Has your lifestyle changed the way you live?
Adding an extension to your home as a way of creating more space or perhaps increasing its value has never been so popular.
A new report by Westbury Garden Rooms sheds light on the phenomenon and points out some key reasons why adding more space to your home has grown in popularity over the past decade.
Our increasingly busy lifestyles teach us to value quality family time together and interestingly, that’s right across the generations. Grandparents, parents, children and extended family are united in one large, open plan room so they can come together to share a meal or hobbies. This chimes too with an ageing population that is still fit and youthful in outlook and happy to share chores and leisure activities. Homes have leaned increasingly towards creating these large, open plan spaces for use as the main room so that, across generations, that valuable time at home can be shared with your nearest and dearest whilst at the same time not being ‘on top of’ each other.
It is the simple pleasures, says the report, which are so important post-recession when we are evaluating what makes us happy. 54 per cent of Britons say their stress levels are rising and 40 per cent of women can’t say “I’m happy”. With this new perspective on our emotional well-being, the home has become a priority and extra space affords simple pleasures like home entertaining or celebrating a special birthday.
In order to create this airy, open plan space, many choose to extend their existing home as a way of enhancing their living space, avoiding the expense of moving, and at the same time hopefully increasing the value of their home. However, extensions today are not just made of boring brick. There is a growing trend towards glazed extensions that allow light to flood in – which has the added benefit of lifting the spirits and connecting you with the outside world.
Of course, it’s not just about our emotional connection to our homes. Extensions have changed the way we use and live in these newly created spaces. So for example, an orangery that back in the Victorian era would have housed orange and lemon trees now becomes a light, airy space to have a new kitchen with plenty of room to incorporate play space for the kids and even a home office. In other homes the extension becomes a place to feel outside while being warm and cosy inside. As such, these ‘garden rooms’ are popular as family rooms and have become the new heart of the home.
Extensions are built to last and blend seamlessly into the fabric of the original building. In an age where there is a high level of environmental concern, people are investing in products that stand the test of time. In turn, this has led to a heightened admiration and desire for true craftsmanship. The Report points to the fact that people like to engage with the products that they buy, understanding the story behind them – the heritage and roots of the company. Often extensions are in part made from wood and other natural materials that are handcrafted and people take considerable interest and time to pick the partner they or their architect will work with.
Article by Westbury Garden Rooms, Essex-based builder of beautiful high-quality bespoke garden rooms, orangeries, pool houses and roof lanterns, founded over 25 years ago by Jonathan Hey – www.westburygardenrooms.com