Project #2 - Bungalow Renovation

The Finishing Touches

This will be my final blog post on our bungalow renovation. Here I am going to show what we did to furnish all the rooms and add those finer details to the decor. We did this on a small budget, so most of what you will see here are charity shop finds, eBay bargains and Amazon gems. We also shopped our own homes – I donated my old bedroom furniture when I upgraded it, and mum and dad used some things from their homes as well.

In this post, I am going to work my way through the rooms and for each one, I’ll show a photo of how the room looked at the start of the renovation (or, at the very least, slightly after we started), followed by how the room looks today.

Hallway

Before

I’ve only got a view of it from the kitchen, but you can still see the original front door in its initial position and the carpet and walls in their original colour.

After

Living Room with Dining Space

Before

After

We needed a sofa for the Living Room. I managed to find this one for £95 from a Sue Ryder shop.

Kitchen

Before

After

Utility Room

As mentioned in its post, this was an empty shell of a brick-built conservatory. We used it to store some materials in at the start of the project.

Before

After

Bedroom 1

Before

After

Bedroom 2

Before

After

Bedrooms 1 and 2 have built-in wardrobes behind the white doors. While small, they have hanging rails that pull down for maximum utilisation of space. Here’s one being built:

Bedroom 3

Before

After

Bathroom

Before (ish)

After

So What Have We Learned?

This was the first time we had done a project of this kind. Me and mum are fans of the TV show Homes Under the Hammer and here we were living out everything you see when the cameras are not running. It was quite an experience.

We learned a fair few things along the way though.

Firstly, it is hard work. I mean, REALLY hard work. More so than any TV programme would have you believe. I gave up significant chunks of my weekends for basically the first half of this year and was also around a lot in 2020 with the initial clearout operation. Dad worked a punishingly hard schedule around his job, which in itself has him getting up at 2:30am seven days a week. We all mucked in and with dogged determination we got there in the end.

Secondly, life has a habit of getting in the way. It pays to be prepared for this. We were working against lockdowns and not only was I seriously ill for the vast majority of 2021 but the same illness affected another family member as well, who I won’t name.

Budgets. Don’t underestimate how much things cost. If you don’t learn to keep spending under tight control, it’s easy to get carried away. We did a good job of avoiding this, thankfully.

The architect Charlie Luxton said in an episode his programme Building the Dream that the best ideas are always simple. It’s true. We didn’t go overboard with complicated decor. We wanted to keep it a relatively blank canvas while still demonstrating how the various spaces could be used. We also had much bigger plans for the place but it ended up becoming a “no demo reno” where the layout was kept the same. There’s no way we would have been able to do more than that given the pandemic and the limited resources we had.

Can you tell that I watch the channel HGTV a lot?

Lastly, it might be hard work, but it’s rewarding in equal measure. Whether you’re selling on, renting out or building your “forever home”, you’ll love what you do if you do it right. The satisfaction you feel at the end is worth the effort many times over.

What’s Next?

We are going to enjoy a nice Christmas together (when it eventually gets here) and then we will spend time on our own homes for a bit. There is stuff that has been waiting for years.

Hopefully later in the year we will take on another project, though I doubt it will be as big as this one was.

Lx

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