We’re back! I love nothing better than having a nosey around people’s homes, don’t you? For this reason, I’m determined to feature a new home every month in 2019. I have a really eclectic mix lined up which I’m rather excited about.
If you’re a fan of modern, clean lines with a splash of colour, you will adore January’s featured home. The owner is Hayley from Devon Mama and she’s kindly invited us in to take a quick peek….
Where do you live and who lives in your home?
I live with my husband, Dave, our two year old son, seven month old baby daughter and our chocolate lab, Bella. Our house is on the edge of a village here on the south coast of Devon, about a five minute walk from the woods and a ten minute drive from the beach.
We moved in just over four years ago and since then it’s been non-stop; we got married, had two kids and have given the whole house a makeover.
How would you describe your home style?
Simple, understated and a good balance between modern and classical. I feel like we’re still finding our style for our home, each room is evolving as we add the little touches to it.
What were the first impressions of your home?
Mixed. We completely gutted the first house that we bought together, spent two years doing it up and then, two days after we finished the last bit I got it valued ‘just to see’. A chance comment at work led to someone wanting to buy it and suddenly we were in the market to look for a new home!
This one was rather neglected at the start. The location was exactly what we wanted; five minutes away from our old house and around ten minutes from our workplace and both sets of parents. The house itself however, was a bit of a state. Despite being structurally sound, it desperately needed some TLC. The owners had died, it had been rented out and then left as the family weren’t local. The garden was incredibly overgrown at the rear and the decor was seventies through and through.
It had everything we wanted though; space, a private drive, a large garden and buckets of potential but, as the more sensible one of us, Dave had to a big leap of faith to see past the amount of work required. Within 48 hours of that original valuation we’d not only sold our house but had an offer accepted on this one. I like to think that means it was meant to be!
Have you had any major work done?
We have! We knew straight away that we wanted to create a larger, more open living space combining the kitchen with a dining area. It was something we’d put into our first home and going back to separate kitchen/dining/lounge rooms was an adjustment that we didn’t really like.
We knew we wanted a more communal living space, especially with a young family. That meant losing the conservatory off the back, building a large extension and removing some internal walls downstairs. The downstairs toilet moved to a new area, the dining room had changes to create a different entrance, we added an enclosed porch and most importantly created a large space that’s become the main part of the house.
It took the entire summer, cost a small fortune and meant we had to move out to live with my parents for ten weeks. At the time, with a one year old, it was incredibly stressful. Now it’s finished, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
Elsewhere, we’ve redecorated every single room in the house (goodbye retro carpets!) and finally, last spring we re-did the back garden to create a safe enclosed space for the kids and the dog to play. The day the digger came in to clear it was the first time we were able to truly see how big the garden is; such a change from the original jungle that we had to wade through on our original viewing.
What is your favourite room in the house?
I have two; the spare room and the kitchen/diner. I love the spare room for its calming vibe. With two small children the house is always full of clutter and noise. In the spare room, it’s not. It’s not used on a day to day basis so the piles haven’t crept in and I love to sneak into there for a moments peace and calm reflection.
On a more practical basis, I love our extension space. We have Velux windows to let in the light, an upward sloping ceiling which creates a real feeling of space and a wall of bi-fold doors looking out onto the garden. It’s bright, spacious and the heart of our home. The changes to the house have given us the opportunity to turn the old dining room into a playroom so the toys are all kept under control in there yet often spill out into the kitchen space during the day.
The room wraps itself around the entire downstairs and accesses the lounge in two places meaning you’re never far from anyone. It’s a very sociable, family friendly, warm space and we always get such wonderful comments on it when people enter the house; it’s very different to what you expect from the outside! Best of all, in the summer, we open the doors up and the garden blends effortlessly into our living space making it incredibly easy to combine indoor and outdoor living.
Is there anything that you would change about your home if you could?
If I was designing the house from scratch, I’d look at how the upstairs bedrooms are laid out. We had an architect out when we were planning our alterations and they commented on the back to front nature of the upstairs; three out of the four bedrooms are at the front with north facing windows. It’s not a big thing and thanks to a generous window on the landing and a large landing space, it’s still fairly light but I do miss sunshine in our bedrooms!
That and the sizes are a bit odd; there’s a lot of landing which helps create a feeling of space but I’d rather the bedrooms were a bit bigger. As it stands we have two decent doubles and two smaller rooms. We’ve adapted one to fit a small double in but the other room will only ever house a single which is a shame as there’s plenty of space if it had been laid out differently!
What is the next home project that we can look forward to seeing on your blog?
Currently our focus is on finishing off some of the rooms; the little bits here and there that pull a home together; a mirror here, a feature wall there, some bits and bobs on the shelves. The problem with doing a big makeover is that you spend all of your money on that and forget that the little bits suck both time and money!
Longer term, we’ve got stage two of our renovations to work on. When we put in planning permission, we were also granted the go ahead on building above the garage to create a master bedroom and ensuite. It’ll mean moving the bathroom into the single bedroom and putting substantial work into the garage as it’s currently only single skin.
As projects go, it’s another big one and we’re currently saving to get it done. That and psyching ourselves up for the mess and dust once again! The plus side is that it’ll give us a south facing bedroom (and balcony!) and turn our house into four double bedrooms with two bathrooms. I promised Dave that we would never move again and I think after this it’ll all be tiny projects. It’s our forever home so I know it’ll be constantly evolving and the list of things I want to do is endless; indoor and out.
Shop Hayley's Home Style
So there you have it, another gorgeous home. If anyone knows Hayley’s secret to keeping a beautifully clean and tidy home with 2 small children and a dog, please let me know!