I’ll admit it: I’ve taken on too much. You know what the unwritten Renovation Rule Book says? You should:
- live in a house for a year or so before renovating, to see how it feels
- renovate one room at a time
Of course, I’m doing neither of those things. Because I’m:
- too impatient
- an eejit
So I’m recklessly ignoring said Rule Book, and trying to do too many things in too short a time frame, with not enough information, and only the merest hint of approval from the Pink House Husband (i.e. I haven’t actually told him what I’m up to).
Disclaimer time: although I may be trying to renovate at least eight rooms simultaneously, I’m not actually doing any of the actual work myself – it’s delegation, delegation, delegation all the way.
But I tell you what, if I did so much as lift a paintbrush, the whole situation would be SO much worse (as the recent front door debacle proved).
In the midst of all the crazy, I thought it prudent to stop for a moment and take stock of my mistakes. That way, I reckon, at least SOMEONE will benefit from my entirely misguided attempt to renovate an entire house in the first six months of living there. And so here are three of this week’s face-palm fuck-ups. You’re very welcome…
Lesson 1: Don’t forget your OTHER door
I’d just said farewell to my excellent door decorator (who is, pleasingly, called Dennis) and was gazing lovingly at my newly Farrow-and-Balled pink front door (Nancy's Blushes, in case you're wondering) when my gaze happened to drift to the right and over the side door, which was still a dark, rusty, unattractive red...
THE SIDE DOOR! How could I have forgotten?! I’d totally meant to have that painted pink at the same time, and now Dennis had moved on to other, less idiotic, homeowners. Leaving me with a gorgeous pink door, and a really-not-gorgeous-at-all red door, which clashes nastily with blushing Nancy and appears in every front door photo I take. Doh!
MORAL OF THE STORY: Take 30 seconds to think: is there anything else that should ALSO be painted pink/blue/green? And then paint it pink/blue/green
Lesson 2: Never stain new floorboards to match the old ones
When we ripped up the nasty orange laminate in my study a couple of weeks ago, we found the original floorboards weren’t in brilliant shape. There were a few gaps and a broken board, but perhaps most jarringly, three boards that were clearly much newer than the others, and stuck out like a plaster on a tanned thumb.
“We’d better replace those,” I said to my sanding guy. “Can you find reclaimed boards of a similar colour?”
“Well I could,” he replied, looking bored. “But that would be a big hassle. I’ll just stain these ones to match instead.”
“Oh OK,” idiot me replied, eager to get back to renovating the other seven rooms.
When I returned home later that day, it was to find nicely sanded original boards, with a strip of what looked like dark chocolate where the new, pale boards had been stained about five shades darker than necessary.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Don’t take the easy option if you suspect the person offering it doesn’t really give a damn
Lesson 3: Look before you speak
When the wallpaper samples from Designers Guild arrived, naturally I was very excited. Ooh look! I exclaimed to the next person who passed. Isn’t this the most gorgeous sunsetty colour! Won’t it look beautiful at the backs of the alcove shelves?
“It’s bloody pink,” replied the Pink House Husband. “Not a chance. Plus, it isn’t in the spreadsheet.”
MORAL OF THE STORY: Put it in the spreadsheet