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The Great Council House Transformation

(87 Posts)
MmeLindor Thu 18-Oct-12 10:24:26

We have bought an ex council house. It is about 40 years old and has not been renovated at all. Kitchen, bathroom, heating, windows - all needing replaced.

We have a renovation budget of max £25k and really want to transform the house.

I think the kitchen will be Ikea, with posh sink and appliances

Bathroom - don't know but no built in units to keep costs down

Gas Central heating (most likely) after a lengthy MN discussion, and several weeks of putting jumpers on and taking them off we have seen the light - electric storage has to go. Quite like the sound of wood pellet, but DH not keen.

Electrics - electrician thinks we will need to rewire

I need help deciding on where to buy the bathroom, tiles, appliances and any advice on colours, decorating etc

We will be going with neutral colours, but I can't decide between going pure white walls or a very light grey.

Hullygully Thu 18-Oct-12 11:33:08

We've just done this - and are now building an extension on the side too.



"Boxy" house or shapes?

MmeLindor Thu 18-Oct-12 11:39:51

Kitchen - reasonable size - 2.50 x 3.60 m - one window. Intention of adding glass bricks to let more in

Living room / Dining room - were two rooms but we knocked the dividing wall out and added loverly double glass doors. Made a huge difference.

Small loo downstairs

3 good sized bedrooms (need flooring - laminate or carpet?)

Oak flooring for living room, tiles for kitchen/loo/kitchen

Sliding glass door into kitchen

MmeLindor Thu 18-Oct-12 11:40:56

Boxy house. Very boxy. Squarer than a square thing.

Would love a porch but don't know if we can afford it. White, wooden porch with space for shoes and jackets. <sigh>

MmeLindor Thu 18-Oct-12 11:44:37

if anyone is on Pinterest, I have a board there

MmeLindor Thu 18-Oct-12 11:45:13

How come this thread has 12 recommendations on FB? I have posted it, but 12??

Hullygully Thu 18-Oct-12 11:48:49

Ok, have an idea of it now. I'd keep the background as plain as you can, white walls, wood (as you said) beige carpet (you could ask for "landlord carpet" any shop will know what you mean, cheap, plain and hardwearing. Then add colour through pics, books, rugs etc.

If no porch, you could have a tall angled cupboard across the right angles of two walls in the hall, shelves for shoes below, rack for coats above. A local carpenter should be able to build that for not too much. Having "bespoke" shelves etc, works well in these houses because they need such careful design to fit stuff in.

Tiles - again I'd keep these as neutral as possible, try big chains for end of ranges (cheap).

Appliances: look online, there are lots of price comparison websites or sometimes a local independent kitchen supply shop can work out very reasonable, they will also design the units etc to fit the space.

RonettePulaski Thu 18-Oct-12 12:06:47

I've got an old council house too we're doing it up on a (non existent) budget

We sanded the floorboards downstairs. Is that an option instead of carpets? Unless you want carpets if course, certainly warmer and less draughty

Hope you don't mind if I follow you on Pinterest, I'm certainly in need of ideas

Oh and we'd like a porch too, we've got a sort of roof on stilts, it would be much better enclosed.

THERhubarb Thu 18-Oct-12 12:18:46

We also have an ex-HA house. My bugbear is that it looks like an ex-HA too, so in the future we plan to do what a lot of other people have done on the street and add a porch. I also want some Victoria Creeper to grow up the front to hide the ugly grey blocks that it's built out of. However the side of the house (end terrace) has no windows and just looks awful. I've half toyed with the idea of emailing Banksy to ask if he can paint something on it but that might just encourage local youths to add their mark too, so if anyone can suggest something I'm all ears!

What we did inside was to put laminate flooring downstairs (much cheaper that real wood, warmer, easier to fit and looks just as good) and rip out the old fireplace. We found a cast iron fireplace on ebay and fitted that so we've now got a real fire which is just lovely! The fireplace with marble mantle only cost us £100.

The living room is a mixture of wood, cream, black and red which actually works. We have wooden bookcases, floors and TV cabinet. A black fireplace. Plush red curtains and red sofa with armchair and one wall only is wallpapered with just a few scattered black swirls. It all fits together quite well. The rest of the walls are cream.

Skirting boards and door frames have been painted which makes it all look nice and clean.

The hallway I did in a very pale yellow and I kept the stair carpet a creamy colour to make it seem lighter and airier. I would have liked to have replaced the banisters but again, this entails cost so I just painted it in gloss white.

We haven't got round to the kitchen yet but I hate the units that are in there. We need a good cheap option so I'll be keeping an eye on this thread for that.

The bathroom is black and white which again works well. The skirting board is painted black and I added black fleur de lyl black stickers on every other tile. The units were sanded and painted white with black edging. Eventually the taps will be replaced for silver ones.

Council houses can seem a bit small so we've tried to keep our decor as light as possible and made use of mirrors to reflect natural light. You can get a range of wacky mirrors from most DIY stores which you can use to good effect. Keep it simple, don't overclutter.

Oh and when you fit the radiators, invest in some radiator reflective panels that will prevent the heat from leaking out of your walls. smile

THERhubarb Thu 18-Oct-12 12:24:34

Oh and I would LOVE some ideas on ds's boxy bedroom. At the moment it is a rectangle shape and can just about fit in a child's single bed with a few bedside drawers. He has an inbuilt wardrobe which takes up a lot of space, if we knocked into that his room would be L shaped.

I have considered re-adjusting the door hinges so the door opens outward, meaning he can have a little more space just inside the door area. But whichever way we look at it, his room is tiny.

scarlettsmummy2 Thu 18-Oct-12 12:27:03

I would also look at 'wren kitchens', if there is one near you. Comparably priced to ikea and seem excellent quality. I was very impressed.

FireOverBabylon Thu 18-Oct-12 12:55:09

Rhubarb is your DS's room big enough to accommodate a high sleeper bed
(and is your DS old enough)?

you could get something like this which would give him floor space to play under his bed and can be filled in with a desk / drawers as he gets older.

FireOverBabylon Thu 18-Oct-12 13:02:42

Blasted link, it is the Steens bed I was trying to link to. Far right picture, 4th row down, in white.

THERhubarb Thu 18-Oct-12 13:07:26

We've thought about that Fire, but the ceiling is too low and most of the beds are too wide (which is why I want to re-hang his bedroom door the other way). Also, adult beds are longer than his child bed so we'd lose the space we currently have at the end of the bed.

If I can explain more, you open the door and he has a little set of plastic drawers from Ikea tucked in the corner to the left. Across the room is his bed. Above his bed we've nailed a bookcase to the wall. At the end of the room to the right is the window and in the furthest corner is a small set of wooden storage drawers from Ikea and some freestanding shelves for his games. On the same side as his bedroom door (so if you enter his room and turn right almost 360 degrees) is the door to the walk-in wardrobe. This door opens outward. The ceiling inside slopes downward but there is quite a bit of space in here. If we knocked it through his room would be a like a T on it's side and missing the left prong iyswim?

pofacedalways Thu 18-Oct-12 16:47:54

Our ex council house is fifties and the people before us put a kitchen extension in so it feels, to me enormous, compared with the newbuild little house we used to have a in posh part of the city. We have a biggish garden. But we have no money to do it up unfortunately, but at least we do have a nice modern-ish kitchen. I am not v good at ideas but I do actually think IKEA is a good place for those on a budget. One thing I would really like is a wood burning stove.

Why is your dh against wood pellets?

raindroprhyme Thu 18-Oct-12 17:00:55

we are same been in a year have no budget and are gradually gettign there. ripped out kitchen and knocked throught to dining room so kitchen diner no floorign downstairs yet. i went for putty rather thanwhite or grey. touch warmer and that is as far as i have got
followed you on pinterest.

raindroprhyme Thu 18-Oct-12 17:03:01

i am getting a wood burner squee here in aubergine

BiscuitNibbler Thu 18-Oct-12 17:13:29

Do you have a Tesco credit card and clubcard? I've just bought a load of tiles at Topps using clubcard reward vouchers, as they triple the value.

Although Topps aren't always the cheapest, they will price match, so I went and bought a sample of the tile I wanted somewhere cheaper, took it to Topps and they price-matched and then I paid using my Tesco vouchers.

As for windows, go to a local company and avoid the big nationals like the plague.

FireOverBabylon Thu 18-Oct-12 17:21:55

Rhubarb what's on the other side of the right part of the T, if that makes sense? Could you knock through and make that room a bit smaller and make your DS's room square / rectangular?

RonettePulaski Thu 18-Oct-12 18:15:33

We too bought a fireplace on eBay £20 including granite hearth and pine mantle. We did then have to pay someone £500 to fit it shock

We painted our kitchen units as we can't afford a replacement yet. It makes a big difference and looks so much better than orange pine. I can't remember what we used, I think it might've just been normal eggshell

Tizwozliz Thu 18-Oct-12 18:31:48

We too have an ex-council house (50s)

New kitchen (not quite complete)

Hullygully Thu 18-Oct-12 18:35:15

That's v nice Tiz!

julesjam Thu 18-Oct-12 18:36:11

MmeLindor am living vicariously through your thread. I'm trying to convince DH we should do this (not an ex-council though) but he's not having any of it hmm

I'm also now following you on Pinterest despite previously resolving not to do so. Not because I'm not interested in your pins - simply because I decided I was already stalking following you on so many other forms of social media I was convinced you'd think me obsessive. But having had a look on your Home Ideas board I don't care any more - I love it all. Expect multiple repins imminently.

HerRoyalNotness Thu 18-Oct-12 18:40:53

On your pinboard, the entrance with the grey and white on the bottom half, looks amazing, so light and interesting. I'd definitely go for grey, I'm partial to a bit of scandi simplicity and I think it goes with every other colour, it's a good base.

Definitely carpet upstairs, we put laminate down in our bedrooms as every room had different coloured carpet so we ripped it out. I regret it. We should have replaced with one neutral carpet. It made it really noisy if someone was upstairs, and we had to put rugs down to look a bit warmer.

HerRoyalNotness Thu 18-Oct-12 18:44:10

Tiz envy of your kitchen, it's fantastic, and so roomy! <looks around at cheap melamine bench and cupboards>

I need to live in my own house again, I hate renting, I can't do anything to it, and our landlady is too cheap!

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