If lockdown has taught us all one thing, it is the importance of the place we call home. Kate Thompson talks to Una Allan.
After more than 20 years living in their family home, Una and Bill Allan took the big decision to remodel their much-loved abode.
Just when most empty nesters would be thinking about down-sizing, the adventurous couple decided to make the most of their bricks and mortar.
And having just been through the lockdown, Una is delighted they made the decision to update what they had, rather than move.
“The weather during the lockdown was so nice, it was a pleasure to open the doors wide and look out over our south-facing garden,” she said.
“We overlook a woodland area but before we did the work, you couldn’t see it from the kitchen because the windows were too high.”
After two decades in their Waterlooville home, bringing up their two children, the house was starting to look a little tired around the edges and in need of some TLC.
“The kitchen cupboards were falling off, the lock on the patio doors was broken and windows and doors needed replacing. We decided rather than fiddling around with repairs, we should bite the bullet and really make the most of what we have got.
“In the original layout, we had a family room next to the kitchen and a separate lounge. It was ridiculous that we used to find ourselves in the small family room because it was linked to the kitchen and we never used the lounge. It was such a waste,” said Una.
To help turn their ideas into a reality they enlisted the services of Joe Moser from the Design Team Studios.
“He got what we wanted to do straight away and I felt I could work with him, “ said Una.
Joe explained: “The brief for this project was to create a large, open-plan space for family living and entertaining.
“The property sits on a steeply sloping site which required careful design consideration.
“A full-width single-storey extension with sliding aluminium doors was added at the rear, with walk-on roof lights facilitating the addition of a first floor terrace and throwing extra light into the new spaces.
“The centrally placed kitchen became the hub of the home, with easy access to the existing utility room and exposed brick elements provided texture to the modern decor.”
Clearly delighted with the transformation of her home, Una said she loves how light and airy her home now feels and the fact they can fully appreciate the stunning views.
“It has given a new lease of life to our home which was stuck in the 80s. The space just works so well now,” said Una.
Pride of place in the dining area goes to a striking piece of artwork by Southsea based street artist My Dog Sighs.
“I won the chance to commission My Dog Sighs when he auctioned off the opportunity to have a mural created in your home. He did it to raise money for his friend Samo who was having reconstruction surgery.
“I’ve always been a big fan of his work and the image fits in so perfectly with the house as it is now,” she said.