It’s strange thing to be asked to re-design your childhood home. I imagine like writing researching an autobiography of sorts.
Every change you propose effects in some way your memory of that house, requires a deep analysis of what went before and how things have changed.
My parents have decided to stay in the family home rather than move to something else.
There is pressure now for this building to move on.
It needs to address a new set of circumstances.
Gone is the maelstrom of the busy family.
The days of 9 to 5 work for my folks have passed, but they are no less energetic as they pursue their hobbies with a vengeance.
My dad has one great love in this regard. A talented woodworker he is building himself a dedicated workshop. My mum has more interests than you can count on two hands.
They did however have one great need. The house has always lacked a centre, as many fairly modern developer built houses do. In the distant past this was always the room that surrounded the hearth, source of heat, cooking smells and even light before electricity.
The kitchen, once a thing to be tucked behind the stairs in Victorian homes is now the ‘centre’ of choice for modern renovations. The new extension re-organises the ground floor around the kitchen and completely transforms the house.
The new spaces mean they will live in a much more modern way than we used to as a family. The cellular rooms are gone to an extent.
They have embraced the open plan. Something that would have been a nightmare for all when I and my sister were teenagers. Open plan is not a universal solution but it does work here in this new context.
Ironically, the new spaces will be perfect for when the family comes together, something that will be useful given myself and partner Kate have decided to move our lives and my business back to Yorkshire.
The builders have about another 8 weeks left on site. The building is nearly ready to witness a whole new way of living in it, but this is of course not the finish. No buildings are ever finished. These changes are just a marker, a blip in the continuum of this house.