I am pasting everything from my Wordpress blog here (partly because I just cannot get a hang of Wordpress). So here goes - this is the story of our flat, which we renovated last Spring and are just enjoying now.
Stained by years of heavy smoking, the walls, ceilings and carpets were foul and reeking. Deeply unwelcoming, the flat was dank and dark on entering, with crusty curtains framing sticky yellow windows.
I found it hard to hide my revulsion (it was like something out of How Clean is your House), but I'm so glad that we were able to see past the grot to the positives - this was a good sized flat with two floors, two bedrooms and loads of storage space. The best thing? We could do whatever we wanted to it. Compared with the flat we lost (in which we would not have been allowed to sing or light a candle, according to our tenancy agreement), here we had total freedom.
The kitchen and bathroom presented the biggest problems. There was no stove, fridge, freezer etc - it was a bare shell. The shower and taps didn't work and the toilet hadn't seen a brush or bleach for at least a decade.
Working freelance as a stylist's assistant, I had the time to take on this beast, starting with a day of stripping all carpets and beginning to tackle years of dirt.
These images, I hope, serve to show what we were (rather courageously) taking on. So just watch this space for the next instalment...