Extending a Listed Building

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 hey?!).

But even though it could really do with being dragged into the 21st century, extending a listed building is easier said than done.

That said, 15 years or so ago the previous owners managed to get planning approved for 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.

Extending a Listed Building

I *like* the conservatory (the space but not the look of 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.

It’s freezing in the winter and like an oven in the summer. It just doesn’t serve it’s purpose.

But I don’t want our extension 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?

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.

Extending a listed building
Image Source — Extending a listed building has never looked so good
Extending a listed building
And from another angle — image source
Extending a listed building
Bringing the outside in — Image source

A Room With a View

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!

Extending a listed building
Dream kitchen right here — Image source

Editor’s note: Since this post was written, we managed to get planning permission passed. Plus listed building consent on our Grade 2 listed cottage. You can read all about it here.

Extending a listed building certainly isn’t as straightforward as extending a modern, unlisted home. But the rewards are amazing!! I wrote a post with tips on how to get listed building consent approval.

Please share, if you like this!

About 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.

54 thoughts on “Extending a Listed Building

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

    Visiting from #twinklytuesdays. Thanks for hosting :-)

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

        1. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

    1. 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!! ;)

    1. 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!!

  8. 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

    1. 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!! ;)

  9. 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

  10. 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. 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!! ;-)

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    1. 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!! :)

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