A Peek Inside a Traditional UK Home with a Modern Loft Extension — House Call
Name: Karen, her husband, their son and overweight cat.
Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire
The basics: 5 years, owned — 90 square meters/ 968 square feet
Karen’s home is an excellent example of how bold choices can still make a space feel homey and warm. After overhauling basically every part of the space, it now feels like a curated space the family can grow in together.
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: We (me, my husband and our 4.5 year old son and our overweight cat, Chooch) live in a the bedroom semi-detached property in Leeds, West Yorkshire. It’s a modest home but big enough for the three of us. We’ve changed a lot since buying it in back in October 2012 (whilst 7 months pregnant). We tackled the kitchen knock through a year after moving in with a one year old in tow. Not before ripping out the existing bathroom. Our most recent project was a loft conversion which has completely changed the way we live. We’ve worked on every room and space in the house now. I’ve decorated and redecorated every room at least twice if not three times.
What is your favorite room and why? It’s normally the room we’ve done most recently, so I’d have to say our recently completed loft conversion is up there with one of my faves. It’s like we’ve got a whole new house since we completed that build earlier this year. I pinch myself every time I go up there. We love it.
If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? Oh blimey. Loads. I’d love to have a small extension onto the kitchen/dining space so we can fit in a small sofa or a couple of armchairs. We need new windows and a new front door, new staircase carpet and the whole outside needs re-landscaping. It never ends!
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The Cecil armchair from Made.com. A gorgeous, mid-century inspired, green velvet and oak number. It’s lovely.
Karen’s words of wisdom: Don’t rush it. It takes time to create a home. A home just isn’t about stuff. It’s way more than that. It’s about memories, smells, people, how something feels. You can’t do that over the space of a week. Don’t follow trends, make your place a reflection of you and what you love. Choose colors that make you happy to be around. I’ve always loved black and wallpapered my bedroom at home in black marble wallpaper aged 12, so a black living room for me was a no brainer, but for some it’s not right. Choose pieces you genuinely love and mix them with second hand/vintage finds. Have fun experimenting, and don’t fall into the trap of thinking there is a right and a wrong way to design a room. There are literally hundreds of ways to put a room together. Start with one piece,something you love, trust your gut and work outwards. Just know that it’s all a process, not a product. You’re never finished, your surroundings will change and evolve just like you do.
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