DIY, My Home

My 2021 Wish List

How To Paint A Front Door

Back in 2019 I started on what I hoped would be a yearly post called my Wish List. A. Because I love lists! B. Because I tend to have an ever growing amount of things I drool over and yet cannot afford. And C. Having the list galvanises me into action. And then well the shit show that is and was 2020 hit us. And my only wish was that we all got through the hell and came out the other side. Wishing for things for my home somehow felt very first world problems. But now, I feel and hope there is a tiny light at the end of the tunnel so it’s time to take the pause button off and start moving forwards again rather than remain in this muddy stagnation that I currently find myself in. And so this is my 2021 wish list for my home. 


But before I share, because let’s face it I never get straight to the point I want to check back to 2019 to see how far (or not) I’ve come. In fact 2019’s wish list was so long it ended up as Part 1 and Part 2! My 2021 wish list is not much shorter either! But remember these are wish lists so not everything is doable. Well not on my budget anyway. These are things that if the stars align perfectly they will come to fruition. So a recap of 2019 might be the best place to start so we all know where I began, how I’m doing now and what’s (if said stars align) to come. So here’s the two previous lists, If it’s crossed out and gold it’s ticked off the list with a link to the project and if not it will be added to this years list.



Repoint the Victorian boundary wall

Weed, jetwash, resand and seal the driveway (Needs doing again)

Repair the leak into the dining room from the half roof

Fix the soffit boards on the flat roof and insulate it

Repaint the outside of the house (managed downstairs to be fair but no money for scaffolding)

Redesign the garden and instigate the design! (hmm, still very current)

Polish the limestone/marble front doorsteps

Repoint the boundary wall



the Vestibule

the Hall, Stairs and Landing

Youngest RFW’s Bedroom

Middle RFW’s Bedroom

Eldest RFW’s Bedroom (Done but never did write a blog post about it!!)

Give our Bedroom a bit of a spruce up/makeover


Right so out of the 14 things on the list I’ve managed to accomplish Eight. Well eight and a half if you include the fact I painted the whole bottom half of the outside of the house and repaired all the windows. To be fair some of those were pretty huge tasks too. Both my sons bedrooms were massive jobs as was repointing 200 metres of Devon Stone Wall. Including rebuilding it in places. And of course, repainting the whole lower half of the house outside. So we have five and a half tasks to carry forwards and a whole host of additions to make to it too. So in no particular order here’s what else I would like to achieve this year.


my 2021 wish list

repair and decorate the outhouses and make them watertight (I’ve already made a start with rendering the walls and painting one of them) – Completed June 2021 – The She Shed Reveal

Repair the leak into the dining room from the half roof over the bay window

Fix the soffit boards on the flat roof

Repaint the second floor of the outside of the house

Redesign the garden and instigate the design! (see what I’m working with)

Middle RFW’s bedroom

My Bedroom Makeover including replacing the god awful ceiling

Sitting Room Makeover

Downstairs Loo Makeover

Dining Room Refresh

Kitchen Refresh

Bathroom Makeover (A girl can dream)

Replace the rubbish downstairs radiators

Mend the cast iron fireplace in the sitting room

Insulate the loft – Completed June 2021

Repair Upstairs Windows

Replace the vinyl lettering above the front door


Somehow I don’t think I will manage to get all this done but with a bit of luck and a fair wind I hope to tackle most of it. So let’s break it down briefly so the list make a bit more sense!


My 2021 Wish List

My Radiators Of Doom – Their only redeeming factor is that they blend in!!


Operation 2021/22 warm winter


This is a no brainer. I shiver just thinking about how cold I was last winter. And the one before that…. And many ones before that to be honest. Even with menopausal sweats it’s colder than penguin poo downstairs in my home. We have no double glazing, huge draughty sashes and the house is made of  Devon limestone so no cavity walls to insulate either. And don’t get me started on the whole crap radiator  scenario created by the husband, that’s an entire post in itself. Add in that we have never had the roof insulated since we moved in and well it’s a recipe for freezing your tits off come winter.


So the plan is to insulate the roof, which is actually a mixture of flat (also needs the rotten soffit boards replacing) and pitched which you cannot tell from the front of the house. Replace the down stairs radiators. Look into how to fix draughty sashes. And mend the only working fireplace in the house which is the one in the sitting room. A stupidly huge room which was knocked through from two into one by the previous owner and is never, like never, warm in the winter. Hence the opening up of the fireplace many years ago. Sadly this last winter we heard a loud cracking sound when it was lit and the back has sadly warped and cracked. So much so that it can no longer hold the grate! Anyone know how to dismantle a marble fire surround?


Vaspar paint Problems

valsparitis – weird and not so wonderful things going on with my walls


The Dining Room And Kitchen


Both these rooms work hard for us. The kitchen presents (magically as some may think) a minimum of 15 plates of food a day. It needs a refresh, no dramatic changes other than a new lick of paint. Those ketchup stains and oil splashes are no longer washing away! Likewise with the dining room. The ceiling paint is yellowing in the corners and we’ve had a slight leak which magically may have repaired itself (old houses are weird like that). Also I should add here that I previously painted the whole downstairs of the house using Valspar paint. Well let me tell you, never, ever, again.


And I will tell you why. Every single wall has strange marks on them. Some look like slugs have had a rave. Others look like the paint is blooming. And some spots look shiny even though I used matt emulsion. Then there are the strange areas where it looks like children’s sticky finger marks only they are above head height so nothing to do with sticky fingers nor children for that matter! Add in that it appears to be in no way UV stable either. When they need a touch up because let’s face it all walls need a touch up now and then the new paint is a completely different colour and stands out like a sore thumb.



my 2021 wish list

The rarely seen downstairs loo!


Downstairs Loo Makeover


The second smallest room in the house and yet it again works so hard as it’s also my utility room. For that read has a washing machine in it and the boiler 🙂 I originally tiled behind the sink and worktop in here with black metro tiles but as there are four men in my household that apparently can aim anywhere other than in the loo I need to take the tiling the whole way around. The loo also needs replacing as a modern flush won’t work with it properly causing all sorts of no water/too much water issues! Plus it was cheap! And it’s ugly too. It’s side on as you enter and I really hate seeing the waste pipe as you go in. It’s also a right pain in the arse to keep clean. Plus as yet it has no gold leaf so ya know!!


restoring a cast iron fireplace after winter - before

poorly fireplace –  a must fix on my 2021 wish list


Sitting Room Makeover


I’ve already written about my plans for the sitting room here. But the are a few things that need to be done before I can get to the fun part of pulling the scheme together. Namely I have a curtain rail that needs to come down which is attached to a wooden batten. And we all know without a shadow of a doubt what is going to happen when I remove that piece of wood don’t we! Yep, the wall will fall to pieces. Will need filling and then because we all know that DIY has a domino effect, it will need painting. And of course, the paint will no longer match the original which in turn will lead to the whole ceiling having two coats of paint! I’m exhausted just writing about it.


Let’s not forget about the walls which are suffering from a severe case of Valsparitis too (yep that’s not a real word but it should be). So they also need painting too. And let’s not also forget that the sadly broken fireplace is in this room too. Plus this room looks out into the outhouse. Not a very inspiring view when all you can see if badly painted breeze blocks which leads my nicely onto my next room on the ever growing wish list. Honestly I’ve added at least 3 extra things since I first started to type this post!


Outhouse Makeover

The outhouse prior to its makeover


repair and decorate the outhouses and make them watertight


Operation improve the view from the sitting room is already under way. And I’m really happy with how it’s coming along. I promise not to bore you all again with what’s been happening. But for those of you that haven’t seen it as yet I’ve rendered it. Fixed the roof. Painted it, Upcycled some furniture for it and made a Cafe style sign for a bit of fun. Work wise all that’s left to do is the floor which I’m very excited to share with you once it’s done.  And then once complete I can faff to my hearts content. and start enjoying using the space. As well as looking out onto it.


Mt Bedroom - The before shot

my bedroom prior to its three day makeover


My Bedroom


Everyone is always so kind about my bedroom on Instagram. And to be fair is one of my favourite rooms in the house mainly because I designed the furniture and it’s a link back to a time when shall we say budget was not such a worry 🙂 But, this room was made over in three days (yep I had a three day deadline) around 4 years ago. And whilst it still takes a great picture it needs a refresh. Again this room is suffering from good old Valsparitis! Strange marks are appearing on the walls in really random places. And the painted floor is scratched through back to wood in the heavy traffic areas (the joys of owning a 46kg dog).


The other issue is the ceiling! Before we bought the house someone, at some point put up boards and batons and then anaglypta. It is an eyesore. For 24 years it’s been the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning. And the last thing I see before I switch off my bedside light and close my eyes at night. I literally dream about ceilings!  And so for 24 years I have itched (like sunburn itch that not even an entire pot of after sun can handle) to see what is under those battens! But thus far I am a wuss. I have not dared to look. This year though I want more than ever to scratch that itch.



Victorian Walled Garden Makeover Plans

My garden needs tending!!


Operation Outside

Oh, this is just epic. And probably the third or fourth time since we bought the house that it needs attention. Last year I lovingly painted the whole of the outside of the house. But only the ground floor. And upstairs is in need of a huge amount of work now. Paint is peeling off the walls. And the windows are for the most part is in a terrible state and need repairing. Don’t even get me started on the state of the chimneys, all 3 of them!! I’m really not sure how I’m going to achieve everything on a shoestring budget. But a girl can dream of scaffolding and lottery wins until the stars align can’t she? I feel I’m letting the house down somehow. As the caretaker of its bones it’s my duty to look after it for the generations to come long after I’ve departed this mortal coil.


Which leads me onto the garden. Or lack thereof! Last year with no access to the council tip (2020 the year that kept on giving) it became a dumping ground and is now more builders yard than oasis of tranquillity that I dream of. There is no quick fix. The whole space requires taking back to its bones and starting again. I think perhaps I may have to start doing the lottery. And for now this will remain a pipe dream on my 2021 wish list. There are no quick fixes I’m afraid. Sometimes you can do an interim makeover but with the garden rather than spend for temporary fixes I’m going to squirrel away what I can and save up to do a proper job.


Middle Rfw’s bedroom


Really I should have started with this room. If there is only one thing I do achieve this year then this is it. It is my number one priority for my 2021 wish list. Huston though, we have a problem. And that is that my middle son is very attached to his room. Being diagnosed with autism he also has a PDA profile. PDA stands for pathological demand avoidance. Which in turn stands for really, really, really does not like change. And so I am a complete mixed bag of emotions when it comes to his room. I feel guilt that it so desperately needs a complete overhaul. So sad that he is trapped by its four walls. And nervous too of bringing the subject of redecoration up.


So my plan is this. Once my bedroom is complete. And before myself and my husband sleep in it we convince him to move into our room whilst I head on full into his. He deserves a grown ups room. A room that cocoons him and protects him from when the world becomes too much for him. Which believe me is often. Some days I might only see him for a few minutes. And for someone who spends so much time alone he deserves a space that is as wonderful as he is. (No photo I’m afraid as even gaining access to his room to clean requires weeks of notice to allow him to get his head around the idea).


Mini Bathroom Makeover

the bathroom – rarely seen other than by those that frequent it –  certainly not Instaworthy


The bathroom


I’ve saved this one for last. It’s really a put it out there into the ether kind of wish and not one I think will happen anytime soon. I would dearly love to rip it all out and start again. I dream of a roll top bath. And a brass one at that. Oh, and white marble too. Don’t get me wrong, my bathroom is perfectly adequate though a little tired now. But it’s not the thing of beauty I have in my head if that makes sense. It was last done 10-12 years ago and is a product of that era. I should have gone timeless. But at the time budget was not an issue. And I thought I would have no problems when the time came around to start again. I so hope I can do it again at some point before I reach my seventies 🙂


My 2021 wish list – In conclusion


Right, it’s that time Rach, it’s time to get your mojo back. It’s only whilst writing my 2021 wish list that I realise last year just slid me by. I’m sure I’m not the only one as life was put on hold for all of us. And that has distinctly had an affect on my mental health too. I seem to have let last year happen to me, mostly because if I’m honest all that I could think of every month was how am I going to manage to keep this roof over our heads and feed us too. And the things I have achieved with the house would be impossible if it wasn’t for you all cheering me on from the side lines. Sharing in both my highs and my lows.


And for that matter, I couldn’t also do what I do without the help of the brands that support me too for which I am eternally grateful.  Without the help and support that I receive from brands I would not be able to achieve half the things in my home that I have been able to. I consider myself extremely lucky when a brand I love approaches me. I’m not one of those ‘Grammers’ that has an endless budget and believe me if I can pay for it I do. But at the same time I feel honoured to work with some of the most fabulous brands that align with my own ethos and style.


Rachel's Signature

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