When J and I found out we were expecting twins, it’s no secret that I had a bit of mini breakdown. We were living in a small two bedroomed new(ish) build which I had bought prior to getting married. The first owner of the home had quite eclectic taste and so we had spent a lot of our savings and wedding money turning it from the rainbow house, into a calm neutral and modern space. We had just completed the inside renovations that summer and had started working on the garden when found out I wasn’t just growing one but two babies.
Whilst I loved my little house, it was tiny and could barely fit the two of us in let alone four. So we made the decision to sell up and rent my Nana’s old home off my parents. It was desperately in need of renovating and lots of repairs so given that J works in building restoration for insurance companies, he took on the task of getting it back up to scratch with a very small budget.
We got the keys in the February and the house was pretty much liveable again by April. I’ll have to try and find the floor plans but we knocked down the separate toilet to create a big bathroom and rebuilt the wall so the bathroom included a huge airing cupboard. It was the only change we made to the structure but it made a massive difference.
At the front of the house we have a boot room/porch – this used to house a freezer and washing machine but I wanted lots of space for shoes and my pushchair. So we turned the adjoining old coal house into a utility room which is brilliant because my noisy tumble dryer is on pretty much 24/7. The porch room I painted with Dulux Egyptian Cotton to keep the space really bright and airy, then I painted the door to the new utility with chalkboard paint – the house is really quirky in it’s own way, everything’s a little off and I wanted something a little different. Plus the girls love it now they’re older.
We did a massive strip out inside the house, all flooring, skirting cabinets and plaster was ripped out and replaced after drying the property out. J specialises in drying homes luckily so he stuck a couple of industrial dehumidifiers in and got on with it.
All interior doors were replaced from nasty brown 70’s laminate ones to light pine and I opted for glass ones in the kitchen and living room which lit up the dark long corridor. As we knew we weren’t going to be living here forever we followed through from the porch into the corridor, bathroom, main bedroom and kitchen with Egyptian Cotton.
I always get loads of questions about my kitchen but other than requesting a shaker style – I didn’t have too much input here. Partly because at this point I was ill with the twins and also because my Mum made the calls as it would become her kitchen when we moved out. I love it – but the choices perhaps exactly aren’t what I would have gone for.
In the living room, we drilled out the giant stone fireplace/cabinets and left the space ready for a wood burner to potentially be installed. We opted to put an electric lookalike in as a temporary measure because we have a windmill on the farm which produces our electric so wanted to save some pennies. I went with Farrow and Ball Stiffkey Blue for the chimney breast and used left over Dulux for the main walls. We have a very small old conservatory attached to the living room and the plan was to have this re-done in the future but bigger. I’m not a big fan of the conservatory but it serves a purpose as a playroom now and keeps all the girls toys out of the way. We painted the two rear walls in stiffkey blue to carry on from the living room and provided I don’t look at the brown plastic… I don’t think it looks too bad.
Finally we painted Edie and Mabel’s room Dulux Blush Pink, it’s a really light and airy but still warm colour which was exactly what I wanted for them.
A lot of our choices were made because we were bringing the property up to date and we always had in mind we wouldn’t be staying here for a long time – though I did think it was going to be for a little while longer than this. However shortly before Christmas, we spotted a detached 1930s style property in the town where we wanted to move to. It had dropped in price and was exactly on the route to J’s office, my workplace and half way between our two families.
Initially we went to view it so we could put it out of our minds and forget about it… but that never works does it? A couple of weeks after whilst in the midst of Christmas shopping in Newcastle, we got the call to say our offer had been accepted and just like that we were moving! Completion should be around the end of this month so it’s getting really exciting now and I’ve gone a bit mad on Pinterest. However there’s lots to do on the building side of things before I can even think about decorating. We’re looking at insulation, cladding, new windows and doors as well as restoring all the original features which have sadly been stripped out. Not to mention safety systems which after our burglary are one of my top priorities.
Since I broke the news on Instagram, I’ve had a couple of cocky comments from people saying good luck to me moving with twin toddlers. Thankfully given that we rent off my parents at the moment, hopefully the switchover between the two houses won’t be as painful as these people seem to wish on me and I’m actually really looking forward to it.