|Lamp: £50, BHS|
The builders have left but you haven’t seen anything of our loft, and you might be waiting a little while longer.
In a project that started last January (!), the loft has become a much bigger project than we anticipated and we have spent a lot of money on the way. A complete roof replacement has set us back financially so we are simply lacking the energy and resources to continue right now…but I’m sure we’ll soon be back on form with DIY and finding ingenius ways to furnish it on a budget. Meanwhile I thought I’d put together a few pointers for anyone else thinking of having the same thing done – things you could only know with hindsight!
1. THE DUST. Oh my, the dust. I stupidly thought that, because all the action was happening upstairs, that it wouldn’t affect our day to day lives. I felt dirty and dusty for at least 7 weeks, never felt clean – I was breathing it in, treading it through the flat…when they knocked through the ceiling, there was actual rubble inside our house, like being outside.
2. THE COST. We thought we got a good deal, as ours was around £8,000 cheaper than most we researched but with the new roof (which we desperately needed), a new boiler and fuse box etc – and then the little things I wanted like the black aluminium windows and the black Alcova radiator – things add up! I wouldn’t change our decisions but maybe should’ve requested a bit more money from the bank before we went ahead – we’re now slowly paying back into my savings account.
3. THE REFURB. The dust and rubble across our whole flat means that not only do we have a whole loft to decorate, we also now have to refurbish our entire flat. Our carpets have plaster ground into them and all white walls have dust and plaster over them. It has been something we’ve been wanting to do for a while but means we’re in full refurb mode.
4. GENERALLY, BUILDERS DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN BY ‘NEW YORK LOFT STYLE APARTMENT’. This was a problem I found with my wedding, too. Our builders just did generic lofts, anything slightly different to average was not understood – anything other than white PVC windows or basic shower cubicles were looked at with complete confusion. Especially my description of the Cowshed bathroom ‘shelf’ (and this was essential!).
|The Cowshed ‘shelf’ – from Soho House Istanbul|
5. MICRO MANAGEMENT. We’d usually come home and find switches put behind the door nowhere near reach, sockets in the most unusual places and doors fitted the complete wrong way round. My poor husband spent most of the last 5 months putting together PDFs of photos, finishes and snagging lists for the team.
That said, we are thrilled with how it is shaping up and wouldn’t change a thing. We could’ve gone more expensive, but we would still have needed a new boiler and roof on top of the cost. And the freedom it has given us, to be able to stay in our lovely flat, rather than move out, is priceless.
12 FRUGAL LOFT UPDATES:
1. Marble top side table, £149, West Elm
2. Velvet cushion cover, £6.99, H&M
3. Shower towel, £12.99, H&M
4. ‘Erik’ table lamp, £45, John Lewis
5. ‘Gisele’ lantern, £76, BHS
6. Rug, £20.95, Joss & Main
7. Copper wire pendant, £34, Oliver Bonas
8. Copper dustbin, £65, Holly’s House
9. 2 seater sofa, £395, Habitat
10. Aveda warmth and light soy wax candle, £30, Aveda
11. Copper soap dish, £10, Marks & Spencer
12. Hammam towels, from £8, The White Company