Join us this month as we take a tour of this beautiful family property, and discover how to turn a small, out-dated kitchen into a stunning heart-of-the-home space.
Renovating A Family Home
When Laetitia and Adam made an offer on The Hollies, they already had a vision of the family home they wanted to create. The house is located within a quiet residential area and has a wonderful large garden. Originally built in the 1930s, it was a dream buy, needing to be completely renovated and offered the perfect blank canvas, with space to have an extension. It also came with the added bonus of having expired planning permission, which made the approval for the extension a straightforward process.
In total, the renovation took approximately one year. The house needed to be completely gutted, making it inhabitable at the start of the project. After five months, once the extension and kitchen installation were complete, the family could move back in. Three years on, there are still some areas of the house that are a work in progress, but the main parts of the project are now finished.
DIY Project Management
Laetitia and Adam handled the project management themselves, hiring a variety of different private tradespeople and contractors. The general building company was the most important decision, and DAB Construction were key in making the project run to plan. See the Project Directory below for details of all of the recommended contractors.
Managing a project like this is time consuming, and requires a lot of organisation, but it is also incredibly rewarding. We asked Laetitia if there were any major set backs:
"At one point, the roof needed extra attention as it wasn't properly aligned and we had to change some minor details inside the house. The weather was also a huge problem. For a fair amount of time, the back of the house was exposed, most of it literally hanging on by steels and poles. We had really rough weather, and the builder said he didn't know if it was all going to be there in the morning!"
After the structural work was complete, the kitchen was the first room to be tackled, followed by the playroom and the children's bedrooms. The work was purposefully planned in that order, to allow the family to move back in as soon as possible, and also to help their sons feel more settled. Renovating with young children can be stressful, which makes organisation even more important.
Spa inspired bathroom
Inviting guest bedroom
You have to be patient and assume everything is going to take a bit longer and cost a bit more!
The Heart Of The Home
As the cook of the house, Adam designed the kitchen himself. He knew what he wanted and sourced the cabinets from Howdens, a trade kitchen supplier. The result is a fabulous combination of modern and traditional, with copper accents and a timeless neutral colour palette.
The original kitchen was small and dingy, with out-dated cabinets and decor. Now, the kitchen has been transformed into the central hub of the home. It really is a fabulous space, with light pouring in from a feature lantern window.
At the other end of the kitchen is a cosy snug area with a sofa and television. It was initially planned as a separate room with a dividing wall, but after much deliberation, Laetitia and Adam decided to bring it into the kitchen. They are delighted with the outcome. The open plan aspect has made the kitchen the perfect social space for the whole family.
Looking into the garden, the bi-folding kitchen doors are designed to be opened out in the summer months. These doors lead onto the new patio, which is the perfect place for outdoor dining. During the winter months, the doors allow additional light in, and give the kitchen a wonderful airy feel.
The kitchen is the absolute hub of the home and this was the main focal point of the whole renovation.
Shaker Style Cabinets
Adam chose a classic shaker kitchen with a granite worktop, and a large central island. The wooden worktop, along with the copper pendant lights and cabinet furniture, provide the perfect accent to the neutral colour scheme.
Cup pulls are a great choice for cupboard and drawers, especially in shaker style kitchens. These can be fitted to all cupboard sizes or co-ordinated with knobs and pull handles. Copper, brass, bronze and chrome cabinet furniture are popular choices for modern and traditonal kitchens alike.
Beautiful open plan kitchen with lantern window
Versatile neutral colour palette
Classic kitchen cup pulls
How To Make an Entrance
Making small changes can often transform a property, and what better way to achieve a makeover on a budget than to update front door hardware. Details really do matter and when tackling a large renovation project, often the accessories are overlooked.
For The Hollies, Laetitia and Adam chose traditional black front door furniture. Black ironmongery offers a timeless look, echoing the balance between modern and traditional that is found in the interior design of the home. The black also contrasts beautifully with the white weather-boarded sections of the property and the timber panelled door.
To find inspiration, Laetitia and Adam initially had a drive around the neighbourhood, noting down the styles and designs they liked. Laetitia also used Pinterest and Instagram for creating mood boards and folders. This can be a great way to find suppliers and products as many posts have direct links to webstores.
Bridgnorth Lever Handles 5 Lever Lock Set - £59.00
Letter Plate Black 10.5 Inch - £34.00
Night Latches 40mm / Black - £41.00
Now that the main part of the renovation is complete we asked Laetitia what she learned from the process:
Make sure you have an extra budget for contingencies. There will always be unexpected costs that cannot be foreseen.
Not a renovation tip, but a piece of house buying advice: If you are placing an offer on a house that has a lot of interest, consider writing a letter to the owners. It can really help to make your bid stand out. An honest, heartfelt letter might just do the trick and make your dream house a reality 🏡
Here are the main contractors Laetitia and Adam used for their home renovations:
General building work: DAB Construction, Ipswich
Windows: Chris King Windows, Ipswich
Kitchen: Howdens Trade Kitchen Supplier + local carpenter
A big thanks to Laetitia and Adam for showing use around their gorgoeous home and telling us about the renovations. For more House Tours updates, and the latest news on all of our products, please follow us on Instagram @suffolklatchcompany and Facebook @suffolk.latch
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*Please note prices of products quoted are accurate at the time of the article publication but may be subject to change*