An honest chat about ‘Renovation Fatigue’…

We have just past our two year ‘house anniversary’ and this has caused me to reflect on what we have achieved over the last couple of years and the changes we have brought to our home.  The overwhelming feeling  I have at the moment is that of fatigue.  Renovation fatigue.  Welcome to a new blog series on that very subject – An Honest Chat About Renovation Fatigue.  I aim to bring you a different story each Friday and hope that by doing this we can recognise how far we’ve come, but also share the reality of taking on a house renovation.  If you would like to be involved then please contact me either through this link or via Instagram.  To kick off the series, here is our story!

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This is the kind of sight you want when you peel off wallpaper isn’t it?!
  • Lydia & Mr S (the long suffering husband!).
  • Currently renovating a Victorian terrace house in Lancashire, UK.
  • We have owned our house for two years and the big work started in April 2018

We knew before we bought the house that it would be a project and we were prepared for that.  We planned to bring the house back to it’s former glory and give it the TLC that it had been missing for the last few years.  Straight away we knew that the house would need a new kitchen and new bathroom – they had been completely neglected.  Pinterest boards went mad and we couldn’t wait to get started!!

Unfortunately, just before we completed on the house, I was involved in a car accident which, in short, affected my physical capacity, my mental health and my general motivation.  Moving day was really difficult and as much as I tried to keep myself busy, I couldn’t do that in the same way as I would usually.  This meant that things like wallpaper stripping, painting and even just moving furniture were completely out of the question and, I must admit, I even started to hate the house we had bought and regret the decision.

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It was around this time that I started an Instagram account to document our renovation.  By finding different ways to style our home and make the best of what we had already, I learned to ‘think outside the box’, ‘shop my home’ and love the period house that we had bought and had plans for.  It has constantly been a source for inspiration and advice.

Our springboard was the bathroom and once that room was finished in May 2018 we moved through the other rooms pretty quickly (considering we both work and lead busy lives!!) with plans for upstairs to be complete in the new year.  Unfortunately, there have been delays!

One of the lows came only a couple of months after we bought the house when water started coming through above the bathroom window.  When we got access to the roof space we discovered that repairs to the roof had been bodged in the past and there were gaps in the roof felt that had been covered with plastic.  This was a real blow because we had already had a survey done and the roof hadn’t been flagged up as a potential problem.  We had temporary repairs done when we started working on the bathroom, but we always knew that it would need further attention.  We had to have a new roof in January 2019 which has delayed our kitchen works and there’s only so long that you can deal with smelly, damp cupboards!  I guess that DIY and making this house a home has become some kind of therapy for me too – it keeps me busy and keeps me creative.  This is possibly why delays really affect me and I can’t bear to be twiddling my thumbs waiting on other people.  That, of course, can be the reality though can’t it!

Although we have had MANY bodge jobs to rectify in this house (and I’m sure there will be more to find!) the original features have been the highs for me.  We have original flooring throughout downstairs and cast iron fireplaces in two of the bedrooms.  I restored one of these earlier this year (which you can read about here) and it still brings me joy when I see – I never get tired of it! Ultimately, it does make me happy that we are bringing life and love back to this house.  Yes, I can’t wait to get the house finished and enjoy it and no I do not like the disruption to our social life and having family to stay; but knowing that we are doing things properly and creating a beautiful home that we will enjoy (until the next project!!) makes me very happy.  You almost forget the times where you cried tears of joy about fresh plaster!!

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One of the cast iron fireplaces.  This one is in the master bedroom.

I guess we all get to the ‘end of our tether’ at times and it can just feel really hard when it is with one of the biggest financial investments you will make.  Trying to choose tiles for the kitchen, or decide on light fittings can be really tough when the plaster is still not on the walls and what you really want is come home and not have to think about the next DIY project or trades person to call.  This when the ‘fatigue’ has set in for me.  I know that it will pass and I know that we will be proud of our achievements but, in the meantime, it’s been good to share the reality of my feelings!

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I thought I’d finish with a picture of my dusty DIY face!!

If you can relate to any of the above or feel that you have an experience that you would like to share, please contact me using this link or via Instagram I would love to hear from more renovators – I’m certain I’m not the only one to have felt this way! Lydia x

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