A FAMILY who were outgrowing their cramped home have transformed it into a luxurious, open-plan living space on BBC show Your Home Made Perfect – and all for their budget of just £55k.
Andy, 34, wife Esther, 32 and their three girls had been arguing over what to do with their small semi-detached house in Stirling, Scotland, no longer suitable for their family life, for almost four years.
With Andy keen on open-plan living and Esther wanting to maintain some of the ‘cosy’ spaces in their property, which overlooks the banks of the River Forth, the couple were at ends over what to do.
But with the pair stepping into virtual reality to experience how their house could be transformed, without lifting a hammer or dipping into the paint, they finally agreed on the ambitious vision.
The first to appear on the new BBC Two property show, which sees architects Laura Clark and Robert Jamison compete to create their client’s dream designs, the family revealed their budget was only £55k.
“There are certain frustrations with the house that creep up again and again in the day just making the space work for us as a family,” Andy explained.
They felt that their hallway was too small, the rooms were too cramped and disliked the disjointed nature of their three downstairs room.
“It’s just cramped, there’s not much space,” Esther said, with her husband agreeing: “It can get very busy and very cluttered. It’s quite hard what we want to do with our house.”
And with their relatively small budget of £55,000 – the couple were at war over to knock down all the internal walls or to try and transform the space they had to get what they want.
“I think that’s why we’re not moving forward with any of our place,” Esther added. “We’ve not reached a happy medium of what we both want. Andy has impulsive ideas, and I’m more devil’s advocate.”
Entering into the world of virtual reality, despite their previous lack of agreement, the couple instantly fell in love with an open-plan design by award winning architect Robert.
The ambitious design involved knocking down walls, building an extension, adding large windows and even moving the front door to achieve the space they wanted.
But the couple were worried the project could quickly run over budget and, when finished, may be impractical for their three young children.
“It’s a really ambitious project so of course I am worried about that,” Andy admitted. “But all the things we wanted for the house are in this space.”
Esther agreed: “It’s so different to what our house was and how lots of houses are. Normally you know what each room does, but this is so versatile so I’m apprehensive as to how our family will fill it.”
But the couple had no reason to worry, as their dream home was finished with four-and-a-half months exactly as they’d seen, only changing the plan slightly to alter the wooden floor colour and bring in their own old sofas.
Andy said of the finished home, unrecognisable from the original house: “We’re over the moon. There are so many different ways to enjoy our space.”
They even installed a projector in the ceiling to replace the old TV, which descends from the ceiling with the click of a button.
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“We’re so glad that we went with it” Andy admitted, with Esther adding: “It’s just so different. Nobody has anything like it.”
But their home did come at a cost, going over budget by £13k – spending £7,000 on the re-purposed wood floors alone.
“We held on to our vision and we don’t regret it now we’re in this place,” Andy concluded.
The next episode BBC Two’s Your Home Made Perfect airs next Tuesday at 9pm.