5 Must-Haves Buying Our First Home

HOME RENOVATION

I recently posted a list of things that I would want a new house to have if we were to move again and it got me thinking back to the must haves that I wanted our now house to include. We were first time buyers so had a lot to learn (we still do) and we were set on a certain radius as we wanted to be close to family and friends. This in itself narrows the options down a fair bit as in a suburban area with a budget we find ourself set within limitations. We just had to find the diamond in the rough so to speak. or even better: the worst house on the best street. Even with certain limitations there were still compromises I wouldn’t make and I thought I would jot them down.

If we hadn’t have found the right house we were in a comfortable position renting a nice cottage and simply wouldn’t have moved at the time but kept looking. We simply wanted to start putting money into our own house and we were in a position to do so. When we moved in our house needed quite a lot of work so I’ve added some pictures to give you a feel of what it was like after just after we’d started but more on that later.

A Garden. We knew we were going to get a dog as soon as we moved in so a reasonable size garden was a must. We hit the jackpot when we bought our house as the garden is a good size and south facing. We haven’t done much to the garden since moving in and we keep saying ‘next year’ and one year will be the right time but for now the majority of it is laid to lawn with an apple tree. (The apples get given to friends and family to make pies – have you seen me bake?)

A Hallway. Another item on my wish list was a hallway so that we wouldn’t be walking straight into the living room. For me I like to get in and have somewhere to take my coat off and have a little buffer to pick up the dirt before heading into the rest of the house. Saying this we don’t take our shoes off when getting in the house and used the back door leading straight into the kitchen for 3 and a half years of the 5 so this point did fall a little to the wayside but I still appreciate having a hallway.

A Project House. Yep it had to be a do-er upper. I wanted a renovation project and boy did we get one. Some times have been harder than others and it’s not cheap but when you stand back from a room and see the changes that you’ve made (with help of course) and know that you’ve learnt new skills doing so, well, I love that feeling. When we need a tradesperson to do a particular job I don’t mind getting quotes and enjoy knowing I’ve done the research to getting the best quote – and quality. I may be weird but I would do it time and time again without hesitation and if anything you can only get better at things you repeat right?

Off street parking. This one doesn’t need much explaining. I wanted to park in front of my house, who doesn’t.

A Good Location. After all it’s all about the location. I know it sound cheesy or cliche or whatever but when we saw our house, we knew. We were only driving round and had 2-3 more to check out afterwards but after seeing one other from the outside I didn’t want to see anymore. I just wanted to get that one, our house now. It was in a quiet location but close to amenities and was the worst house on the best street due to the work that needed doing to it. It was in a good location in regards to family and work and automatically I had set my heart on it. Something I wouldn’t recommend but do we ever follow our own advice? No. Exactly.

Now, call me spoilt or call it simply impossible but if we were to buy again I would want the same as above ADDED ON to the list of things I recently wrote about in my future home post. Compromise? Pffft.

Bedroom Renovation: Update 2 and Wishlist

Bedroom Renovation, HOME RENOVATION

We have a change of plan! What ever project went from start to finish without those words being uttered? Not one in our house that’s for sure. The bedroom renovation has been ongoing since the start of winter last year. It was a BIG job and then well, lockdown, so it has taken much longer than anticipated. But with a new month comes a new (finished) room.

There is still plenty that we need for the bedroom. Matching bedding is one of them. Because we have dusky sage green feature walls on both sides and then plain white walls I think going for white, creams and natural shades will make the room feel relaxed and comfortable. After a recent conversation with my mum we discussed how quality bedding, even when washed multiple times, can still stay in great condition. This is why I’m not worried about spending that little extra on a couple of good sets. We’re also slowly teaching Mia, at 5 years old, she’s not allowed on the new bed. It will be higher than our old one and with the change in room (back into the master bedroom) she will notice the difference and the change in rules. If not I guess I’ll have to get a throw!

As I mentioned it is a whole new bed we have had. That means we’re going to need a new mattress. The duvet came with the bed so no new one there and we recently purchased new pillows. The bed we’ve had is an ottoman style (to hold those extra sheets and throws I’ll be buying) and has sage green fabric finish. This will hopefully look great next to the sage feature wall although I haven’t actually seen these up close together yet as the bed is still in the packaging. Talk about leaving things until the last minute.

We already have bedside tables which I purchased from Ikea. I love the Hemnes range and wanted these bedside tables for months not knowing if they would fit but when I spotted them in bargain corner for £35 each I had to snap them up. Our previous bedroom was white and grey and I don’t think our grey lamps will look great against the green wall so new ones will have to be found sticking with the natural tones and nothing too big.

The wardrobe is one of the complications that has slowed the bedroom project from finishing. We were hoping to get fitted wardrobes in the alcoves of the room however due to the lockdown delay and the subsequent delays from this we had to change the plan – shock! I spent way too much time trying to pick a wardrobe but a conclusion was finally found in the form of my old wardrobe at my parents house. This saves us a good deal of money which always makes me happy during a DIY project.

Now all of the decisions have been made I can’t wait for it to now come to fruition. I’ll be taking plenty of images of the bedroom as it slowly starts coming together and I am sure I will find a couple more bits to add to the room so feel free to keep up to date over on Instagram @lorenjessica_ and say hello!

Home Renovation: Gravelling the Driveway

Garden Projects, HOME RENOVATION

Ourselves. Thats right. We are gravelling the driveway ourselves. If I would have known how heavy gravel *actually* was I may have reconsidered this choice. Yes I know we ordered 4 x 850kg bags of rock however I think I was so caught up in the end result that I forgot about raking and moving it. We also believed naively that we would be able to cut the bags as they came off the truck and the truck would be able to empty them in the middle of the driveway but nope. On delivery the bags actually get placed on the edge of the driveway so that the gravel gets scooped out. I am leaving that sentence there as a strong reminder in case I think about doing the same at another house. Even my husband who is no stranger to a little heavy work said that it is in fact, good graft.

On top of the gravel delivery I also purchased some flowers to line the outer border that I wanted to leave in as a bit of decor and bark to lay on top. I now can’t wait for each plant to grow to really fill it out in the purple shades I have chosen.

If you want to see a little more (and how much we underestimated the gravel quantity!) check out the DRIVEWAY RENOVATION VLOG below.

Any questions leave a comment or get in touch over on Instagram @lorenjessica_