At Home With Joanna @my_home_renovation_beechwood
This week we are at home with Joanna. The creative lady behind the popular instagram account @my_home_renovation_beechwood where she shares images of her beautiful home and her day to day life.
Tell us a bit about you
My name is Joanna, I live with my husband Paul and three daughters Olivia, Mya and Valentina. We have a dog called Ruby.
We live in Livingston, a town-which is just outside Edinburgh. My interests are interior design, art, music and I enjoying running in my spare time.
Tell us about your home
In 2018 we purchased a rundown, self-build corner plot bungalow with substantial gardens. The bungalow was built in 1989 by the original owner. The bungalow hadn’t had any updating since it was built and required a major overhaul to modernise it into a functional family home.
How would you describe your home?
We love modern design mixed with traditional elements. We prefer a clean, minimalist style where the space not the accessories take centre stage.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
The kitchen. We extended the original kitchen which was a galley style kitchen with a dining space at the other end from 26 sqm to 66 sqm! The kitchen was a long narrow space, which didn’t utilise the uninterrupted views of the woodlands and park beyond the garden.
We added a whopping 40sqm. Which created a more sociable open plan, modern kitchen, dining space and lounge area. We added a large rectangle glass cupola to bring more natural light into the room and added 5 metre bi-fold doors.
Adding so much glass to the space emphasised the focal point of the room, which is the view. It created the feeling of being closer to nature, with the views out to the woodlands and beyond.
How does your home reflect any passions or interests that you have?
Both myself and my husband have always had a passion for interior design and had undertaken various new build and renovations projects over the years. It was exciting to be finally developing a property for our own family. We have really enjoyed the challenge of taking a home lacking in any character or charm (think beige box) and turning it into a unique space.
What are your favourite items in the home?
The glass cupola in the kitchen. It has created an interesting feature to the room and brings in so much natural light to north facing room.
The garden pod. My husband designed and built the garden pod in his workshop and transported it to the garden in the first month of moving in. We had initially planned to live in it short term whilst the major works were being done. However we managed to live in the house, so we changed our plans and created one large garden room instead.
It's a lovely chillout space in the winter to enjoy movies on the projector. It’s a very versatile space and has been utilised in many ways over the last two years. In the summer we open the French doors and use it as a second lounge. The children utilise it as a playroom/dance studio. During lockdown it has been used as the perfect work from home office.
When you moved into your house was it the finished article or was it a project?
A major project. The bungalow was built in 1989 and hadn’t had any updating to the property since then. It had sat empty for a few years as the previous owner had relocated. It was very dated and the layout was not family friendly and required a major overhaul.
Have you done an renovation?
We were fortunate that myself and my husband have a wealth of experience developing homes and were able to utilise those skills. My husband project managed the work carried out by his own team of builders. This enabled us to carry out the majority of the major works within the first six months. Which included; Extending the kitchen. Reconfiguring the living room and adding large oak and glass doors to lead into the kitchen.
Converting part of the triple garage into a children’s playroom Adding Velux windows to the one bedroom located within the converted loft .
Adding another WC to the utility room and adding new kitchen units. New flooring to the whole house. New doors, skirtings and door surrounds throughout. Plastering and decorating. Garden landscaping. We still have a few rooms to start and the front driveway to re-surface and front garden to redesign.
Have you had any DIY or styling disasters?
Not so far. But we haven’t finished the house yet! We have used very bright and bold tiles in one of our w.c. We absolutely love them. We have nick named them happy tiles but they definitely aren’t to everyone’s taste. But I think it’s more interesting and fun to make what would be normally be an ordinary space and make it extraordinary, wherever possible!
What is your top home styling tip?
Don’t be influenced by home trends. Your home represents you and your passions. Don’t be afraid to create a space that you love. Stick with designs that stand the test of time. Make a mood board, gather as much visuals as you can. I used Pinterest and pinned ideas for different rooms. That way you can start to design and visualise the space before you begin. We used a CAD program to carefully plan out our kitchen extension. This was so helpful to ensure it would serve the purpose to be aesthetically pleasing and functional.
Is there anything in your home that you couldn’t live without?
The beautiful view! We came from a new build home that was extremely overlooked. What sold our home to us was the view of woodland and the park beyond. The privacy we now have is not something we would be willing to sacrifice again.
They say that a every home tells visitors a story about who lives there. What do you think your home says about you?
I think it would show that we like space and enjoy a peaceful life. Our focus is family and comfort and enjoying our home and surroundings. We hope it’s a welcoming, warm home to visit.
The Home Edit
Lived-in look or show home?
If you could only paint your walls one colour, which one would it be?
Pink Ground by Farrow and Ball
What is your pet hate when it comes to your own or other’s homes?
Clutter. I like a space to feel organised and tidy.
Favourite front door colour
Carpet or Floorboards
Kitchen table dining or formal dining room?
Kitchen table dining
High gloss or rustic?
Wallpaper or Brick Walls?
If you enjoyed being at home with Joanna, you might like to take a look inside other popular home styling accounts on instagram and find out more about the people behind them. You can see more of these "at home with" articles here