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5 Changes That Have Made The Biggest Difference To Our Home

Home Renovating: 5 Changes that will make the biggest difference

Renovating isn't just about putting your own stamp on a property - it's a lot about updating it to meet modern standards and creating a home that works for you. We've been living in this house for 3 years now and we've done plenty of renovating - so I thought I'd share 5 changes we've made that have made the biggest difference to this house and how we live.

1. Knocking Through Walls

Our now-kitchen used to be two rooms - a bathroom and a kitchen. Both were tiny. The kitchen was so small it didn't have a cooker or a washing machine and it even had no outdoor windows. It was dull and lifeless in there. And the bathroom was completely unnecessary when we already had one upstairs too. We knocked through the wall between both of these rooms as well as the one into the dining room and this part of the house literally couldn't feel more different because of it. We have a kitchen that actually fits both a cooker and a washing machine - and it even has a window! The dining room is now open plan to the kitchen and it makes the whole space a lot more sociable! One of us can be sat at the dining room table and still be able to chat the other person cooking. It's fab! The way this part of the house works now, couldn't be more different. Did I say that already?!

Knocking Through Walls to Create an Open Plan Living Space
Open Plan Kitchen Diner Renovation

2. Adding Light!

Neither our old kitchen or dining room had any outside light - they both had windows but these faced into the conservatory. Being in either of these rooms felt very much boxed-in and with no glimpse of any outdoor space - it was quite depressing to be in. After knocking walls down, we swapped the old bathroom frosted window for a french door. It frames the garden perfectly and is such a feature in this room (read about installation here)! It lets a whole lot more light in - but being east facing means it actually didn't bring in all that much sunlight. The roof in this room however is south facing, so we thought it only made sense to make use of that with a VELUX roof window as well. And I am SO glad we did - it lets even more light in than the french door and it helps to make this room feel so much more taller in height too. You can read about/see the fitting stage here. In fact, it lets so much sunlight in - that it's a bit of a killer on potatoes/onions which we keep in the vegetable baskets opposite (didn't think about that one!) so we'll probably have to add some VELUX blinds (like these) at some point in the future to protect against direct sunlight in the early morning. I've seen a few similar blackout blinds over on Instagram and I think the plain inoffensive designed ones would be perfect for this room.

Fitting a French Door in a Renovation
Are Roof Windows Worth it?

3. Insulating in the Kitchen

As well as being small and dark, the old kitchen also used to be FREEZING. And I mean FREEZING. The end wall (where the now french door is) is just a single-skin wall, so we were losing a lot of heat through it. We added additional insulation onto that wall in the form of insulating plasterboard (this stuff!) and we've also updated the insulation in the ceiling/roof space as well. This used to be just 100mm thick - but modern requirements advice 270mm - so we added more over the top and brought it up to the right thickness. And guess what?! It's pretty toasty now. In fact, it's October and we haven't been cold in the slightest as of yet! So so worth it!

Celotex Insulation Plasterboard

4. Adding HEAT

We bought this house with an old back boiler, but they cost so much to run (and are well known for carbon monoxide poisoning!) that we never dared to use it. We ripped it out last year and thanks to a renovation loan had the cash to put in a log burner. Everyone said log burners are great for heating rooms and I can 100% confirm - they are bloody amazing! Wooly hats and fluffy jumpers indoors no more - this thing brings us out in sweats! It was costly but so so worth it - and it's an addictive feature to sit and watch in winter! Read all about it here.

Saltfire ST3 Log Burner

5. Separate Shower

Although this house had a downstairs shower-room, it was more like a shed - freeeeezing and suffered badly with mould. We always planned to get rid of this room, so we renovated the upstairs bathroom in preparation, which only had a bath. Despite our new bathroom having a gorgeous looking rolltop bath, we're 100% shower people. And whatsmore, we hadn't lived in a house with a shower for three years before moving here! We were so lucky to have space to fit a whole new separate shower cubicle in this bathroom and it's made SUCH a difference to our lives. It's quick, easy, and being able to shower in a room that doesn't go mouldy is even better!

Cappuccino Marble Tiles in Shower Enclosure

So that's our five favourite changes that have made a considerable difference to our house and how we now live. I'd love to hear what the biggest change in your house has been?

*Collaborative Post


  1. Great work. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for your suggestions. You shouldn't take on a property refurbishment project that you can’t handle. If you are new to the world of property maintenance it’s best to start with less challenging properties.


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