Excitingly this new project means there will be a brand-spanking-new category on That New Dress featuring plenty of posts about home and interior design.

2020 is about to bring some big changes.  Most notably, I’ll be moving into a new house. Since mid-September, I’ve been renovating a property in West Sussex.  For those of you that don’t know the UK that well, it’s about an hour south of London in the depths of the countryside.  

Excitingly this new project means there will be a brand-spanking-new category on That New Dress featuring plenty of posts about home and interior design.

Interiors and home furnishing is something I’ve always been passionate about.  I grew up in a family of designers.  My mum was a property developer and my dad runs the home brand, Andrew Martin. Design has been in my blood since a young age and I’ve spent years absorbing and consuming everything I could. To finally have a house I can properly leave my mark on is so exciting but also a very daunting task.   

I’m going to document as much of the process as possible, including all the lows (which I’m sure there will be many) as well as the highs. 

The property was originally built as a stable in the mid-1800s but has since been converted into a one-bedroom house.  The incredible windows and high ceiling wow me every time I walk into it.  It has charm and character only an old conversion could and I absolutely love it! Sadly, it’d been left empty for a number years, so by the time we acquired it, it was in a bit of a state! It needed a lot of love and attention to bring it back to life, including a new central heating system, structural work on the roof and a whole new bathroom.

One lesson I quickly learned about renovating a house is disappointment and compromise is inevitable.  Whether it’s down to financial, structural or practical constraints, quite often there’s an obstacle blocking you doing the things you really want to.  One example is, I’d been dreaming about parquet flooring in the living room.  I was so excited I’d even sourced it and purchased it, but was told it’d be an impossibility due to the underfloor heating we are installing.  The heat would melt the glue and it would simply fall apart.  I mourned the loss of the parquet floor for days before I eventually pulled myself together and begun to find an alternative option.

Budget is another huge component I’ve faced. I’ve been very thrifty in a lot of areas, mostly buying second hand and trying to do as much of the work myself as possible (correction: my boyfriend has done most of it!).  Over the course of the project I’m going to be sharing various tips and tricks I’ve used to save a sizeable amount of cash.  Plus, I’ll also be writing about which places to splurge because often spending big once means never having to spend again.  

I can’t wait to share this next chapter with you all!  If, on the off-chance, you can’t wait till the next That New Dress Home blogpost, I’ve started an Instagram account that is purely focused on all things renovation, interior design and home furnishing you can follow over at @thatnewdresshome.

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