Notes on extending a 1970s house

Belinda Rohan added a rear extension to her 1970s house to create a spacious family home with open plan kitchen/dining/living space. Here she shares some of the lessons she learned along the way and some of her design tips.

Belinda Rohan, owner of an extended 1970s house shares what she learned whilst extending her home.

Design details

‘I believe it’s always worth spending on versatile, good-quality fittings and finishes that will last. For example, I went for a solid timber in-frame kitchen, which can be painted any colour. The hall tiles have a honed finish, but I could have them polished in the future if I ever wanted to change the look of the entrance hall.’

Vanity unit in the family bathroom

Best choice

‘The vanity unit in the family bathroom was a great buy. It was an ex-display model and I got it for less than half-price. I love the design – it’s made from solid oak and contrasts well with the blue and grey mosaic tiles.’

Essential buy

‘I’m so pleased that we fitted the Faber hole-in-the-wall gas fire, from Heating Distributors, in the TV room/den. The room faces north but the fire heats up quickly, which makes the space feel warm and welcoming. I also love the fire’s stylish, contemporary look.’

Hole-in-the-wall gas fire
A colourful rug in the hallway

Great advice

‘When you’re taking on a project, I think you need to be on site at least once each day. Decisions are required on a daily basis, so if you’re not there to make them, you will have to accept somebody else’s interpretation of what you want. It’s too late to decide that you don’t want something, or that you want to change it, when it has been done, and too costly to take it apart and start again.’