Some of you might be surprised to know that I am currently in the midst of a home renovation of my very own, and am about a year away from a move in date.
I thought I’d use this blog to occasionally share my personal renovation journey tips thus far in case they might be helpful to you.
Let yourself fall for it
Back in 2013 when I first toured the Belgravia townhouse that my daughters and I will eventually move back into, I fell in love with its “Alice in Wonderland” feel. For one, the entrance to the house was covered in vines and greenery and felt like a secret opening carved out of a hedge. Once inside, through a pair of ornate French doors, the property opened into yet another enchanting garden filled with charmingly overgrown trees and lovely white rose bushes. I was smitten from the get go and willing to turn a blind eye to the interiors, which felt a little trite and traditional for my taste.
Move in, then Repair
I knew from the beginning, too, that there were some serious structural repair works that the house would eventually have to go through, having not had a renovation in over thirty years. Rather than dive into renovation right away, I chose to move in first for a spell and discover all of its quirks, thus making the eventual repairs all the more well thought out.
Start with a Blank Canvas
In the meantime, to make the place more livable to my taste, I stripped out all the tired fabric wall coverings and whitewashed the entire space. I kept the furnishings neutral, too, to let the house’s garden assets become the real focal point throughout. In a way it became an almost blank canvas allowing me to reflect on the house’s potential. Here’s what it turned into…
Get to Know the Space
After a few years living in the house and getting to know the space, I not only understood what needed some serious repair (electrics, boilers and more!), I also had a clear idea of what structural changes needed to be made, and what additions (or subtractions) might add value to the space. I developed the design and found a contractor I could trust to completely gut the space and then rebuild. Which brings us to where we are today.
In the meantime, I’ve taken over an apartment nearby decorated in a similar neutral vein. This allows me to check on the builders often, and make sure all is going according to plan.
Follow along over the following months as I detail my finds for the house, from the best marble cuts, to my favourite flooring finds, to the ideal social kitchen, and more.