Creating a stylish and family friendly home for you and your children

This is a sponsored post, but views are mine

Since we moved into our house six years ago, it seems to have been a never-ending mission to work our way around each room, decorating them to our style. And we’re still not done!

We’ve gone through temporary measures like repainting an old green bath until we’d saved for a new bathroom, and making do with a washing machine in the shed, to getting our kitchen of dreams, and replacing garish carpet with modern laminate flooring*.

I’d insisted we bought an old house because I wanted a home with original features, and after looking at 12 other houses, we found our dream three-bedroom home – yes, we bought house number 13! We’ve since come to realise that with an old home come the now-predictable sighs of “this wall isn’t straight”, “this door frame isn’t  standard size” etc from workmen, but it’s worth it to have nice touches like ceiling roses and picture rails, which a new build would be lacking.

The first couple of years were spent doing the boring, but necessary, jobs like plastering the side wall and having double glazing put in. The expensive jobs, but things that needed to be done before we could start on the nicer parts of making our house a home.

We’d just had our avocado green bathroom ripped out and replaced with a shiny white roll-top bath and metro tiles – finally finished on Christmas Eve! – when renovations were put on hold for our first son to be born. There’s enough going on looking after a newborn, without thinking about coordinating electricians, plumbers etc to get things done. It took two years – and a second pregnancy – before we took on another big task – the kitchen. We decided to create more space by moving our kitchen from the smallest room at the back of the house, to the room we were using as a dining room to make the best use of space.

With a two-year-old and another baby on the way, all of a sudden our design plans became focussed on child-friendly options, and a kitchen that we could fit our family life around. My specifications to the first designer who came was for a “wipe clean kitchen”. It might sound daft, but I needed something that didn’t have fiddly corners, worktops that needed special attention, or a floor that would need constant mopping.

Oh, but it was very important that it looked nice while being practical!

The kitchen units were easy enough once we’d settled on the layout – a u-shape with a breakfast bar.  We chose cupboard doors that had a traditional moulded shape, but in a modern grey, a granite worktop which couldn’t be marked or dented by unruly children, and yellow dining chairs to add a pop of colour.

One of our big considerations was what sort of flooring to put down. When we bought the house, we swiftly took up the red patterned carpet in the dining room and sanded the floorboards. This worked well for the playroom, living room and bedrooms, but wasn’t an option for the kitchen. There would be bits of food between the boards and it was impossible to sweep because the wood was uneven.

We decided on laminate flooring to give the room a sleek, modern look, with the bonus of being super easy to clean! I have to admit, I was nervous about covering up wood with laminate as I’ve never had it before, but we’ve had so many compliments on how it looks – and keeping it clean is as easy as a quick sweep at the end of the day.

We loved it so much, that a couple of months later we took some more old carpet up in the hall and laid the same dark grey laminate flooring down. The flooring flows from the porch door right through to the utility room now, and looks much neater than the old carpet leading onto the wonky floorboards!

Next on our list of rooms to finish is the living room, which so far we’ve painted a lovely pale pink, and then we’ll be moving onto our littlest boy’s bedroom … house renovating is endless!

*This is a sponsored post, but all views are my own

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