Article Index

Here are all our articles sorted A – Z

 

Window seats are the design trend of the moment. From sea-fronting self builds to cosy farmhouses, this design idea is popping up in many projects, offering not just a focal point in a room, but a perfect spot to sit and enjoy the view. There are plenty of opportunities to introduce a window seat, but how do you go about getting this design detail right in your self build, renovation or extension project?

It’s worth noting that making a feature of your window does not always require enormous expanses of floor-to-ceiling glazing. In order to draw the eye outwards, and exclude any less attractive aspects, pinpointing a vista with perhaps a linear, spherical, or ultra-wide window frame can be more successful.


DIY Tips

Want to add a personal touch to your home? Then get creative to add style that’s one of a kind to your home. Patchwork, knitting and crochet can all be used to add chic soft furnishings and accessories to your home, from cushions to throws and more. If you are new to crafting there’s lots of advice available online including helpful craft tutorials. Also take a make do and mend approach to upcycling existing pieces in your home with paint, decoupage or fabric.


 

1. A Minimalist Approach

In this self build project by Platform 5 Architects, a simple wooden bench spans the width of the rear wall with a singular cushion beneath a tall frameless window, offering a simple solution to this design idea. It’s worth noting in instances where you have large glazed sections such as this that if your window seat is orientated south, then consider solar control glass which has a low G-factor to reflect heat away from the glazing. Likewise, incorporating a roof overhang into the building design can help to prevent overheating in the summer months.


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

Framing the view is a key draw of installing a window seat into your design. In this remodel project, a spherical design punctures the walls to lead the eye out towards a tree in the garden. A pop of colour in the form of a cushion offers a striking contrast against the white-washed walls.

3. A Built-in Window Seat

If you’re intending on a built-in style window seat to make the most of your view, you’ll need to ensure the window itself is deep enough to accommodate room for a bench that can comfortably sit at least one person without making them feel like they’re perched on a ledge — a bay window is a good example here. In more contemporary settings, such as this project from Kast Architects, where you may have frameless glazing or the window is flush with the wall, well-placed joinery could allow a seating area to be built in front of the glazing. The window seat here offers uninterrupted sea views as well as a spot to perch before dinner. 

4. A Curved Design

This curved window seat at this holiday let in Cornwall is perfect for perching on and engaging with the rest of the roomImage credit: Martindale c/o Jill Stein

In rooms where you have a curved wall, introducing a window seat can act as an additional seating arrangement within the room and allow everyone to be part of the conversation. This curved window seat at a holiday let in Cornwall is perfect for relaxing on and engaging with the rest of the room. An adjacent built-in bookcase means your favourite read is within arms reach if you want to curl up on the cushions.

For those limited on space, a window seat is a great opportunity to build in storage underneath the bench. This could be an ideal home for storing children’s toys, books and so on. Better still, you could open up the space beneath as an alcove that makes room for a pet bed or bookcase. What’s more, if you’re keen on built-in joinery, transforming the wall around your window into storage or bookcases could be a great way of framing the window seat — not to mention making it easier to grab your latest read while you relax. In this conversion project, a window seat complete with bookcase has been built into wall, making this area an ideal spot to read while enjoying views of the outdoors.

Where you might have an internal window, perhaps as a result of linking a series of buildings together in a barn conversion for instance, creating a window seat here is an effective way of adding a spot to relax in what might otherwise be used as just circulation space. In this project, a window seat within the glazed link offers a quiet spot to relax between spaces, and shares views into multiple rooms around the property thanks to its position.

For those who like to wind down of an evening before bedtime, introducing a window seat in the bedroom is ideal. Plumped up with cushions and a padded base, this can be a comfortable spot to relax. In this self build project in the Lake District, a window seat positioned within the dormer window of the master suite makes for a great place to curl up with a book before bed.

In a snug or living room, utilising free space below a window to include a seat can be a great way of increasing your seating space — particularly when you have guests over and sofa space is limited. A small window seat (left of shot) in this extension and remodel project offers an additional seating area within the living room, without having to make room for an extra piece of furniture.

A concrete window bench in this London home has been designed to appear as if it continues out seamlessly to the garden thanks to a divide of frameless glazing. It is worth bearing in mind that sitting next to glass can be uncomfortable if not correctly specified. “Triple glazing is becoming more of the norm in window specification, and it certainly provides significant thermal benefits over double glazing (and the price difference is closing),” says Nicholas James. “Poor seals, however, can result in uncomfortable draughts, so the detailing around the window is critical to ensure continuity of insulation and avoidance of air leakage.”

10. A Functional Solution

Providing a functional purpose, this window seat doubles up as seating around the dining table in the kitchenImage credit: c/o Platform 5 Architects

A window seat doesn’t just have to be a spot within your living room to sit at now and again. In rooms such as the kitchen for instance, why not design your eating area around the window by positioning your breakfast/dining table here, with a bench set within the recess or against the window to sit at, allowing you to take in the outdoor views while enjoying a meal? Providing a functional purpose, the window seat in this project doubles up as seating around the dining table in the kitchen.

See the original article here https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/10-charming-window-seats/


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

Give is your thoughts by email ….

or join our Forum and discuss your tips or experiences Visit the forum


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

When it comes to designing the interiors of your home and utilising the space, whether it’s a self build, extension or renovation project, the height and shape of your ceiling can have an impact on everything from furniture placement, to arrangement and use of rooms, where to position glazing, and even the general feeling you get from being in that space.

From curved spaces to jagged arrangements, varying heights and more, we showcase some examples of how homeowners have created and dealt with unusual ceiling heights.


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

The partially vaulted ceiling in this oak frame home allows for areas of the ground floor to benefit from lofty heights, while still accommodating for a mezzanine level. A rooflight here also allows light to pour down from above.


Electrical Tip

“Although at first glance lighting, sockets and off-peak heating in France may all appear familiar, closer investigation will reveal that the installation methods are different to those employed in the UK”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

The exposed timber beams within this barn conversion create an unusual arrangement of ceiling heights, with the combination of double-height and partially vaulted spaces broken up with lower beams which divide the more intimate areas from the voluminous ones. Thanks to the exposed nature, you can still glimpse up to the ridge height.

The curved nature of this entrance hall allows for a striking curved staircase design which moves up the curved expanse and connects all three levels of the home. Complete with a gallery and glazed balustrade, the result is truly unusual.

In this extension project, the tall ceiling has been punctured with structural frameless glazing which moves down the rear wall. Combined with the design of the glazing sitting above the ceiling height to one side of the room, the homeowners benefit from an open air feel.

In this American loft-style self build in Surrey, the open plan kitchen/dining/living space is broken up into zones thanks to the jagged ceiling made up of varying levels. The kitchen sits under a lower ceiling while the dining space opposite boasts views up to the roof. Exposed steel beams and glazed mezzanines add to the jagged effect.

A change in levels adds drama to the living room in this self build project. Stepping down from the more enclosed kitchen with lower ceiling, the impact of the double-height volume in the living room is made even greater. A mezzanine breaks up this space.

A dramatic triple-height void in this contemporary self build leads the eye upwards thanks to a rooflight positioned at the apex. Galleried sections with glazed balustrades at first and second floor level allow each part of the home to enjoy views up and down the void.

The varied ceiling in this woodland home has been made all the more unusual thanks to being partially clad in timber — the same material used on the staircase and sections of wall cladding. The effect helps to break up the space and also signpost the elements which are double and single height.

The steeply sloping pitch in this bedroom creates an almost triangular shaped space. Hidden LED strip lighting washes the top of the void in light.

A ceiling clad in timber to match the walls creates a cosy, enclosed space for a home office in this renovation project, and creates the illusion of the ceiling being lower than it is.

See the original article here https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/unusual-ceiling-heights/


DIY Tips

Want to add a personal touch to your home? Then get creative to add style that’s one of a kind to your home. Patchwork, knitting and crochet can all be used to add chic soft furnishings and accessories to your home, from cushions to throws and more. If you are new to crafting there’s lots of advice available online including helpful craft tutorials. Also take a make do and mend approach to upcycling existing pieces in your home with paint, decoupage or fabric.


 

Give is your thoughts by email ….

or join our Forum and discuss your tips or experiences Visit the forum


Electrical Tip

“Although at first glance lighting, sockets and off-peak heating in France may all appear familiar, closer investigation will reveal that the installation methods are different to those employed in the UK”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

This dated 1930s bungalow was extended with a single-storey side extension and two-storey rear addition

Extending is a great way to create much needed extra space in your home, whether to accommodate a growing family or to adapt to modern living requirements, and is often cheaper than moving house.


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

If you’re considering extending for the first time, or are keen for project success, these 10 key rules will set you on the right path.


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

1. Only Extend If It Makes Sense

In some circumstances, it is better to move than to extend. If an extension will spoil the property, or will be a case of over-development (thus making an extension nonsensical from an economic perspective), then it is best to move.

But if an extension will improve the existing home, adding both space and value to the property, then it makes complete sense.

2. Make a Considered Brief

Start by defining what the new space should achieve and what problems the extension should solve. Unless you can tell your architect what is missing, then they won’t be able to make the extension more than a simple addition of rooms. This description should be more than ‘add a bedroom and bathroom’ or ‘make the ground floor bigger’.

These statements are not wrong but it helps to think more about the added benefits, for example if you are extending a kitchen:

  • Where does the light come in?
  • Can I eat my breakfast with the morning sun?
  • Do I want to sit and enjoy a view or see my garden?

The architect will solve and come up with ideas, but the best solutions come from being set the best questions from a client with challenging thoughts.

3. Choose Materials Carefully

Sometimes the materials choices are obvious and the existing house demands the extension should follow suit with a subservient extension.

If the house has no overriding character or style, then a contrast can improve both parts. The skill and challenge of the architect is to decide, with you as their client, what will work best. If you are going to contrast an existing house with materials that vary, then the solution has to be of high quality and well thought through.

A bland extension on an ordinary house is simply bland; if it also stands out because the materials look wrong, then the whole effect is ruined.

The materials are an intrinsic part of the architectural style so don’t pick materials at the end as an afterthought, or because they were ‘on offer’. Remember, you have to live with this for many years.

4. Get the Size Right

Getting the right size for an extension is probably the biggest challenge to the owner and the designer. There is no set rule, but many times I have seen extensions added to buildings that have spoilt the original house because they are too big and dominant.

When thinking about additional spaces, consider how they can combine or improve existing spaces, rather than simply adding more.

5. Give Thought to Architectural Style

Every house has a style, built in a certain period or with particular materials. So the architectural style that the extension takes on is important to the combined result. A Georgian house can have an extension that matches or contrasts.

If you are going to match a building, then the proportions, details and materials must be very good to make it work and appear authentic.

So is a contrast easier? Not necessarily so. If you want a modern extension on an older property, the same rules of proportion apply but the new extension must add something. This could be more glass in contrast to a solid form, or a flash of colour in contrast to a neutral palette.

6. Respect Neighbouring Properties

One of the biggest questions on a semi or a terrace property is the effect that the extension or alteration has on its neighbour’s property. Try to design your new extension with respect and awareness to neighbouring houses.

Can you avoid overlooking or overcrowding? Many extensions become so large that they appear to join up separate houses, creating terraces where they were never intended.

7. Quality vs. Quantity

So, how much will it cost to build? It is always better to build with better materials and better design than build more space of less quality. If you are going to build large and can’t afford everything, then plan to fit out the space later rather than cheapen everything.

8. Extend or Replace

Many people now alter a house so significantly that the question is not “Should we extend?” but “Should we knock it down and replace?” There is a point when you are extending when it might be easier. However, I find that reusing existing buildings, where possible, is more environmentally friendly and can provide a great base to create the dream home.

Bear in mind, though, that an extension attracts VAT at 20 per cent whereas a new build is 0 per cent, so do the sums on the costs at the beginning when you can make the right choice.

9. Prepare to Live Through the Mess

If you are extending and living in the house then prepare for disruption, mess and dust. Many clients have said they will live in the house and come to regret it. If you can move out and leave the builders to get on, there are real advantages:

  • The build can be faster and a shorter programme also saves money
  • The builders can turn power, water and heat off
  • They don’t have to tidy up all the time, and there are fewer arguments over the toilet

Most people have to stay while building goes on, so agree ground rules on access and use of the toilet. Seal up as many rooms as possible and invest in dustsheets to protect furniture, as plaster dust seems to get everywhere.

Above all, keep smiling throughout the process and think about why you started.

10. Assess the Difference Between Cost and Value

When you are planning your build, work through the costs at the beginning. Only you can decide what constitutes good value. The cost can be determined by the quantity surveyor or the builder but only you, the client, can say if that is worth it in monetary, enjoyment or usefulness terms.

See the original article here https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/10-golden-rules-for-extending-your-home/


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

Give is your thoughts by email ….

or join our Forum and discuss your tips or experiences Visit the forum


Electrical Tip

“Although at first glance lighting, sockets and off-peak heating in France may all appear familiar, closer investigation will reveal that the installation methods are different to those employed in the UK”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

Contemporary self builds come in many shapes, sizes and guises. While some new homes take their cue from modernist forms (think flat roofs, larges areas of glazing and white render), many of today’s crop of contemporary new builds embrace contextualism.

“Contextualism is all about an architecture that is a response to its surroundings and respects the locality. Contextualism is all about the site,” explains architect Darren Bray.


DIY Tips

Want to add a personal touch to your home? Then get creative to add style that’s one of a kind to your home. Patchwork, knitting and crochet can all be used to add chic soft furnishings and accessories to your home, from cushions to throws and more. If you are new to crafting there’s lots of advice available online including helpful craft tutorials. Also take a make do and mend approach to upcycling existing pieces in your home with paint, decoupage or fabric.


 

Often, this means a design which sits comfortably on its plot, embraces local materials and elements of vernacular architecture, but reinvents them in new and exciting ways.


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

This selection highlights the wide variety of contemporary self builds being built across the UK.

This contemporary self build, designed by architect owner Jake Edgley, was built on brownfield plot in south London. The rear courtyard was designed around a 100-year-old pear tree on site.

  • Build cost: £2,000/m²
  • Location: Dulwich, London

Architect/owners Annelies and Peter Tompkins replaced a 1960s bungalow with a brick-clad self build. The new house uses a local brick, carefully laid in a bond which matches the vernacular style — and ties in with the neighbouring Arts and Crafts house.

  • Build cost: £335,000
  • Location: Berkshire

This contemporary build, with its striking Cor-ten (weathered steel)-clad first floor, pays homage to the industrial buildings which once stood on site.

  • Build cost: £850,000
  • Location: Lewes

One couple built this single-storey home in the garden to their former Victorian house, for their retirement. A significant slope and the desire not to negatively impact on their former home was critical — the new house sits lower on the site, but makes the most of spectacular valley views.

  • Build cost: £327,900
  • Location: Derbyshire

Ben Warren’s contemporary self build, designed by Stan Bolt: Architect, has taken the concept of the white rendered box and reinvented it. The result is a home that combines different materials and breaks away from the box-like form with varying levels of scale and mass.

  • Build Cost: £300,000 (£1,382/m²)
  • Location: East Devon

Large expanses of glass and a predominately open plan ground floor give this oak frame self build a contemporary edge.

  • Build cost: £490,000
  • Location: Hertfordshire

Concrete and timber cladding – not to mention that gravity-defying cantilever – combine to create a minimalist-inspired home. The large chimney breast ‘anchors’ the building to its site, while the roof overhangs create shading in the summer.

  • Build cost: £3,660/m²
  • Location: Dorset

This well-insulated, airtight home was constructed in SIPs, but features natural clay tiles, brick and timber cladding as a nod to the vernacular.

  • Build cost: £495,000
  • Location: Hampshire

This striking new build on a corner plot in Bristol replaces a row of derelict garages. The contemporary self build has been designed in three parts in order to maximise privacy and minimise overlooking.

  • Build cost: £300,000
  • Location: Bristol

This contemporary Scottish self build, with dynamic roof planes, features natural materials which help it sit comfortably within its setting. The interiors take their cue from mid-century modern design.

  • Build cost: £500,000
  • Location: Argyll & Bute

See the original article here https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/contemporary-self-builds-gallery/


DIY Tips

Want to add a personal touch to your home? Then get creative to add style that’s one of a kind to your home. Patchwork, knitting and crochet can all be used to add chic soft furnishings and accessories to your home, from cushions to throws and more. If you are new to crafting there’s lots of advice available online including helpful craft tutorials. Also take a make do and mend approach to upcycling existing pieces in your home with paint, decoupage or fabric.


 

Give is your thoughts by email ….

or join our Forum and discuss your tips or experiences Visit the forum


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

1. Give Thought to Size and Layout

One of the benefits of building a new house, or extending and/or remodelling an existing home, is that you have more flexibility to decide on the size and shape of your kitchen diner. Ideas include:

  • Large square or rectangular rooms work best when carefully zoned.
  • An L-shape arrangement is another option (and may be readily achieved by extending to the rear and knocking through to an existing reception room). This layout allows a degree of separation between the kitchen and dining space, and often means you’re not in sight of kitchen mess when sitting at the table.

Find a kitchen fitter


DIY Tips

Want to add a personal touch to your home? Then get creative to add style that’s one of a kind to your home. Patchwork, knitting and crochet can all be used to add chic soft furnishings and accessories to your home, from cushions to throws and more. If you are new to crafting there’s lots of advice available online including helpful craft tutorials. Also take a make do and mend approach to upcycling existing pieces in your home with paint, decoupage or fabric.


 

2. Your Lighting Scheme Plays an Important Role

As multi-functional rooms, kitchen diners are arguably one of the most complex spaces to light in the house. A well-designed lighting scheme features layers of light:


Electrical Tip

“Although at first glance lighting, sockets and off-peak heating in France may all appear familiar, closer investigation will reveal that the installation methods are different to those employed in the UK”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

  • ambient (general) lighting
  • task lighting (i.e. under-cabinet lighting, introduced to facilitate activities such as food prep)
  • accent lighting used to highlight features (used within glazed kitchen units, for instance)

Think too about the other activities which may take place in this room. For example, while pendant lights look stunning above a dining table or island, if this spot doubles as a place for the kids’ to write their homework, you may want to consider an additional source of light.

3. Plan For Extraction Early On

Lingering cooking smells are a common problem in open plan kitchen, dining and living spaces. Giving extraction some thought at the design stage can help mitigate this issue. Ideas include:

  • Specifying a ducted hood – which removes air to the exterior, rather than a recirculating hood, which instead uses filters to purify the air before expelling it back into the room – is a good idea
  • Opt for a model with an intensive power setting, designed to eliminate odours quickly
  • The cooker hood should be adequately sized for the space, too. Cooker hoods need to be at least the width of the hob. (For an induction hob, you’ll need a hood which is wider than the hob in order to catch vapours which dissipate outwards)
  • “Ducting and correct installation is also crucial as inefficient ducting is the number-one cause of poor performance, including noise,” state the experts at Miele GB. “For efficient extraction, the ducting should be as short and straight with as few bends as possible, with smooth walled ducting”

4. Introducing Natural Light is Vital

Given this room is likely to be the most-used space in the house, maximising potential for introducing natural light is a very good idea. ‘Daylighting’ will inevitably reduce reliance on artificial lighting too.

Windows and glazed doors (French, sliding or bifold) aside, one challenge in rooms of this size is introducing light deep into the floorplan. Try one of these practical and beautiful solutions:

  • a bank of rooflights
  • a large roof lantern above the kitchen or dining table

Material choice can also have an impact. Gloss kitchen units in light colours or neutrals can help bounce light around the space; while light flooring, such as limestone, travertine or pale wood can be beneficial, too.

kitchen–diner-with-rooflightsRooflights can be a clever means of introducing light deep into the floorplan of a kitchen diner

5. Zoning is Vital

Successful open plan spaces are not only cohesive, but are zoned, with different areas of activity defined. There are many ways of zoning a kitchen diner:

Considered furniture placement

Using a kitchen island or breakfast bar is not only a cost effective way to visually divide the space, but adds surface area and storage.

Well-designed lighting

Use different circuits to ‘shut down’ the kitchen when dining, or utilise dimmable lighting to create different moods.

Varying ceiling and floor heights

A particularly impressive means of creating zones is through creating various levels. One classic example is placing the kitchen beneath a standard ceiling (say, 2.4m high), with the dining space beneath a vaulted ceiling or double-height space.

6. Give Thought to Flooring

Flooring can require some considerable thought in kitchen, dining and living areas. You have two key choices:

  • Use the same floor running throughout, creating a sense of cohesion across the entire room
  • Using a hard-wearing, low-maintenance floor in the kitchen, like slate, and something softer underfoot in the other areas, such as wood or carpet

If you want the same flooring throughout then stone flooring such as slate or limestone is a practical choice. Luxury vinyl tile (in a stone or wood effect) is another solution which is a little softer underfoot.

A variety of floor finishes can work well in zoning different areas in an open plan space, but the juncture where the two floors meet can be a challenge; transition strips often look ill-placed and clumsy. Solutions include:

  • introducing a partial wall divide
  • a variation in floor height

7. Conceal Kitchen Clutter

Sitting down for an evening meal or settling on the sofa with dirty plates and pans on view is not a recipe for relaxation. It can be a particular problem when entertaining in an open plan space, too.

  • One solution for larger properties is the introduction of an adjacent food prep room
  • Another clever solution, without having to introduce a dedicated room, is designing in sliding partition doors which can be closed when guests arrive
  • Space-spacing ways of hiding clutter include introducing a raised worktop or breakfast bar
  • Again, setting the kitchen at a different height to the dining space is another idea

8. Connect Your Kitchen Diner with the Garden

Positioning a kitchen diner at the rear of the house is a good way to make the most of the garden views and opportunities for alfresco dining. To make the garden more accessible from this principal living space, try:

  • Adding an opening. While French doors suit period homes, sliding and bifold doors have become a staple of the modern home (as below)
  • Incorporating a well-placed outdoor eating area — preferably on a level threshold and readily accessed from the kitchen

9. Consistency of Design is Key

Using a similar palette of materials and/or a unified colour scheme across an open plan space is particularly effective in creating a cohesive interior.

  • Many bespoke kitchen companies will create cabinetry for the dining space which matches units
  • Picking up accent colours used within the kitchen in the dining space will help tie these spaces together
  • Symmetry and repetition of shape help too — for example, introducing a dining table of similar proportions to the kitchen island

10. Address Noise

While noise-generating appliances such as washing machines and tumble dryers can be tucked away in a utility, there are some essential pieces required in an open plan kitchen diner.

The cooker hood, for example, needs to be both powerful enough to quickly eliminate odours, but also ideally quiet. (Correct ducting and installation are key here). The dishwasher can be another significant source of noise, sloshing away just as you sit down to diner.

  • Invest in appliances which promise a low decibel (dB) rating. The Servis dishwasher, works at just 39dB, which is quieter than a fridge humming; while Bosch offer models with Silence Program and SuperSilence programmes — the quietest work at 38dB
  • Look out products which come with Quiet Mark approval

But appliances aren’t the only source of noise within a kitchen diner. Our penchant for open plan spaces often goes hand in hand with our desire for hard flooring, lots of glazing and other such hard surfaces — all dreadful for acoustics. If noise is a potential concern:

  • Introduce soft furnishing (rugs, curtains, soft wall panelling, etc)
  • Acoustic plasterboard, such as Gyproc SoundBloc, can also aid in reducing airborne sound transmission

See the original article here https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/top-10-kitchen-diner-design-tips/


DIY Tips

Want to add a personal touch to your home? Then get creative to add style that’s one of a kind to your home. Patchwork, knitting and crochet can all be used to add chic soft furnishings and accessories to your home, from cushions to throws and more. If you are new to crafting there’s lots of advice available online including helpful craft tutorials. Also take a make do and mend approach to upcycling existing pieces in your home with paint, decoupage or fabric.


 

Give is your thoughts by email ….

or join our Forum and discuss your tips or experiences Visit the forum


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

As much fun as it would be to say the sky is the limit when it comes to the budget for your self build, it’s not a realistic option for most. As well as the land costs and build costs, there are numerous hidden costs that need to be factored in when establishing your project’s overall budget.

With the median build cost for a self build in the UK coming in at around £270k (according to a 2017 survey), it isn’t surprising that many self builders try to stick to tight budgets when building their dream homes.


DIY Tips

Want to add a personal touch to your home? Then get creative to add style that’s one of a kind to your home. Patchwork, knitting and crochet can all be used to add chic soft furnishings and accessories to your home, from cushions to throws and more. If you are new to crafting there’s lots of advice available online including helpful craft tutorials. Also take a make do and mend approach to upcycling existing pieces in your home with paint, decoupage or fabric.


 

Here, we take a look at great projects where the homeowners have managed to keep their build costs to £150k or under (and explain how they did it).


Electrical Tip

“Although at first glance lighting, sockets and off-peak heating in France may all appear familiar, closer investigation will reveal that the installation methods are different to those employed in the UK”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 


Phil Coe and partner Flo built their first home on a tight budget of £80k. The property was formerly an agricultural shed which belonged to Phil’s parents.

How they built to a budget:

  • Phil took on most of the building work himself to keep costs down, laying the new foundations, building the timber frame and installing the timber cladding
  • The couple chose to create a polished concrete floor on the ground level rather than expensive tiles, and again, Phil chose to polish it himself

Justin and Linda Tyers built a two-bedroom home in Exmoor’s National Park for the impressive sum of £67,000.

How they built to a budget:

  • The couple designed the home themselves as well as taking on much of the labour
  • The straw bale was purchased from a local farmer, 310 bales for £1,000
  • Sourcing materials locally and buying windows unpainted and unglazed to finish on site themselves also saved money
  • The couple chose to go off-grid as bringing electricity to site would have been too expensive – but they do admit that living off-grid does take a lot of consideration

Anyone looking to take their first step on the housing ladder can take heart from this self build in Ayreshire, Scotland. It shows what can be done when building on a tiny scale — without sacrificing characterful features or living and storage requirements.

The energy-efficient 40m² home was constructed on an existing plot for just £59,000. The sum includes the construction, delivery and erection of the house, including the foundations (2013 prices).

How they built to a budget:

  • Kept the footprint and dimensions down reducing all material costs
  • Used a prefabricated structure that minimised time on site (just six weeks)
  • Multifunctional spaces: such as the porch which doubles as a storage area

First-time DIY self builder Richard Baldwin overcame a frustrating series of legal and planning hassles to create this efficient, stylish home near Chesterfield on a remarkable budget of just £68,000. He found his plot via RightMove; it was formed from the garden of a house and split into two. Each plot came with detailed planning permission for a traditional-style brick-clad dormer bungalow. With an agreed price of £60,000 for the plot, Richard had a tight budget to get the house habitable.

The finished ICF structure achieves a U value well below 0.15 and an airtightness rating of 5 (“without even really trying,” says Richard), and lent itself to this DIY build. There is also a three-zone underfloor heating system run off a simple gas-powered combi boiler, and a mechanical ventilation heat recovery system.

How he built to a budget:

  • Took on as much of the build as he could with some friends, including pouring the concrete strip foundations to building the insulated concrete formwork (ICF) walls, external brickwork, fitting windows, internal carpentry, plumbing, joinery and decorating
  • Used off the rack B&Q units, eBay finds and upcycled carcasses to build the kitchen himself
  • Internally, Richard used a mix of astute shopping and design solutions to come up with a quality look that belies the budget

When people think of striking contemporary homes, they often assume that a hefty price tag is attached. Architect Patrick Bradley’s own project along the bank of the River Grillagh debunks this myth. He used shipping containers as a cost-effective construction method, creating an award-winning home on a modest budget of £135,000.

“The use of shipping containers as a construction material was queried at first by the planners, but as these were merely to be used for the construction, and because they met Building Regulations, there was no issue,” says Patrick.

How he built to a budget:

  • Built a home with a modest footprint of 115m²
  • Used shipping containers which offered a ready made shell which was transformed into a home in just nine weeks
  • Found a main contractor who could take on all the work on site from roofing and glazing to opening up the containers, which kept costs down

Wishing to capture the view as well as promote solar gain, aluminium-framed glazing features heavily on the top floor, while the windows to the bedrooms and more private accommodation on the lower floor look out over the fields. “I wanted 360° views and to feel elevated over the treetops,” says Patrick. This framing of the view has also translated into the design of the structure itself, with one elevation lending itself to the shape of a camera lens, emphasised by a series of cantilevered metal thins.


6. A Loch-Side Cabin for £142,000

After reading in Homebuilding & Renovating how Jennifer Higgins self built a home (see above) and then went on to set up The Wee House Company, Ewan Colville and Jennifer Gilmour contacted Jennifer about designing their own ‘wee house’ on a loch-side plot.

“Once planning consent was in place, we began our customisation meetings to help the clients decide on internal fixtures and fittings such as kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, light switches and socket placements,” begins Jennifer Higgins.

“While we have our classic layouts in our brochure, in the majority of cases, the layout and design of the house is tailored to suit the plot and the client’s needs. With this project, the site benefits from a tranquil setting with fantastic views over the hills and the loch, so the house was designed so that the open plan kitchen/living/dining space and both bedrooms face out on to the loch to maximise these views,” she continues.

How the home was built to a budget:

  • A prefabricated kit (with custom elements) was opted for, keeping time on site and wastage to a minimum
  • A highly insulated envelope to boost thermal performance will keep running costs low

Once groundworks were complete, the 75m² house took eight weeks to build – five weeks in the factory and three weeks on site – and the entire project, including obtaining all necessary consents, service connections, groundworks and, of course, the build itself, was completed for a budget of just £142,000.


7. An Oak Frame Bolthole for £150,000

When the homeowners of this project first came across the roadside plot, within a historic Conservation Area in Herefordshire, surrounded by medieval oak framed buildings, it was evident that whatever was built had to display exceptional levels of quality, design and materials to sit within the sensitive location.

How they built to a budget:

  • The 88m² cottage was kept deliberately simple — a traditional rectangular ‘bay’ format with a single ridge line was utilised for the plans
  • The palette of materials was kept to a minimum and handmade softwood joinery with a painted finish was used as a cheaper alternative to oak
  • Internal divisions were minimised to reduce materials and labour costs, while a solid oak floor was used throughout the ground floor (meaning minimal waste and simplicity of fitting
  • A large family bathroom was chosen instead of expensive en suites which kept plumbing and sanitaryware costs down
  • Dormer windows were only used on one elevation, with rooflights on the rear as they are less expensive

Meanwhile, architectural features such as the first floor vaulted ceilings and the inglenook fireplace provide character, and a sense of space and craftsmanship. The features also meant that the clients didn’t have to spend a lot of money on additional decorative finishes. Thanks to the careful design considerations, the project cost £150,000.


Faced with the prospect of demolishing a 60m² paint store and building a replacement family home for a tiny budget, many might simply walk away. Not product designer Jason Thawley, who spent £80,000 buying the store with planning permission for a replacement two-bed house on a tight triangular plot in Brighton.

That left just £90,000 of the self build mortgage for the build. Luckily, Jason was confident about using CAD software to design the house. “A lot of what I do is proportion based, so I followed the same principles here. Although I understood the technical detail, I still had to spend hours online researching how to join this bit to that!”

How he built to a budget:

  • Carrying out much of the practical work, including demolition of the paint store which would have cost £5,000 if done professionally
  • Working with a structural engineer friend, Jason designed a reinforced slab foundation for the site which he was able to build himself for just £5,000 rather than the estimated £20,000
  • A closed-panel timber frame was used which was built quickly and offered a fixed cost of £35,000
  • The structure was highly insulated meaning it can be heated with a woodburning stove, mechanical ventilation heat recovery system, solar thermal panels and an electric tank, instead of a £9,000 underfloor heating and combi boiler option
  • Re-used any waste materials produced throughout the build

Internally, many of the fixtures were designed and built by Jason, including the plywood staircase (for around £150) and the rooflight in the living area using a steel frame and two window panes (£1,700 instead of £10,000-plus for custom made equivalents).


Although the design is simple, care has been taken to create interesting focal points – such as the porch – on this self build project in Herefordshire. Structural insulated panels (SIPs), were chosen to ensure high levels of efficiency and low running costs long term.

“SIPs and oak can be expensive materials but using them together creates significant efficiencies. Here, we were able to use less of each material — for example, the oak frame has been pared back to its structural members but as the beams are all exposed the perception is of high quality,” says Merry Albright of Border Oak.

How they built to a budget:

  • Simplicity of design (a simple rectangle with a single roof ridge line and mini-truss) kept costs down
  • The home is just 130m² and using an open plan configuration downstairs cut the costs of internal walls (and the doors, door linings and extra skirting that is needed for each wall)
  • Quality was paired with bargain finds. For example a quality deVol kitchen was paired with ex-display cooker and dishwasher
  • Other bargain options included the oak flooring, sourced for just £20/m²
  • The owners took on what they could, including brickwork, exterior landscaping, painting and decorating

10. A Welsh Cottage for £150,000

A timber-clad home built on a budget by Welsh Oak Frame

Looking to build their own home in Wales, and with a plot just three miles from oak frame manufacturer Welsh Oak Frame, the Williams family looked to the company to provide a family home within their budget of £150,000.

“With a budget like this it was a case of working with the client to understand what was important and what was frivolous in order to design a home which realistically met their requirements and managed their expectations,” says Mark Jones, managing director of Welsh Oak Frame.

How they built to a budget:

  • A hybrid frame of softwood and oak was used, with oak chosen for the areas where it would have the most impact, such as the vaulted ceiling and living room
  • The exterior was finished in a softwood feather-edged weatherboarding which is the most cost-effective timber cladding option
  • DIY was used by the owners wherever possible and the favours of family in the trade called upon where needed
  • Using an oak frame supplier that was so close by saved on delivery costs

The end result has left the Williams family with a beautiful cottage that bears all the charm of a traditional oak frame home, with internal spaces designed to suit their needs and make best use of the plot.


11. A Decade Long Self Build for £140,000 Budget

One of the most important ingredients for a successful self build on a limited budget is the ability to take on most, if not all, of the on-site work, as this project – which came in for an impressively low £140,000 – shows.

Initially, the owners of this timber-clad 250m² home in the Highlands of Scotland planned to renovate the original property ­— 200-year-old kennels for working dogs, with later conversions and additions in the 1930s and 1960s to make the building habitable.

Plans were drawn up, permission granted and groundworks started, until the discovery of totally unsuitable 50mm foundations installed in the 1930s made demolition and rebuild the only viable option.

How they built to a budget:

  • David Barker and his wife Val took on 90 per cent of the build work for this project, completing it on a DIY basis over 10 years
  • They avoided lavish spends, but didn’t scrimp — their budget was allocated to things they deemed most important, such as slate for the roof. They then shopped around for deals on things such as flooring
  • All five bathrooms were finished in the same materials to negotiate bulk deals

12. Dramatic £145,000 Oak Barn

Designing a simple external structure and taking on almost all of the labour helped keep costs down on this project, which now operates as a holiday let (cruckbarn.co.uk)

Even when working within a slim budget, it’s worth creating at least one stand-out feature, whether that’s through a particular choice of materials, a lovely view or a sense of delight in the space itself. For the owners of this property, a simple cruck barn on the Herefordshire/Shropshire border, the drama comes from the vaulted oak structure and its wooded location.

A more subtle sense of quality is generated by the artisan feel of many of the pieces of furniture and fittings, made by the property’s co-owner John Williams, an architectural designer for Oakwrights and furnituremaker.

How they built to a budget:

  • John used his skills and role to save money on design and craftsmanship
  • He took a break after the dry shell stage before installing services to spread the costs over years rather than months
  • Going directly to suppliers – for things like the flagstones from a local quarry and sourcing oak logs from a neighbouring woodland owner – kept costs down
  • They stored ‘waste’ materials to re-use later rather than sending them to landfill. Off-cuts of beams originally used as decking during works on the upper storey later became oak floorboards in the property

“Rather than going for obvious solutions that can sometimes be costly, thinking creatively can often save you money as well as producing a more original result,” says John. “As well as using your own labour, look at ways to focus on space, light, views and materials.”

See the original article here https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/homes-built-for-under-150k-budget/


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

Give is your thoughts by email ….

or join our Forum and discuss your tips or experiences Visit the forum


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

Barn conversions are increasingly popular in the UK, due to their scope for generous room proportions (perfect for lovers of double height spaces) and idyllic rural locations.

But they are not for the faint of heart. Often in states of dilapidation, converting these buildings can be challenging, but also incredibly rewarding as the below projects demonstrate.


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

The owner of this home took a group of farm buildings – including unsympathetically converted and extended barns, plus structures not touched since their agricultural days – and has turned them into a cohesive dwelling fit for a family. Original features have been embraced in this barn conversion, but the addition of a glazed link brings the separate buildings together to form one home.


Electrical Tip

“Although at first glance lighting, sockets and off-peak heating in France may all appear familiar, closer investigation will reveal that the installation methods are different to those employed in the UK”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

With soaring ceilings, a warm family kitchen, a zen-like courtyard garden and a vast, ski lodge-style ‘party room’, complete with indoor pizza oven, this is a barn conversion with a difference.

Despite being listed and in a Conservation Area, large amounts of contemporary glazing have been added to bring light into the interior of this barn. Local planners were keen to see the building converted to residential use to save it from ruin, allowing the chance to create a unique home within the historic stone shell.

The decision to knock down one of the three stone barns in Northern Ireland and build a cantilevered replacement was a dramatic yet extremely rewarding one.

Beyond repair, the barn was demolished and a new wing in its footprint attached to the main barn — which had been lovingly restored — creating a wonderfully eccentric duality of old and new on what was once an overgrown plot.

This Grade II-listed barn conversion in Somerset has been carefully restored to retain its rural charm, yet has strong contemporary interiors.

The original elm beams were restored and the roof removed for essential maintenance on rotten sections, all the while protecting the clay tiles for re-use. Polished concrete flooring and repointed exposed stone walls compliment the more modernist stylings of the owners.

With fewer unconverted barns available – with many converted in the 1970s and ’80s – Irena Murray chose to remodel this previously renovated barn in Nottinghamshire and put right the inappropriate work that had been done before. The condemned roof was repaired and a large glazed section installed to create a light-filled living area.

This 50m-long barn has been turned into a spacious, show-stopping home. The original timbers all needed replacing, resulting in the stunning vaulted bedrooms with exposed beams on the top floor.

An incredibly ambitious project to convert a listed timber and brick barn of monumental proportions created a dramatic transition from derelict agricultural site to contemporary and light-filled home for a family.

A 14-month search for a self build plot culminated in one family giving this listed barn a complete overhaul. The derelict building was actually the perfect shell to turn into an airtight structure — a great alternative to building a brand new oak frame home (which the family had previously planned on creating).

This beautiful barn conversion could not be better suited to its stunning lochside location. Careful attention has been paid to the original structure, with stone left exposed throughout the interiors. Paired with a simple white colour scheme and an abundance of natural finishes, the essence of the barn has been maintained.

The owners of this barn were given the chance to return to the family farm where they grew up by converting a collection of agricultural buildings into a beautiful home.

They worked closely with the North York Moors Park Authority to ensure their planned scheme was befitting of its place in a National Park (and suited to a historic structure). However, they have been able to create a modern and refreshing space which complements the original building.

When the owners of this barn took it on, planning permission was in place for its demolition and replacement. It would have been tempting to follow through on the original plans, with the barn being so dilapidated, but instead they chose to repair the structure and build around it with sympathetic oak frame extensions. The result is a stunning home.

Creating a working layout in a barn, without dissecting large windows or blocking light from deeper rooms can be tricky. So architect Carl Turner created a semi-open plan layout in his converted barn using inexpensive OSB pods. Some of the furniture acts as room dividers — built on castors, they can be moved around.

See the original article here https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/barn-conversions-gallery/


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

Give is your thoughts by email ….

or join our Forum and discuss your tips or experiences Visit the forum


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

When it comes to adding an extension to your home, there are two options. You can either choose to build a sympathetic extension, matching materials and roof pitch as you go, or you can go for a design that is a complete contrast to the original property.

If you think you’d like to go down the contrasting style route, then take a look at these radical extension projects to get you thinking outside the box.


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

Be inspired to create your own wow-factor addition with these 12 incredible projects.


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

The glass in this extension is interlaid with a copper mesh, which mimics the colour of the Georgian brickwork.

  • Build cost: £240,000
  • Location: North-west London

Planning constraints meant that the 1950s frontage of this home had to be retained, so the owners built this striking colourful addition to the rear to create the space they needed.

  • Build cost: £295,000
  • Location: Hampshire

It took three years to get planning consent for this wood clad extension in London. Carefully placed glazing allows the passage of light, whilst maintaining privacy.

  • Build cost: £203,590
  • Location: London

Floor to ceiling glass makes this angular extension a far cry from the Victorian terrace to which it is attached, but exposed brickwork has been used throughout the interior to tie the two halves of the house together.

  • Build cost: undisclosed
  • Location: North London

This understated, but attractive extension is connected to the Grade II listed cottage via a glazed link.

  • Build cost: £150,000
  • Location: Buckinghamshire

Natural materials, such as the cladding, mean this large addition does not overpower the thatched cottage.

  • Build cost: undisclosed
  • Location: Devon

Although this stylish build has more than doubled the size of the exisiting home, it is low elevation meaning it is discreetly hidden from view at the front of the home.

  • Build cost: £144,000
  • Location: Surrey

Not only have these homeowners added a rear extension to the ground and first floors, they were also able to extend the basement under permitted development rights to create a huge room that runs from the front to the back of the house.

  • Build cost: £646,500
  • Location: London

Once an ugly bedsit, this Victorian terrace has been extended and remodelled with extensive use of rooflights, on-trend materials and a palette of white and acid hues.

  • Build cost: undisclosed
  • Location: London

The iconic modernist inspired work of Stan Bolt wonderfully juxtaposes the original Arts & Crafts home, but it is the gold-coloured, wing-like sculpture on top that brings an element of fantasy to this home.

  • Build cost: £975,000
  • Location: Devon

This sleek and uncluttered extension is the architectural opposite to the romantic fairytale water tower it is wrapped around.

  • Build cost: undisclosed
  • Location: Cheshire

These homeowners replaced a dated conservatory with a beautiful light-filled room to house a new kitchen and living area.

  • Build cost: £280,000
  • Location: Greater London

See the original article here https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/radical-extensions/


DIY Tips

Want to add a personal touch to your home? Then get creative to add style that’s one of a kind to your home. Patchwork, knitting and crochet can all be used to add chic soft furnishings and accessories to your home, from cushions to throws and more. If you are new to crafting there’s lots of advice available online including helpful craft tutorials. Also take a make do and mend approach to upcycling existing pieces in your home with paint, decoupage or fabric.


 

Give is your thoughts by email ….

or join our Forum and discuss your tips or experiences Visit the forum


Electrical Tip

“Although at first glance lighting, sockets and off-peak heating in France may all appear familiar, closer investigation will reveal that the installation methods are different to those employed in the UK”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

Unlike starting from scratch, remodelling your bathroom can be a tricky job constrained by an existing floorplans and plumbing. Bathrooms can come in all shapes and sizes, but when you’re thinking about remodelling this particular room, it is essential to marry practicalities with style. 

Storage, natural light and the orientation of the doorway are all aspects that could affect how you decide to layout your remodel so it’s best to think about functional design first, before choosing any specifics that may become restrictive.


DIY Tips

Want to add a personal touch to your home? Then get creative to add style that’s one of a kind to your home. Patchwork, knitting and crochet can all be used to add chic soft furnishings and accessories to your home, from cushions to throws and more. If you are new to crafting there’s lots of advice available online including helpful craft tutorials. Also take a make do and mend approach to upcycling existing pieces in your home with paint, decoupage or fabric.


 

From completely ripping out and starting again, to refreshing with a few small changes, find inspiration in our 12 standout remodelled bathrooms.


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

If you’re looking to renovate a period home, why not combine modern luxuries with traditional design? This Victorian office building turned family home cleverly combines minimalist shower and bath designs with the characterful mounding and fireplace.

Narrow and low ceilings are problematic in period remodel, but this restored cottage embraces the cosy aspects of the bathroom. A reclaimed roll-top bath and butler sink complete the effortless look, undaunted by the smaller space.

Working with a Smaller Bathroom

The key to working with a smaller-sized bathroom is prioritising what you use the most. Although a new stand alone bathtub might sound relaxing, having to squeeze around it to get to the shower in the morning is less than glamorous.

Think about how you use the space and how you interact with different bathroom features. If you have a family, more storage might be your number one, while if you carry out a nighttime routine in front of the mirror, a bigger worktop would be more useful.

This cottage snugly fits the shower into the oak beams of the house beautifully and the sloped roof creates a cosy feel.The white tiles and shower base mean that the natural materials of the floor and door take centre stage.

Spruce panel cladding on the walls and floor of this conversion’s bathroom makes the most of the natural light to create a bright and open room. The Scandinavian-inspired style utilises every space with hidden cupboards and wall recesses for toiletries.

Storage Space

Where to put your things can cause quite the conundrum when trying to design a sleek and modern bathroom. Under-the-worktop fitted cupboards are a practical solution, but can end up making a small space feel even more cramped.

Open cupboards can provide a casual non-fitted look (and can be combined with cleverly plumbed in sinks) while unimposing storage boxes are another great storage option.

Switching around the floorplan of your home can be time-consuming, but when you’re stuck in a tiny bathroom and have a spare bedroom going to waste, that extra effort could make all the difference when remodelling interiors, like this cottage renovation.

Additional space allows for a separate shower and bath without becoming claustrophobic and offering new possibilities for storage space under worktops.

The large black tiles of this modern remodel of a bungalow looks anything but gloomy with the large window opposite beautiful mirrors. Clean lines of contemporary designs can make a small room appear larger and the changes in texture throughout this monochrome pallet make sure the room maintains the air of luxury.

Fitting a neutral suite like this DIY flat renovation futureproofs your bathroom from any smaller changes you might want to make in five or ten years. Switching out tiles or throwing up a different shade of paint can quickly and easily breathe new life into your bathroom.

This church conversion wet room proves that being practical doesn’t mean sacrificing style with on-trend grey tiles and a rainfall shower head.

Installing a Wet Room

Wet rooms can give a modern and sleek appearance to a bathroom, but only when installed correctly.

Though ideal for homes that need a certain amount of accessibility for children or those with mobility concerns, wet rooms can become cold and damp if not properly waterproofed and tanked.

The majority of the work can be done yourself (kits usually come with the drain, connectors and the under tray) but it is recommended that you get a professional to correctly waterproof the room to save potential leeks and costly repairs.

When renovating her 1960s home, Sandra Coppin chose to upgrade her fittings, rather than stripping out everything that was already there. The painted exposed brick leading to the high window adds an industrial effect and makes the room seem taller, while the stylish silver taps provide a modern edge.

Black painted panelling and white walls compliment the simplicity of this bathroom remodel. Working to a budget doesn’t mean lack of luxury as the entire renovation project was completed for under £10,000.

While minimal in design – greys and whites dominate this space – a copper radiator has been installed to provide a distinctly individual look. Features like a sparsely-used patterned tile or an unusual light fitting are ideas that could spruce up a room without the need for regular style upkeep.

Although neutral colours inspire feelings of relaxation, this characterful Victorian renovation includes a bathroom showstopper that creates such a clear connection to absolute exuberance and luxury that the limited space becomes an asset rather than a problem.

See the original article here https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/stand-out-remodelled-bathrooms/


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

Give is your thoughts by email ….

or join our Forum and discuss your tips or experiences Visit the forum


Electrical Tip

“Although at first glance lighting, sockets and off-peak heating in France may all appear familiar, closer investigation will reveal that the installation methods are different to those employed in the UK”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

Traditional buildings seem to have lost their time in the spotlight following the popularity of ‘Grand Designs’-style TV shows where contemporary architecture reigns supreme. It is these more humble buildings, however, which make up the majority of the UK housing stock, and their simple nature can take many charming forms.

For those who prefer roof pitches to flat roofs, casement windows to structural glazing, and local building materials as opposed to white render and shards of glass, this selection of homes is sure to inspire.


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

Built to look like it’s been stood for centuries, this traditional Cotswolds home has been constructed using the local stone to look like an old coach house which has been added to over the years.


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

  • Build cost: £500,000
  • Location: Gloucestershire

This traditional home has been constructed using timber frame and clad in Cotswold stone to look like a Georgian farmhouse.

  • Build cost: £316,000
  • Location: Wiltshire

This project in the south of England has been built using traditional methods in a Cape Cod style, complete with dormer windows, low eaves and a wrap-around veranda.

  • Build cost: £273,000
  • Location: East Sussex

Tall chimneys, a steep roof pitch, gables and dormer windows all help to achieve the Arts and Crafts aesthetic in this new traditional-style home built by Snell David Architect.

  • Build cost: £800,000
  • Location: Cambridgeshire

5. An Energy-Efficient Cottage

Constructed in a Conservation Area and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this traditional-style cottage has been built to mirror the form and materials typical of this part of the Dales. Thanks to its ultra energy-efficient insulation materials and building techniques, the home just missed Passivhaus certification.

  • Build cost: £180,000
  • Location: County Durham

Built using brick and flint, with nods to both the Georgian and Arts and Crafts movement, this self build oozes character and looks as if it’s been standing for years.

  • Build cost: unknown
  • Location: Wiltshire

This beautiful timber frame holiday home just 200 yards from the lake in the Lake District combines traditional building materials with contemporary aesthetics.

  • Build cost: £565,000 (incl. £35,000 for the garage and £40,000 for landscaping)
  • Location: Lake District

This Georgian-style timber frame self build with symmetrical façade and sash windows came in on a tight budget thanks to taking on elements of the project on a DIY basis.

  • Build cost: £145,000
  • Location: Worcestershire

This cottage in Cambridgeshire has been built to look every bit the period home, complete with a combination of a Norfolk reed thatch roof and dutch herringbone patterned brick.

  • Build cost: £250,000
  • Location: Cambridgeshire

By learning the basics of a few trades, and taking on the role of project manager, the owner of this home in the Cotswolds was able to build his dream home for around half the price of the average detached home in the area.

  • Build cost: £135,000
  • Location: Wiltshire

Anne and Rob Skinner found a prime plot in west Sussex which was occupied by a pre-war bungalow that was ripe for demolition. In its place, they built a traditional-style home where energy efficiency and low maintenance were key criteria of the design.

  • Build cost: £418,000
  • Location: West Sussex

Behind the façade of this traditional, vernacular-style self build is a highly sustainable home, built on a tight budget. Costs were kept low by homeowner Geoffrey and his family undertaking all the decoration, painting the kitchen cabinets, insulating the loft and fitting out the garage.

  • Build cost: £140,000
  • Location: Norfolk

Ingrid and Warren Furlong have built a traditional farmhouse using stone from their own land and reclaimed materials. “People are usually surprised when they discover our house isn’t old,” says Ingrid of the farmhouse.

  • Build cost: £100,000
  • Location: County Wicklow, Ireland

See the original article here https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/traditional-homes-gallery/


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

Give is your thoughts by email ….

or join our Forum and discuss your tips or experiences Visit the forum


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

%d bloggers like this: