FROM BUNGALOW TO FUNGALOW – THE JOURNEY BEGINS!

Front of bungalow house

Welcome to the Fungalow! Or at least, to the start of our decorating journey that will hopefully result in a Fungalow!! I’m not sure what you might think of my new little name for our house? It may be that you’re firmly in my husband’s camp, where his toes visibly curl in his shoes and a strangled, helpless groan emanates from his throat every time I say the word. But when I catch him shaking his head despairingly at me, I tell him (in no uncertain terms) to put his tongue firmly in his cheek; and to channel his inner Barry Manilow…he needs to think flamingos and palm trees, drink Piña Coladas from coconuts, sing Copacabana at the top of his voice, and don a big pink feather boa over his shimmying shoulders whilst dancing the Cha cha cha. My husband can get away with a bit of pink (and a shimmy), so I don’t really see his problem.

I was going to break my 13 month hiatus from my blog by writing a bit of an explanation of where I’ve been. Since starting this thing in January 2015, I’ve been missing in action more times than I’d like to admit and in 33 months, have produced the rip-roaring grand total of 35 posts. An embarrassing average of about one a month.

But if I did this, then I’d need to explain that I started my blog at sadly the wrong juncture in my life, at the beginning of what turned out to be two shitty years of our lives. I’d need to explain the painful loss of my business Aunty Mabel’s Seat, my shop and our rental home above it, and the long unexpected grieving I did over this; the threat of bankruptcy due to the shop landlord, how we ended up with no assets whatsoever, having sold our house to set up the shop, and living in a rental that we hated and found drepressing; losing both our beloved dogs (click here to see them working in my shop) to cancer during our time there, which completely broke us and still affects us to this day; me suffering from my ever present depression and anxiety, and from a creative burnout, where I completely questioned my ability and nearly gave up being an interior designer, which shook me to my core; and my husband suffering from severe work related anxiety and being a hair’s breadth from having a nervous breakdown.

But then I thought better of it! LOL! I’m sure I might one day broach these subjects and open up a little bit about stuff like that. But I’m too excited and happy to go into these painful subjects. And you certainly don’t want to read about them when I could be telling you all about the Fungalow!

Because a year ago, due to all the hard work that nearly drove my lovely husband to a breakdown, we were able to not only gain some financial stability again but, after seven years in rental, to be able to buy the house of our dreams! And coincidentally, TODAY is the one year anniversary of the day we actually moved in, which for me heralded the start of a new chapter in our lives, a year where we both could breath again, and recover emotionally, lick our wounds and gradually heal from the turmoil of the previous two years. This house has already been a refuge and a place of quiet contentment, so I am beyond excited to be fully recovered, back to myself, no longer wanting to give up on my creativity, and raring to go at the renovations that this house needs to make it ours!

And so, without any further ado, it is my pleasure to introduce to you today, (what-will-be) *drum roll please* the FUNGALOW!!!

Bungalow fascia

It’s a 1960’s bungalow, with, in my opinion, a pretty ugly facade (my husband and Mum argue against this, but I stand resolute in my viewpoint). It’s probably the last thing I’d have gone for ten years ago, when I was all about my period properties that had to look pretty on the outside. But these days, I’m more about the space and light a property has inside, and it’s proportions, and I knew even before I viewed this property, that it is was the one for us. It had so much potential and it sat on the most amazing plot of garden, and I knew it would work well with my style of decorating which is slightly American, Hollywood Regency, glam and colourful. Plus, it sits on a little estate in a semi rural village, which gives me all my countryside fixes of sheep and horses and fields and trees and open spaces, but within a ten minute walk of a gorgeous local pub, which was very very important! We timed the walk before we put our offer in. Priorities and all that.

We bought it with the intention of completely renovating it and hopefully adding value to it, and it’s taken us a year to find the right architect, draw up the plans, put in for planning permission and to find the right building contractor; a year for me to cook up all my schemes and become giddy beyond belief about the transformation, which starts in just 11 days!! Ok, probably far more exciting for me than it is for you, but hey, so what, don your pink feather boa, grab a Piña Colada and join me whilst I cha cha around the house singing ‘The Fungalow is coming, the Fungalow is coming!!” No? Spoilsport.

Barry Manilow

This one’s for you @marciekdesigns (she’s an Instapal with a huge penchant for Bazza)

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll share the floor plans with you, just in case you’re interested. Well, you miiiighhht be!! But for now, I’ll just show you round the house as it is at the moment…try not to get too upset with all the mind-numbing magnolia everywhere. I’ve had to live with it for a year so I have no sympathy for you.

KITCHEN: this is at the front of the house, which is north facing, and because we want the kitchen rear facing with all the sunlight streaming in, we’re going to convert this room into a TV snug lounge.

The kitchen before renovating

The kitchen before renovating

Flossie Romanian mad-as-a-bag-of-frogs rescue dog does quite a bit of photo bombing. She’s a natural. Keep your eyes peeled for her:

The kitchen before renovating

LIVING ROOM: this is at the back of the house and gets so much lovely sunshine. We are going to be building a double height (no ceiling) single story extension on to this, which will become our new open plan living room. And this room is going to become the kitchen.

Living room before renovating

Mood walls are the future, much much better than paltry mood boards!

Living room before renovating

The extension will come off the French doors at the rear:

Living room before renovating

DINING ROOM: this will remain the dining room but will be knocked through into the living room (which will become the kitchen) for more open plan living.

Dining room before renovating

Rescue Romanian street dog Harvey is most perturbed I’m interrupting his sleeping for silly pesky photos.

Dining room before renovating

STUDY/OFFICE: this will remain an office (if you’ve read about Greg’s ‘nautical’ room on Insta, this is it! Or will be)

Home office study before renovating

UTILITY & SIDE ENTRANCE HALLWAY: this will be knocked into one room, and will become a utility/mudroom complete with a doggie shower, and a loo for the humans

Hallway before renovating

Excuse the crappy photograph with all that overexposed light:

Utility before renovating

MAIN HALLWAY: will remain as main hallway, but some partitions and cupboards will be knocked out to make one larger space. This section leads to the master bedroom.

Hallway before renovating

Hallway before renovating

This section leads to the family bathroom and the corridor that goes at right angles, to the two other bedrooms:

Hallway before renovating

Flossie photobombing again. She doesn’t like to be too far away from me. I think she’s also doing a cheeky little mirror check to see if she’s all in order. That her on-trend peach fur is looking tidy!

Hallway before renovating

The right-angled corridor to the two spare bedrooms:

Corridor before renovating

MASTER BEDROOM:

Master bedroom before renovating

Greasy hair patches on silk headboards take a long time to develop. Don’t be jealous. (Guess which side is mine, for a laugh):

Master bedroom before renovating

Master bedroom before renovating

Master bedroom built in wardrobes

EN SUITE BATHROOM: one of the rooms that I fell in love when looking round was this one, just for it’s sheer generosity of size. Not, you understand, for its colour.

En suite bathroom before renovating

I think leaving the loo lid up for the photographs was a nice touch.

En suite bathroom before renovating

En suite bathroom before renovating

And here in the en suite, resides my feather ostrich lamp, looking very understated. She really doesn’t like to draw attention to herself.

En suite bathroom with ostrich feather lamp

FAMILY BATHROOM:

Family bathroom before renovating

SMALLER SPARE BEDROOM:

Spare bedroom before renovating

LARGER SPARE BEDROOM: also know as the Chinoiserie Room which gives you a hint at the direction I’m taking the decor.

Spare bedroom before renovating

What? Where did I get that amazing clothes hanging maiden? It’s special isn’t it? Luckily for you, it hasn’t got our smalls strewn all over it.

Spare Bedroom before renovating

Spare bedroom before renovating

So, there you have it. That’s the bungalow as it is. Worts and all. And it already feels like the most beautiful home to us, we absolutely love it here. Greg (the hubs) wanted me to title this post something along the lines of the end of one chapter, the beginning of another. But I prefer to stick to my Carnival of Colour circus-obsessed ways and quote the great man himself, Ronan Keating, and say that life is a roller coaster, you’ve just gotta ride it!

Here’s to happier healthier times for my little family, and I hope you will join us on our journey as we make this already much loved home into something that can only be described as (hopefully, fingers crossed) a Fungalow!

I already can’t wait to share with you my new favourite Wendy Morrison rug, and the scheme that I’ve developed around it, so I’m going to be back tomorrow to tell you all about it. I know! I’m like a bus. You wait forever for one and then they all come at once…that old chestnut. Except for one crucial element…you haven’t actually been waiting forever for me to blog again!! But I’m going to ignore that bit. 😂

Join the conversation

  • Malcolm - 2 months ago

    Booey you are something else! Can’t wait to see how it all develops xx

    • Carnival Of Colour - 2 months ago

      Awwww Malc!! Thanks so much! And I can’t wait to see you at Christmas! xxx

  • Vicki - 2 months ago

    I am also a member of the bungalow club. It looks pretty decent in terms of the space you have and the kitchen is nice as is but I look forward to hearing all about the renovations. We inherited planning permission for an extension on ours but not sure we want to go ahead. I might change my mind once I’ve seen yours 😀

    • Carnival Of Colour - 2 months ago

      Hi Vicki, we are very lucky, it’s got so much space. Did you have to do much to yours to make it wheelchair friendly? One day I’m going to send you pics of a bathroom of my clients…she has MS and is in a wheelchair, and I helped her with the design of her house. But the did the bathroom herself, and she’s made it look gorgeous!! I’ve told her she should specialise in designing for people in chairs, she’d be brilliant at it. Like you! xx

  • Helen - 2 months ago

    Amazing and so honest from start to finish! Can’t wait to track progress. It’s going to be most interesting and fabulous 😁🍸

    • Carnival Of Colour - 2 months ago

      Thanks so much gorgeous, I hope you’ll like what I do! Poor Greg!!!! LOL xx

  • Jill Catrinel - 2 months ago

    Fungalow is a great name! Pink flamingos and palm trees sounds fabulous, and you’ve got style for days, so I’m sure it’ll be stunning when it all comes together.

    I feel you on emotional stress sapping your creativity. My mom became very ill soon after I moved, when I intended on beginning my venture. She passed early this year and I lost all interest. But I tell ya, getting back into it has brought that light back. There’s always going to be an ebb and flow, but your passions have a way of doing that.

    Your plans for this house sound wonderful. Changing the layout for the best lighting is a smart move that will pay off big time. And I love the house! It may not be flashy on the outside, but really the exterior is fine and you have great space to work with. Cheers to moving forward!

    • Carnival Of Colour - 2 months ago

      Hi Jill, I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your Mum, such a painful thing to go through. But I reckon you are honouring her by continuing to channel your creativity. I agree, it ebbs and flows, and in the past I’ve been comfortable with that. But never have I wanted to give it all up! That was a shocker for me, but I waited and it passed. As too does everything. I’m so glad you like the look of the house, I just hope you like what I do, thanks so much for reading! xxx

  • Emma - 2 months ago

    Rebecca it looks incredible and I think what you have planned with the footprint sounds absolutely perfect. The rooms are lovely dimensions and i am literally peeing my pants to see what you do with it. Careful inviting me round… I may never leave xxx

    • Carnival Of Colour - 2 months ago

      Thanks Em, you’re a star! Maybe we could house swap one day, as I absolutely adore your own Fungalow!!! LOL. You’ve got to come round before we start the work, so you can see it in all its dated glory! xx

  • Jayne Girginc - 2 months ago

    Great blog Rebecca. Can’t wait to see what you do with this house.It has so much potential.I love it already x

  • Kirsty - 2 months ago

    Rebs I cant wait to watch the transformations of this amazing property! You and Greg are an inspiration x Love you x

  • Nadia Newton - 2 months ago

    Wow!! I wish I had a bungalow just so I could do the same and call it a Fungalow!! 😆 I can’t wait to see what you do with it and see the transformation over the coming weeks/ months!! So exciting. Massive good luck to you and sorry to hear about the bad times.
    But it’s these bad times that make you realise and appreciate the good times.

  • Sue Dowson - 2 months ago

    Oh Rebecca, the Fungalow is amazing already but I’m so looking forward to sharing your renovation journey and seeing all your fabulous plans come together. I’m so sorry you’ve had tough times but it sounds like things are on the up now and I wish you all the luck, love and happiness in the world for your exciting fungalow adventure xx

  • Lucy - 2 months ago

    What ab exciting project!!! Can’t wait to see it unfold 🙂 xxxx

  • Kath Pinkham Edwards - 2 months ago

    I lurve it….what an amazing space and such huge potential. Can’t wait to see the changes. It’ll be lush…in a sexy Californian feather boa kind a way with maybe a bit of Barry White along with Barry Manalo singing in the background!! Am also so in awe of the way you’ve turned things around. Onwards and upwards!!

  • Kathmessina - 2 months ago

    Wow my friend! Your home is amazeballs… I’m def coming along on your reno ride and I’d like a front seat so I dont miss anything! You’re remarkable and I’m sure those rough patches will eventually and hopefully become a dim memory … and remember ! What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger !!! I know from experience… I went thru a shitty year w my eldest 3 years ago… didn’t think I’d make it… but we survived a very common but painful loss of first love… blah blah fucking blah! Love you!

  • Ma - 1 month ago

    Plumsy you really do write an incredible blog quite fandabby. Keep on blogging, I’m proud of you. X

  • Pauline Leebetter - 1 month ago

    Just love it , so much space! cant wait to see it change xx