hallway with wall hung storage and black and white tiles

A Year of DIY & Home Renovations

December 13, 2017Susan

DIY has been a bit of a theme this year for us. This post is just as much for me, as it is for you as I didn’t realise how much we’d done until I started writing. Oh, and it’s a long one so make yourself a cup of tea!

Looking back on achievements is so important, so often we just plough on to the next goal. So, I’ve taken the time here to list all the things we’ve done on our house this year. Some of it is DIY, stuff we’ve done ourselves, and for other things we’ve called in the experts in.

It is all too easy to let accomplishments go by uncelebrated, to just be always moving on to the next thing.

I really wanted to take the time to pause and look back now, near the end of the year. We have done so much, but the house needed so much. We’ve spent a small fortune, but for us, our home is high up on the priority list. Being able to truly enjoy and love where we live is a long-term goal, which as you’ll see we’ve gathered a lot of momentum on this year.

Some of the things here I’ve shared already, and some I haven’t but intend too at some point in the future.

In no particular order, our DIY and home improvements for 2017;

Hallway Floor

Ah, our gorgeous hallway floor. This turned out to be even more incredible than we imagined. I teamed up with Harvey Maria. We called in a flooring expert to fit this for us, details in the post.


We had three radiators replaced and another one replaced and moved to a different wall. The radiators were really old and past their best. The one we had moved has really transformed how the room is used now too (my youngest daughters bedroom). We outsourced for this job, don’t want to mess around with gas and plumbing, right?!

Small bedroom

Moving the radiator in the bedroom enabled us to make much better use of the space. We repainted this room and sanded and filled the floorboards. We added some new decor too; a lampshade, curtains and a rug. I’ve yet to share this room here on the blog as it’s still not quite finished. But, soon hopefully! We did all the work ourselves (apart from the radiator as mentioned above).

Green Velvet Sofa

Getting this sofa, was a personal highlight for me. It really makes the room and is so comfortable I often have difficulty leaving it. More on our sofa here and more about our Living Room here.

bohemian living room essentials must haves

Bay windows and shutters

The beautiful bay windows at the front of our home were original so only single glazed. The wooden frames were rotten and we desperately needed them replaced for insulation and security reasons. We paid a bit more in order to keep the panes of stained glass, and used a local firm. After getting the window done we were then able to collaborate with SantaFe shutters and really give this room the wow factor. More about or shutters here and here.

shutters in edwardian bay window vintage home


Our old porch wasn’t an original feature of the house and had probably been added in the 1970s. Again single glazed with rotting wooden frames, it wasn’t a great way to welcome visitors into the house. Peeling paintwork and so draughty, it was a real eyesore. I took ages to decide how I wanted the new porch to look, and it is a real improvement.


Oh, the stairs. This job has been the longest and most tedious of DIY jobs we’ve ever done. Hours and hours of work, making trivial headway at times. Credit to my husband though, he is relentless and wouldn’t be defeated by them. We’ve literally just finished these and I will share the details in the new year. Here’s a quick shot I shared over on Instagram Stories recently. Proper photos in 2018.

painted charcoal stairs @oldfashionedsus


The garden needed a huge makeover, mainly to remove the bramble bushes running between us and our neighbour. We also needed a new shed as the previous one was literally being held up by all the vines that had crept through and grown inside. As we are south facing I really wanted to create somewhere shady to sit out as previously to the work we had done there was no shade! We have a lot of glass at the back of the house, so it was important to create shade inside the house too. It’s no fun being blinded by brightness whilst to make dinner, or whilst the girls are playing. We used a local gardening team for this work.

Bedroom windows

We had the windows replaced in the three bedrooms. Although these were newer than the already mentioned Bay window, they were still draughty and the seal on the double glazing had gone. We used the same local company as for our porch and bay.

Guttering, fascia and soffits

Again, these were so, so old and way past their best. Rotting wood with peeling paint added to the scruffy look of the exterior of our home. The chap we used for this was someone we found online, and never again will I do that. It was the first and last time. We always go on recommendations from friends and family but had come up short with this trade. He was seemingly okay when giving us the quote, but as the work began I grew increasingly wary of what he was doing. It was slapdash in places and we had to get him to come back and fix parts.

Plastering living room

As we were taking off radiators in here, it seemed perfect timing to sort out an awful wall we had. We had a wall and bit plastered by a guy we’ve used before.

Kitchen changes

  1. We took down the Ivar cupboards and replaced them with an open bookcase taken from our Dining room. This makes the kitchen feel more spacious and also helped with clearing out some stuff we didn’t use anymore.
  2. We switched out the steel open shelves for scaffolding boards. I love them! You can read about it here.

plant babies cactic dolls head planters kitchen shelf

Dining room bookcase

Related to the above bookcase move. We have an alcove in the dining room that had a bookcase in. I always thought it looked daft as the bookcase was much narrower than the alcove. So, I was always on the lookout for something that would fit the space better. I eventually found that Ikea had bought out a new width that would fit perfectly. We bought that one and moved the other, narrower one into the kitchen.


We added new rugs to the Dining room and to my eldest’s room.

Electrical fittings

We replaced all our plug sockets and light switches to a Victorian Brushed Brass style.

softest heather santex paint for render

House painting

We had the outside render of the house painted. Along with the shutters, new windows and porch this has really added kerb appeal to our home. Especially when you know how it looked before! We teamed up with Santex for this job and hired some outdoor painters to do the job for us. Take a look and read about it here

As you can see this year has been full on in terms of home renovations. It takes so much more time than the actual job itself too.

Sourcing materials, tradespeople and quotes, logistics of when the work will happen any other jobs that need to happen beforehand. It’s like having another job; project manager of your own home.

If you are wondering what we’ve got planned next, well I’d like a bit of a break from DIY for a few months. We have got some things which we’ll get to if our budgets allow but in the meantime, we are going to enjoy all the hard work we’ve done!

Have you done any DIY this year?

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Comments (33)

  • twentysomethinglifeandstyle

    December 13, 2017 at 8:50 am

    I LOVE your black floor tiles! So retro. You have great taste 🙂

    1. Susie

      December 13, 2017 at 3:50 pm

      Aw thanks so much lovely! Enjoy the rest of your week x

  • Jo

    December 13, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Gosh you have got through a lot this year. I need to get started on mine, especially the kitchen. I have had a new hob, still in its packaging, in the conservatory since May. Love, love, love your new sofa.

    1. Susie

      December 13, 2017 at 3:51 pm

      Ah, Jo! Will you get it installed in time for Christmas? Good luck!

  • karen jones

    December 13, 2017 at 11:28 am

    Wow that is an impressive list ! I am going to show my husband, he is convinced he is the only husband in the entire country who works all the time on our home and garden x LOVE your hall tiles, that job is also on my list xx

    1. Susie

      December 13, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      Haha! Yes, our weekends are wild right now! Ha!

  • Carole King

    December 13, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    You have been busy. Well done on getting so many jobs out of the way. Time for a rest in 2018 maybe? x

    1. Susie

      December 13, 2017 at 3:49 pm

      Yes, I need a rest that’s for sure!

  • Tiffany Grant-Riley

    December 13, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Woah slow down – you’ve been really busy! You’ve given me yet more impetus to get on with our hallway now, your floor looks gorgeous. x

    1. Susie

      December 13, 2017 at 7:55 pm

      Ah thanks, darling! I’m really looking forward to having a break from it all

  • fashionforlunch

    December 13, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    I’ve LOVED watching your renovations stories soooooo much!!!!

    1. Susie

      December 14, 2017 at 10:57 am

      Oh you should do a post/list like this- you’ve done loads!

  • Jules

    December 13, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    Good grief you really have done a lot!! Your home is so lush Sus. That tiled floor and your sofa are my faves! Ooh and the stairs – look forward to the post you do in the new year xx

    1. Susie

      December 14, 2017 at 10:56 am

      Thanks, Jules! I feel like we deserve a medal! Or at least my husband does for dealing with those stairs!

  • kathryn

    December 14, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Wow, what a productive year – well done! I love your hallway tiles and green sofa xx

    1. Susie

      December 14, 2017 at 1:10 pm

      Thanks so much Kat, they are my fave’s too!

  • The Ana Mum Diary

    December 14, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    You’ve done loads! Such a fab home 🙂
    Top of my list next year is my kitchen, and maybe if we save hard some window replacements I think.

    1. Susie

      December 14, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      Oh I’m excited to see what you do with your kitchen!

  • Candy Pop

    December 15, 2017 at 8:30 am

    What a brilliant post and what a beautiful home, I love it all, especially the back garden. You’ve achieved so much, I hope you’ll be celebrating with a mince pie and a glass of Baileys! xx

    1. Susie

      December 16, 2017 at 3:30 pm

      Ah, thanks so much. Yes, mince pie and rum at the ready! Enjoy your weekend x

  • Lucy

    December 15, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    I’ve really loved your DIY posts this year. It’s great to see so many areas of your home. The floor tiles are gorgeous x

    1. Susie

      December 16, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      Ah thanks, Lucy! I’m still shocked at how much we’ve done

  • coffeeworksleep

    December 20, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Oh gosh, I’m exhausted just reading all that! You’ve achieved so much and it looks fantastic. You have the best taste and I’m super jealous of your tiled hallway. We moved into a new build this year so no renovations for us. Look forward to seeing what you do in the year ahead x

    1. Susie

      December 29, 2017 at 7:40 pm

      Ah, thanks, chuck. We are in need o a rest but there is a sneaky list which is starting to form

  • Lori

    December 21, 2017 at 8:34 am

    WOW you’ve managed to do sooooo much!! Well done lovely! Always swoon at your sofa!

    1. Susie

      December 29, 2017 at 7:39 pm

      Thanks so much Lori, happy new year (almost)

  • anna burkley

    January 1, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    OMG susie! great job! looks like a lot of work! amazing.

  • Juan Sandiego

    January 3, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    I like what you say about being a “project manager” of your own house. It’s true! So many things to take into account.

    1. Susie

      January 5, 2018 at 9:12 am

      Thanks for stopping by Juan! Happy New Year xx

  • Katie C

    January 8, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    What a fabulous hallway floor! We went for hardwood in the end, I’m starting to wonder if I would have preferred tiles XD

    1. Susie

      January 9, 2018 at 12:22 pm

      Ah, wood is rather glorious too though!

  • Sarah

    January 10, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    That’s the bravest sofa I’ve seen in quite some time… but it looks fantastic! In my experience, green sofas are becoming more and more popular, but they mostly veer towards emerald greens (often coupled in my favourite combination with royal blues). Olive is truly unique, but as soon as you factor in the rusts and beige of the rug, and the photo-frames, it merges into the scene perfectly. Yellow cushions and a sleek table ensure that the room’s not too dark. Great work!

    1. Susie

      January 11, 2018 at 10:11 am

      Thanks so much Sarah! I love that my sofa is Brave!

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