We live in a very small 3 bedroom semi detached house in a village without shops. The house is on a close and no-one really comes along here unless the are visiting someone. The bedrooms in our house have sloping ceilings and only two of the rooms have a high enough ceiling to accommodate wardrobes. Downstairs we have a small sitting room and a kitchen.It is beautiful and we love it but it is a bit on the snug side. The garden is equally 'pocket sized'. A few years ago we decided that perhaps, as the children got physically bigger as well as older, it might be a good idea to move house. We couldn't find anywhere as lovely as our little old cottage so eventually decided to build on. We build an l shaped extension which fits around two sides of the house. Along the side was a widish alleyway which got no sun and was never really used. This would be a guest bathroom and my office. Across the back of the house we chose a conservator that went from boundary to boundary (not actually that far in our garden). Although it is a conservatory it has superb insulation and an efficient heating system and could be used all year around. We did all of the building work ourselves except for the electrics. We used recycled materials wherever possible and when you look at the (almost) finished building now it doesn't jar against its surrounding. It hasn't been a quick job to say the least but finally we seem to be close to moving in (should it be moving out). There will be more work after Christmas as the larder gets build and the kitchen re-arranged for maximum efficiency (still using the same cupboards of course-minimal waste. From there the sitting room and the stairs needs a coat of paint but luckily nothing structural. I am also applying for planning permission to build a small front porch. We will have somewhere to store out door clothes, bags, shoes and boots. There is just about room in behind to fit a little laundry room so I will finally have somewhere for all my household items. I am dreaming of a linen closet of my own!
I know it is just a house but we like it here. Its a home because its friendly and welcoming. I try to keep it clean and fairly tidy but not so tidy that it scares people away. It is always full of children, now teenagers really,and we have very few doors (bedrooms and bathrooms only) so we are always close by each other even without sitting on each others laps. There are shelves of books and comfy chairs, good company plenty of laughs from the kids (am i the only one who finds teenagers just adorable). The perfect home.
PS the allotment that I share with my sister is just a few minutes away by bike so even the lack of garden hasnt been too big an issue. We have enough space for everything we want to grow at the moment and another plot available to us if we ever get completely on top of the current one!