The Sunday Supplement: July 8th

Anyone else now realise why people in Mediterranean countries, or, any country toastier than ours, give off those mañana vibes and have a much more relaxed attitude to work than us Brits? Bloody nora, doing DIY in this heat is some kind of punishment. I thought it was bad a fortnight ago when Dave the Brave undertook the terrace tiling but it just seems to have got hotter. This weekend’s attempt to finish cleaning black pebbles and get them into the bifold lateral drain has just sort of ended in a weak shrug and resignation that it’ll have to be fully completed later. After sunset preferably. Or in October.

I didn’t get round to a Sunday Supplement last week, too much decorating and maintenance at the rental flats. Usually it’s just a tickle up and clean but some of the ones we last decorated five or six years ago are now looking quite tired and really needed serious style attention.

9bc93479-2568-4a19-ae47-4ccba2ae9058With Mr M still on official resting duties post-elbow-op, yours truly has been sweating her way through wallpapering, scrubbing, shifting and cleaning. One of the tenants who moved out had been in for over five years, saving up for a deposit to buy a home, and another flat had been tickled for a few years and needed a full reset button press. Absolutely fabulous to pressing those reset buttons in the hottest fortnight in living memory though. That shot with the pendant. Not staged. 8pm. Dying.

The rattan light, by the way… RIP British Home Stores. Gutted that one of my long standing Go-To’s for brilliant bargain lighting has now gone forever.

We’re slowly updating carpets from that sickly beige once so popular into the dappled greys everyone wants at the moment, and I was delighted to find some gorgeous Andrew Martin and Cole & Son wallpapers on sale in John Lewis last week. The flats are pretty compact, so normally one or maybe two rolls will do perfectly when adding pattern and interest and the ones I found were bloody spectacular. More on those in another post.

Meanwhile, let’s get back home….Twisted Tulips Ellie CashmanUp in the bedroom, the Ellie Cashman Twisted Tulips fabric arrived, a wand was waved and abracadabra, three beautifully padded and magically monochrome seating cushions appeared. To be immediately appropriated. With a capital “I”mmediately. It’s as if they sense the presence of an expensive fabric and feel the need to bum-own them. Of course it’s entirely my fault as there’s now a perfect, comfortable vantage point into the garden, the heat shielded by wooden slats and a breeze wafting down the glass.06e4a429-be99-43f5-b2a7-9c00a012f34eSomething pretty exciting for us happened here last weekend, involving one of the Sunday broadsheets no less. It’s been a long time since a home I’ve lived in has been magazine featured. It used to happen in the noughties, but since living here, it’s been mainly client or telly jobs getting the official photographer treatment. Finally we’re getting to the completed room stage and what with the Airbnb Experiences starting up, the lovely Katrina Burroughs headed up north last week to check out why home renovators and developers are booking onto our walking workshops and what exactly we’re up to.

Not ashamed to admit there was a FLURRY of activity from 6am on the Saturday morning. I never thought I’d say these words in Manchester but the temperatures were too high during the week, the grout was setting before it was properly spread and cleaned, so Dave was kind enough to come to us before he started on another weekend job. Grouting at 6am, not normally normal but totes normz insanity here.

Did it get nailed? Yeh baby!! Finally able to take some nice shots of the bifolds without paint stained, undulating concrete in front of them. Only waited two years – YIPPEE!!img_5430I’m not sure exactly when the piece will appear in print, but rest assured I’ll be sharing it 😉 It’ll be in the Homes section of the Sunday Times as far as I know. Mr M & I are just hoping that Katrina enjoyed the day and even as a property & interiors expert, there were still ‘take home’ bits of info-inspo. There isn’t another house tour like it in the UK covering renovation questions and dilemmas, building quandaries and interior design advice, and I guess in a way it’s lucky for other renovators that we’re just pooling along, which allows both finished and unfinished rooms to be examined at the same time.

The fantastic terrace furniture from Made, loaned specially for the shoot, looked just perfect against the grey zingy woven pops of lime and emerald green. I’ve some ace shots to share later this week on a proper terrace reveal, but the sneaky peek above really captures everything we want to achieve in our mix of old & new, reclaimed & contemporary, natural & urban…..  however it’s described, you know what I mean. Oh, I was so tempted to buy the set, so very, very tempted, but need to be sensible and remember that we’ve still a kitchen to design, build and install.

And talking of which…img_5153Mr M took the furniture (sob) back to Redbrick Mill in Yorkshire – thanks so much to Made for the mini collab – and picked up a brochure from one of the other concessions, Bagno Design, at this amazing interiors hub. I’d seen these taps when we were on pick up  duty last week and oh my goodness, are they to die for or what? Lots of the kitchen stuff here we’ll be making but there are still certain things I’ll need to buy. Like taps. I’d kill for these brass taps. I’m imagining breaking into Bagno like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible, silently at night, all dressed in back, then legging it back over the Pennines with a large metal hump in my pants. A girl can dream eh.

Why hasn’t Manchester got an interiors hub like Redbrick??? Honestly, my city is definitely  missing a trick here. IMG_5474There was simply no time before the shoot to tidy up the lateral drain, that’s the long drain which runs the length of the house at the bottom of the bifolds. Some people don’t bother with this drain and just let the water from their bifolds drain off down through decking but because we have tiling, installing one was a good idea. The super fancy patterned cover ones were mega bucks so I came up with the idea of using basic drainage then having pebbles to cover the steel slats. The  pebbles, £7 a bag in B&Q, need a clean and are a bit dusty in the shot above but I like ’em!

We didn’t have an Airbnb day this weekend, what with the football on and being knackered from decorating, I just needed a couple of days off! This next week’s going to be all about finishing off the tenanted bathrooms, upcycling and painting a load of furniture which has been sitting in the garage forEVER and possibly even getting the top dormer emptied and wallpapered. All around a certain football game which I know Mr M is now wishing his week away for…

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