Hi all! This week I am delighted to be featuring Katie @awesomestower on my House Renovations Highlights series. I love how Katie has jumped right in and asked if we ever stop renovating our homes. In my case, no. How about you?
Here Katie shares the story of renovating her Walthamstow home, and how she always pushing the boundaries with interior design, whilst finding the balance between look versus function. All of these factors have been taken into consideration when she’s renovated and styled her home.
Katie has shared some amazing tips including plan well, do your research and learn to love the dust, and it’s great to hear that she would do it all again in a heartbeat.
Do have a read of Katie’s renovation journey and check out her home and future bedroom renovation on Instagram.
Tell us about your home and your renovation project. What did you do?
You can decide the genre of our story after reading this blog but our tale begins in Walthamstow, where once upon a time stood a house that was waiting to be turned in to our home.
This was my husband’s house that he had brought prior to us meeting and after agreeing it “made financial sense” to live together (who said romance was dead) we started searching for a new house. We did some viewings and put in a couple of offers but this house had so much potential it made sense for me to invest here and make this house our home.
Since moving in we seem to have been on a constant loop of projects and improvements, I wonder, do we ever stop trying to improve our homes? We have been working on the house for 4 years now and I think we are almost there. When you ask what we have done it might be easier to list what we haven’t! One of the rooms I am most proud of is our bathroom, it is completely different from anything I would have envisaged myself having. I am proud of us for pushing the boundaries and although it might look pretty now it was a bit of a nightmare. We extended in to our loft which was a great way to maximise space and added value to the house, we knocked out a few walls along the way too.
What did you enjoy the most about your house renovation?
Planning!!!!! I love coming up with ideas and trying to visualise what you can do with a space. It is all about finding that balance, how it looks is the fun part but your lifestyle needs to dictate how it functions, the space has to fit around you and not you fitting in with the space.. that’s why we renovate right? Look vs function, one should never outshine the other, they should simply compliment.
What was your biggest challenge?
This is a tough one…. There were A LOT! A big one for me is making decisions, as a renovation novice there were days where I was way out of my depth, doggy paddling my way through. Electricians were asking me where I wanted sockets, how many, what height, where are the lights going! Perfectly reasonable requests but not ones I had considered and when faced with a sparky charging a hourly rate getting your tape measure is not ideal (a bit like the location of our plug sockets!)
Is there anything that you would have done differently?
Knowing what I know now there are definitely more efficient ways of getting to this point but where is the fun in that? I do wish we had done our side return extension but we didn’t have the budget for it at the time, taking heed of my own advice I wish we waited.
This isn’t our forever home so we will definitely do things differently on the next one but that’s a good few years away. I will keep practicing here for a bit.
Tell us your top tips?
My top tips would be,
- Take your time. It is so easy to get caught up in the excitement of it all and I am definitely guilty of this. Enjoy the planning phase, ordering samples, trapsing around showrooms and sitting in bathtubs in the middle of b&q (or sat on the loo’s like someone I know). Do it right, do it once.
- Research, research, research! Knowledge is key and although I have learnt so much on this journey I learnt it the hard way. There are so many resources available to help you prepare and social media such as Instagram is one of the best knowledge share spaces.
- Dust – Learn to love it. All is fair in love and war but choose love because you won’t be winning any battles with this one.
What was your best renovation purchase?
It has to be our shower enclosure, the whole setup of that space makes me happy. It took a while to find but the crittall style against the polished plaster and exposed brick gives it a great industrial look. Although rivalled by the bath it just pips the post at being the standout piece for the bathroom.
Would you do it again?
In a heartbeat! I might be showing my age here but do you remember etch a sketch… you could draw your picture and then in a moment erase it and start again? That’s how I feel about our house. I am so proud of what we have done but there is always this itch that I want to scratch and I think “oh we could have done this”. If I had an endless pot of cash, no day job and a desire to get divorced I would just go for it.
Interior design is constantly evolving and I think if you if you love interiors why would you ever want to stop!
What’s next? Any future renovation plans?
Next up is our bedroom and I am a wee bit excited. I am still working on the details but I definitely want to try panelling. With the golf courses back in action it means I can pack Nick off for the day and give it a whirl. Him not being here means I can have a meltdown in private and whisper to myself “you got this” as I try to navigate my way through it. If you fancy a giggle I will share my progress (or lack of) on my Instagram account @awesomestower come join me!
Thank you so much Katie for sharing your renovation journey with us, I have loved reading your story and hearing your experience of renovating houses. I hope that everyone reading this, finds it as inspiring as I do.
You can see more of Katie’s beautiful home on her Instagram @awesomestower.
If you would love to have your your home featured as part of my series, do drop me an email email@example.com and take a nose at my last renovations highlight post featuring Katie at the Crescent.