transformation house

A SPACE TO GROW: Gorgeous transformation

A SPACE TO GROW: Gorgeous transformation

When Pammy Kaur saw a tiny Victorian terrace for sale on a popular street in Kingston, she knew it would make the perfect family home… if only she could turn two bedrooms into five. She tells us more.

Dream big is my mantra but with my latest project, this was on a whole new level. I’d already had some experience in property development previously but I knew I’d have my work cut out.

An end-of-terrace Victorian cottage was in an ideal location close to the park but it was tiny and the layout impractical for a young family. We had a plan – we were lucky in that it also had a garage that offered potential extra space but also a hurdle in that planning permission had been turned down before.

Two years on, we are now living in the home I have been fantasising about. We have a gorgeous open-plan living area, a utility, two bathrooms, and five bedrooms. So, how did we do it?


And after…

After a long planning application, we embarked on what felt like a Britain’s Got Talent judges’ journey to find the perfect builder. Much research later, we finally lucked out with Matt@thefamilybuilder – from day one, Matt bought into my vision.

In London, we often don’t have the luxury of big spaces but we do have the opportunity to create exciting spaces with clever design. It’s also important to respect the heritage of the area and the building – one side of our street has gorgeous Victorian bay windows, so, for us, fighting for the extra sq foot and pushing for bay windows to be included in our plans was worth it.

Remember that space and light is crucial to maximise the impact of a successful build. So putting in roof lights and opening our en-suite to bring in dramatic light was a game changer, along with floor-to-ceiling windows in the children’s games room – yes you read it right, we managed to fit in a games room! We decided that while the boys are young, they would share a bedroom and we’d use the other room as a playroom.

I had a lot of non-negotiable fittings in the design including the pot filler tap over the hob (who can be bothered to turn around to the sink?!). It’s good to think these things through at the start so the build can accommodate all the nuances you’d like. We moved the bathroom into a bedroom and made a bedroom into a gym/study – no room or wall was safe from my imagination! After moving the stairs and taking out a fireplace, we were able to achieve modern open-plan living (with the traditional Victorian style this house deserves). And not only have we created our dream family home, we have generated a big uplift in its value too. Hard work, a strict budget, perseverance and a clear vision really do make dreams come true.

Some of my learnings…

  • Have at least 10% extra in your budget.
  • A local architect is key to achieving a realistic planning application. We wasted a lot of time initially on dreamy applications that were rejected.
  • When choosing a builder, ask to see their past projects and talk to their clients.
  • If something has previously been rejected in planning, use this to your advantage. Understand why it was rejected and if it’s still applicable. We found a previous application was rejected due to an off street parking requirement for two cars. This is no longer relevant.

Follow Pammy on Instagram @mama_of_all__things!