10 home projects on our 2023 list

You know how much I love a challenge…  and this year is stacking up to be just that.  Have a quick look here to see all the plans and the reason we are tackling so much ourselves.

I am very into learning new skills and the extension project is looking set to serve up many opportunities in that department.  Even so, I will confess that writing this list has left me feeling a little overwhelmed – there are in fact so many projects I created a section for 2024 and beyond…



1. The walls & doors

Insulation, vapour barriers, service gaps, plasterboarding, skirting, cornicing, painting…  we cannot even close the doors on the unfinished rooms because, you guessed it, THERE WILL BE NO DOORS (until we fit them).  My naive and enthusiastic self has already begun researching plastering courses…

Daunting as all this is, I am possibly most excited for this project because it is this that will take us from one big, empty, shell of an extension to something resembling actual rooms.


2. The floors

Yesterday I made a spreadsheet rating the varying aspects of each of the twenty-two flooring samples I have accumulated.  I returned the ones that did not make the grade.  I am a giant nerd.

Dreamland me would really like reclaimed French chevron parquet flooring.  Reality me will settle for some quality LVT and we will, most likely, be fitting it ourselves.


3. The family bathroom

She is almost almost there.  A few small jobs, like staining the timber and painting the architrave around the door to tick off the list, then one almighty cleaning session and I am so excited to share our tiny sanctuary.


4. The kitchen

What was the family room will become the new kitchen.  Behind that big boarded up hole in the original house, the kitchen will be the only ‘old’ room in the new extension.  Somehow I need to find the balance and merge the two.  I have a floor plan and a vision and, right now, I am trying to figure out how to make that a reality.

We saved the solid timber doors from our previous kitchen cabinets either to use in the new kitchen or the utility room so, right now, I am trying to figure out where to save and where to invest…

My goal is to fit a proper kitchen for Christmas.


5. The dining area

Somewhere between that scaffold and windows at the back sits our new dining space (open plan to the kitchen and living).  The floor space is compact but it should still feel light and spacious because it only has walls on two sides (once we build them…) and a big skylight overhead.  I absolutely love our old dining table but, honestly, it is just not big enough – once a week we host seven for dinner and this new space should fit a table for eight with the option to extend to ten at a push.  Next year will be THE year of dinner parties…


6. The sunken living area

There were many things on my wishlist for the extension – the only one to prevail was the sunken seating area.  It might be just one step down but that one step is so precious to me and I am deliriously excited about it.

The space itself is somewhat awkward with an angled exterior wall dictating a custom built-in U shape sofa configuration.  We have some experience building seating but I will be aiming for a more refined finish in here…  with printed fabric upholstery.

7. The bio fire

Fuelling the cocoon vibe of the sunken living area, the fire (and tv) will be front and centre on that bit of wall you can see above, flanked by glazing offering views to the garden.  A lot of ideas are floating around right now and I am really struggling to pinpoint the best design option here – reclaimed vintage surround or something more modern.  One thing I do know?  It will be a bio fire.


8. The bunkroom

A lil’ leftover from last year.  The bunkroom has been top of my project list for around six months.  Within that time period though the extension got going and more pressing jobs took over (like packing and moving and stripping out the kitchen and utility).  Last week a small part of the ceiling underneath this room fell in due to a roof leak and there is a hot water cylinder still to be removed.

Last summer I scored these Ikea Mydal pine bunkbeds for thirty pounds on Facebook Marketplace and I am so excited to build them into the alcove in what was Summer’s nursery slash guest room.  This will officially be Hunter’s big boy room.

The plan has been drawn up, the timber has been purchased and we are raring to go.  I have some really fun paint ideas for in here too and I am hoping for a big upgrade on a very tight budget.  Also, this needs to be finished before we move back home because I have a wee man who is very excited to sleep in his new room.


9. The garage demo

Originally we planned to keep the garage (the old duck egg timber structure on the right there) as storage during the build.  Last week the landscaper said it has to be demolished for him to complete the lower patio.  I mean, it was always going to go but now this project has been fast tracked.

We start emptying it next weekend and then…  rip it apart piece by piece?  Push it over?  If you happen to have flattened a garage before, share your tips in the comments below.

10. The lower patio

This is one for the builders really but the design is all mine.  A few years ago we painted the concrete tiles as a temporary fix and now, the time has come at last, to install real tiles.  I have sourced the perfect blue and white stripes which will be mixed with pebbled areas and old style flagstones (if I get my way).

With the lower patio completed, the garage gone and the exterior of the house finished we should be able to kick back on sunny spring days in the garden and really enjoy this new old home of ours…  on the outside at least.


For next year…

The list goes on and on.  Often I find houses are a bit needy like that.

Phase two internally for us will be the utility, the workshop, the shower room and the office/guest room.  If we have any energy or money left then we will tackle the outdoor kitchen, an outdoor fireplace with storage behind, built in bookcases on the landing and a wine wall in the dining area.

I am tired just thinking about it…  but also really, REALLY excited.


This feature contains affiliate links and pr products.



coat – LK Bennett
micky jumper – Sézane
leather leggings – Commando
Comoro 2.0 waterproof shearling boots – Emu Australia (ON SALE)
cap – Mango



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