First of all some background for you, we live in a 1920’s four in a block ex-local authority 2 bedroom upstairs flat. Ex-local authority = big rooms (except the bathroom).
There was nothing “wrong” with our flat when we moved in, the walls were all structurally sound, the heating had been replaced 2-3 years previously and a new kitchen and bathroom had been installed around the same time. It just wasn’t to our taste. Which is apparently my taste, it is amazing what you learn when you start living with someone, we’d already lived together for a while before we bought our own place but it was a furnished flat that we couldn’t make changes to. So what I discovered when we moved into a place that was ours, where we could add our own stamp, was that O doesn’t understand decorating. He didn’t see much wrong with the nicotine stained wood-chip wallpaper and 4 different colour carpets we have over a relatively small square footage (can you tell I over-reacted in total dismay). He is not lazy at all he just didn’t understand why it needed changing, so I just told him what needed changing, how to change it and he got on with it. I’ve had to explain to him a few times the difference between living in a place and enjoying living in a place and making a place lovely to live in.
But still, we have been very slow with the decorating, partially because it was our first home and DIY was new and scary. My Mum and Dad have been the biggest instigators of the decorating activity and without their constant offers of help – and them actually just turning up at the door with dust sheets and a wallpaper stripper I don’t think we’d be as far along as we are. You see we just seem to make do. We have two huge rugs, one of which has covered the horrendous carpet in the kitchen since we moved in the other is a recent addition and covers the carpet in the living room. We have an extra dresser type cupboard (I’m trying to make this sound nicer than it is) in the kitchen to make up for the lack of storage space. And we have a map on the wall in the kitchen to cover the boiler shaped hole that was created when we moved the boiler – it wasn’t making a great feature in the middle of one wall.
Decorating is very expensive especially for the big things like carpets or kitchens and I would not recommend getting into debt to renovate a house that is perfectly liveable. I have a friend who is still paying off the cost of her decorating 4 years after it was completed – she is likely to have moved to a new house before she manages to pay off the work on the previous one. However don’t get comfortable and don’t make do. Or perhaps just be more motivated than O and I.
(Not our house, I wish our map made the room look as good as this - from here)