As I’ve briefly mentioned, we’re remodelling our house. We took the first step already almost two years ago, when we’d barely lived here half a year, by tearing down the wall between the kitchen and the living room.

The house was originally built in 1907. Then in 1973 the enterprising taxi driver who owned it at the time built an extension. What he really wanted was a large garage for his taxi firm, and the only way he could get planning permission for that was if it was attached to the house. The old house sits on a hill so he built a garage next to and below it, and joined the two parts by adding one storey on top of the garage, level with the original house.

To me it looks obvious that the planning and design of the extension was done on a shoestring budget. It is a butt ugly box on the outside, with a weird, impractical floor plan inside. I am pretty sure that no architect was ever involved in the creation of that thing. Whenever someone asks which house is ours, I tell them it’s the yellow house on the hill with an ugly, boxy extension.

The north facade of the house is the worst, really showcasing its boxy nature. And just look at the windows: the bathroom window (the small one nearest the old part of the house) is bisected by a pole! That wasn’t an error by the builders or a later change, that’s the way it looks on the original drawings.

Inside we have:

  • one nice large well-lit bedroom;
  • one reasonably large but ugly bathroom;
  • a weird room reachable only from the bathroom, originally meant as a sauna but never furnished or equipped as one, now used to store stuff and to dry our laundry;
  • a long useless corridor with lots of built-in wardrobes – so narrow that we removed the bathroom door because it was blocking the corridor.

On the floor plan, the old part is to the left, and the extension to the right. (The floor plan doesn’t match the current state of affairs to 100% but it’s close enough.)

Ugly on the outside, lots of wasted space inside. We’re going to change that.