It has been a while since I have posted any renovation progress reports on any of the rooms that we have on the go at the moment (bathroom, guest room, home office and upstairs hallway if you’ve been following for a while!). The reason is that we have been really busy and since the start of the year I’ve been suffering from daily headaches again, meaning I can’t really do any DIY, and poor Ste has to give up all his time at the weekends, such as we have, which hasn’t been easy on him.
However, last week I went for my first acupuncture session and had almost a full week free of headaches, which I am totally delighted about and I’ve been again today for another session. I had forgotten what it was like to feel normal and well, and this past week I have been whirling around like a dervish, doing little DIY jobs, having a spring clean of my wardrobe and revitalising our plans for the next phase of the renovations. It has felt fantastic!
However, there’s not a lot to show in terms of progress, but I thought I would do an honest, behind-the-scenes post, to show you what it is really like living in a house which is also an ongoing renovation project. Not clean and tidy, that’s for sure, so please don’t judge me! I do my best, but we’re fighting a losing battle against dust most of the time.
First up, the next big thing we have to do is the kitchen/dining room, which is hopefully due to start soon. This means that I will be losing my temporary home office (the dining room), so the next priority is to get the office finished. This is easier said than done, since it currently looks like this:
Yes, that is all our tools and equipment (mid tidy-up, it looked worse a week ago and will probably look worse again before it looks better!) stashed in there, along with the contents of my office, and some of the bathroom bits and any other junk we are not sure of a home for yet. This all has to be cleared and tidied over to the wall by the window, so that we can get in and begin installing the built-in bookshelves which will cover that unpainted and unplastered back wall. Obviously that radiator will be coming out. Then we need to get the electrics done in here, and carpet, but then it is basically finished! This vision of mine from well over a year ago is finally going to get realized in the next couple of months I hope!
Because we need to get the office done asap, finishing off in the bathroom has taken a backseat. So it will be a while yet before I can do any big reveal of the finished room, which is very upsetting, but we have to be practical! For now, I am living with a big hole in the room where a built in cupboard will be, which means we can’t finish the cladding on that side of the room yet either. I haven’t painted the walls and ceiling yet (just a mist-coat so far) but I am going to aim to do that in the next few weeks, since I just finished the last of the woodwork painting around the window last week.
We also need to replace the cracked sink which got broken during renovation, and then I can finish off the vanity unit with the front drawer (which is a big open hole at the moment). But basically, that’s it, not a huge amount to do, but it will take us a while to get around to.
Even though it’s not finished yet, it is perfectly functional and I absolutely totally love it in there.
And then the last room is the smaller spare room. Which I started on, it got painted, and we put a bed in there, but I wasn’t keen on the paint colour on one wall and have been meaning to change it for ages, but, well, it’s at the bottom of the priority list. For now it’s just storing masses of stuff.
And finally, one room which we have finished is the larger guest room (though I have yet to have it clean and free of storage items long enough to photograph for a reveal!). Sadly it looks like this (or a LOT worse) 99% of the time. If we have guests we move it all into another room and then move it all back. It’s like a neverending game of musical boxes and tools and supplies. Without all the stuff it’s a lovely little room though!
And this is what our corridor has been like for quite a while, because we are reluctant to finish off the skirting etc until we have done all the work in the office because we don’t want to ding or scratch it all, so we have giant skirting boards we have to duck under constantly.
Worst of all are the stubs of the walls we removed to open up the space last year, as modelled by Tarquin who seems to have fallen in love with that spot on the floor because there’s a pipe going under it to the radiator. We need to fix the flooring here before we re-carpet of course, but you can see that this area is very far from finished.
The landing is also a tool store, and needs finishing – skirting, doorframes, painting, carpeting etc etc.
So, as you can see, our house is beautiful right now. The downstairs is a little more tidy, but we have a table saw on the dining room table and giant sheets of mdf hanging out ready to be made into office shelving, not to mention half the furniture for the office crammed in. So apart from our bedroom, which is the only truly finished room (still in need of a new carpet when we do the rest of upstairs though), the rest of the house is in a constant state of flux.
People often ask me how on earth I live in such mess, and I do realise it looks pretty awful when I share photos like this, but you do get used to it (though never really content about the situation), but I am afraid it is the reality of renovating a home entirely yourselves, and on a tight budget. We need time to do the work, and to save up the money for materials etc, so it means living on a building site for a long time. However, at the end of it we will have a home which we almost certainly could never have afforded to buy at the start, and one which has increased in value a lot more than we’ve spent on it. So yes, DIY renovation is trying, but ultimately, it is so worth it to both of us!
What do you think? Could you live like this? Have you? Any tips for keeping sane throughout?!
P.S Whilst I normally love and encourage people to pin my images, I’d maybe prefer you didn’t pin any of these unsightly ones, except the one below (if for some reason you want to find this post and see this mess again! Maybe to reassure yourself you aren’t alone!). I’m too embarrassed for the rest to be out there!