My Friend’s House are two friends who live and work in South London. We love their blog, which tracks the renovation of their respective homes: design ideas, product choices and DIY trials and tribulations. It’s intriguing reading: both personal and authoritative, and full of lovely pictures. And now they’ve been kind enough to share a little of their extensive experience with us in a special guest post in the Journal about how to bust those final little renovation niggles.
ONE FRIEND SAYS…
They say that when you do up a house the last ten percent of the work just never gets done. The money or the energy runs out and those last little jobs, well, you just live with them. In the spirit of the My Friend’s House Real Reveal, here are the last, loathed jobs that we just can’t get done – and what we would do if only someone else would sort it out for us.
1. PAINT THE WOODWORK
I’ve done the walls. Spent ages deciding on just the right grey, bought posh paint and did a good job. But I just can’t bring myself to do the woodwork. All that sanding. All that dust. All that lying on the floor scrutinizing the skirting boards. But in an ideal world I’d go for a nice contrast between the white floorboards and the grey walls, like this Farrow & Ball Setting Plaster.
YOU’VE SPENT ALL THAT TIME DOING THE WALLS AND DOING A JOLLY GOOD JOB. BUT THE WOODWORK IS JUST A STRETCH TOO FAR FOR YOUR SANITY
2. RIP OUT THE KITCHEN CUPBOARDS
From one angle my kitchen looks lovely – the yellow Formica-topped table next to the yellow cowslip wallpaper, next to the door to the garden.
But turn the other way and it’s a horrible mess of white and grey MFI doors hanging wonkily off their hinges. It may be a long way off but if I ever save up to redo the kitchen this is what I’ll have – a great big run of open shelves to display all my lovely crockery. And to hell with the dust.
IT MAY BE A LONG WAY OFF BUT IF I EVER SAVE UP TO REDO THE KITCHEN THIS IS WHAT I’LL HAVE – A GREAT BIG RUN OF OPEN SHELVES TO DISPLAY ALL MY LOVELY CROCKERY
3. BROKEN BATH PANEL
The whole bathroom is a bit of a state, but the worst of it is the split bath panel that’s always falling off. The cat likes to try and stick her face behind it too, which surely is some kind of health and safety issue. My Friend has a nice duck egg blue tongue and groove going on in one bathroom, and I’d be tempted by the same.
WHILE THE OTHER FRIEND SAYS…
Ten percent did you say? Try 40. I also add to my to do list regularly with new ideas I become obsessed with. ..
THE WHOLE BATHROOM IS A BIT OF A STATE, BUT THE WORST OF IT IS THE SPLIT BATH PANEL THAT’S ALWAYS FALLING OFF
1. PAPER THE CEILING
One of those is wallpapering the underside of my stairs – the ceiling basically – on the landing outside my bedroom: an idea I love but wonder if I’ll ever get around to. It entered my head after seeing Cole & Son Fornasetti Frutto Probito wallpaper in a house I was visiting – something about those monkeys and the colours, which I knew would look great with the paint colourmin my hall (Farrow & Ball’s blue-grey Skylight). Here’s the landing in question, alongside the paper…
WALLPAPERING THE UNDERSIDE OF MY STAIRS IS AN IDEA I LOVE BUT WONDER IF I’LL EVER GET AROUND TO
2. BUY SOME LAMPSHADES
Next on my list – and this one should be easy to finish, you’d think – is seeing to the many bare bulbs in this house. I’ve now lived with at least four for five or so years – a travesty. Here’s one lampshade (by Naomi Paul) I’d love to use if my budget would stretch to it…
…that just leaves another three to find.
NEXT ON MY LIST – AND THIS ONE SHOULD BE EASY TO FINISH, YOU’D THINK – IS SEEING TO THE MANY BARE BULBS IN THIS HOUSE
[This incredible lampshade by Naomi Paul is actually going to be on sale next week at LLUSTRE.com!, Ed.]
3. SORT OUT THE CUPBOARDS UNDER THE STAIRS
Finally, life would be better organised if I tidied and painted the inside of the cupboards under the stairs. I got around to doing the outside a few years ago – I even mood boarded the teal colour I’d be hankering for on our blog – but some nice door knobs on the outside, plus a flashy coral colour inside would be just the thing to finish this job off.
Not to mention some snazzy storage ideas as seen in this Guardian feature last week.
FINALLY, LIFE WOULD BE BETTER ORGANISED IF I TIDIED AND PAINTED THE INSIDE OF THE CUPBOARDS UNDER THE STAIRS