were boxed in around the bottom. Now the pipework is all hidden, the skirting boards have gone and there’s a wall-hung vanity unit – making the room feel bigger.’
‘As this bathroom is mostly used by the girls, I brought in elements of black and pink from each of their bedrooms,’ says Patsy. ‘The starting point was the hexagon wall tiles, which I love.’ Tiles, Costiles (opens in new tab). April Harrogate bath, Trading Depot (opens in new tab). Unit, Hudson Reed (opens in new tab). Flooring, Karndean (opens in new tab). Mat, H&M Home (opens in new tab)
(Image credit: Katie Lee)
Next, Patsy plans to give her spacious hallway a monochrome and rattan makeover, turn the fourth bedroom into a storage cum craft room and possibly redecorate the lounge. ‘When we moved in, the only rooms we could decorate were the lounge, downstairs loo and Ellie’s bedroom as the building work would affect all the other rooms,’ she says. ‘My style is a mix of contemporary-classic with boho and industrial elements, but although I love the blue colour in the lounge, it feels disconnected from the rest of the house now.’
Contacts
Kitchen Second Nature (opens in new tab)fitted by FK&B (opens in new tab)
Flooring Karndean (opens in new tab) fitted by KT Flooring (opens in new tab)
Sliding door fitters Heritage Trade Frames (opens in new tab)
‘Hannah loves pink and wanted a boho feel so we’ve gone for a subtle pink feature wall, rattan headboard and lots of plants,’ says Patsy.  Walls painted in Sulking Room Pink (opens in new tab) and Strong White (opens in new tab), both Farrow & Ball. Shelf, B&M (opens in new tab). Headboard, Tikamoon (opens in new tab). Cushions, H&M (opens in new tab), Ikea (opens in new tab) and Shein (opens in new tab)
(Image credit: Katie Lee)
Although the couple may downsize when their children leave home, for now they’re enjoying the new space. ‘The nice thing about buying a house that needs a full renovation is that you end up with something totally your style and taste,’ says Patsy. ‘When builders disagree with your plans, you start doubting yourself, but the kitchen works so well for us now. We’re happy we stuck to our original vision.’
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