Just before Christmas, my eldest daughter was handed the keys to the house she and her boyfriend have bought together.
Currently, they are living in a brand new, pristine two bedroomed flat so I was quite surprised that they opted to purchase an older property that was in need of some work to turn into a home. I absolutely love the house with its high ceilings and original features that add character. I am especially envious of the Minton tiled floor in their rather elegant hallway, which although in need of some restoration, is going to be absolutely beautiful.
So, this Christmas, as well as the usual entertaining - eating, drinking and being merry - I have been spending a lot of time helping my daughter get a good start on the decorating before they move in.
I really enjoy decorating and having owned six different houses over the years, I have become reasonably proficient at it.
Back in the nineties, I couldn't get enough of the home style programme Changing Rooms with the wonderfully flamboyant designer Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen. I think I stencilled and 'paint effected' every room to within an inch of its life. My favourite project was a dungeon inspired dining room. It was a painstaking process to create the trompe l'oeil stonework effect but it was a labour of love and I certainly did love that room. A little of it is visible in this photograph of a wedding anniversary dinner with my first husband which, if my memory serves me correctly, was a miserable affair!
The decorating style I have adopted now is much less ambitious but I do still enjoy picking out colours and love the painty smell of a freshly decorated room. Once my daughter has finished with me at her house, I will turn my attention to my own and give the rooms a much needed freshen up. This does of course rely on me having an ounce of energy left - otherwise I will be joining my two little ones on the sofa!