Sorry I haven’t blogged for ages. So long in fact that the interface on wordpress has totally changed since the last time I blogged.
I received an email this week from a friend who has just moved into a new house, well it’s an old house, that needs quite a bit of work. “Please come over, and give us the White renovation pep talk,” he suggested. “Reassure us that it will all be OK one day.”
Which got me thinking of the days when our French house was hideous. And I would cry and wonder why the hell we had done this. Check out these pics for example.
Or for those who can’t be bothered to click on the link.. this was once my dining room!
So I gave him my five point plan for renovation motivation or moreover things I say but don’t always do or feel but they sound like sage advice!
1) Make one room nice straight away. Then you have somewhere to sit in the evening and watch TV or drink wine, or both. In the case of France this was our kitchen as it was the only room with a working fire. In UK renovations I’d go for the sitting room as I am assuming you have heating and/or running water. If not then I salute you.
2) Sort out a shower. Showers are on that Maslow’s Triangle of needs. Well if they aren’t they should be. Maybe Maslow was more of a bath man? If you have a working shower with nice tiles and some Aveda shampoo you can face anything. So get thee to bathstore.com or victoriaplumb.com for affordable bathroom fittings and do it asap. You can always upgrade to fancy Duravit stuff in a few years time.
3) Remember that the reason you bought a house that needed work is because you couldn’t afford the same size house all done up or because you knew that buying a wreck can mean potential money making opportunities. And then think about how cramped you’d all be living in a high spec penthouse with all mod cons. You see – you feel better already!
4) Only invite people around in the early days who appreciate the joys of a project. People like Peter and I in fact. We will swoon over your peeling paint and original features. We will talk about potential. We will be jealous of the fact you are at the beginning of a renovation project and not nearing the end of it. (I still have wallpapers, tiles etc that I have nowhere to put now in France and entire pinterest boards devoted to rooms that don’t even exist!)
5) In the case of my male friend who was asking my advice on the above I pointed out that the best thing he can do is to accept at all times that whenever his wife has had a bad day, or is fed up with bare floorboards when all her friends have Fired Earth tiles, it is HIS FAULT. ALL OF IT! That way everyone is happy. See – I’ve cracked this renovation malarky….
renovation + that word strikes fear + loved your tips! peggybraswelldesign.com
Peggy – I saw you in Alexandra’s photos on Facebook! So great to put a face to the name. X
Peggy is soooo stylish! Loved spending the Hamptons wedding weekend with her and her gorgeous offspring…. can you say FULL CIRCLE…. Peggy is threatening to be back in London in December so we should all do a drinky at the House of St Barnabas… another Renovation Revolution!
Great idea! X
aaaah, Pinterest. I too have a theoretical house planned on there, which my 3 bed semi will never become. Boot room, I dream of a boot room, rather than a spidery corner of the garage! Keep your posts coming, always enlightening and amusing! x
This needs to be a book (and then a film… ) ASAP. Just saying….
Oh my goodness have you come a loooong way!!! You have done a beautiful job!
I like your advice and your friend is lucky to have someone who’s experience might lighten his load and help guide his renovation journey. ….does that even make sense?…sounded better in my head :0) lol! Anyways… well done!
I’ve neer heard any of this advice before – it’s great! I’ll be passing your post onto my friend who’s moving to a doer-upper soon.
This soooo hits home! Nothing worth it comes fast or easy!