Real home: a light and airy extended 1950s bungalow

Jacqueline and Adrian Neville maximised the potential of their 1950s bungalow and created the perfect family space

While searching for their family home 15 years ago, Jacqueline and Adrian Neville spotted a bungalow in a newspaper ad. ‘The house didn’t grab my attention but the location was perfect,’ says Jacqueline.

‘It was a rather dated and uninspiring 1950s bungalow, with a totally impractical kitchen for a family. But we knew that we would be able to create a unique home.’

Find out how they achieved it, then browse more real home transformations... and don't miss our extension pages for plenty of practical advice and inspiration. 

Fact file

The owners: Jacqueline Neville, a homemaker, and her husband Adrian, who works in IT for an American company, live here with their children, Ruby, 16, Max, 15, and Hugo, 12

The property: A detached, five-bedroom bungalow, built in the 1950s

The location: Greystones, County Wicklow, Ireland

What they spent: The couple bought the house in 2000 for around £500,000 and have spent around £230,000 on the extension and renovation work. It has recently been valued at £750,000

‘We lived in the house for around a year before we decided to apply for planning permission to extend. This gave us time to do plenty of research and decide how we wanted the house to flow and work for us,’ she adds. ‘We were constantly planning and coming up with ideas for the new extension and loft space, and asked our architect, Colin Galavan, to come up with an innovative design that would incorporate what we wanted.

The house next door was also having work done, and their builder, Sean Wybrant, took on this project after Jacqueline and Adrian were impressed with the standard of work.

With permission granted, the walls at the back of the house were demolished and a large double-height conservatory-style extension was built, creating a large open-plan area that is now the kitchen/dining/living space. Sean built a new staircase to lead up to the loft conversion, where the couple added two bedrooms, a home office, and a bathroom. There was also an old garage on one side of the property, which the couple decided to convert.

Neutral hallway Neville home

‘Enough space for the family,’ Jacqueline, homeowner

open living room with fireplace neville home

The corner sofa is from Montana Furniture and the ottomanis from TK Maxx – Jacqueline re-covered it in a fabric from Ikea

The couple’s main expense in the kitchen was investing in high-quality worktops: a combination of iroko and granite. However, Jacqueline’s dream Aga was out of the question. ‘We opted for a modern range cooker instead,’ she says. Units from Cash & Carry Kitchens are painted for a bespoke look. The cooker and hood are by Ariston, and the shelves are made from iroko worktop offcuts.

bedroom painted in duck egg neville home

Jacqueline sanded and varnished the old floorboards. The wallpaper is from Woodies, and for a similar wall colour, try Dark Duck Egg paint from Laura Ashley. The grey throw and cushions are from TK Maxx

Slate-look ceramic tiles from Right Price Tiles and woodwork finished in Farrow & Ball’s Down Pipe paint give the bathroom a dramatic look. The bath is from Chadwicks and the basin is from B&Q. Jacqueline made the vanity unit by upcycling a second-hand office cabinet, adding new handles from Ikea, where she also bought the mirror.

monochrome bathroom neville home

playful boys room neville home

Adrian made the large mirrored wardrobe using door fronts from a local builders’ yard, to make this compact room feel more spacious. The rug, desk and chair are from Ikea

kitchen dining table nevill home

The table and chairs are from various sales and are painted in Annie Sloan’s Paris Grey. Jacqueline saved the sideboard from a skip and added a leaf design

open living room with fireplace neville home

Adrian made the panelling, painted in Shaded White by Farrow & Ball. Sofas from Reids have been re-covered in linen

childrens loft room neville home

Adrian built beds for when the children’s friends stay over, made up with bedlinen from Ikea and TK Maxx. The rooflights are from Velux

kitchen terrace neville home

Patio doors open the living area onto smart decking. All of the garden furniture is from Chadwicks, and for a similar chiminea, try

kitchen roof lights neville home

The double-height atrium-style design has breathed new life into the bungalow, creating space for a kitchen/dining/living area

• The full feature – including stockists and more images – appears in the February 2016 issue of Real Homes. For back issues, call 01527 834435. Subscribe today to take advantage of our money-saving subscription offers.

More gorgeous homes to browse:

Penny is an established interiors stylist and writer. She is also the founder of ChiqueChaque, a company specialising in Swarovski jewellery and lighting design.