Kelly's stunning kitchen extension featuring kitchen island and bi-fold doors

House Renovation Highlights featuring Our Ugly 1930s House

Hi all! It’s been a while since I shared a stunning home renovation on my blog, life has been busy, and I’m excited to be kicking off the series again. I’ll be sharing a gorgeous home renovation every Wednesday, and you’ll be pleased to hear that November is already full of beautiful homes to share. I’m always on the look out for renovation accounts to feature, and if you would like to join in sharing your home renovation story, just drop me an email. (

Today I’m excited to be welcoming Kelly @ourugly1930shouse to the series, and Kelly has totally transformed her home from ugly house to wow factor home.

What a journey Kelly has been on to get here; from financial challenges, disasters with builders, lockdown and living through it with three kids, I can already see that Kelly is one brave lady for completing such a project. The end result is amazing, and it’s great to hear that their home is now a true reflection of themselves. I would love for you to have a read of how Kelly renovated her home which included adding a loft conversion featuring a stunning glass balcony and adding a kitchen extension that has fully opened up the back of the house.

Tell us about your home and your renovation project. What did you do?

We live in a 1930’s semi, it was never ever our dreamhouse, we live in a town crammed with Victorian properties and I always found this house ‘ugly’ in comparison. However, it gives us good space, a driveway, garage and a decent size garden, all really close to the town centre (which is rare where we live). 

We have renovated most of the house – we decided to do everything at once and live through it with three kids! The builders started with the loft conversion which was self-contained (until the stairs went in)!  Our house had lots of space but was a myriad of small rooms and we craved an open plan kitchen/living space. We removed lots of supporting walls which meant some major structural steels. We pretty much took out the whole of the back wall to have bi-folds all the way across which meant a huge gatepost steel. I was also adamant that I did not want to see any beams so all of them had to be hidden!  It was meant to take six months and it has taken over 2 years for various reasons!

The rear of Kelly's home showing the loft conversion and kitchen extension

What did you enjoy the most about your house renovation?

I have absolutely loved bringing my ideas to life from all those saved Pinterest and Instagram boards! My style has developed over this time and I have become more confident in my decision making. However, the most unexpected thing has been documenting our reno on Instagram. I started doing it regularly in January (as a lockdown distraction) and I have found such an incredible and supportive community.

Another picture of Kelly's kitchen extension featuring a large kitchen island and bi-fold doors.

What was your biggest challenge?

We had to stop our build because of financial constraints and then Covid hit.  We entered the first lockdown mid build – we had no flooring or carpets, plaster fell on us every time we closed the front door and the garden looked like a war zone. We couldn’t open the bifolds as dust would blow all over the kitchen.  Then to top it all off our original builder couldn’t come back and we used Checkatrade to employ another one which was disastrous. If someone is immediately available, there is usually a reason!  We had to use lots of different trades and it cost us a lot of money to rectify what the second builder had done wrong. It was definitely the lowest point of it all, I hit rock bottom and thought we would never be finished!

Is there anything that you would have done differently?

Lots of things!

I wouldn’t live through it again but it did save us a lot of money!!

I have the same flooring running from the front door all the way out to the patio. I had wanted parquet but I kept hearing horror stories about wood in kitchens and it being bleached by the sun, so was dissuaded. In my heart downstairs had a patterned tiled hallway and parquet in the kitchen. I still pin those photos!! Maybe the next house!

Another view of Kelly's kitchen showing the dining and snug area.

Tell us your top tips?

Don’t be afraid to change things. Our downstairs loo is in a completely different place to where the architect had put it and it works so much better.

Wait for the right trades/purchases. It is too easy to rush things to get things done but you will definitely regret it and it is always worth the wait – even though it pushes your timelines

Make moodboards – it really helps focus on what is important to you.  If you have never done one before – make folders on Pinterest and Instagram – you will really see colours/textures/ideas that are repeating.

Kelly's monochrome bathroom with yellow lily pad tiles.

What was your best renovation purchase?

We absolutely love the frameless glass in our loft! I designed it with the glass maker, having been told many times by others that it was too big as a single pane of glass and it couldn’t be done! I wanted to it to look as though it was floating with no visible fixings – I worked with the engineer to create pockets that the glass sits in. There is always a way – often the trades like the easier way – stick by your guns!

The amazing and open view from the loft conversion.

Would you do it again?

Absolutely. I feel so proud that the house is a true reflection of us. It feels so hard when you are in the middle of it, it is so important to look back along the way and remember how far you have come – however long it has taken!

What’s next? Any future renovation plans?

I am in the middle of planning the utility which is currently a dumping ground and it should be finished in November! I dream of being organised!! Then next year we may move a few walls upstairs to change the layout of our bathroom.  

I underestimated how long everything would take and cost – Covid and budget meant that we still have a few unfinished rooms (utility and upstairs bathroom) and all the bedrooms need decorating and styling.  

A monochrome hallway with reeded glass door.

Thank you so much Kelly for sharing your renovation story with us, I have absolutely loved featuring you and your stunning home, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of your future reno projects.

Please do pop over to Kelly’s Instagram @ourugly1930shouse to see Kelly’s beautiful home and to see how the house has been transformed.

If you would love to have your your home featured as part of my series, do drop me an email and take a nose at my last renovations highlight post featuring Reviving Number 12.

Claire x

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