Five reasons to love DIY in 2018

Tuesday, 23 January 2018  |  Admin

Knowles has opened its doors to the creatives, we’re sharing our customer's stories. Have an interesting story to share? Read below to find out how.

This is our customer Donna, who shared some amazing pictures of her home DIY project and enquired if she could share a story with our customers. Here she is, sharing why she loves DIY so much; I’ve always loved DIY! Even as a kid I used to get so excited when I got to decorate or even just rearrange my bedroom! I rented throughout the university, and when I first moved to London, but when I got married and bought our first flat, the DIY bug took over!

Picture a cute 1950s flat with a unique layout and views out onto a huge park (yes in London!) and because it hadn’t been done up in about 30 years, we got serious about DIY. We were totally addicted to renovating. We ended up moving the kitchen to another room and even knocking down a wall. Diy doesn’t have to be intimidating - even for beginners such as ourselves. My husband grew up on a building site as an architect’s son so DIY is in his blood and he manages to pick up most skills along the way - tiling, flooring and even cabinet-building. Everything we have learned is self-taught. He’s a filmmaker and my previous career was in dance so it’s not something we’ve trained to do though we do make a pretty good team (I get stuck with all the painting but, secretly, I love it!).

That’s the backstory, but what do I actually love about DIY?


Firstly I love being able to design a room from scratch. I love thinking about the right coving and skirting board for the property and whether a picture rail is appropriate (these are one of my favourite things as you can move pictures around without marking the walls). Of course you can do this in any room and rip out what is already existing but it’s a real novelty to have a blank canvas to work with without any restrictions and where anything is possible. If the room has nooks and crannies then it’s fun thinking of ideas for these areas too. Often they cause a headache but with a bit of creativity they can turn out to be the really fab parts of a room!


We save money by doing it all ourselves. We don’t do plastering or electrics - that’s where we draw the line but I’m not sure we could achieve all of our interior dreams if we didn’t get stuck in. The day rate of a tradesperson in London is £150 a day minimum so it really adds up. I rather spend that money on nice tiles or some new furniture.

3. IT’S FUN!

Leading on from the last point, we don’t want anyone else to do it. We really enjoy it! Although John runs a video production company, he loves working with wood and interestingly his grandad was a carpenter (but they never met). As well as the designing, I adore painting both the walls and the more intricate areas like the architrave, skirting and picture rails. As a mum of two crazy and gorgeous boys, I crave some time to myself and love nothing better than having the radio blaring loudly on a Saturday afternoon painting the walls. I find it so therapeutic and I can really express myself through colour and using it to transform a room. If you’re just painting it white it may be a bit less exciting but with colour you can even use masking tape to create different effects on the wall and add some drama to the woodwork by painting them something other than white.


I think it’s also really satisfying and empowering to learn new practical skills. I think it’s a myth that some people aren’t ‘handy’. Maybe some people are a little bit less coordinated but I really believe it’s something that everyone can learn. Maybe you just need the right tutorial or someone to show you. As a woman it’s also empowering to not have to rely on someone else’s schedule to get something done that you can do perfectly well yourself! But there is also satisfaction in that in a relatively short time you have completely transform a room and as a result are more likely to enjoy being in that space.


We’ve recently undergone massive renovations in our 1930s semi and I think some of our friends think we are mad! But it’s something that we deeply believe in. We want to utilize the space we have to work for our family and also for each room to reflect who we all are. It’s sort of that primeval feeling that you’re building a nest and creating a safe haven by yourself. For John it’s a mixture of construction and art - you’re building a sculpture that you actually live in and I guess that besides the enjoyable process, we believe that craftsmanship leads to a better space. I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading why I love DIY and that you’re inspired to give it a go yourself! It can be hard getting going or finding your own style so if you need some help keep in touch by visiting my blog or following me on social media (links below).

About Donna:
With three renovations under her belt, Donna Ford began an award-nominated interiors blog to share with others what she’s been learning. She created Room Service, an affordable interior design service which helps you come up with unique ideas for rooms in your home. She lives in and renovates a 1930s home in South-East London with her Director of Photography husband John and their two gorgeous little boys. Her passion is helping people discover their unique style and creating rooms that really show your personality. Find her on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.





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