Embrace Your Space: @KJG_Home

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Renovating or even decorating is an exciting and sometimes never-ending process. The possibilities are endless, from mood boarding and researching to dreaming about what is possible and figuring out how to get there. This March and April, we’re celebrating renovation and decoration, giving you all the tried and tested tips from the experts and inspiring you to discover your next project.

Kirsty’s contemporary classic style oozes sophistication and cool. It is effortless by design and we love everything about it. Kirsty’s show stopping open plan kitchen extension is the stuff of dreams. It’s the kitchen of her dreams, a sociable hub of togetherness that works for the whole family.

Kirsty found her style by saving photos from Instagram and Pinterest until a pattern started emerging and how Kirsty has interpreted that is beautiful…

Is this your first renovation? This isn’t my first renovation, we’ve had three houses before which we’ve done minor alterations to like kitchen, bathroom, but about a year and a half ago my mum decided to move from America and come to England after my father passed away, so we bought a bungalow in the same village and I completely renovated that. All of the inside and added an extension across the back, so that was our trial run really. Then once I’d done that and realised I could keep in budget my husband then said the ok for our own, because I’ve actually been planning this for a very long time believe it or not, we’ve lived in the property for about 13 years so it was nice to get it how we actually wanted it.

Are you influenced by any kind of art movements? My style is quite minimal, so I’m always drawn to an Instagram account that’s @est_living. I would say if I were to pick a nice piece of artwork to go in my home it would be more abstract than something that is more real, like a still life drawing, with very muted colours. For me I think styles change so much that I would be scared that I would spend a lot of money on something and then five years down the line I’d have to change it, now some people are quiet happy to change their style but for me I’d rather not, I think once I’ve got it I’d rather love it and then keep it like that for quite a long time.

Describe your home when you first moved in? My home when I first moved in was disgusting, the couple who had it previously had it since 1965 when it was first built so everything was original and she’d had cats so there was a lovely smell of cats in the house. The kitchen was the best because they were quite tall, all of the cabinets had been made in 1965 to suite them so me and my husband aren’t very tall I’m like 5’4 he’s 5’9 we ended up looking like little children in this kitchen it was quite funny. The whole back garden was gravel with lots of flowers and it was, yeah it was pretty gross, it literally needed everything doing to it.

Discover Kirsty's style: 

What should any renovation start with? I think any renovation should start with a lot of thought and a lot of planning. I think to live in a space before you even decide what to do with it, to see what works with your family because sometimes you have an idea but then it’s not that practical, so I think because we lived in this space for quite a long time before its worked out really well because we know what works for us.

Which room did you renovate first, tell us about the process? We didn’t renovate one room, we renovated all of the rooms. The room that got started on because it didn’t affect us as a family first was the rear extension because they could build that first before they knocked through and then it got to a point where this bit was almost done and they needed to do all the interior and we moved out at that point.

Talk us through your front lounge renovation. The front living room renovation was one of the last things that took place, because we needed to move out for that. So originally we had one single entrance way which was further up the hallway and then the hallway was blocked off, so we decided to open that up and put a double door into that room, it’s quiet a square room so it’s nice. We had two little hideous windows either side of the fireplace with huge radiators underneath, so they were the first things we wanted to get rid of. We blocked those up and we put under floor heating throughout the downstairs. It was also the only access we had, through the living room to the rest of the house so where the round mirror is, we had double doors, so we went through the lounge, then though the dining room to the kitchen and to a play room. So, we found that even though we had a best room it would never stay best, the kids would always end up going wherever we were, rather than the playroom. So, it was more like a through room even though it was still lovely. We obviously blocked that double entrance way up. Originally, we had a gas fire in there as well which we blocked up and decided to make it a lot more contemporary and put a fire in with a fake surround with the TV. We’ve also changed the windows in there and they are white on the inside and anthracite on the outside, so we literally re-jigged the whole room really, but the space works so much better now, and I love the symmetry of it.

What is your proudest renovation DIY moment? My proudest DIY renovation project I would say, with the massive help of my husband, because I’m the brains behind it but he’s the do-er, he’s the one that can actually create it because he used to be a cabinet maker. So there’s a couple, one is the log store which kind of happened by accident because when they put the log burner in, they put it in the wrong place so we wanted it more in the corner, so I really wanted a log store or something in that corner so I drew it out and got some ideas from Pinterest of what I liked and he made it, which is really good. Also the bookcase that’s in my lobby area, again I kind of drew the design and my husband’s really, really good he made it out of MDF the whole thing cost us about £200 and the log store cost £20 to make so he’s pretty handy but I do love that because it’s an inbuilt piece of furniture that looks a lot more expensive than it actually is.

Any renovation advice, tips or hacks? For anybody renovating, an amazing tip is just to prepare for the worst, well not necessarily the worst but keep a log of everything we had a set budget that I could not go over, I’m married to a Yorkshire man so we could not go over a penny. So we had a spreadsheet with the estimated cost of everything but we overpriced what it would be, then every time we spent something we’d put the real cost next to it, so if we saved any money from anywhere we’d move it to somewhere else. I would say it’s really important that you do that and really try and stick to that budget, I’ve got friends that get sucked in and are like “I love it” and then it just gets more and more. I was adamant that I was not going to go over, so I saved where I could and spent more on the things that I wanted.

Any interior design advice, tips or hacks? A good interior design tip I would say is if you’re not sure on your style, is to do what I did and save lots of pictures that you like and then see if there is a common theme that you go towards, so for me it ended up going very neutral, very minimal. Once I’d done that, I took specific areas and thought this is the kind of colours, this is the kind of look and then I worked on the little details for each room, that’s how I kind of found my style.

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