home truths on decorations Bubbablueandme

Home Truths in decorating: 13 years and still no curtains

When I heard British Gas had partnered with Channel 4 on some short films about Home Truths, it did make me chuckle.  But then I decided I really should admit that the reason I don’t share stories of our farm house or any images, is because I really am rubbish when it comes to anything DIY based.

home truths on decorations  Bubbablueandme

I am not a fan of DIY.  In fact, I just don’t do it.  I didn’t take after my mum who basically decorated the whole of our childhood house on her own (decorated all rooms except the living room and hall which needed a decorator in, replastered the dining room, made curtains etc etc).  She didn’t really have the money to get people in all the time which meant she didn’t have much choice, and ended up enjoying it, and being pretty proficient.

It’s not that I don’t like nicely decorated houses, I love flicking through house magazines and thinking what we could do with our house.  But I just have other things to do with my time, and the OH doesn’t seem to be bothered apart from re-magnolia-ing every few years.  I don’t think it helped that the house was built a few years before I met the OH, it was magnolia all over apart from the living room which my sister-in-law decorated while she and my brother-in-law lived there for a while before their own place was habitable.

Apart from the dullness of magnolia everywhere, here are my home truths.

No curtains

Yes, you heard it right, we have no curtains. Actually I tell a lie, we have 3 rooms with curtains.  The living room, the spare room and N’s room.  Both of the upstairs rooms have them because pre-N we had lodgers.

upstairs curtains

The plan had been that my mum would make curtains and blinds for the whole house, and teach me how to sew at the same time.  But the year we’d planned to do it, she got secondary cancer, and unfortunately didn’t make it through the year.  I think me learning to sew and make curtains in one go is probably too much, so I need to get organised.

The other excuse I have is that we’re in the middle of nowhere so can get away without having any because we’re not overlooked. However, our windows aren’t great, so we really should get some.  Upstairs though, because of the roof, we can’t have curtain poles so all the gorgeous curtains I’ve seen are out.

But 2015 should be the year that we get sorted, I decide what colour rooms we’re going to have, and do something about it…after I’ve seriously decluttered and decided on decent storage.

Unusable main bathroom

There is one room that I decorated myself.  I had a good bonus about 5 years ago, and I decided that I wanted a proper shower upstairs put in, so we didn’t have to use the rubbish electric one downstairs.  I also wanted a white bathroom suite, rather than champagne beige, so we ordered a plain whilte suite, paid for our plumber to come in and put in a pump, move the water works to the outer wall instead of the inner wall which was an oddity when the house was built, and for the suite to be installed.  After seeing it when we visited friends in New Zealand, we also put in aquasheeting instead of tiles which means no need to clean grouting and cheaper to put up.

I even painted the bathroom and was really proud of it.  The OH wasn’t that impressed with my painting, and when the bathroom’s steamy you can see it’s not professionally done, but it does the job.  But I’ve still not sorted out a blind, or a splashback for the sink.  I’m meant to be a completer finisher, but not when it comes to DIY.

my attempt at bathroom accessorising
My attempt at bathroom accesorising

What’s worse is that our toilet just doesn’t work.  It blocks really easily (being on a farm, we have a cess pit rather than mains sewage system), so we just don’t use the toilet, and haven’t done for years.  My concern is that the newer toilets are much smaller because they’re meant to be more water efficient, but the smaller ones obviously don’t work for us. So I’ve just given up at the moment.

Vacuuming the wall

Please tell me it’s not just me that does this?  We have a lot of spider’s webs being on a farm. As soon as I get rid, they’re there again, and sometimes it’s a lot less effort to use the vacuum that’s out being used, than to find the extendable duster.

On the stairs I did make a bit of a muck up about 8 months ago.  We’d been having some water running down from the bathroom when the seal needed redoing.  The OH kept putting it off, so there’s a bit of a flaky patch next to the stairs where the wet went through.

Months later, it had dried, and I was vacuuming and noticed a spiders web next to the flaked paint. You can probably guess what happened next.  I didn’t stop and think, just put the vacuum near the web and next thing I knew, a patch of the plaster had come off.  Oops.  I’ve not yet admitted it to the OH, although I’m not sure he’s even noticed it yet.

vacuumed plaster on wall

Chair issues

Along with the lack of curtains, the sofas and chairs in the living room need changing. They’ve been used for the last 14 or 15 years and are terribly faded, saggy and in need of an upgrade.  We decided not to bother changing the suite before having N and now we’re waiting until he’s old enough to not clamber over them. Could be a while to wait.

In the meantime, I’ve managed to break one of the chairs.  Now I know I’ve put on weight and that the chairs are old, but I didn’t expect to break one.  I’m a bit careless when I sit down.  I just flop into my chair, especially when I’m busy and haven’t sat down since getting in from work.  On this one occasion N was flapping, I’d just finished tidying up the dishes, and came into the living room and dropped into the chair….and the base went.  Oops.  So now I have a sunken chair that creaks dreadfully when I sit in it. Oh and not forgetting I’m now sitting so low, it’s a nightmare trying to get out of it!

It doesn’t help when N then turns round and tells people we’re getting new sofas because I told him that when we eventually got a new sofa, he wouldn’t be able to eat on it.

So a few embarrassing things and home truths.  You’d think after living in the house for nearly 15 years, we should have had a nicely decorated, house that was exactly as we’d want it.  I think it’s just so daunting because there’s so much still to do (if I had my way I’d rip out the kitchen because it’s so old fashioned and not my style at all and that’s only part of what needs doing decoratively).

The British Gas and Channel 4 films are available on the Home Truths hub or you can see one below.

What embarrassing things are you hiding in your home?


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  1. I vacuum up the webs too 🙂 I had an electrician in yesterday and he asked me how recently I moved in. I had to admit it was over 4 years but I keep finding things that need doing!

  2. Oh thank you for this post. Our house is so bad I often get down about it. We now have missing tiles in the bathroom, off cut carpet on the landing and nothing down the stairs – among many things wrong with our house. We got matching curtains for the living room this Christmas – and a corner sofa that doesn’t fit as we bought it for our old house.

    1. It’s just never ending isn’t it? Ours was only built about 15 years ago to the OH’s spec, but the kitchen was shocking (not great, and badly installed), and the window aren’t draft proof. And hard wood front doors don’t last – we need a porch really to protect it a bit from being exposed.

      I am lazy though about it. I should agree a budget, agree a schedule and get on with it. But I always worry about using money I might need for something else.

  3. You could have described my house there (I don’t actually live in a farm house but everything else!) we had bedroom curtains but only started closing them when the baby came in June cause it was light when he was going to bed! Prior to that they’d not been shut since his sister was a baby 6 years ago!
    2015 is the year we get the house sorted! I’m determined!

    1. It’s embarrassing because my SIL moved into their house 2 years ago, it was designed on the same room/size basis as ours, but it’s already decorated. Mind you, she doesn’t work and has a handy dad, so that’s 2 things I can’t do. My OH never discusses anything, so maybe I should start buying some magazines and leave some ideas around to get the discussion going.

  4. I hate DIY and sadly so does CT. Consequently our house looks very dilapidated. We had some plaster fall off the ceiling nearly a year ago and still haven’t managed to get it sorted – oops!

    1. It’s horrible when you want to live somewhere nice, but just can’t motivate yourself. The garden’s the same and the OH moans about it, but then we both use it, so I begrudge using my holiday time to do gardening or DIY which I hate and have no idea about. Would much rather pay someone, which the OH doesn’t see the point of.

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