133 weeks and 5 days | A Dream Conservatory Makeover

I’ve mentioned before that our home is listed. The main part of it was built in the 17th century with a shiny new extension added in 1890.

Modern right? ;)

Anyway, 15 years or so ago the previous owners added an extension of their own — a conservatory. Wooden framed and a decent size, it’s turned the house into an L shape. We currently use it as our ‘smart’ sitting room; basically a child-free room that isn’t strewn with an assortment of plastic toys and stuffed animals.

I *like* it but what I really want to do is knock the whole thing down and rebuild across the whole of the back of the house.

And I don’t want my dream conservatory to look like it was built in the 1600s either — a pastiche of the era — I want it to look super modern but still tie in with the existing building. Not too much to ask eh? Ahem.

It is a big ask — and a BIG job — but I’ve been trawling the internet and there are some gorgeous examples that make me think it could work beautifully.

I’ve also come across a fantastic website called RatedPeople.com that could really take a lot of the stress out of the build. It’s a brilliant resource listing tradespeople  of all kinds — builders, electricians, plasterers — but the best thing is everybody listed on there been rated by customers, who have previously used their services.

No more agonising over whether the plumber you’ve chosen is really a cowboy in disguise; this is a fab way of being paired up with tradespeople who have a proven track record and can be entrusted with your project.

Just let them know (in as much detail as you can) what kind of home improvement you’d like them to do and Rated People will send the job lead out to all the relevant tradesmen, listed in your local area. Up to three companies — who are interested in quoting on your project — will buy your job lead and get in touch.

You’ll then be sent links to their profile pages, where you can read about their businesses and look at the reviews and ratings they’ve received from previous customers.

It’s such a clever system. Instead of having to trawl through the yellow pages and getting quotes in from companies you know nothing about,  you can make an informed choice, using local quality tradesmen who’ve already been vetted through the experiences of others.

One thing’s for sure. If we did knock down our existing conservatory and replace it with something fabulous, I’d *definitely* have plenty room for the dream kitchen I’ve been banging on about!

This post was written in collaboration with RatedPeople.com but all thoughts and words, as ever, are my own.


Caro Davies

Caro Davies art directed fashion and interiors before leaving the world of design to pursue a career in social media. She can now be found chasing the light — and two small twin boys.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook


  1. 28th Sep 2015 / 4:56 pm

    Holy toledo I’m right there with you on that dream! The super modern looking ‘conservatory’ is gorgous and the kitchen… *sigh*

    • 28th Sep 2015 / 6:36 pm

      Aah totally. Wouldn’t it be nice? I’ve been on about the ‘dream kitchen’ for years now. I figure we don’t actually have the space for it, so building a new conservatory would be the perfect solution!! ;) Just one problem — I *need* a lottery win!! :)

  2. Jen @ 4,128 miles
    29th Sep 2015 / 6:11 am

    I love the modern conservatory pictures! That is so fab and I completely agree – sometimes you have to go ultra modern to compliment the timeless beauty of a listed building. #twinklytuesday

    • 29th Sep 2015 / 8:59 am

      Totally!! I think the contrast is fab — much better than trying to add something that looks like it was built in the same era! x

  3. 29th Sep 2015 / 7:12 am

    This reminds me of our family home in Ireland. It is around 400 years old and had a utility room built on in the 1980s that was not quite the width of the house. My dad finally knocked and rebuilt it the width of the house as a sun room about 10 years ago. The utility room got moved to the shed. It adds so much space to the house, adjoins the kitchen and the living room with two sets of glass doors and opens on to the patio. Perfect for entertaining and doubles as a home office some says.
    Yes, it is a big job, but it can make your home into something much more suited to your lifestyle as the boys grow.

    • 29th Sep 2015 / 8:59 am

      Aaah it would be awesome!!! We need a lottery win first though!! xx

  4. 29th Sep 2015 / 7:14 am

    Oh those conservatories look gorgeous and I’m with you on that dream kitchen… hope one day that dream comes true :-) #twinklytuesday

    • 29th Sep 2015 / 9:00 am

      Gosh — me TOO!!!! Am so desperate for a new kitchen. We’d need more space to have one like that though!!! :)

  5. 29th Sep 2015 / 7:20 am

    It is stunning! I would love a house like that with that conservatory! dream…. xx #twinklytuesday

    • 29th Sep 2015 / 9:03 am

      Totally my dream too — got to get my cosmic order in!! ;)

  6. 29th Sep 2015 / 7:56 am

    Oooh those look lovely. Sounds like a great site. Wish we had it here in Thailand. Some of the labourers we’ve had have been terrible!

    • 29th Sep 2015 / 9:04 am

      Ohmylife — YES!! Maybe you can set one up?!! You’d make a fortune!

  7. 29th Sep 2015 / 8:35 am

    Oh wow that sort of conservatory looks AMAZING! And that kitchen really is the dream, I don’t know how anyone could disagree with that. Fingers crossed for that lottery win!!! #twinklytuesday

    • 29th Sep 2015 / 9:01 am

      One of the days it will be mine… keeping fingers, toes, arms, legs and eyes crossed!! ;)

  8. Gemma @ Confessions of a Nagging Mother
    29th Sep 2015 / 9:08 am

    Those look stunning! I wish I could just move into one of those!


    Gemma xxx

    • 29th Sep 2015 / 1:21 pm

      Aaah me too Gemma!! Wouldn’t that be awesome!! Am praying for a lottery win ;)

  9. 29th Sep 2015 / 9:20 am

    The rated people site is great for finding tradespeople you can trust. It’s a great example of how the internet can be used for good!! I LOVE the inspiration images you shared. How amazing would it be to have a space like any one of those?!! We are about to re-embark on our dream kitchen journey (having gone from our original plan, to a cheaper less exciting one, we are now back to the original) and I am SO excited to get started! I just need to reign my enthusiasm in a bit to make sure we can stay within our budget – hmmm – such a nuisance!! ;-)

    • 29th Sep 2015 / 1:21 pm

      I’d never heard of them before Sue — it’s such a fab idea though isn’t it? Will *definitely* be using them if ever I get the opportunity to build my dream conservatory/kitchen!! ;)

  10. Maria Noell
    29th Sep 2015 / 9:29 am

    I love that traditional and modern twist, it looks absolutely stunning. You have such a great vision lady and I hope you get exactly what you want some day soon xoxo

  11. 29th Sep 2015 / 9:35 am

    I love the second image. I’ve used Rated People lots and always had good experiences- particularly good if you have just moved somewhere new! x

    • 29th Sep 2015 / 1:19 pm

      That’s fab that you’ve used them before Kaleigh!! I’d never heard of them before — such a fabulous idea! :)

  12. 29th Sep 2015 / 9:41 am

    The best of luck with it… I can but dream of a house like that.. I am desperate to move house #twinklytuesday

    • 29th Sep 2015 / 1:19 pm

      Aah me too! The chance of it ever happening and us building something amazing like that are pretty slim! x

  13. 29th Sep 2015 / 9:46 am

    Oh wow! I love all your inspiration pictures. Those conservatories are beautiful and that kitchen would be pretty close to my dream kitchen too! It’s so hard to find good builders. We’re lucky enough to have one that we no and trust to do all of our work, there has been a lot done to our house and we are getting our loft done soon too x #twinklytuesday

    • 29th Sep 2015 / 1:18 pm

      You’re SO lucky to have found a great builder!! Keep hold of him! :) I’m holding out for my dream kitchen, that’s for sure!! One day… ;)

  14. 29th Sep 2015 / 9:48 am

    Some lovely choices there, I think it would look gorgeous! Thanks for hosting. #twinklytuesday

    • 29th Sep 2015 / 12:33 pm

      Aah me to Helen!! If only eh? I need a big windfall first!! :)

  15. 29th Sep 2015 / 9:53 am

    Well….just…WOW…!!! How stunningly amazing are these pictures??? This just looks so historical (yet of course beautifully modern!). I am writing from Australia…so incredible to think your house was built prior to the settlement of our country. So rich in culture and ‘stories’. Good luck with it all…seriously, I can totally get sucked in to trawling the internet on ‘projects’ forever!! #TwinklyTuesday

    • 29th Sep 2015 / 1:37 pm

      They’re amazing aren’t they? And yes — it’s SO weird to think how long our house has stood for. I love the character and the history of it. It feels lovely inside — amazing to think how many people have lived here over the years! Thanks so much and yep — me too. My husband curses the advent of Pinterest!! ;)

  16. 29th Sep 2015 / 9:56 am

    Ah stunning – i’d choose something similar with a lottery win #TwinklyTuesday

    • 29th Sep 2015 / 12:32 pm

      Me too!! I think a lottery win would definitely be needed to create something as fabulous as that!! :)

  17. 29th Sep 2015 / 10:09 am

    I love those ideas – they look fabulous. We’re currently thinking of drastically changing our house and this is exactly the way my thoughts are leaning too! x

    • 29th Sep 2015 / 12:31 pm

      Aah do it Lizzie!! You’ve probably got more chance than me!! We’d have a massive battle with the listings officers in order to do something like this. We’d spend a fortune just trying to get the planning approved!!

  18. 29th Sep 2015 / 10:22 am

    Wow sounds like an exciting project to get stuck in to! We had so many grand ideas for our big build, in the end some of the more swanky ones were a little out of our budget, but we were very happy with the end result. And also, very happy its all over! x MMT #twinklytuesday

    • 29th Sep 2015 / 12:30 pm

      As my mother-in-law is fond of saying; ‘All you need is money’!! It’s so true. I’m certainly never stuck for ideas or inspiration!!! It’s the cash to carry out the plans that I’m sadly lacking!! ;)

  19. 29th Sep 2015 / 10:28 am

    These are stunning. How beautiful and they really make the period part of the look stunning and brings out the character. One day hopefully for you!!!!! Jess x #twinklytuesday

    • 29th Sep 2015 / 10:35 am

      Thanks lovely!! I think we’ll need a big win first!!!! It would be amazing though :)

  20. 29th Sep 2015 / 10:30 am

    Now that is a dream kitchen! Imagine the parties you could have – no worries about space at all. Oh and all the fun of choosing things for it. I fully support this extension. Nicky x#TwinklyTuesday

    • 29th Sep 2015 / 10:35 am

      Thanks Nicky — I really appreciate your support ;) You can help me to lobby and try and persuade my husband ;) xx

  21. Mum in the Cotswolds
    29th Sep 2015 / 10:35 am

    Wow that conservatory looks amazing and what a beautiful house and kitchen you have!! Lucky you!! #twinklytuesday

    • 29th Sep 2015 / 12:29 pm

      Haha!! I *wish* it was my house and kitchen!! Nope! As I said in the post, it’s my dream conservatory — and dream kitchen!! Chance would be a fine thing!! ;)

  22. 29th Sep 2015 / 10:50 am

    Those houses look totally beautiful, I know the problems with listings, we have a cottage here at Coombe Mill that is listed and another the planners are trying to list but which we are fighting. I hope you make your dream come true.

    • 29th Sep 2015 / 12:28 pm

      Aah the listings planners are a nightmare aren’t they? Some boroughs seem more open to change and are happy to work with you. Ours — sadly — are not. They seem to be stuck in a time warp!!

      • 29th Sep 2015 / 12:43 pm

        We’ve ended up at the Ombudsman a year later and still waiting a final response, don’t give up xx

        • 29th Sep 2015 / 1:32 pm

          Aaargh Fiona!!!! I really do feel your pain. It’s an absolute nightmare isn’t it? I love listed properties and am 100% all for preserving our beautiful heritage properties. But not so they can’t be brought up to today’s living standards. No-one wants to live in a museum. Good luck pet! Will keep everything crossed for you xx

  23. 29th Sep 2015 / 11:05 am

    I absolutely LOVE the combination of old and super modern in a house! I also regret not having bi-fold doors across the back of our house but decided against it as the lounge backs onto our garden rather than our kitchen/diner. I think you need to do this so that I can admire your project! :) #TwinklyTuesday

    • 29th Sep 2015 / 12:26 pm

      Yes — I love bi-fold doors. Really help to bring the outside in doesn’t it? Maybe you can do it in your next house? ;)

  24. Aimee Foster
    29th Sep 2015 / 11:09 am

    Those pictures have given me major conservatory/kitchen envy! It’s the stuff of dreams! Looking forward to seeing how you get on – I love a good old project :) #TwinklyTuesday

    • 29th Sep 2015 / 12:25 pm

      Totally the stuff of dreams!! I’m holding out that *one day* it might just come true ;)

  25. 29th Sep 2015 / 11:18 am

    Those are gorgeous looking conservatories/extensions. Yes, the rating sites are a great idea when trying to find people to do work. #twinklytuesday

    • 29th Sep 2015 / 12:24 pm

      It’s such a cool idea isn’t it? Really takes the headache out of finding a reputable tradesman!

  26. 29th Sep 2015 / 11:47 am

    Oh that kitchen is gorgeous. I hope you get what you want one day soon.

    Visiting from #twinklytuesdays. Thanks for hosting :-)

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