This weekend was Bank Holiday weekend, so along with 95% of the population in the UK I went to my local DIY store and panic-bought a load of stuff with the intention of spending this weekend DIY-ing.
I was sticking to #BasicBitchDIY this weekend because I had a social life. I’ve learnt to hoard all the tools and materials that I need for every job possible, and just do whatever I feel like at the time. There’s nothing worse than a DIY To Do List; the arch-enemy of creativity. This weekend I kept things simple by accessorising my kitchen.
First up was filling the hole to my Gin Shelf/Larder. The larder was originally the cupboard where the water tank was stored. I got a fancy new boiler when I moved in which negated the need for a water tank. I removed the door and ta-da! The Gin Shelf/larder was born (after much work though). The top part was boarded up which made it look dark and dingy so I removed the board, had a light installed, put up a few baten shelves and then… left it for a few months. The hole where the board was looked really unsightly so I finally put in it’s place some hollow polycarbonate sheet so that the light would come through into the kitchen, plus I had some retro textures.
Job number 2 was displaying yet more of my extensive mug collection. I HAVE TOO MANY MUGS and they were taking up valuable cupboard space so I decided to screw some hooks into the bottom of my IKEA Mosslanda ledges to put them on display. Easy.
Job number 3 was to cover up my horrendous sink area. I don’t have a cupboard under the sink and opted to cover up the crap with some beautiful fabric from local printmaker Emma Hardicker. To my shame, I bought this fabric nearly a year ago and have only just decided where it should go. I originally planned to make a blind but realised that was pointless because I really like looking out of my kitchen window! I also used some of the fabric to cover up a doorless cupboard and to give the kitchen a bit more colour and texture. A job well done methinks.
Anyone that I know IRL (in real life) will know that the past year has been one of many DIY traumas. A year ago in March, I became a homeowner; fantastic – I was finally investing my money rather than paying dead money in rent. However, I was not just a standard home owner: I was an owner of a do-er up-per. That was the point I reached #PeakConnie. I don’t do things by halves and I often chose the most difficult route to pursue, just so that I can feel like I’ve achieved something. Phd ≥ Doing Up a Flat.
I was full of optimism when I first moved in. Gutting the place was easy, except where stuff was really high up, in which case I had to ask someone else to do it because I couldn’t reach. It was therapeutic to tear things down and chuck it in the skip; I was making this MY home. However, reality set in when I started having nightmares about decor. I literally went through 50 shades of grey paint samples because I couldn’t find ‘the right grey’. And no, I still don’t know what that is.
The main problem was that Papa Wan had no DIY skills whatsoever. This is the man who was super proud of mounting the new bathroom mirror, before I pointed out that it was not centrally aligned with the sink (it was to the left, but not aligned to anything…). This is the man who didn’t see the need to put masking tape on when he re-painted the bathroom ceiling, nor wipe off the dribbles of paint that resulted. I was screwed (pun intended). I had a basic idea of how things were structured, but no clue when it came to the basics such as drilling a hole in the wall. Yeah, drilling holes into walls made me worry A LOT. However, I was lucky enough to have the amazeballs support from some really great friends who not only taught me how to do stuff, but also that it was okay to ask for help when I needed it. I’m not going to lie, the latter was the most difficult.
Forget Papa Wan, I’m going to do a massive plug for The Dual Works here. If it wasn’t for Steve and Zoe, I would not have my cosy little spinster pad. Steve and Zoe are both Creative Extraordinaires and fellow cheese enthusiasts. Steve doesn’t like gin but I chose overlook that as he gave me a lot of help and advice when it came to the nitty gritty of DIY; it turned out that I knew nothing about power tools. Steve always explained and demonstrated, then allowed me to finish the job. Sometimes you just need someone to believe that you’re capable of putting up a shelf. A year on and I’ve laid my own laminate floor, put up my own shelves, built and tiled my own kitchen (a small thank you to Wickes) and installed my own wardrobe. And I have drilled many, many holes into my walls in the process.
Just so that you know, girls can f***ing DIY too.
*KLAXON* IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Steve and Zoe are running a series of Girls with Power Tools courses! Sign up now for some new life skills!bh