Our Forever Home – Three Years On

1930's home renovation

It feels like yesterday that I wrote this same post after we’d been in our home for two years and now here we are – another Valentine’s Day, another celebration of when we picked up the keys back in 2014 and drove straight here from the estate agents in Chislehurst to go rushing from room to room jumping with joy. I can’t believe three whole years have passed but what is so wonderful is that the longer we live here, the more I fall in love with this crazy, beautiful, mad house of ours.

We made quite good progress in our second year which you can read about here and although it often feels like we can’t see the wood for the trees and everything is moving at snail’s pace, we did some pretty fun stuff in our third year too!

Updating Our Electrics

This was the first thing we did in 2017 and pretty much as dull as it gets. We’d had a survey previously on everything that needed doing, from replacing illegal bathroom lighting to an entirely new fuse box, so we saved up to just get the work done. For the first two years we lived here, every time the washing machine went on a spin cycle it fused all the power – it might sound a fairly small deal but oh, it was so annoying. Now everything has been made good – it wasn’t a complete re-wire by any means and as we go from room to room we’re adding extra sockets and changing switches but it’s so re-assuring to know that we’re safe now, even if it did cost a few thousand to get us there.

The Epic Home Makeover

I don’t know about you but every time we’ve had a job done it shows up everything else even more. When we moved in, the house looked like this (aside from the numbers by the front door which we replaced before this picture was taken):

Then when we changed the windows and added shutters in 2015, it transformed to this:

The windows and shutters looked fantastic but all they did was highlight just how much work we had to do to transform the look of our home. We’d been after re-rendering quotes for some time owing to large structural cracks in the side of the house which caused damp before we moved in. Finally, spying another house round the corner that had some great work done to it, I cornered the builders and we booked the the job in.

It felt like one of the wettest early summers ever as the scaffolding went up and nothing happened for four weeks. In the end the wait was worth it and we finally finished the transformation with re-rendering and painting, new fascias and soffits and replacement drainpipes. Pete and I finished it off by painting the hanging tiles and porch roof as well as the front door and bought new door furniture. It feels unrecognisable and now looks so very smart compared to what we bought, don’t you think?

A 1930s Home Makeover

New Flooring And Cupboards In Our Third Bedroom

Somehow we seem to be devoid of doing things in any particular order. We have two spare rooms, one of which will eventually be a guest room but is currently full of ‘junk’ and another one which we’d already started a gradual makeover of back in 2015. Most rooms in our home are in various states of disrepair and since we won’t have children but do have pets, replacing carpets with more practical flooring is high on the agenda.

The floor in our fourth bedroom to office conversion had already been replaced and we loved it so much we decided to use the same for our third bedroom. It’s stylish and durable and we’ll probably end up using the same in the guest room too whenever we eventually get around to that.

The cupboards serve a very specific purpose and definitely aren’t wardrobes. Mr D has an extensive CD collection which is currently sitting in huge crates in the other spare room. We decided to fit cupboards either side of the alcoves specifically for them to get them out of the way whilst at the same time as I put it ‘not being an eyesore’…I’m currently working on painting the cupboards little by little so that will end up in next year’s catch up!

Spare Room Built-In Cupboards

A Home For Logs

After replacing our gas fire with a log burner in the living room back in 2015, we spent last winter buying logs weekly from B&Q or local garden centres. Not cost effective and not time-saving here. I was determined to find a wood store before this winter came around so that we could order wood in bulk and have somewhere to keep it dry and the wonderful Woodson and Son answered my prayers, arriving one Saturday in October to build us the most beautiful looking woodstore I’d ever seen, don’t you think? It even has a slate roof!

Woodson and Son wood store

Woodson and Son wood store

I’m not ready to leave the big smoke for the countryside yet so I like to think the logstore is a little bit of countryside living coming to us and I love it.

Fitting A Mantelpiece

It’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind and having previously thought I wanted a very streamlined look to our fireplace, in the end it felt like something was missing. When Traditional Beams started following me on Instagram, I took a look at their website and found the perfect solution, a range of fully customised beams in different finishes. We chose one which was delivered and Pete fitted it just before Christmas and now it looks as though it was always there and really does finish off the fireplace.

Rais Companion Set

Our Hallway Takes Shape

When we moved in, the lower wall in our hallway was one of the areas affected by damp so it had to be replastered and it took me about 10 months to finally get around to repainting it which is the image you can see here:

Last summer we picked up a new console table which had been made for us by the same clever man who made our mirror – all using reclaimed wood from 1930’s houses in London. We love that it has a story to tell and with a new window next to our front door as well as little decorative touches, our hallway now looks a lot more welcoming than it did.

First Choice Lighting WIN

It’s taking us time but when I look back I realise that every year we make great progress. We’re not sure yet what our plans are for the year ahead but I’m excited to see what this post will look like in a year’s time!

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  1. February 15, 2017 / 3:09 pm

    This is such a great post! Amazing to see how far you have come. It’s sometimes quite hard to see the wood for the trees when you’re continually working on something but this really shows how much you’ve changed. I still can’t believe the exterior – so amazing.
    I think we need to get a bigger logstore so we can buy in bulk. My little one I built is very cute but only holds two or three sacks worth! We are looking at using some of the dead space at the front of the house for one, but it’s on a main road so I would be worried about people pilfering! Maybe you can get them with doors on the front and locks?! Won’t be half as pretty, but it would be so much easier than having them in the garden as the only way to access it is through the house and upstairs and I can’t imagine carrying endless sacks through, imagine the mess!

  2. February 15, 2017 / 5:28 pm

    I so enjoyed reading this! I’m a new follower so seeing you recap progress so far is really helpful & got me up to speed pretty quickly about all that you guys have done.. and you look like you’ve been pretty busy!

    The exterior of your home looks absolutely beautiful, and I think the mantelpiece looks absolutely fantastic too! What a lovely, lovely home you have… I’m looking forward to seeing what you do this year. 🙂 Congratulations on three years !


    • Lins
      February 16, 2017 / 10:08 pm

      Flora thank you SO much for your lovely, kind words – I love hearing from people and sometimes when you get a bit bogged down by the humdrum it’s good to know there are people out there appreciating what is happening 🙂 Have a lovely weekend when it arrives X

  3. February 15, 2017 / 6:21 pm

    Wow! What a huge difference, I’m totally shocked at the front of the house – it looks miles better now! I wouldn’t have thought what a fantastic difference changing the colours to white and grey would make. Well done you!


    • Lins
      February 20, 2017 / 8:39 pm

      Thank you Nancy! We had no idea either what potential it had when we bought it. As soon as we started doing the changes little by little, it all started falling into place! X

  4. Lucy
    February 15, 2017 / 7:50 pm

    Wow what a year, so much progress! I love the story behind your hallway console and mirror, and your front of house updates are epic! Electrics are frustrating things as you often don’t ‘see’ much of the money that you’ve spent, but the peace of mind is well worth it and I guess it must be so nice now not having the washing machine issue now 🙂 x

    • Lins
      February 16, 2017 / 9:50 pm

      Thank you so much Lucy 🙂 I still can’t quite get over what we’ve managed to do to the front of the house, I never really saw it as being that bad when we bought the house but now I look at the comparison photos and think ‘yuck’! Still an entire lifetime of projects to keep us busy 😉 X

  5. February 16, 2017 / 6:52 am

    You’ve already achieved soo much in a really short space of time! I totally agree with you about finished project accentuating the ones that aren’t done. I can’t tell you how many times I finished something only to realise that everything else around it then looked awful! I guess it’s always going to be a process and I’m also excited to see what your post and house will look like next year! x

    • Lins
      February 16, 2017 / 9:47 pm

      Thank you so much Christine, coming from you especially that means everything! Likewise I am SUPER excited for you to move into your new apartment and can’t wait to follow all the projects X

  6. February 16, 2017 / 10:16 pm

    Wow Lins, what a difference a year makes! You’ve done so much and your home looks gorgeous! Especially loving your hallway and the outside of the house x

    • Lins
      February 16, 2017 / 10:42 pm

      Ah Becky, fellow home-renovator! Although I think you’ve definitely got the serial edge over me 😉 This place is definitely going to be the one and only for us, I take my hat off to you guys! X

  7. February 16, 2017 / 11:01 pm

    Love these yearly posts, such a great way of marking the progress you’ve made – and you’ve made loads. #homeetc

    • Lins
      February 17, 2017 / 10:01 am

      Thank you Stephanie, I’ve realised how much I need them just to remind me that we do get things done. Otherwise I feel a bit lost at times! X

  8. February 17, 2017 / 2:40 pm

    I love all the changes you’ve made so far. The front of the house looks so stunning with the grey colours – it just works so well. I also love your woodburner! x #HomeEtc

    • Lins
      February 18, 2017 / 8:35 pm

      Thank you so much Lizzie, so far everything has been absolutely worth the upheaval and the time its taken to save for various things to happen. I still get so impatient but I know all in good time 🙂 X

  9. February 18, 2017 / 7:18 am

    I loved looking round your home! I have to say the way you have transformed the exterior is amazing and makes such a difference doesn’t it. I bet you were so happy to get rid of the leaded windows, I imagine they make the house quite a bit darker too. It looks fab now! x

    • Lins
      February 18, 2017 / 8:31 pm

      You hit the nail on the head Julia, as soon as we saw the house we knew that the leaded windows would have to go! We still have them on the side and back, but we’ll get there eventually. Thank you so much for your lovely words Xx

  10. February 19, 2017 / 3:45 pm

    Wow lovely 🙂 I love watching all your progress and what you’ve been up to! The outside looks transformed – great job!

    Jess xx #HomeEtc

    • Lins
      February 19, 2017 / 8:27 pm

      Thanks so much Jess, we’re getting there bit by bit! Xx

  11. February 20, 2017 / 3:18 pm

    This is the BEST kind of post!!!!!! I LOVE seeing the before and after pics. I know we’ve both said it before but the posts that have *just* the after pics just don’t have the same kind of impact. This is amazing — you guys have done so much!! You should both be so proud 🙂 Cxx #HomeEtc

    • Lins
      February 20, 2017 / 8:38 pm

      Ahh thanks so much lovely, as someone who knows what it’s like to be a constant DIY-er your words mean so much! Xx

  12. February 20, 2017 / 9:25 pm

    Line I love this, the transformation is amazing it looks so beautiful, I feel much the same about our house, in fact we went house hunting a couple of weeks ago thinking we needed another bedroom and utility we came away thinking no we love our home and wouldn’t swap it for the world x

    • Lins
      February 21, 2017 / 5:09 pm

      Thanks so much lovely – you know Pete and I have a similar conversation based around fantasy lottery win – we’re SO happy where we are, we’d use the money to bring in the top interior designers to get the house sorted but ultimately stay RIGHT where we are 🙂 Xx

  13. February 22, 2017 / 10:10 am

    I seriously can’t believe how much you’ve done and the difference that it’s made. I’ve followed all of your projects but it’s amazing to see them all in one post. It’s incredible!!!

    • Lins
      February 25, 2017 / 4:19 pm

      I love writing these kind of posts because it’s a needed reminder that when I feel everything is moving so slowly, we’ve actually got a lot done. As you say seeing it all in one place is key! Xx

  14. June 26, 2017 / 2:19 pm

    Hi Lins, great post. We are delighted with the oak beams on your pictures.

    • Lins
      June 27, 2017 / 12:53 pm

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment!

  15. Lisa
    January 14, 2018 / 11:07 am

    Hi there the front of your house looks amazing. I think the change of tile colour to grey is most striking to me, really modernises the whole look. Can I ask what sort of paint you used please x

    • Lins
      January 19, 2018 / 3:55 pm

      Thank you so much Lisa, of course. It’s an external masonry paint by Valspar called Carriage Grey. It’s worked out a treat X

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