Do you ever think about quickly time goes? I mean, it really, really does. When I started my year out last year, I kept thinking how much time I had and then I blinked twice and it had all gone. I’m still so proud though of what went down on the house, I think I packed just about as much in as I could given illnesses and precisely zero budget (that’s what happens when one of you suddenly ups and leaves full-time employment, you go from being “cash-fluid-and-time-poor” to “cash-non-existent-and-time-rich”).
I decided that before I write a post about our plans for the house in 2020, I wanted to look back and appreciate some of my favourite before and afters from 2019 because ya know, we’re so busy fixating on the next thing, the next thing, that we don’t often take that time to just stop and appreciate where we are, right now.
Of course it has to start with the kitchen because without that, I’m not entirely sure any of the rest of the before and after projects would have happened. It was the one which saw everything really take off and gave me the confidence to think “actually I CAN do this”. If someone had told me to have patience with our tiny dated space and that it could be transformed into something I would really love to use and work in, I would never have believed it to be possible. It just goes to show though that you don’t need to spend a huge amount of money to really transform a room.
It’s hard to say what my favourite thing about the kitchen is now but if you pushed me I’d probably say the floor. We originally had some vinyl installed to cover the old kitchen floor and it’s one of my biggest and most costly mistakes, I would now NEVER use vinyl in a kitchen space ever again. Ever. No matter how hard I tried it was just never properly clean. Now I have small WHITE tiles (yep, WHITE) and I whizz the hoover over and then steam mop and it takes about 5 minutes to have it looking immaculate despite the animals and their muddy paws. Overall though I think the kitchen will go down as my great triumph on this house.
2019 was a really interesting transition year for our home. We started it assuming that we would still at some point build our big new kitchen across the back of the house, taking over the patio and then landscaping the garden. After some careful thought and discussion we reneged on this decision. Yes, we have more than enough garden to have done this but who are we doing it for? We certainly don’t need any more house added to our house for just two people.
I’ve also really come to love our outside space. Yes it still scares the crap out of me because I’m not a natural gardener but I was determined to make something of our 100ft garden and appreciate just how lucky we are to have this space in London. It’s still very much a work in progress but painting the fence, painting the retaining wall, even painting the back door have really added so much interest to various sections of the patio and I’m excited to carry on pottering in the garden once the weather gets warmer.
The Back Of The Garden
Well this really is a stark reminder of how quickly time goes because my triumphant “back of the garden suntrap seating area for morning tea” is really looking very drab right now 😊 I still don’t have enough stones to have finished it, the only area is littered with leaves and it needs a good old tidy up. But hey, that’s gardens in winter in general isn’t it? For someone who doesn’t moodboard – ever – I’m super proud of how this little area is looking now and there will be much more to come over the next few years. And before you ask, no, the bamboo hasn’t even grown an inch let alone taken over the neighbourhood. My goodness, I think planting bamboo was definitely my most controversial move last year, anyone would have thought I was about to start World War Three judging from the Instagram reaction.
The quickest, cheapest mini-makeover because one day our hallway is ripe for a proper re-painting and tiled floor and runner on the staircase. But until then it was feeling a little drab so I decided to paint the back of the front door and add a few very cheap accessories and now it makes me happy every single day. Never underestimate the power of a very small project to really change how you feel at home. There are so many things that can be done in a day (or even less) for the cost of a tester pot of paint.
The Dining Room
This is the black sheep of the family, the one I didn’t even plan to do until right at the last minute. I’m definitely honest enough to say I ran out steam and at times really regretted starting this job. Of course now though I’m SO happy I did it and whilst I have a really lengthy snagging list that my or may not get done this year, to have transformed it in the way that I did is definitely up there as one of my proudest before and afters. I just need to make sure I work harder at keeping it nice and clean though, easier said than done with the scamps living in it!
I’m not really sure what we’ll tackle on the house this year but I’m going to write a post for tomorrow with some ideas and lets see how far we get. Do you have any favourite before and afters that you’ve tackled?