• Emma Merry Styling

So you’re thinking about extending your house?



You’ve quite frankly had enough of bulging cupboards, limited options for furniture configuration meanwhile your huge patio is the perfect place to relocate the kitchen. Step two you call in your neighbours best friend who is a builder. He rocks up with his deep sighs, spouting phrases like

"you'll need a damp proof course", "it's not under permitted development". All the while muttering random financial figures.


What just happened??

You shut the front door and instantly start to feel overwhelmed," I have no idea what happened". subsequently, extension plans go on hold!. After 3 years of listening to builders spout jargon, I’m here to give you some tips on extension planning.


I would always recommend you have two professionals as part of your design and build team, before you reach the interior design stage. Firstly a good forward-thinking architect, I have a few that I would trust with my house, one of which is Kate @ loud architects’, it's her job to take care of the inspection stage, advise you on the legalities/permissions needed to create your dream space. The architect & structural engineer will create plans for the builder to physically build from.


We as your interior designer can use the technical plans to start spatially planning your new home extension and defining locations for all the new kitchen services.


Costs:

Work out as much detail as you can from the start, use these headers to get you started:

· Consultant fees – architects, Structural enginners designers

· Planning and legal fees – if needed

· Equipment hire – Scaffolding

· Demolition and disposal cost – skips

· Cost of building work – Labor

· Interior flooring – tiling, carpets, hardwood

· Fixtures and fittings – sockets switches

· Custom products – Roof glazing, gables

· Loss of income – having to rent a flat if the works will leave you without power

· Contingency – 15% on top of the existing budget


Planning the space

Know down all the walls, for all the space? ......Uhhhh no!

.

A real sense of openness can be generated without knocking down walls. Internal openings such as carefully considered internal windows and doors can reveal new slight lines into a room. A new vista that leads the eye from place to place while retaining a degree of separation from one room to the next.


My other favourite is to block up redundant doors ways, early 2000s saw a rise in open-plan living with kitchen diners becoming the norm. However, blocking up doorways can give you more wall space to play with on both sides of the divide. If looking at the kitchen for example this can make the difference between a practical working kitchen layout and one that falls short.


Removing the partition /stud wall in a hallway, sometimes will not gain you a huge amount of floor space but here it's worth considering the visual effect of losing the wall, it will again allow the eye to travel more freely around the space, making feel more spacious.


Another option could be half-height or wall partitioning’s these are also an invaluable way of highlighting a shift of activity from one room to the next, with natural light still in abundance.


Open plan living

With open plan living think about circulation patterns, if there is more than on doorway providing access to a room which one do you use the most? The lessor used doorway could be a candidate to be blocked up as motioned earlier. Do you prefer open planning layout?


Pros: - sociable spaces for a conversation with friends, alternatively at the other end of the spectrum perfect for young families, affords them the luxury to multi-task whilst keeping one eye on the children.


Cons: - These spaces can be noisy, not great if you have a teenager with a roaming iPad or a zoom call at the kitchen table. Heating these large open space again can be more expensive and take a longer period. When looking at open-plan living I would recommend underfloor hearing.


My parting advice with open plan living is to think about which activities can coexist happily together. In many homes, walls are either simple partitions that merely dive space or structural walls that hold up the house. You need to have clarity of which wall you are messing with before you start any works.



As always this can seem a little daunting and If you've read this far your probably feeling overwhelmed and I don't blame you as a studio we create on average 24 room designs every year and we learn something new every day.


This is why we are so proud to launch our new service the pre-build consultancy, we aim to highlight the potential pitfalls when undertaking a house extension /renovation before you start. Within this session, we examine the architect's plans, with a view to futureproofing your home. Focusing on how you will live in the space on a daily basis.

Our key objective is to ensure each room scheme works together with design continuity.

Once the session concludes we send you over a full video link to watch back at your leisure as the information comes thick and fast and we don't want you to miss a beat.


Head over to our services page and hit the contact us tab to book your session and get your project underway.


That’s all folks! I really hope you found the piece interesting, and as always I’m happy to answer any further questions you may have or head over to email – emma@EmmaMerryStyling.com. All images & mood board copyright are owned by Emma merry styling except where noted. Please make sure you credit and tag if you use them. Thank you. x

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