Next in my new weekly series of Instagrammers sharing the behind the scenes of their renovations is the amazing Jodie, the face behind the brilliant Instagram account, Shoestring Renovation. I really love Jodie’s account – her instastories are funny and seeing how her and Terry are transforming this property is so exciting. Do check out her instagram if you haven’t already – she shares loads of behind the scenes, when she’s not at her second home – B&Q !
So tell us about you?
So, my name is Jodie and I’m renovating with my partner Terry who I’ve been with for nearly 5 years now. I have just completed life as a student this August and will start a new job as a qualified Midwife this October. Terry works in his family business, where he owns a country pub/restaurant. The pub is where we currently live and it has saved us a lot of money whilst trying to do this house up.
Tell me about the property?
The property I believe was built in either 1902 or 1908, our deeds had two different dates on them, very confusing. Funnily enough it’s a very strange story as to how we acquired this house.
In 2014, my parents moved to Romford Essex, from Ilford (East London) and we were fortunate enough to have some lovely neighbours at the new Romford house called Mary and Bill. Now, Mary and Bill were beautiful souls, both in their 90’s, avid church goers and generally lovely people. I always said to my mum and dad, if ever Bill and Mary were to move or pass away I would love to buy their house. I had been in their house on several occasions, just to run errands for them or to pick up an (ASOS) parcel they had signed for and every time I popped in it was like being sent back in time to the 1960’s. The house had so much potential and beautiful structural bones, but never did I really think I would ever own the place. Fast forward to 2017, Bill had unfortunately passed away and Mary was struggling to adapt to life on her own (they had been married since they were 19). Her only daughter had passed away in a car crash when she was in her twenty’s and the only family she had was her nephew in Devon. It came to the point where Mary needed additional support, so her nephew decided to purchase a bungalow down in Devon for Mary to live in, so they were close by to support her. It was a challenging time for Mary as she had started to develop dementia, and did not want to leave the house she had spent her entire life if (her parents owned it previously). This made it difficult for her nephew to sell the property, as he was unable to put it on the market, due to Mary’s reluctance to let anyone into the property. My mum and dad on the off chance mentioned to Mary’s nephew that their daughter (me) would be interested in purchasing the property (when I had no real intention, or the money too at this moment in time). Mary’s nephew, Chris snapped at the chance of a private sale. From this point it all happened so quickly. Terry and I scraped together any last bit of savings we had to put down the 10% deposit needed and with the help of a loan from my parents, we had the deposit!
When do you hope your project will be finished?
Oh gosh! Is there ever a predicted finish date with these things? We have a goal to be living in the house by October 2018, but we are realistically aware that the bottom of our house will be nowhere near liveable by this date. Ideally in 2019 the whole house will be completely liveable, but as for decor and furniture- it may take us a few years to really acquire the style we desire (due to tight funds).
How would you describe your vision for the finished property?
Im a big fan of unfinished wood, grey’s, whites, country-house style. But I am also a huge fan of pop’s of bold colours. I have a whole pinterest dedicated to my vision, but it isn’t streamlined into one style. I hope that my style will grow as I begin to furnish our place.
Has it all gone to plan or have their been unexpected hiccups?
Plenty of major hiccups!!! Alongside a lot of swearing, tears and tantrums. We were naive about the amount of problems we would encounter with an old property. We were fully prepared for damp and wonky walls, what we were prepared for was rotten floor joists, rotten windows, woodworm, bodged electrics and plumbing and lead piping.
How would you describe the look you are trying to achieve in the property?
I want my house to be a home and have a cosy, lived in feel. I really dislike going into homes where I feel totally afraid of kicking back on the sofa, in fear of de-plumping the perfectly placed pillows. As a student midwife, I have been fortunate enough to work in the community in various parts of Essex, some houses I have been in I have gained total inspo for. I’ll always remember one house in Billericay, the lady had an old Victorian property and as she lead me into her kitchen I said ‘Oh William Morris wallpaper, I love that‘, she was surprised to say the least that I knew of the artist/ supplier. It turned out that she was an interior designer and she gave me a free house tour (which was just stunning!). She may never come across this interview, but if she does and remembers me then –Hey! your house is my total inspiration!!! If I were to describe the look I was going for, it would be trying to bring back the old by restoring my original fireplaces, putting up coving, stripping the doors and putting up ceiling roses. But with a modern twist!
Where do you go for build / interior inspo?
My number one renovation account is Ronnie at Victorian Vibe. He is a total babe and has a beautiful, stunning home. I feel both our tastes our well aligned and anything he loved, I love too. He is also an amazing, funny and kind guy. Im addicted to his updates and love our chats!
Another inspo account would be The House Build, beautiful and magnificent home, who has managed to incorporate old and modern features into the same space and it works perfectly!
Where are your favourite places to go for interior homewares?
Oh gosh, hard one. I would have to say Homesense or Marks and Spencers!! At Homesense I find that you can get unique items that you will never see anywhere else. At M&S, you can get your classic items that will never date and the quality and returns policy is excellent!
What do you wish you knew before you started the project?
I wish I knew how much time renovating a house would eat up. Over the last few months I have really pushed hard at the house to try and get the bathroom liveable, however in this time I have hardly seen my friends (albeit I am fortunate to have seen my family, as the live next door). My weekends and evenings are spent at the house and it can become demoralising when you feel like your not getting anywhere with it. I still feel like this particularly if I’ve already had a bad day at work, the last thing I want to be doing is sanding woodwork till 11pm in the evening. But it my mind I know I have to keep going as one day it will all be worth it!
What a difference Jodie is making to this house and I just love the story behind how they ended up buying the house, such a romantic story! Now they’ll ne enough renovation story next week featuring another instagrammer whose home renovation journey I enjoy following. If you’re renovating somewhere currently and you’d like to feature in a future blog as part of the home renovation series please do get in touch!