At the beginning of August, after over two and a half years of searching for a house to buy (during which time we lived in a rented house we hated and had our second child), we bought a very run-down semi-detached cottage in a rural village, with a view to somehow turning it into the family home of our dreams. The only barriers to this dream are a teeny weeny, as-and-when type budget and two children under 5 years old who need our constant attention and therefore make weekends and evenings spent DIYing pretty difficult.

As a journalist specialising in homes and renovating, and with a very practical and willing-to-get-stuck-in husband, we plan on doing as much of the work ourselves as we can. I hope this blog will show others how to renovate a house without spending a fortune and give out some great tips and inspiration along the way. I’ll be including step-by-step projects, product recommendations and hopefully lots of useful advice on everything renovation-related, from damp to decorating.

Natasha Brinsmead front door to home

Above is the currently rather uninspiring exterior, mostly hidden by a very large bush. The front garden is going, to make way for a new driveway as we are currently having to park on the side of the road. Planning permission has been granted, so watch this space for the transformation to begin!

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