Frances lives with her husband Mark and their two girls Evelyn and Grace. She created her Instagram account @100yearsinthemaking in 2017 when they started their current house renovation. Having already successfully completed a couple of renovations this was the biggest! As Frances got more into interiors she started following some great home accounts and so decided to create her own as a nice way to document the whole process.
We were lucky enough to catch up with this busy mama, teacher, blogger and podcaster (all round superwoman!) to discover more about her renovation and DIY tips!
What inspired you to take on your own home renovation and DIY projects?
Initially it was because we wanted to put our own stamp on a place and then during our second renovation it became a great way to get through a cancer diagnosis that I had. Taking our minds off that and having a goal and a focus was so important. Once that was over we’d learnt a lot and really enjoyed (most of) it. Our daughter Evelyn was born and as we finished the house another one came up for sale not too far away that was bigger and had so much potential.
Have you always been handy at DIY? Where did this love come from?
Both my dad and Marks would always have a go at making or fixing things around the house rather than getting someone out to do it. My dads favourite shop is B&Q and I remember a lot of shopping trips there with him when I was little. We’ve done some amazing projects over the years and it’s a great feeling to know that it’s all your own work.
What would your top tips be for anyone wanting a go at some DIY?
Just have a go but make sure you do your research first. Watch YouTube vids and tutorials on Instagram and Pinterest. Listen carefully to advice as that way you can avoid mistakes and find ways round issues you may not have even thought about until your half way through. So many professionals now share the tricks of the trade so make sure you take those on board before you dive in.
What were the biggest challenges in doing your own renovation?
Doing the renovation with little ones. It’s so much harder to pick up a paint brush at the end of the day after you’ve done the bedtime routine then before they came along. Another challenge is I seem to have inherited from my mum a knack for walking into a shop and wanting the most expensive item in there so we’ve had to find lots of ways to recreate the look for less.
What would be your top piece of advice for anyone planning their own home renovation?
On the DIY front research and don’t be afraid to give things a go. On the interior side try and have a vision for the finished product rather than buying things you hope will work together and make it up as you go along, although I still struggle with this!
How would you describe your interior style?
Oh this is a hard one as it changes all the time. I spend far too much time thinking about it! I think it’s really evolved over the last few years and we’re slowly finding our niche but I’m not quite sure it’s any particular style, more of a mish mash and that’s what makes it really hard to get things to work. In the past I’d see something I like and often get it without thinking about how it fits into the bigger picture, now I’m getting much better at tying things together but I’m definitely still learning.
Which is your favourite space and why?
I love walking through the door into the kitchen and the whole of the back of the house and garden opening up in front of you. You’d never guess from the hallway the space that was behind the door and on a sunny day it’s gorgeous to open it and the heat and light hit you.
Why did you choose Cabyn’s Mabel bed – and has it lived up to expectations?!
We absolutely love the bed. It’s such a beautiful piece of furniture. My four year old rarely likes anything that’s new in the house but she loves this. It works so well against the dark paneling. The only issue we have is that Grace has just started coming to join us in the early hours so should have perhaps gone for super king!
What does home mean to you?
I really wanted to create a home that we looked forward to come back to at the end of the day and could make memories in as a family. We’ve definitely done that in the last year! I also came from a big family and so always wanted to create a home that would be a space where everyone could come together and can’t wait to have people round again to share the space with us.