You don’t need leaves on the ground and a chill in the air to remind us that autumn is virtually here. Because aside from dreaming of the first mulled wine this season, the autumn TV schedule is my favourite. Period dramas, baking and my utter addiction – interiors and property shows.
The Wednesday night line up on Channel 4 is pretty great at the moment. A new series of Location, Location, Location followed by a new series of Grand Designs. But I wonder what it is that makes us so intrigued to snoop round homes in Exeter, or swoon over dramatic eco-friendly new-builds with contemporary staircases in Cheshire when I for one am neither contemplating moving or a grand design?
I know I’m not alone. I think most of us get to an age where we just become property voyeurs by default. Whether for inspiration, aspiration, a self-satisfied feeling, who really knows? But it does always prompt me to wish I was faster at this renovation project of ours. I’m in awe of everyone who seems to think nothing of wallpapering an entire room in an afternoon, when my reality is it would take 6 months.
Our staircase is the most classic example of all. When we moved in back in 2014, I quickly set about researching how to carry out all the projects to bring our home back to life. A 4-bed 1930’s semi in south London, it’s not a huge house by any means and is totally liveable, but not very loved at all.
Inspired by one of my all-time favourite blogs, Little House On The Corner, I’d seen their own staircase renovation in the beautiful Edwardian house they lived in at the time and thought about tackling ours. We have a period home so I’m trying to maintain the look and feel of the era, and whilst one day when we eventually build a new kitchen on the back of the house to be modern and wow-factor, for now I’d just be happy to have stairs that haven’t been sitting half-stripped for more than 3 years. Because that’s the reality. One floor of painstakingly stripped spindles. That still need sanding, painting, staining. Not to mention the landing and top floor.
And don’t even get me started on the actual design. Originally it would have worked. But the people who lived here before us created a loft conversion which isn’t a design we would have gone for and the addition of the second staircase going up to the top floor has left us virtually no space. Space saver staircases are one thing, but the ceiling between our top floor and first floor is so low we had to take the bannisters off to bring a sofa bed up the stairs.
So here we are on the slippery slope to Christmas for another year. We’ve possibly got budget for maybe one or two more small-ish changes to the house. We really need to replace the ceiling in the living room before we can go any further in that room, and earlier in the year I had a quote to replace the window in one of our bedrooms. The staircase simply comes down to me. Finding the motivation, the energy, to just get it finished. I do have a spa voucher to use from my birthday earlier in the year, perhaps I could use that as a treat to get over the final hurdle? Watch this space…
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