Yorkshire Interiors - converting a bungalow to an apartment in Selby

PUBLISHED: 00:00 04 November 2013

14 By taking out the back door and a window, the couple opened up the kitchen and conservatory to create one living space. The table and chairs were found in a sale and the signs are mostly from Hemswell Antiques Centre

14 By taking out the back door and a window, the couple opened up the kitchen and conservatory to create one living space. The table and chairs were found in a sale and the signs are mostly from Hemswell Antiques Centre


Debbie and Jonathan King have turned a dated bungalow in North Yorkshire into a ‘chic apartment with a garden’. Debbie explains how to Heather Dixon

‘We hadn’t really considered living in a bungalow until we heard about this one, next door to a family friend,’ says Debbie, a graphic designer. ‘We had been renting and wanted to buy a place of our own but couldn’t find anything at the right price in this area. The bungalow was perfect. It was just the right size for the two of us and had loads of potential. We also liked the fact that everything was one level which meant we could create a city apartment style house with the benefits of a garden and rural location.

‘The bungalow was very old fashioned inside but we knew that the majority of the improvements would be cosmetic. We moved in and started working on the bungalow straight away. One of the first jobs we did was decorate the main bedroom. It was straight forward to do and meant we had one room to escape to while we were doing up the rest of the house.

‘We took up the old carpet, sanded and stained the floor with Ronseal Dark Oak, and painted an existing fitted wardrobe. We found the feature wall paper on the internet and thought it was a fantastic way of giving the room a real wow factor. It was the same with the four-poster bed. A room doesn’t have to be really big to take a four-poster – in some ways it looks even more effective in an ordinary sized bedroom because it creates such an impact.

‘We tackled the sitting room next. We took out the old gas fire, chiselled off the rough plaster on the chimney breast and re-plastered it, then sanded and stained the wooden floor boards. We fitted a new fire and surround and then decorated – although we’ve changed the colour scheme in here a few times as our tastes have changed. It’s easy to create a completely different look just by changing the colour of a feature wall and accessories.

‘The bathroom came next. We took up the carpet and turned the door round so it opened against the wall, rather than blocking half the room. The old suite was cream coloured so we replaced it with a white one and put new tiles in. The room is small so we considered having just a shower in there to create more room, but I love my baths and we decided not to compromise.

‘We started the kitchen four months after moving in but we had already ordered the units and stored them in the conservatory until we were ready. We wanted to make the kitchen and conservatory open plan so we knocked down the wall between the two rooms. There was a kitchen window and back door, which we took out, but we left the section of wall that had been underneath the window to create a breakfast bar. The kitchen immediately looked a lot lighter and bigger. The room is south facing and is really hot in summer, but we put the dining table in the conservatory part so we can enjoy the view of the garden while we’re eating.

‘We laid a new slate floor in the kitchen and lino in the conservatory, keeping the original back door step to create a split level room. I designed the kitchen layout and I did the tiling while Jonathan painted. We did a lot of the work in the house ourselves to save money and the whole project took about eight months.

‘Since we moved in we’ve changed most of the furniture, buying things which work with the size and shape of the rooms. Our home is evolving all the time. We started off quite neutral and gradually introduced more and more colour – partly to ring the changes and partly because our tastes have altered as we’ve gone along.

‘We buy a lot of things at antique centres, car boot sales and on the internet because you can find such good bargains. Jonathan particularly likes anything with an interesting history to it, so we have all kinds of unusual things dotted around, like the metal signs on the kitchen walls, a car grill – which we framed - and an old radio.

‘We struggled to find enough storage space at first so I used two mirrors to create a cupboard door in the hall – which also make the hall look lighter - and we’ve used every inch of kitchen space. We’re also planning to fit floor to ceiling cupboards in the third bedroom and we may convert the attic into more living space in the future.

‘Living in a bungalow is great because the space just flows from one room to the next. A lot of people think of bungalows as homes for older people, but they are a great way of starting out on the property ladder and can be made to look fantastic inside. You just have to think of it as an apartment with a garden.’


Hemswell Antiques Centre 01427 668389 hemswell-antiques.com

Homebase 0845 077 8888 homebase.co.uk

Morgan and Quinn 01405 761719 morganandquinn.com

Next 0844 844 8000 next.co.uk;

TK Maxx 01923 473000 tkmaxx.com

Murals Wallpaper 0151 227 5761 muralswallpaper.co.uk

Dunelm Mill 0845 165 6565 dunelm-mill.com

Kennings DIY 01405 720127

B&Q diy.com

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