James and Carolyn’s semi-detached home in Chorlton is in need of both an extension and upstairs renovation. This is to maximise and increase the living existing space and storage, while creating a modern and welcoming series of functional rooms that suit the entire family’s needs.
The couple’s wish list includes converting the kitchen to make way for a multi-purpose, open plan living, sitting and dining area where the family can come together and socialise. Keen for some fresh ideas to help realise their domestic ambitions, James and Carolyn turned to Magda at Pride Road and embarked on one of her sought after Concept Design Workshops.
Following a tour of their home, Magda sat down with James and Carolyn to discuss the existing layout and the main issues surrounding the property before going on to visually explore the myriad solutions available to them. In an ideal scenario, the pair wishes to implement a retrofit on the house to make it better. Undertaking our workshop means that they will be able to clearly see which upgrades are possible and which simply are not. This could, for example, include carrying new building work while improving the existing windows and insulation, all with the help of specialist advice.
This will ultimately assist James and Carolyn in being able to first examine the costs for each option before making a final decision and going to their builder of choice, all while sticking to budget.
The ground floor of this already extended property includes a rear kitchen and adjoining porch that leads into the garden, a main living room, front room, downstairs toilet and utility room. The danger in extending the ground floor is overshadowing the neighbour’s land, so a long, large rear extension to the back of the house is not an option.
The first floor comprises four large bedrooms, a spacious hallway and a bathroom. One of the main issues raised is that the one bathroom, shared by the entire family, is too small and has no shower. There current layout and functionality of the bedrooms is impractical, with James and Carolyn both craving designated work spaces that do not overlap.
Other pain points include a hallway that lacks storage because of a radiator positioned in the middle of the wall. Indeed, increased storage throughout the home is needed, especially where there are empty, unused walls. A loft conversion for said storage would prove impossible as the roof is pitched with no room for a staircase.
The kitchen is dark and long and cannot accommodate a large table, seating four to six people maximum, rather than the couple’s preferred eight to 10, perfect for family gatherings.
The kitchen and living room are separate, meaning the family struggles to relax together and feels the space is lacking in natural light due to being overshadowed by the existing extension, which renders the patio doors ineffectual. We happen to know lots of ways to help you maximise your kitchen space.
The utility room extension at the back of the house is overshadowed and forgotten about and the rear porch extension blocks the view of the garden from the kitchen.
Overall, there are pockets of the house that are unloved and Magda felt they could be updated and made useful to ensure, going forward, that the family is satisfied with their home.
Magda drew up an impressive selection of ideas to extend, renovate and improve the first and ground floor living spaces
All plans are to scale
First off all, we considered a quick fix solution and this was to squeeze a new shower into the existing bathroom, which already included a bathtub, washbasin and toilet.
We also attempted to manipulate the large space in the existing landing to increase the overall size of the bathroom, which is on the small side.
We assessed the current location of the bedrooms and introduced a larger master bedroom at the rear of the property by cleverly moving one of the internal walls.
We went on to equalise the size of two other adjoining bedrooms so that the couple’s daughters would have rooms of a similar size, thus eliminating the chances of sibling squabbles.
The fourth and final bedroom would be divided and reserved as an office for James and an artwork storage space for Carolyn. The beauty of this option is that the room could easily be turned back into a bedroom, should the need arise.
Here, we looked at incorporating a small step feature into the extension design’s rear elevation that would follow a similar step that runs along the length of the neighbour’s fence. James and Carolyn then wanted to look at rearranging the rooms internally, by moving the sofas closer to the garden and pushing the dining room further back to accommodate a kitchen island.
However, a step was at odds with the couple’s request for a flush rear elevation and could lead to vital space going wasted and unused. This is why Magda went back to the drawing board, eager to come up with a solution that would perfectly suit the entire family’s needs.
We were struggling to ensure that none of the space inside the house would go to waste. In some respects, a rear extension was big enough and facilitated everything the family wanted. Equally, these additional proportions resulted in corridors and floorspace that were not completely necessary.
A side extension meant that we could create a single line flush with the rear elevation of the house. This option had no stepped feature that would ultimately eat into the garden and block out natural light. Instead, plenty of light would appear from the side elevation roof as well as from the windows in the wide rear elevation. Need inspiration? Try our handy tips for introducing more light into your home.
This meant we could locate all of the room functions, including kitchen, dining and living, in one large area at the rear of the property. This option came complete with extra storage and a kitchen island so that they family could prepare meals together using vegetables grown in their garden. We also took care to add attractive bi-fold patio doors that offered lovely views of the garden they all love so much. Look no further than here to find creative ways to extend your home.
Other areas we discussed included the hallway and access to the front room. We left James and Carolyn with the choice to either enter the front room from the hallway or the main living room.
For the former to happen, we downsized the downstairs toilet and shifted the entry to the kitchen so that the family could enjoy a wider and more welcoming main entrance to their home. We also repositioned the radiators to allow for a large bench in the hallway with storage underneath for shoes. Two small wardrobes on either side would be used for coats.
Depending on costs, the family could also opt to enter the front room via the main living room with a double glazed door separating the two. In this instance, we would allow for additional storage cupboards to be fitted underneath the staircase.
James and Carolyn were delighted to talk through all of our ideas, carefully examining the family’s lifestyle needs and what would best benefit them as a whole. The couple were very happy with the entire process behind our Concept Design Workshop.
We are always keen to listen to a family’s needs and subsequently attempt to tease them out in our design options. We made sure that James and Carolyn were able to adopt our ideas at their own pace to stay within budget, whether they wished to rebuild pockets of the house afresh or simply improve existing areas with a retrofit. If you need ideas on where to begin your renovation project, we have information about how to wisely invest in your home.
“We talked about what was and wasn’t working and some of our own ideas and that was a useful process. Even just discussing it with someone who knows what they’re doing and seeing their reaction makes you realise certain things you don’t want to do after all. That was really helpful to get our thoughts in order.
“The most useful part was when Magda was drawing out the different spaces and we were then discussing what she was drawing and that’s where the process is so unique. Instead of just discussing our brief and Magda going away and coming back later with ideas, it meant we could see something she had drawn and thought we wanted and then decide no.
“It’s really saved us time and allowed us to go through so many different options in the time we had. With the downstairs, we were looking at extending the back and weren’t interested in a side extension. Throughout the whole process I felt that has changed so we can have the configuration we want.
“Having constant interaction with the person as they are drawing means you can really come up with ideas that you just wouldn’t have thought could be done. When it happens organically because you said what you wanted and tried to make it work in one configuration is helpful. It’s been a really interesting day and we’ve got lots of pictures to look at and starting points for discussions so thank you very much.”
The next step is to obtain quotes from builders and compare the price options before settling on the best course of action. Our plans are hand drawn to scale so that both clients and builders can measure from them to get first cost estimates.
Would you like to change your house to create more space? Book a Pride Road Concept Design Workshop
“The most useful part was when Magda was drawing out the different spaces and we were then discussing what she was drawing and that’s where the process is so unique. Instead of just discussing our brief and Magda going away and coming back later with ideas, it meant we could see something she had drawn and thought we wanted and then decide no."
James and Carolyn
"It’s been a really interesting day and we’ve got lots of pictures to look at and starting points for discussions so thank you very much.”
"James and Carolyn were delighted to talk through all of our ideas, carefully examining the family’s lifestyle needs and what would best benefit them as a whole. The couple were very happy with the entire process behind our Concept Design Workshop."
"We are always keen to listen to a family’s needs and subsequently attempt to tease them out in our design options. We made sure that James and Carolyn were able to adopt our ideas at their own pace to stay within budget, whether they wished to rebuild pockets of the house afresh or simply improve existing areas with a retrofit."