Comment: Renovating? The options are endless... if you’ve got the cash

Renovating isn't easy... or cheap. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Renovating isn't easy... or cheap. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

We’re lucky here in Herts to have so many lovely local places to explore.

In fact, there are so many options on offer, we struggle to visit - or even know about - many of them.

This week's area guide is about Gustard Wood, a hamlet so small a friend had never heard of it despite living six miles away in St Albans for most of her life.

It was TV's The Best House in Town that put this particular place on the map for me. The BBC1 show was a hot topic in these pages last year, and its winner just happened to live in the little-known hamlet.

Chrissie Adams took a tired 1970s house and transformed it into a beautiful family home, proving that even the most average-looking, characterless property could be turned into something really special.

Despite my lack of Chrissie-style design flair, I'm hoping to work some similar magic on our new place, assuming all goes ahead as planned.

We kicked things off by visiting a load of kitchen showrooms over the weekend.

It's a whole new world of islands, peninsulas and the like, and while it's ever so slightly overwhelming, it's already helped us narrow down what we do and don't like.

It's also left us feeling mild envy for the people who are further down this particular road than us, arriving with their tile samples and folders full of architects' plans.

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Having not chosen a new kitchen in 15 years, this feels like a whole new world of options, not to mention complimentary tea and coffee and surprisingly appealing play areas it's hard to extract the kids from (result).

Having just viewed the new place again with a builder in tow, it now feels like absolutely anything is possible. Our everyday lingo now includes words such as 'steels' and we're beginning to feel excited about the changes we may be able to make.

There's just the small budgetary issue to consider (the fact that the budget is small being the main consideration...).