Usually, if you want more space in your home, you have to resort to building an extension, or converting the loft. But one couple just stumbled across some additional living space that was concealed in their house.
The lucky pair has revealed how they found a secret room hidden behind a wall – and then turned it into their dream bar area for just £45.
Sarah King, 32, and husband Toby, had decided to give their home in Brighton a fresh lick of paint when they noticed a faint outline of a doorway.
‘We knew there was a void there, from the plans,’ says Sarah, who recently launched her own interior design business.
‘The other houses along the road have got a cupboard there (door in the exterior wall of the house into the small area in the outbuilding), but we had thought ours was completely bricked up.
‘We were prepping and sanding the walls of the dining room, ready to paint. We took off some lining paper and sanded, which revealed a very faint outline of a doorway.
‘Once we had seen the outline, we couldn’t not know.’
With Sarah still furloughed but Toby out at work as a technical support engineer, she had some free time on her hands.
She says: ‘He went to work one day and I started chipping away the surface just to see if there was any way of finding out what was there.
‘I just did a tiny bit then sent a photo to Toby – he was replying and happy for me to discover more.
‘As I uncovered the lintel, I realised that it was not resting on the breeze blocks that were blocking the door. They weren’t supporting anything above.
‘Throughout the process, I was sending updates to Toby, who was cheering me on and friends and family too, who were getting excited to see what I would find in there.’
She managed to chip through the wall and knew there was a room there, but held back until Toby came home to finish it off.
‘I waited until Toby was home to make the final hit to smash down the breeze blocks – in case something was staring back at me,’ she says.
‘It was a tiny room with just a pull-out shelf/desk, some knee pads and a car battery.
‘It had electricity to it and believe it or not, hardly any cobwebs and thankfully no spiders.’
Once they found the room, the couple decided it was the perfect space for a bar area, as it sits just off their dining room.
‘The most obvious thing would have been a cupboard but we already had storage for everything… and well we like to do things a little differently,’ she says.
‘It’s off the dining room and by the breakfast bar. We felt it was the ideal place to have a little bar and make the area more special when hosting guests.’
Sarah and Toby managed to complete the mini-project for £45 by mainly using materials they already had.
The pair had just started work on their dining room transformation and decided to use the same paint in the bar.
Sarah adds: ‘The teal paint colour block round the dining room continues into the bar and all walls and ceiling we painted in the bar are this colour.
‘We made the cupboard from two that were either end under the breakfast bar before.
‘We cut back the breakfast bar which made the space more usable and created an entrance to the bar.
‘We hung the cupboards on the wall together in the bar, primed them and painted the same colour as the walls, then made a top from wood off cuts we had and wrapped with marble effect vinyl we had to make it look like a marble top.
‘We bought some new handles for the doors to finish off. The mirrored back of the bar area were mirror stickers we bought as we wanted a mottled glass look.
‘The glass shelves we got free on Facebook Marketplace from someone ripping out an old bathroom.’
Now the work is finished, the couple are glad they investigated the secret space and are enjoying using their new bar.
‘We love it!’ says Sarah. ‘We are so pleased with it and we love the story behind it of uncovering the space.’
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