I was looking at my dining room a few weeks ago thinking, when its perfectly tidy I'll take some photos. Then I realised that its never going to be perfectly anything, so I cleared all the toys off the floor and letters from the table, grabbed my camera and in the spare 15 minutes I had before collecting Stanley I took these pictures.
If there is any room in the house that's changed the way we live as a family its this one. We renovated this room in two stages, the first was really a simple knock through and paint, the second was extending the room by a metre (we filled in the gap under the balcony) and added floor to ceiling windows. I'm so glad we let this room evolve as we have, when we first moved in we hardly spent time in the kitchen or dining room but now its the heart of our home and where we can cook, eat and play all together.
The first part of the renovations reads like a Christmas nightmare, the back of the house was flanked by a huge steel fire escape from first to ground floor. It was the Eve of Christmas Eve, the wind was howling and rain pouring and two (slightly dodge) rag and bone men came with no safety gear (or even rope) and dismantled the beast. Their Christmas came early as they trotted off with two tonnes of steel, our Christmas came early as there were no fatal injuries and the fire escape was gone! I can make jokes about it now but it was a scary day. As you can see the previous owners really enjoyed light sapping decor, as soon as we knocked through from the kitchen the room lightened up and as the winter turned into summer the room started to show its true colours (which surprisingly weren't baize green).
After knocking through from the kitchen (we added a steel support to make sure all above was safe), we then painted and my dad (above) added shelving to one side of the fireplace. You can see how the room first looked here.
With the arrival of Stanley our lives naturally changed, we were at home so much more and spending time together as a family became a priority. The previous set up meant if someone was cooking then the other was in the living room with him which meant our time was segregated. We had always hoped to make use of the dead space outside, as we were having work done to the upstairs rooms we decided to use the time of disruption and get this room done too.
In builder time it was really relatively quick to get completed. It took a week to take off the outside render and level the floor, then the odd day to get another support added, level the ceilings and have electrics installed and then plastered. The major delay was waiting just over ten weeks for the windows to be made which we knew was going to happen as they were being made to order. Of course the style we were after were a lovely industrial french steel type (but they are so expensive and I think only exist on Pinterest and in Elle Decoration), PVC windows were out the question because they're vile so these aluminium framed windows were a great choice. We ordered them through our builder from a local company called Duration Windows, who were great from start to finish.Farrow and Ball, Pavilion Blue), added this Stocksund sofa from Ikea (which I really recommend), put in a colourful rug from Wayfair to soften the floor and installed this toy cupboard from La Redoute. I have more photos for another post going through all the details in more detail, which i'll get written up asap.
The amount light in this room has been the biggest transformation and I love how connected we are to the garden. With all of us having different needs from this room it might not be stylistically perfect but for our family it's pretty close. If you have any questions just ask and there are links in this post to all my previous room renovations.