Gosh, I have really got cracking with this. Having offered a session, rather shyly as a PTA ‘prize’, a while ago now, out of total fear, I thoroughly prepared for the session, really enjoyed it and whenever I mention it to anyone, they always say ‘ooh, can you do me’. I am not exaggerating. OK, I have only mentioned it to a few very, very bezzy friends – but honestly they all want me round!
My dear friend, Kate, has recently inherited some money from her late Dad, sad, of course, but lovely that she can improve her home and her life in his memory. She had already spent quite a lot on very basic, almost invisible, ‘must do’s’: a new boiler and central heating system; a new front door; new patio doors to the garden and a new bathroom.
Realising how very, very quickly money disappears and how easy it is to make mistakes, she asked me to come round and make sure that the money left, was well spent.
I arrived and we did the game that I have devised that enables you to hone in on the style that is right for you – you will no longer make silly mistakes in TK Maxx, like buying that shimmery bargain Buddha head, when you are ‘Scandi Pared Down’ or that rustic, rattan dining suite when actually you are ‘Urban Industrial Chic’.
Kate’s style is Scandi Coastal.
We did a walk through of her home and I drew up an action plan for her, with a strict eye on budget, but I would like to think some really good ideas that will ensure that her home ends up absolutely right for her.
I pointed out things that she had definitely got right, for instance, I commented –
“Gorgeous sofa and painting and cushions! I would buy an extravagant fake fur throw for watching movies.”
I went on to make suggestions for areas that she had yet to tackle. Kate is on a budget and her home is lovely, but modest, she needs to beware of ‘over-developing’ it, by spending too much on expensive finishes. Here are some of my suggestions –
Decorate – remove wallpaper and either plaster or line with plain paper and paint white. Replace twee coving and ceiling rose with plain, I would leave the waist height moulding, as it is ok, but if it makes job easier to remove, just remove.
A sheer white curtain would be a pretty way to shade – just white gauze – and would ‘layer’ nicely with the existing cream curtain, which just needs a few more curtain rings – a fresh set in wood would be nice! Replace the rug with something natural – coir or sisal… from £53 Do you need a coffee table? I think something like this would look nice… From local company, Scaffa £219 The glass nest you have is not right for you – too formal…
Kate wanted to buy a new dining suite, I said, just paint the table and the chairs and the shelving with Annie Sloan stone coloured chalky paint,’original’ would be perfect. Maybe a couple of tones? ‘Original’ on the table and ‘French Linen’ on the chairs?
Fine, Kate fitted the kitchen when she first moved in, but the floor has been damaged by the recent central heating update. I suggested that she replaced the floor with a ‘stone laminate‘ only £10 per square metre, for the smartness of stone, but the good value cost of laminate and ease of laying – also if you drop a plate on laminate it is a lot less likely to break than if you choose real stone and it will look sufficiently different from the wood in the hall, offering good ‘differentiation’.
Paint all pine with a Farrow & Ball chalky white or stone paint!
Replace the brass ‘threshold’ with a wooden one – from any carpet shop. Replace the weird glass with ‘acid etched’ glass in door and up the stairs – any glazier can do this.
Get rid of all crap, paint garage wall a favourite colour – Fuschia? Turquoise? White? Power wash the slabs – don’t need new – splash out on some lovely pots, de-turf the tiny lawn and plant a beautiful bed of swaying grasses, surround with pebbles, underlaid with mesh, so you don’t need to do too much weeding and enjoy!
Hope you agree with what I have said? Let me know! As soon as she is ready, I will be treating you all to the results of Kate’s update. Just watch this space.
Do get in touch if you would like get me round, my fee is very reasonable – get me in early – I have seen it all before by now, I assure you!!