Saturday, June 4

Top Tips for a Happy Life #19 - Home Edition

Morning everyone! In lieu of your standard Top Tips post today, I have decided to enlighten you with some hard-learned decorating advice that Sam and I garnered this past week, with the intent to prevent you from making the same mistakes.

Tip 1 - Always Tie Your Hair Back When You're Painting. 

I've been watching a lot of Mr Kate on Youtube recently and she always has her long blonde hair flying free. I gave this a go and it was disastrous. When you're using a roller, the back splash and paint speckles will get all in your roots, and the second you have to paint any kind of crevice that requires contortion to reach you will be dipping your tips in emulsion. Just don't do it. Learn from my idiocy. Or, leave your hair out-- enjoy the Boho vibes-- but just be aware that sometimes the little stubborn bits of paint clinging to your ends cannot be removed without compromising the integrity of your locks. Essentially-- I need a haircut now because my hair is trashed on the ends from dipping them in paint too often. Save your hair. Tie it in a bun (or wear a hair net, you'll be sporting trackies and an old t-shirt anyway so throw fashion to the wind).

Tip 2 - Go With Your Instincts

If you asked me how long it took us to decide what colour to paint the living room, I would tell you that I couldn't tell you. This would be untrue, as I know for a fact it was about a month. A good solid four weeks of deliberation. This was stupid because we wound up picking literally the first colour we wanted right in the first place. We had wandered into the Tunbridge Wells Farrow & Ball for a bit of colour inspiration, when I said, "oh, look Sam, 'Elephant's Breath'-- it's the most cliché colour they have, everyone has 'Elephant's Breath" and Sam said, "Oh, I do quite like it though, but you're right-- better not". We spent the next four weeks looking for a taupey/neutral/grey/warm emulsion. Essentially, we wanted 'Elephant's Breath' but we didn't want to admit it. We caved. We ran to Homebase. In our tizzy, we brought the wrong one (see below). For the bedroom, we just pointed at a sample, said, "that one". Bought it, painted it. It's fab. You know what you like, just go with your damn gut.

Tip 3 - Trust No One (aka, Triple Check You're Getting The Right Paint)

Sam and I visited our local Homebase probably six to eight times over bank holiday weekend. We had a good chat with the Habitat staff, chummied up to the Dulex colour matcher man, had a general hoot all in all. That being said, when we put down our paint brushes Monday night after a long day of feeling like grown up DIY masterminds, to find that the paint appeared to be both too dark and also repelling itself off the wall, all those good times seemed meaningless. In our haste and joviality, we had grabbed a tin of paint intended for use on metal and wood rather than for normal human house walls. One of our friendly staff friends had failed to notice that someone had put Eggshell smack bang in the middle of the Emulsion shelf. Hours and £49 later, we fixed the problem. We had to sand away all of the expensive Farrow & Ball paint we'd spent the whole day before lovingly putting up and re-do it. Do I blame Tim* at Homebase? No. Have we learned not to get carried away and to take more care? Yes. I do wish we could have been enlightened without having to spend money though. Sod's law, that's why I'm here to help you.

*I never learned his name, I'm a fake friend, sorry.

Anyway, these are the trials and tribulations we have faced hence far in the house renovation process. I won't presume to say that you lovely readers would ever make such foolhardy mistakes, but sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the moment.

Happy Saturday! Your regularly scheduled arty updates will resume shortly :)
Until next time,
Steph (+ Sam)

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