So I have been renovating and redecorating our house and let me tell you, even with the minimal changes we have made, it’s been no easy task!
I can’t imagine what it’s like living in a building site, or waiting for your dream home to be completed after months and months of renovation work. I’m on the total opposite end of the scale and have only made small home improvements but the time, mess and money all adds up!
Aside from those things, renovating is the most fun thing on the PLANET. If you know me you know that 1. my home is my life and the space around me affects my mood and happiness HUGELY and 2. I LOVE interior design. The perfect combination for a potential project.
When I decided with my partner to move back to Bristol, I immediately set up a Pinterest board for every room in the house and eagerly planned all the amazing colours, textures, fixtures and furnishings for redecorating. My partner was quick to remind me that we aren’t millionaires and that I’d probably have to delete the boards and restrain myself, but where there’s a will there’s a way right?
As with all things, the initial ideas are probably a little far out, but after a lot of scaling back and focusing on the main things first, we began a more realistic list and planned all the finer details.
We started with the lounge. This is the space where you spend a significant part of your day, especially during the winter months and I feel like your lounge should be super cosy and indulgent.
Following on from the lounge, we updated a few features in the dining room and bedroom, then moved on to some bigger changes in my office. One of my favourite areas that we’ve created in the bar areas downstairs and I can’t wait to show you.
The best advice I can give you is to start with thorough planning. Write notes, browse online, create Pinterest boards, scroll through accounts on Instagram, or even draw your plans on paper. Having a really clear vision is extremely helpful as trying to make decisions and big changes with no direction is a complete nightmare, and the wrong decisions when it comes to redecorating can cost a fortune.
When you know what you want and are happy with the overall theme or vibe, I would pick specifics. Find the paint you want, furniture, prints, everything! I know this isn’t always possible and that is completely fine if you only have the major points down, but by building a vision of exactly what you want, you can see what this will be like and most importantly be able to price it up. If your paint choice is dependant on whether you have carpet or wooden floor, you don’t want to go get halfway through painting only to realise you can’t afford to change the flooring.
I would also let the ideas settle. Making rash decisions is a bad idea. Your mind will change 100 times over and each time you find a new person to follow on Pinterest you will want to scrap everything and start again. When you know you are happy with the same choices over a period of time, you know this is the right choice. Contrary to that, go with your gut! As much as I do recommend letting ideas sit with you, I do think your gut feeling says a lot.
I sat on the ideas for every room for months and knew what I wanted, whereas for the bar area, we knew we wanted a bright, deep and unusual colour and rather than choosing the colour and visualising this for a while, we walked into Farrow and Ball and just chose it straight away. We were in and out within 5 minutes and it was probably one of the most exciting and most terrifying experiences during my stint as a wannabe interior designer – you will know what is best for your home at the end of the day.
The last piece of advice I have is to be brave and ignore what other people are doing when working on your own redecorating project. There was a point where everyone and their mother were renovating their houses ahead of my renovation schedule and the colours I chose and the vibe I wanted became so popular and a little overdone but I didn’t want this to interfere with my flow. Who cares what other people have in their house? Will you be spending time there and living in it? No. So who cares if you all have a Hague Blue wall? I decided to ignore external influences at this point. If we wanted it and liked it, we went for it.
A few people questioned my choices when renovating, with comments like ‘wow you’re brave’ or ‘oh god thats dark/bold’, but that’s ok. That is why we all have our own homes and make our own choices. You might have the same taste as every stylist on Instagram, or you might have a house that not one soul on earth wants to live in, but that’s the whole point of it.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would do this all day every day if I could. With more time and more money I would do SO much more as I feel that interior design is a job never finished! If you are about to embark on your own renovation journey, or are just wanting to dip your toe and start by redecorating a room or area of your home – congrats and good luck!
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