Finally Making Plans!

new windows

It’s already nearly the middle of February and we haven’t yet turned our thoughts to the big plans for #projectselondonhome this year! It feels like the longest time since we had our plantation shutters fitted back in August which was our last big home project and now we’re both feeling a bit frustrated at a lack of more progress.

The main reason it takes us a bit longer to get things done is of course money, I’m almost certain there’s a London premium whacked on to all costs for house projects and because we don’t want to go down the route of borrowing for anything we do, it means we can only afford to have work done once we’ve saved up for things. And we’re flippin’ fussy which just really doesn’t help.

Finally though we have some money in place for 2016 andΒ that means a little more progress this year. So what’s next?

Electrics – if we won the lottery, rewiring the house would probably be top of the agenda but since we haven’t won the lottery, making repairs is absolutely critical. Whilst our house isn’t old in the grand scheme of things, it is nearly 100 and in some cases we have the electrics to back it up. Coupled with some irresponsible owners in the past who have hashed out their own works, adding spurs here and there it’s a bit crazy AND dangerous. I know lots of people are comfortable with dabbling in sorting out their own wiring but I’d rather leave it up to the experts and know that we meet building regulations. We’ve got an absolutely brilliant electrician who drew up a report last year of everything that needs fixing and so it will be great to finally move forward with this. Pete’s already given himself one electric shock installing our Nest smoke alarms and every time we put a wash on in the kitchen it fuses the electrics because the circuit can’t support the power.


The Living Room Ceiling – our living room is pretty much the main focus of our renovations at the moment since it’s obviously a place we spend most of our time. The carpet is driving us crazy, it’s so hideous but before we can look at flooring the ceiling has to be done for yes! We have that beautiful 70s/80s throwback otherwise known as Artex and it has to go. We’ve also got one central pendant light and are both keen to replace this with halogen lights in the ceiling and in the bay window ceiling too. So this will be another job for the electrician who is also our decorator – such a handy guy to know!


Hallway updates – we probably won’t be able to stretch to replacing the floor in our hallway this year but I had an email from the very clever woodwork man who made our bespoke mirror that hangs by the front door and he is going to start work on our console table in the spring which means we can finally move from an unloved dumping ground to turning the hallway into a welcoming entrance to our home. The electrician will add a plug socket because there aren’t any at the moment and we already have a table lamp so hopefully come next winter it will be lovely to come home to some lighting. And I’m going to finish all the paint stripping on our three floor staircase restoration if it kills me!


The Front Door – oh this is a saga which feels like it’s been going on forever. To recap – briefly – within a month of moving in I fell in love with THE perfect front door. I don’t like plasticy front door, or those strange handled ones where you have to perform handle gymnastics to get it open or shut. I like traditional front doors, after all the house would look daft with anything else. So we went to North London to see the company, they came to give a quote, we both had a heart attack because it was so expensive and started looking again. Yet the fact is after 2 years of looking nothing has even come close so we started saving and were ready to GO! And then about 2 months ago we found out the company had gone bust. So it’s back to square one, I have the sketch of the works and am hoping I can find an alternative company or an amazeballs carpenter to make it for us. Watch this space!

Outside Stuff – after trying to stick with local companies to get the side and front of the house re-rendered and getting nowhere, this is back on the agenda. Currently the parts of the house that aren’t brick are a nasty cream with some really worrying cracks so we need to get it patched up. A house a little further down from the road from us is currently being re-rendered so I’m keeping my eyes on it to see if they do a good job. Once we get that done we can get it painted which will make a huge difference to how it looks – you can see from the top picture how scruffy it is and whilst the windows look great everything else lets it down but I have a few plans up my sleeve to really transform this ugly duckling.

So there we go, plans for 2016. Some of it isn’t massively glamorous but it’s necessary and making good still. I’m dreaming of the day when I can write a post like this and say “here it is, we’re building our crazy extension” but until then, I’m still excited about all the other changes we make as we gradually bring our home back to life.

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  1. February 10, 2016 / 9:31 am

    Good luck! I think the wiring would definitely be took of my list too. I think ours is mostly ok, but there are certainly a few dodgy elements here and there. I guess unless a house is thoroughly gutted and renovated at some point, there are just so many layers and layers of little alterations which have been made over the years – not all of them good. I bet you’ll be delighted to see that Artex go. We have quite a bit of dated textured wallpaper on our ceilings, and I can absolutely guarantee the ceiling would probably collapse if we took it down! I dream of smooth plaster work x

    • Lins
      February 16, 2016 / 2:56 pm

      I’m so with you on the textured wallpaper! We’ve only had that in our home office but everywhere else, all the walls have been papered over to mask cracks which is so annoying. I think I need to learn how to plaster Xx

  2. February 10, 2016 / 1:55 pm

    You have another busy year, I bet you can’t wait for the Artex to be gone, hate the stuff personally.

    • Lins
      February 16, 2016 / 2:54 pm

      Me too!! I really can’t wait, but it does seem like one of those slightly less glamorous jobs which needs doing but won’t add any wow factor πŸ™ X

  3. February 10, 2016 / 4:58 pm

    I love reading about people’s plans! I hope you can achieve all of these – we’ve been doing up our house slowly since we moved in over two years ago and I hate that everything comes in drips and drabs. We did replace our front door through a great company who I’d recommend though – Cotswood Doors (hoping it’s not them that went bust – they did have a showroom in North London!). They weren’t cheap by any stretch, but they had very good suggestions which saved us a lot of money (great ideas on how to deal with our curved fanlight without costing loads more).

    • Lins
      February 16, 2016 / 2:54 pm

      Thanks once again Katy for your great recommendation, they are so invaluable! I’ll definitely keep you up to date with how we get on with the front door πŸ™‚ Xx

  4. February 10, 2016 / 6:57 pm

    All sounds very exciting. Owning a home is not an inexpensive business is it?! Still, just think how good you will feel if, by the end of the year, you can tick all those things off your list. This is our 12th year in our current home and there are still things we’ve been wanting to do since the day we moved in! Slowly but surely, we’ll get there in the end! Good luck! xx #HomeEtc

    • Lins
      February 16, 2016 / 2:52 pm

      Aw thanks Sue yes I can definitely imagine us still having things to do in 12 years time, but hopefully not as many! X

  5. February 10, 2016 / 8:29 pm

    Your to-do list could almost be my exact to do list this year too! too much texture going on currently in the living room – check! Render front of house due to unsightly cracks – check! I’ve literally just finished the hallway so that’s good to get that ticked off already. Good luck with the electrics, it’s always a bit of a painful job – we had ours done before we moved in. We couldn’t really afford it at the time, but it’s the only thing that would have been so much harder to do once we moved in. That and the bank made it a condition of our mortgage that we got it rewired immediately…
    Looking forward to reading all about your progress πŸ™‚

    • Lins
      February 16, 2016 / 2:51 pm

      Ugh doesn’t it feel never-ending at times!! I’m glad to know it’s not just us with epic amounts do to…I also wish we could win the lottery πŸ˜‰ THanks for stopping by and your supportive words X

  6. February 10, 2016 / 10:03 pm

    I love your french shutters and would love to have some for our house. You sound like you are being very sensible when it comes to your rennovating as it can be so tempting to steam straight ahead and take out a massive loan!

    • Lins
      February 15, 2016 / 9:33 pm

      Thank you Emma, the shutters have made such a difference to warmth and keeping extra noise out so well worth the cost but yes it’s so tempting to get in a financial mess which would be very stressful! X

  7. Molly
    February 10, 2016 / 10:49 pm

    Your home is lovely, and better to save up for sure rather than getting into debt.mgutting about the front door though. I rent, so don’t have either the excitement or the headaches of home improvements – can just live vicariously through yours! Hope you can tick some jobs off the list by the end of the year. #HomeEtc

    • Lins
      February 15, 2016 / 9:28 pm

      Thank you Molly πŸ™‚ I tell you what, as much as I love the house there are times when I hark back to my rental days and didn’t have to think about it!! Still, we’ll get there X

  8. February 11, 2016 / 11:18 am

    Oooh I do love a good planning post Lins! Let me know if you find a great door company/person in our neck of the woods- ours is grim and I REALLY want a new one, but we got a quote from somewhere down the road and it was SO expensive! x

    • Lins
      February 15, 2016 / 9:15 pm

      Ugh it seems to be the most expensive thing ever, are you talking about the London Door Company? I think I’ve come to the conclusion that it just seems to be a very expensive business sadly!! I’ll let you know if I find anything good Xx

  9. February 11, 2016 / 1:58 pm

    I love seeing other people’s ambitious lists! All of our hallway walls are still covered in artex and we’re desperate to get rid of it/hide it, too. Like you, we also only do improvement when we can afford to. I guess that’s why it’s taking us so long to get our home done. I hate been sensible sometimes…
    Hope all of your projects for the year work out!

    • Lins
      February 15, 2016 / 9:12 pm

      Thank you Christine, ahh kindred planning spirit. I WISH there was more money available, I am not afraid to say I find it so frustrating! X

  10. February 12, 2016 / 1:30 pm

    Sensible move, saving up for the work that needs doing. Plus having a project in mind is good for couples, I think. It is something to share – the good and the bad of it.
    Good luck with getting it all done. Such a pity about the front door. I hope you find a new one you love as much.
    I know how you must feel about yourr living room. Ours has two-tone laminate (ugh! and why?) and a fake wooden ceiling. I dread the day we end up taking it down. The dust!

    • Lins
      February 15, 2016 / 9:06 pm

      Oh my, a fake wooden ceiling?! It’s amazing what I suppose at some point in time was in fashion!! I totally agree on the plus and minuses of having these projects to work on, we certainly learn a lot about each other! X

  11. February 13, 2016 / 7:45 pm

    Good luck with the home improvements.
    Like Sue, we too have been in our home for around 12 years now and still have many jobs that we’d like to do. They’ll get done, gradually. I recall stripping the woodwork in what is now the master bedroom so can fully empathise with your hall paint stripping task….. There were soooo many layers of paint on the skirting board that it felt like they went back to when the house was built in the 1860s!
    Regarding your front door, I guess you’ve probably thought about it, but just in case you haven’t, how about exploring reclamation yards or ‘Sell it Centres’, that way you should be able to find a door which is solid and period to the property. We have a carpenters show room near to ourselves which makes new things but also has some old things around one of which is an old 1930’s style door with a beautiful oval glass panel which lays left to right rather than up and down. It’s gorgeous!
    Angela x

    • Lins
      February 15, 2016 / 9:03 pm

      Thanks so much for your lovely words Angela, it’s always reassuring to know we’re not the only ones!! Yes I definitely need to check out some local salvage yards, I could find just the things I’m looking for! X

  12. mummyofboygirltwins
    February 16, 2016 / 2:04 pm

    Good to make lists and to save and plan for them! You will achieve more that way and get a better finish! Eeeeek so much excitement and it will keep you very busy!!!! Thanks for linking up πŸ™‚ Jess xx


  13. February 16, 2016 / 3:31 pm

    Urgh. Artex. Why was that ever, EVER a good idea??? We have it at home at my parents and I blooming hate the stuff. They have two varieties at home β€” swirls on the ceiling and evil spokes on the walls, that if you happen to brush past, they can give you a nasty scratch!!! Awful. That would be at the top of my list too pet! Good luck with it all!! Thanks so much for linking up with us! #HomeEtc

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