This week we have been recreating our kitchen as an actual useful space, rather than a shockingly badly designed hovel of a kitchen from hell as designed by the developers of our estate. That deserves a post all of its own – and it will get one! – but it has meant we’ve been rediscovering space in our home. First of all we had to move everything out of the kitchen and then, once things started to go back in, we discovered how much more storage and space use we got out of a better planned space. Things are able to move around the house more now that coats, shoes and waterproofs will be able to go into a proper area made suitable for them which means we will be able to divert other items into our smaller than normal under-stairs cupboard that has been holding spare shoes forever (do you even know how many pairs of shoes 7 people own (Fran alone has 18 pairs by the time you include the 14 pairs of dance and rugby hoof coverings) and reclaim our wardrobe.
Storage in a smallish home with a largish family is always a bit of a problem, especially if you have a hoarding mum who likes to have craft items for’ future use’ and baby clothes for memories tucked away. One of the things that makes it harder for us than most is that our otherwise fairs standard modern build house has no attic. It was one of the fairly early wave of new builds that converted loft space into living space, a second floor that holds bedrooms and a bathroom and leaves no hidey-hole for rubbish to accumulate in unseen corners.
And it is brilliant in so many ways; the girls all sleep up there and so I don’t have to walk past their rooms and shriek at them too often and they have the bathroom on their level, leaving the en-suite to us. Our room is opposite our middle floor living room, which took some getting used to when we first moved in but generally we really like it that way. It means that with 3 floors being used instead of 2, we can own a house big enough for all of us with the lower cost of a smaller footprint. It gives us a bit more mental space too as we can spread ourselves across 3 floors and for the girls an element of privacy and seclusion they appreciate. The downsides can be that it gets a bit hot in (*laughs hysterically*) hot summers and a bit colder in winter but it is worth it for the fabulous use of space it offers us.
I had to do some writing a while ago about what is needed when converting attic space, since I’m absolutely sure I’d consider doing one myself if I bought an older house in the future. There are obvious things to consider with a loft conversion, such as suitability of space and building regs and safety of the entry area and way up but it’s also important to check if it will have an impact on your home insurance policy – no one likes a nasty surprise because of something you didn’t consider. All that said, I heartily recommend living without a loft – apart from anything else, it is so much less to declutter!
In association with Legal & General.