Things May Have Got Just A Little Bit Bigger…!

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 existing floorpan

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…!

SJ x



  1. Mairead Griffin
    February 24, 2021 / 7:12 pm

    Lots of lucky ! Can’t wait to follow you on this journey!
    Mairead x

  2. Sally Williams
    February 24, 2021 / 7:14 pm

    Lovely to see your blog and what you’re thinking of doing with your fabulous new home. Can’t wait to see it develop 🥰🥰

  3. Sam nash
    February 24, 2021 / 7:16 pm

    Amazing opportunity , your mood board looks fantastic … can’t wait to see what you do with it !!! Good luck

  4. Gemma Parsons
    February 24, 2021 / 7:16 pm

    Can’t wait to see what you do with the new house xxx

  5. lesovitch
    February 24, 2021 / 7:18 pm

    It’s going to be so exciting! The house is in such a stunning location and with your vision, and careful considerations will be simply amazing! Awfully hard work of course and not
    something many people would be able to take on, but you certainly can!

  6. Tracey Brown
    February 24, 2021 / 7:20 pm

    What a wonderful opportunity to own and develop such a unique property! Your children will have an amazing time growing up there. Imagine the weddings in the grounds! Haha I will be watching with great interest SJ x

  7. Gemma
    February 24, 2021 / 7:22 pm

    It all looks so exciting! What vision you have. Can’t wait to see the journey. Thanks for taking us along x

  8. Leah
    February 24, 2021 / 7:27 pm

    Wow! I can’t wait to see what you do and follow the progress. That picture of you and Matt sums up the road you’ve been on ecstatic, exhausting and emotional. Hope you will all be happy in your new home xx

  9. Ann-Marie Campbell
    February 24, 2021 / 7:27 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I am so excited to watch the next project unfold. With your attention to detail, I can only imagine that the not such a little build, will be truly amazing! Best of luck & looking forward to watching the next stage X

  10. Laura
    February 24, 2021 / 7:28 pm

    Wow what an exciting adventure awaiting you all. Look forward to following your progress xx

  11. Mifi
    February 24, 2021 / 7:28 pm

    Exciting times ahead and no doubt it will be fabulous when completed.

  12. Janet Taylor
    February 24, 2021 / 7:28 pm

    Can’t wait to see how it progresses ⭐️⭐️

  13. Kate fisher
    February 24, 2021 / 7:31 pm

    What a fab blog ! So excited to follow your journey xx

  14. Jackie
    February 24, 2021 / 7:34 pm

    Looking forward to seeing your ideas become a reality.

  15. Lisa
    February 24, 2021 / 7:35 pm

    All very exciting! Looking forward to the journey! Xx

  16. Clair
    February 24, 2021 / 7:36 pm

    How exciting, looking forward to following along on your new project 💕

  17. Paula Grainger
    February 24, 2021 / 7:37 pm

    Can’t wait to follow along with all of the changes! The painting that you’ve done looks great!

  18. Sara Jane
    February 24, 2021 / 7:39 pm

    What a great property! Can’t wait to follow along on the journey. Love your posts!!

  19. Sam
    February 24, 2021 / 7:41 pm

    WOW very exciting! Can’t wait to see what you do with it

  20. Hilary
    February 24, 2021 / 7:49 pm

    Wow what an adventure you are going to have, I loved your old house it was beautiful, I wish you and your family every happiness in your new home. I’m so excited to see the transformation and the beautiful home you will create.

  21. Nicola
    February 24, 2021 / 7:49 pm

    Amazing project! So much potential but so much work. It’ll be worth it though

  22. Kelly
    February 24, 2021 / 7:52 pm

    What a fantastic project and adventure awaits you, thank you for letting us join you on the way! Cannot wait to see what is to come xx

  23. February 24, 2021 / 7:53 pm

    Wow is all i can say! Your vision for such an amazing space looks fabulous. Good for you, its going to be incredible. Should get on Grand Designs with this one SJ!

  24. Jenny Brown
    February 24, 2021 / 7:55 pm

    Location location location and what a fabulous location. Look forward to following the exciting developments and all your beautiful plans and creations.

  25. Kirsty knight
    February 24, 2021 / 7:57 pm

    Lovely blog 🥰 thank you for sharing, so looking forward to following your journey 😃xx

  26. Lesley
    February 24, 2021 / 7:57 pm

    Can’t wait to follow your journey, loving the blog x

  27. Amanda
    February 24, 2021 / 8:00 pm

    Fantastic project- I can’t wait to watch it evolve. I bet it will be fab

  28. WaiYee P
    February 24, 2021 / 8:09 pm

    Congratulations! Very exciting chapter for you all! I’m very much looking forward to seeing this new chapter unfold 😊

  29. Anne Andrews
    February 24, 2021 / 8:11 pm

    Really enjoyed this article SJ. I just know it is going to be amazing with your flair for design. It sounds like an absolute dream. Your 3 children could have their weddings there. You could have parties like no one else. Both yours and Matts parents must be thrilled to know you are considering them even if they never need it. Best of luck with the enormous project but no one better than yourself and Matt to take it on. Keep those photos coming please.

  30. Jo Cornish
    February 24, 2021 / 8:15 pm

    Can’t wait to see how you transform this amazing space into a wonderful family home. Your blogs and posts are very inspiring. Looking forward to sharing your journey. xx

  31. Fiona Wallace
    February 24, 2021 / 8:20 pm

    I know it’s going to be amazing and can’t wait to come on the ride with you . You should get a TV company to film this – Grand Designs type programme!

  32. Sharon Wheeler
    February 24, 2021 / 8:24 pm

    Exciting times SJ I do love a project we have been in ours 5 years and still ongoing x

  33. Karen Binstead
    February 24, 2021 / 8:26 pm

    Thank you for sharing your exciting journey, I really admire you leaving a lovely home which you made together however seeing potential in another property and looking to the future for your family, really looking forward to seeing your plans unfold, good luck xxxx ❤️❤️❤️

  34. Gill
    February 24, 2021 / 8:26 pm

    Good luck with this new project, what a great space to put your mark on. It will be an exciting project and know you are going to have some great ideas .

  35. Kathryn
    February 24, 2021 / 9:12 pm

    I can absolutely see the magnificent potential this opportunity can deliver and cannot wait to see how it develops. The views are, undeniably fabulous and the whole Scandinavian vibe which you might pursue with regards to design will be incredible for this plot. Thank you for sharing your journey. I am in no doubt that the destination will be remarkable.

  36. Michelle Mc Manus
    February 24, 2021 / 9:15 pm

    Wow SJ, thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to see how this “goat shed” is upcycled😂. I’ve no doubt it’ll be fabulous xx

  37. Edel
    February 24, 2021 / 9:23 pm

    Looks amazing best of luck and enjoy

  38. Amanda
    February 24, 2021 / 9:32 pm

    Looks fantastic SJ, thank you for sharing, love your updates on the house and always look forward to it all coming together, the mood board looks amazing!

  39. Emma
    February 24, 2021 / 9:34 pm

    Can’t wait to follow your new adventure, I’m sure it’s gonna be amazing

  40. V
    February 24, 2021 / 9:41 pm

    Best wishes in your new home. I’m sure it will be amazing

    February 24, 2021 / 9:46 pm

    Wow, this is going to be fantastic. I can’t wait to come on this journey with ye, I’m loving your mood boards already 😍

  42. Natalie Dugard
    February 24, 2021 / 9:58 pm

    Absolutely love following you and can not wait to see the renovations on your new home 🏡 x x

  43. Debbie Jones
    February 24, 2021 / 10:42 pm

    So exciting SJ, so pleased for you all and can’t wait to see this project evolve! Good Luck and Best Wishes X

  44. Dervilla Goulding
    February 24, 2021 / 10:56 pm

    Wow, this build is going to be amazing. Looking forward to following your journey & the best of luck.

  45. Jill
    February 24, 2021 / 11:00 pm

    Wow what an opportunity and if anyone can make the most of this project then it’s you! Good luck and I’ll enjoy following the transition xx

  46. Cliona
    February 24, 2021 / 11:01 pm

    Loving that you shared this! I cannot wait to see how it evolves. It’ll be amazing 🤩

  47. Kate Hands
    February 24, 2021 / 11:09 pm

    Looking forward to see how your journey unfolds. Good luck SJ

  48. Sharon
    February 24, 2021 / 11:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing SJ, if will be amazing! Loving your ideas already! Best of luck! xx

  49. Carol x
    February 24, 2021 / 11:33 pm

    How exciting! Looking forward to seeing your journey. Your views are stunning x

  50. Kerry
    February 25, 2021 / 7:54 am

    I loved your old house but can totally see why you have moved to your new house. It will be amazing when you have worked your magic. Looking forward to seeing the transformation x

  51. Emma
    February 25, 2021 / 8:05 am

    Amazing project – there is nothing more exciting than the start of a new renovation! Wishing you lots of luck and can’t wait to see how it all comes together xx

  52. Deborah Mcgregor
    February 25, 2021 / 8:07 am

    Lovely blog, congratulations to you all on your new home, looking forward to seeing you transform this amazing space,good luck 😊🏡xx

  53. Lou
    February 25, 2021 / 8:30 am

    I’m so excited your sharing this journey with us I love a renovation. Love the mood board it’s going to be not only beautiful but a beautiful space for you and your family. X

  54. Lydia
    February 25, 2021 / 11:42 am

    Loved reading this, you have a fantastic eye for design and loads of vision! Loads of luck on this project- can’t wait to see the progress x

  55. Helen (
    February 25, 2021 / 12:31 pm

    Thank you for sharing your future plans SJ, I can’t wait to see it along the way xxx

  56. Lucy
    February 25, 2021 / 1:14 pm

    So exciting – can’t wait to see what you do with the place! x Can sympathise on the moving front – it’s been 18 months, 2 lost purchases, 2 collapsed chains and 5 months living with my parents for us since we started the process and we still aren’t in our new home 🙁

  57. Louise
    February 25, 2021 / 5:05 pm

    Wow… look forward to see you turning this place around 🙌🏼

  58. Lisa Haynes
    February 25, 2021 / 5:44 pm

    How exciting! Cant wait to follow the adventure 😊

  59. Laura Grimwood
    February 25, 2021 / 6:11 pm

    Oh wow wow wow…this is going to be amazing. Can’t wait to see how you sprinkle your fabulous magic on this! Exciting!!

  60. Georgina Brown
    February 25, 2021 / 6:54 pm

    So exciting! I’m currently renovating an old cottage whilst building an extension for a holiday let! It’s non-stop and you’re always busy but its great to have challenges in life and have that drive to see what you can achieve. Can’t wait to watch your journey!

  61. Jane
    February 25, 2021 / 7:37 pm

    Lovely to read all about your move. Very much looking forward to seeing how everything progresses. The plans sound and look amazing. Good luck with everything x

  62. Melanie Heath
    February 25, 2021 / 7:43 pm

    Wow! This is such a big challenge but only you could pull this off… You have awesome taste it will be amazing in no time xx

  63. Helen Nicholls
    February 25, 2021 / 10:50 pm

    What dreams and plans!! So exciting! Looking forward to following you all on this journey ☺️Xx

  64. Amy Plaskett
    February 26, 2021 / 4:45 am

    Wow this is so exciting! We are potentially about to start our own big renovation project so I am really looking forward to following your journey, and seeing what you create here! I know you will make this unconventional house a stunning home ❤️
    I imagine it will be hard work, and that it was difficult for you to leave the last house you worked so hard on, but the potential here is incredible! And that’s super exciting!
    I love the idea of a central communal barn area, to retain a sense of the barn that was, but also to act as an anchor between the separate surrounding living spaces, to provide an internal space where scale is the wow factor, something which I think could be so useful (and more importantly so much fun!) with a young family, and visiting friends and family! Xx

  65. Linda
    February 27, 2021 / 3:11 pm

    I don’t doubt you will a fabulous job of this! The land and views are fabulous! I applaud your vision with the house and look forward to following the transformation

  66. Sara Barry
    February 28, 2021 / 9:04 am

    Wow what a fantastic opportunity! Love your inspiration ideas! Looking forward to following your journey. X

  67. June 3, 2021 / 2:48 pm

    So exciting! this build is going to be amazing. Love you ideas. Keep sharing more ideas.

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