I’ve never really posted much about our house and the epic DIY we did on it, mostly because the majority of the large projects were pretty well finished by February 2009, which is when I started this blog, although painting our hall did make a brief appearance.
When we bought the house in October 2006, it hadn’t been touched for years. It had belonged to an elderly man; after he died his son put in on the market, but not before embarking on a disastrous whirlwind DIY spree, during which he slapped magnolia paint everywhere (and I do mean everywhere, including drips on skirting boards, light switches and the floor) and ripped up the carpets. A lot of the work we did was undoing this shoddy effort.
There were times when washing up was done in the bath, meals were cooked on a camping stove, and our bed was in the living room because there were no floorboards upstairs.
By February 2009 I had had enough of DIY to last me for a lifetime. Sure, I like the end results, and I don’t mind so much the more frippery jobs like painting, but living in dust and chaos and mess, and having to start working on something as soon as you get in the door after a day at the office, and driving to B&Q innumerable times for materials, and then again because there’s something else that’s unexpectedly required – no thanks. Been there, done that, got the (paint spattered) t-shirt.
A house is never really done, though. There’s always something you want to do – a small thing like hanging a new picture or a slightly larger endeavour such as painting the entire outside – so declaring “everything’s done!” is a bit of a misnomer. And it seemed that we couldn’t avoid the roar of the circular saw and the smell of the gloss paint, as after two years off we decided that we wanted to redo our bedroom. Apart from sanding the floor and painting the walls, we never really did much to it and both of us had a nagging sense of dissatisfaction with how it looked, although it took a while for the nagging to become loud enough for us to pick up our tools again. There’s also been the ongoing quest to make our garden and outside space look a little nicer.
Since this month marks three years since we got the house into a livable state, I thought I’d have a little reminisce about all the work we did and celebrate the many changes that we’ve made in order to make our little house that much cosier and nicer. So hello, welcome, come on in, let me make you a cup of virtual tea and show you around.
Firstly, let me give you a flavour of how it was and some of things we did along the way…
And this is our little house today…
At the time, the thought of looking for DIY inspiration on the web didn’t occur to either of us. I remember buying a homes and garden magazine and being really disappointed with its contents, so not bothering again. If we were starting again now I would be much more aware of the treasure troves of wonderful ideas from sites such as Pinterest and Design*Sponge and the like. So I guess we’ll just have to save that for the next house.
Considering, however, that it was mostly done by two people with absolutely no prior DIY experience, I’m pretty pleased with what we achieved. Yes, there are things I would do differently if we started again, but overall I think we’ve created something to be proud of. And the thought that we never have to pick up another paintbrush unless we want to is very, very sweet.