The extension

The extension

We bought our current house when Oscar had just turned 1. We knew we wanted more children and the two-bedroom house we were in was not really a family home. We were planning to have one more child, so we bought a reasonably sized 3 bed, not that far away from our first home. It was close to my parents, we had made lots of friends in the area, the schools were good and perhaps most importantly, the local pub was good!

The house was pretty dated inside, so we did a bit of redecorating to make it more our style. We even painted our spare room a lovely pale green so that it would suit any new arrival that might come along…


Just over a year after we moved in, we were delighted to find out that I was pregnant again. However, a few weeks later our life became a little more unpredictable – we discovered that we were expecting twins!

I am a planner, so it took me a while to get used to the news (I still sometimes can’t actually believe we have twins!). I’m quite practical, so I soon began to think about our house. Whilst it would be fine initially, I knew that in the long term I wanted each of my children to be able to have their own room.

A few months after the twins were born we put our house on the market and began looking for somewhere bigger. We wanted to stay in the same area, but because the schools are so good larger family homes just don’t seem to go on the ‘market’. After a couple of months we started talking about having an extension. We had a few architects round, had some plans drawn up, got planning permission (eventually) and got quotes from a few builders. It all ran pretty smoothly, we selected a builder, checked his references, remortgaged our house and work began in January 2014, just before the twins turned 1.

Everything seemed to be going well, until we got to May. We realised that we were getting close to reaching the amount we’d been quoted for the build and yet we were no where near finishing! The builder reassured us that it was all fine. However, we took the decision to not pay them their next instalment until we thought that the build was back on track and would be completed within budget. The builder left the site! We had £5,000 left of our budget and lots to finish. Below shows what our house looked like when the builder left.

The following couple of months were horrendous. We were living in a building site with three small children, we didn’t have a limitless budget to get the work finished and me and Simon argued – a lot!

We decided to take out a loan and fortunately we were able to borrow from  our parents. Luckily we have a few family and friends who work in various trades, and they thankfully agreed to help us. The only downside was that during our weekends the house was full of worksmen for months on end. It was a nightmare, but at least some progress was being made and by July things started moving again.

Although work was slow and it felt never ending at the time, by October we seemed to be getting there. Our gorgeous new kitchen/diner was finished, the new extension meant we now had a large utility and downstairs toilet and what used to be our garage, which was towards the back of the house was now connecting to the house creating a large playroom and sitting area, which we call the ‘snug’. Do you fancy a peek..?

One of my favourite things in our house – our handprints! We had it done when we were at Center Parcs. The twins were only 5 weeks old.

Our utility room, which is home to our super duper large washer and dryer – these two make my life so much easier!

My £6 bargain from Home Bargains!

Finally a downstairs toilet!

Our ‘snug’. We still need to add to this as I think it needs another chair or perhaps a footstool? What do you think?

 My favourite photo of Oscar. He was 6 months old when this was taken.

Our playroom. Finally we could move everything out of our lounge! I wanted it to be very bright and colourful, so we went for a lime green carpet and I love this button rug from Ikea. Admittedly our playroom is still a bit of a work in progress. I need to buy some more storage units – I’ve got my eye of the Stuva range from Ikea. I’ve also been pinning lots of ideas on my Pinterest board, which you can check out here


As part of the extension we also had two new bedrooms, which I promise to show you in another post. Along with new windows at the front of the house (I hated the diamond leading we had) and a slight large entrance hall with a new front door.

So, although last year was pretty horrid at time, it was completely worth it. I love out new house, particularly our kitchen/diner area, which is so prefect for our family and is also the perfect space for entertaining friends.

I hope you like it. I’d love to hear what you think…

J xx

Home Etc


  1. Cheryl Willey
    16th April 2015 / 8:03 pm

    Oh crikey Jemma, I can't believe your builders walked out! I can't imagine how stressful that must have been for you! It looks fabulous though and I love that kitchen diner. x

  2. jemma
    16th April 2015 / 8:10 pm

    Thanks Cheryl! It was a nightmare, but worth it all in the end! x

  3. Stephanie Robinson
    20th April 2015 / 11:51 am

    It looks great – building work (and decorating) is just so stressful isn't it? We had quite a bit of work done in 2013 and in the end asked the company to stop work as the finish was awful, it took us 6 weeks of being very determined to get them out of our house but that wasn't as stressful as having them here and definitely the right thing to do. You see programmes on the TV where people burst into tears and you think they're being daft, but in 2013 I had so much sympathy for those people. Enjoy your super looking house and try to forget the pain you went through to get there! #homecorner

    • jemma
      22nd April 2015 / 8:38 pm

      It was really stressful and there were certainly plenty of tears shed! Hope the work you had done was worth it too.
      Jemma x

  4. Caro Davies
    22nd April 2015 / 12:55 pm

    Aaah I LOVE a huge renovation project! We've done a few since we bought our first home! I keep meaning to find the photos out and put it on my blog! You've done a fab job!! 🙂

    Caro |

    • jemma
      22nd April 2015 / 8:39 pm

      Thank you Caro! I'd love to see your pics – get them on your blog!
      Jemma x

  5. 20th May 2015 / 9:54 pm

    Wow what a transformation and such an amazing space now! We had major work done too and it was so stressful – without the twins about then! You've created such an amazing and fantastic family home that will be so practical. It is perfect. Thanks for sharing, much appreciated. Jess x #HomeEtc

    • jemma
      25th May 2015 / 9:20 pm

      Thank you and thanks for hosting such a fab linky! x

  6. Caro Davies
    22nd May 2015 / 1:52 pm

    I've commented on this before!! I remember thinking what an amazing transformation it was!! Thanks so much for linking up with #HomeEtc x

    Caro |

  7. 31st August 2016 / 2:00 pm

    Oh my god that does sounds really stressful but it really is a beautiful space and you looks totally worth it. The finish is stunning. Glad it all worked out well in the end xx

    • jemma
      2nd September 2016 / 10:17 pm

      Thank you! Yes, really stressful, but so worth it! Jemma x

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