Last week I wrote Part I of my home renovation tips and here is Part II….

via Pinterest

Just because something is easier doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do.

If you have an idea that is really, really important to you, and you have your heart set on it, don’t be dissuaded from it because someone says it is easier if something different is done. By all means listen to their advice but it’s your project and you are the one who is going to be living in it. Stick to your guns.

Pictures, pictures, pictures and more pictures

Collate an inordinate number of pictures. Styling and  visualising a look can be overwhelming, one, because you’re spending you hard earned money on it so you want to make the rights choice and, two, because there are just SO MANY looks!  For months in the run up to starting the project I bought a selection of magazines (the larger the range the better, in terms of scope and target audience) and made scrapbooks from anything in them that caught my eye, whether it was a particular colour, layout, piece of furniture or a storage idea. Pinterest is invaluable too – an instantaneous scrapbook for grown ups. Going through pictures not only gives you new ideas but helps you to refine your own ideas and steers you away from fads.


Research, the research some more 

Yes, hours will be lost scouting the internet for products but, given that we are not made of money and these type of projects on the whole tend to cost more than anticipated, it’s worth spending your time doing this as it can save you tens, hundreds, even thousands of pounds.

I found the Laura Ashley eBay store great (it takes a little bit of sifting through and you might not find what you are looking at the first time around but persist) – there are firsts (essentially returns so pretty much impeccable) and seconds (where they have flaws of varying extents). You can save up to a whopping 80! I managed to buy a beautiful red leather chair for less than a quarter of its retail price and it had the tiniest mark on the arm. The same thing happened with, I’m not sure what it’s called but I call it, a banquette. I’ll tell you something for nothing though, if you don’t point it out 99 times out of 100 they’ll never notice it. The only potential fly in the ointment, although it might be a real plus, is that you have to pickup from Derbyshire.

Enjoy the process

Did I find it easy? No. It was (very) challenging at times (the day a wall was moved 30mm rather than 30cm immediately springs to mind). Some days I just didn’t want to do extension – particularly towards the end we’d come home from work and paint and work and assemble until 1am. I think we exhausted our families’ goodwill and washing machines (we lived without one for six months). Their help was invaluable. But was it an achievement and amazing learning experience, undoubtedly!

if you’ve got any tips I’d love to hear them – I think I’ve caught the bug!