Green Queen Anne hallway with sky light
“When faced with a challenge, evaluate or asses the situation, gather the good things in sight, abandon the bad, clear your mind and move on….”

Wise words by the one and only Martha Stewart. We are now back from holiday and rather stressed out. We have to redecorate, we cannot put this off any longer. I have been procrastinating (for years actually) to find the best time, the money, the inspiration etc. In my imagination, I have picked the right colours, the right furniture and perfected the finishing touches. Everything is spacious and beautifully proportioned.

In reality, I could just about deal with repainting the flat, but now the bathroom has to be renovated. The vintage plumping has finally lost the will to live.

Wish me luck and expect tantrums and stories about builders misdemeanours in the next few weeks…bracing myself and please if you have any wisdom to pass on – share your tips to keep me sane.

I keep a flat 'lookbook' with favourite colours and details.
Classic error is picking the finishing touches before sorting out the electrics, the plumping, the basics...

The amazing Colefax showroom has been an going source of inspiration.

The amazing Colefax showroom has been an going source of inspiration.

The fight against evil must go on, please make a small donation to save the elephant from extinction. Whatever you can give makes a difference.

© Ladysarahinlondon


18 thoughts on “Interiors: Refurbishing the London flat.

  1. Sue

    I am not sure how helpful this is, but here goes. Think and plan lots, get your plan and costs firmly quoted and agreed: stick to the plan. I have found that mid work deviations cause the costs to rocket. Good luck. The end result will be so uplifting and worth it.

  2. Marie

    When we had our bathroom renovated I used to go to the gym for a morning workout and use the shower there which helped. Agree the payment schedule with the contractor in advance if staged payments are required so you know where you are and what is expected of all parties. Hope it all goes well.

  3. dottoressa

    You have to have signed contract with the contractor/s,with listed thoroughly: work to be done,materals (do you buy it or the conctractor?),phases of work and time schedules,as well as paying scheme (never pay all before all work is done and you are pleased with it). Guaranty period of time would be nice,too
    It is always good to have more proposals to compare and choose between them. Even better if someone has worked before for your friends or relatives (references…)
    I symphatize with you! Six years ago I had huge reconstuction: restauration of attic to my son’s flat,parquet re-varnishing and painting of the two other flats in the house and complete redecoration in my kitchen. We decided to stay in our flats ( huge mistake! ) and it was living hell (I should repaint the flat now,but rather live like it is :-))
    Two years ago I had complete redecoration of my bathroom without contractor,I was in charge of everything, coordinating all crafstmen,and,beside the dust and noise,it was really fine (although I stayed in,too. But,I have spare bathrooms both in my son’s and parents flats.)
    You have to cover all your surfaces and closet doors. I had also canvas like courtains on all my doors,to stop the dust. I hope you’ll be fine. It was really not so bad with bathroom only,don’t be afraid!
    And yes,take care of dear LB!

  4. Susan

    I find defining your floor plan and purchasing all fixtures upfront key. With your plan, you can get solid quotes on the work. I also insist on a schedule for construction and implementation with penalties if the schedule is not met. Never agree to a time and materials contract. Susan

  5. Pat Kuykendall Weeks

    Once you pick out your materials (fabric, tile, wood, paint,etc) make sure you can obtain them all. Even professional decorators have been caught not being able to get all their first choices in colors and patterns. Make sure to ask everyone and anyone you know for referrals on contractors, but do your homework on them as well. Make sure you understand all the building codes and how much all the licenses, permits etc, costs. Plan on using your allowed time off from work to be on premises or regular drop ins to monitor. If you have a stay at home person who you trust do this and alert you by cell phone for construction gone awry, that helps as well.

  6. silkpathdiary

    How stressful for you all! I would say, before you get to the nitty gritty of fixtures and paints, to have a think about future plans in the sense of do you plan to move in the next few/several years since that does have an impact on how renovations/redecorations are tackled. If you plan to stay forever, of course it’s a question of honing down your needs/preferences to somewhere close to a budget. Also as you’re in a listed building (?), I believe only certain contractors will have the knowledge and approval status to work on it. The rest is organisation which I’m certain is your forte.
    All the very best!

  7. Susan

    Having a well defined plan and schedule for payment based on completion milestones is key. Penalties for unmet milestones is also important Hold contractors accountable. Also, try to avoid costly changes mid-stream. My impression is you are very detail oriented and this skill is invaluable when renovating. .

  8. SA.

    Thank you so much for that quote. I needed that! Cannot wait to hear your findings and advice about home renovations. We have been putting off the idea of buying for so long quoting every reason in the book. It is time to rectify it and we just started looking at houses with the hope of closing the deal by the end of the year. I am already stressed out.
    By the way, all those greens! It is my favorite color. That pillow looks marvelous too. Good luck with everything Lady Sarah!


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