We’ve been here for six weeks now and our architect have been working on the plans for the renovation and extension. We are almost there, I think, apart from a couple things such as window size and placement, particularly in the kitchen.
The main building work will take place at the back of the house. Here you can see Oliver, Ruby and Rose having a rare glimpse at the kitchen, which would have originally been the scullery (the wet area of a kitchen but also the place where water was heated and clothes were washed). Note the original red quarry tiles. Beyond you can see the breakfast room, which is where the kitchen and range cooker would have originally been. As this was built as space for the servants, all windows look out onto the side, rather than the garden. Our challenge is to incorporate these servant areas into a more modern, family-friendly scheme.
Just outside are the coal store and the original toilet for the servants. We will be building into this outdoor space. Our plans are to reconfigure these areas to create a new kitchen, utility/laundry room, walk-in pantry and a toilet. We are hoping that our budget will also mean we can build a sunroom leading out into the garden. During the planning process this sunroom got bigger and bigger until it was a massive family room attached to the kitchen, and the breakfast room became a “snug” for watching TV in front of the fire. When we did some sums about building costs we soon shrunk the extension down again! We figured that we wanted some money to renovate the rest of the house, plus we already had a breakfast room, formal dining room and a sitting room, so it was getting a bit excessive to have a snug and a family room too.
This is a 3D view of the plans from the breakfast room. Oliver, or is it Ruby, is sitting next to the door into the walk-in pantry, which is currently the back door out of the kitchen. We are leaving the large original sash window in place rather than blocking it off. We are doing this for two reasons. First, we don’t want to interfere too much with the original fabric of the building. Secondly, it will allow extra light into the breakfast room as we will have some sort of patterned etched glass inserted, which will allow light from a skylight in the pantry to come through.
You can see in this picture how much light that window lets into the breakfast room, so we didn’t want to block it off completely. This way we also save an original feature – the sash window. The door through into the kitchen will all be opened up like you can see in the 3D. The door on the far right will remain, as that leads to the servants’ back staircase and rooms above.
You will then move into the kitchen. To the left is another door, which will lead into the utility room and toilet. The figure is standing where the current stone larder is. Beyond this, budget permitting, will be the sunroom. If we can’t afford to do it now, the beauty of this plan is that we can add it later. There are windows and doors now leading into the garden and also the courtyard outside the dining room.
This is the plan for the back of the house – the room labeled “dining area” is the “breakfast room”, everything else is labeled correctly. The one issue we can’t get around is that there is still a bit of a walk from the kitchen to the formal Dining Room, which really will only be used for entertaining. Putting a door from the kitchen into the dining room courtyard adjacent to the current dining room french doors will bring it together as much as we can – in summer you will just be able to pop out one door, into the courtyard and then into the other room. We had considered building out from the dining room instead but there was going to be issues with light in that room, plus all sorts of added problems because we would be building on the boundary of our land where it meets the neighbours.
We are really happy with the plans and are hoping that we will be going to tender for builders some time in November!