When we first looked at our house (lovingly nick-named 'the monster') we immediately thought that the two rooms at the back would be fantastic knocked together. Where our kitchen now stands was a slightly dark room with almost no light, but being west facing we trusted - and hoped - that once the back was opened out it could be a really light and lovely space.
With the help of our very handy-to-know friends; architect Bill and project manager Dan (really, these are the friends you NEED) we've now got the kitchen-come-everything that we wanted. Lucky really, as at the moment we don't have any other functioning rooms except our bedroom and bathroom; and actually, that suits us pretty much fine. As my sister handily put it, if the other rooms were done, it would only create more tidying up.
So - this is how the kitchen looks now (March 2011)
And if I take you back in time... this is where we started from:
When we originally looked around the house... two rooms.
The fireplace you can just see on the left is where the hob is now but that fireplace is, apparently, a typical 'Bedford Park' style fireplace - we are moving it in to our sitting room (one day), to replace the replacement that was there!
Walls and floors starting to disappear...
(and me testing paint colours - ever the 'useful' helper! And really practical clothing... hmmm).
From the garden - poor house looked very sad with its window brackets in... but this shows the extension that we knocked down....
Just like that, it was gone.
And the photo on the right shows the huge steels that are now holding the rest of the house up.
Before the glass roof and doors had arrived - underfloor heating and bamboo floor being installed.
Hugh fitted the kitchen - but then we had to move in before it was all finished...
First night back in the house - election day 2011, we came back to vote (not that it made much difference...) and had a take-away curry for supper. We'd just had a weekend away, camping, freezing in Derbyshire, we'd all got colds and then I'd found out I was pregnant. Quite a week.
The glass roof arrived... it had to be craned over the house. A stressful day for all.
...and then we just carried on living in semi-chaos while the floor and walls were finished around us.
That's the most use we've got out of our lovely Cornish blue picnic hamper (on the right).
Looking at this photo now I can't quite believed we lived like that with a toddler... but then half of the house is still in this state, only now we have a 3 year old and a baby.
As we keep saying to each other - it WILL be worth it. And actually, it already is.