As you may have seen via my Instagram feed, @justalittlebuild, we’ve MOVED HOUSE! It was an extended purchase journey for us (both physically and mentally, oh and… emotionally!) but we are done and are now living in our new home.
We lived in our previous home for over 8 years and put in ‘our everything’ to make it a family home that was just right for us. It was the backbone to Just A Little Build and has now become the stepping stone to our next exciting renovation project. Although this time, it may not be quite such a “little” build…
A lot of people have questioned why we have moved (this includes some of our family members) and the answer is not a simple one. There are a number of thoughts and factors behind this.
- We wanted a little more space (and I’ll talk about this a little further down)
- When the opportunity arose at this new house, we saw the potential of what it could become. The views and location are really something and our idea is to create a house to match them.
- The beauty of this new house is that it not far from our old house so we can stay in the same area that we love but we can create something that is more of what we want as a family.
At our previous house we were always constrained by the planning laws as we live in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and on designated Green Belt land. We always wanted a 5 bedroom house but as with all purchases, this was one of the compromises we had to make and because of this, we were unable to extend. With 3 children, a 4 bedroom house meant that all rooms were taken, leaving no space for guests. Our parents are not close in proximity so when they come to visit, they often stay for a couple of nights. We had originally planned for the boys to share a room, leaving us a spare in the house, and we could have continued this way, but this was never our preference and when the opportunity arose, we found a house that could give us a lot more flexibility.
We have also discussed the option of our parents living with us one day so with this move we aim to future proof family living, something that just wouldn’t have been possible at our previous home.
It took us the best part of 11 months to complete on our new home. This was due to a number of factors; the pandemic, complications in retrospective planning and a complex chain. However, when we got to the end it was a mad rush! Christmas was fast approaching, there were some complications within the chain and there was a lack of available removal companies hence we ended up moving ourselves.
We hired a van and the vendors of our new house were kind enough to let us move a number of items before completion day. As the new house was not far away we were able to relay back and forwards on the day of the move. This was VERY HARD WORK but necessary in order to help the chain come together without causing further complications or delays.
I can confirm we will not be moving ourselves again…!
We first viewed the house in January 2020. It is far from a traditional set up and takes some imagination to get your head around the potential.
As you will see from the existing floorpan below, the house consists of 3 individual dwellings (a 4 bed, a 3 bed and a 2 bed), all with their own kitchens and central heating. These are centred around an “entertainment area” as described in the floorpan but we call this “the barn”. There is a substantial garage, outbuildings and a studio in the orchard.
The house was originally an old barn (the steel framed type) and was used for goat farming in the early 90’s. It is very ‘blocky’ in design and requires some creative thinking – both internally and externally – to make it a little more attractive. Here are some images of the house and land which were kindly shared with us by the previous owners.
Below is how the house looks now. I took this image when we had a covering of snow, January 2021.
The house is vast inside and requires a lot of thought on how to best reconfigure the spaces, flow and natural light. We intend to keep a multiple dwelling concept as this will be great if/when our extended family come to live with us but we hope to create a larger main part of the house – the bit that we live in.
As for the outside, we need to give this house some curb appeal! We will never make it a conventional looking house. I think we would be wrong in doing so. We very much plan to embrace its ambiguous appearance and lean towards more Scandinavian design concepts.
To give you a flavour of what we are thinking, here is a mood board of our intentions;
In the short term, I am busy with my paintbrush and roller just to make it feel a bit more ‘us’ whilst we continue to formulate our ideas. As the journey develops – and I hope you will join us for ride – I will continue to share our thoughts, ideas, concepts and vision for what we hope to develop over the next few years.
Just A Little Build is evolving and this one may not be so ‘little’ anymore! But I hope it will be just as enjoyable and provide inspiration and ideas for all you home renovators, no matter how big or small your project.
Stay tuned and watch this space…!