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When we renovated our home back in 2017, I had it all planned out. I knew exactly what layout I wanted and what big design features I wanted to incorporate. If you have done any big renovations you’ll know that it’s a super long process; from first deciding to do it, to raising the money, finding contractors, getting the tender documents together and then managing the project and making all the decisions along the way.

We live in a Victorian terrace house, which originally had a living room, dining room and kitchen on the back. The wall between the living room and dining room had been knocked down but we decided to put it back up and turn the dining room into 1/2 utility room, 1/4 downstairs loo and 1/4 pantry. An ingenious layout – even if I do say so myself 😁

This meant that the downstairs loo had no windows and was very tiny. Just 1m x 1m. It served a very important purpose though and I was delighted to have found a way to fit it in.

However, when it came to making decisions about the decor and finishing touches for that room we were at the very end of the build and the renovation fatigue was REAL. I couldn’t even start to think about what I might like and so, when our architectural designed made some suggestions, I said that I fully trusted him and was happy to go with whatever he thought best.

Big mistake. HUGE! I am sure part of the problem was down to my execution, I didn’t ever take the time to style the room but I just hated it from the moment it was done. It was so dark and drab and I especially disliked the finish we had gone for on the cabinets. It did not reflect my style at all and I always felt a bit embarrassed of this particular room when we had guests over.

I mean, just look at it. Granted, I wasn’t helping myself with that biscuit coloured towel but I just had no mojo to try and make it look nice.

I’d been thinking for ages that what it really needed was some dramatic wallpaper to jazz it up and I had ordered some samples but hadn’t really found anything that got me excited, so they just sat there and I continued to feel glum whenever I looked at this room.

Then I was scrolling Instagram one evening when I saw that the fabulous and very talented Kitty Mccall had done a collaboration with wallpaper specialists Milton and King and I knew immediately that this was the answer!

There are six designs in the collection and I loved all of them but in the end I was decided on the Hockney as I thought it would work best with my questionable cabinetry colour.

The wallpaper arrived from Milton and King in October and I was set to go. I had toyed with the idea of putting it up myself but I couldn’t work out how to deal with the wall hung sink and it was such beautiful paper that I didn’t want to mess it up, so I got in touch with all of the decorators in my little black book and reached out to friends to see if they could recommend someone to help.

Three months, three let down decorators and a teeny bit of frustration later a lovely follower on my Instagram account Hexadot Designs came to my rescue and hooked me up with Adam who, for £300 and a couple of Ubers, had the wallpaper up in a day.

What a wonderful job he did. Just look at the difference!!!

The wallpaper was great quality and Adam said that it was nice to work with and put up. It is paste the wall type, which is my personal favourite.

It’s amazing what a difference just changing one thing can make to a room and also to my emotions. A complete transformation. I couldn’t be more delighted with it and now every time I walk past it brings a smile to my face.

About Nikki

Is there anything more angst inducing than writing an "about me" page?! It's like that awkward icebreaker where you have to go round the table and introduce yourself, when all you have to say is "Hi, I'm Nikki, I like chocolate and I used to deliver the milk" but for some reason you break out in a sweat that doesn't subside until you've had your turn. So here goes ... I'm originally from York and now live in Walthamstow, East London with my husband, two kids and two cats. We bought our house in 2015 (after far too many years of lining other people's pockets renting in London) and did a full on renovation. It was pretty stressful and very nearly bankrupted up but we now have a wonderful family home that we all love. This E17 Life started on 1 January 2017 as an instagram account, called E17 Renovations. It was the day that we started renovating the ground floor and I wanted somewhere to keep a record to show the kids when they were older. Who knew that there was such an interiors loving community out there on insta? Not me! By the time the renovation was complete, I had fully embraced Instagram, especially stories and it had become a little peek into my world. My plan is for this blog to be an extension of that. An online scrapbook of things I've been up to, things that I love and things that I care about. Will that do? What else do you want to know?


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