Blogger house renovation: my Sharps solution
Lifestyle blogger Jenny Lambert takes us on her journey from town house to country cottage...
Let’s face it – there’s no such thing as a stress-free move. The whole process is like a gauntlet for the nervous system. While it’s extremely exciting (we all love a new project!),things can add up. For example, making sure things go in the right boxes, treasures are protected and your baby (who’s just learnt to crawl) doesn’t face-plant the bubble-wrap. Something I’ve recently learnt after becoming a mum is to politely accept the offer of help and, if you can afford to, leave the tricky things to the experts
No room at the inn
After our son’s arrival last Christmas, we quickly realised that our current home had some limitations that couldn’t be solved via DIY. Our son Joshua was growing at lightning speed so we decided to find somewhere that offered us more room to grow into as a family. My husband and I grew up in the countryside so were keen to offer Josh a similar experience. Next thing I know, we’ve sold up and are renovating a new cottage!
While I write this, we’re week seven into the renovation and we’ve almost completed the bedrooms, lounge, WC and bathrooms (we’ve turned a bedroom into the main bathroom and the existing bathroom into an en suite). This first stage is designed to help us move in comfortably before next year’s extension plan. We’re currently living with my parents while we complete stage one.
Before we exchanged on our new house I knew straight away we’d be installing the same Sharps wardrobes we had in our previous place (you can see our master bedroom here and Joshua’s nursery here). I love the quality, the flexibility of the interiors and how each can be built into the space you have – maximising space and generally keeping everything neat and tidy.
The layout of our new bedroom was slightly restricted, as we wanted to see the view through our back window. This meant our bed needed to be put on the chimney breast – and the only place we could put our new wardrobes, due to available wall space, was in the alcoves either side.
We went for the Shaker range in ‘Stone’ colour. I opted for a mix of shelves and hanging space inside my wardrobe so I could store bags, shoes, jeans, tops on one side and have smarter clothes e.g. shirts and dresses, hanging on the other side. I went for a full-length mirror inside my wardrobe door as it helped save on our limited wall space. My husband went for all hanging space as he has lots of shirts and jackets (he then hangs trousers and t-shirts). He went for a tie rack inside his wardrobe door so he can see all his ties and get to them easier during the morning rush.
The planning process
A Sharps designer (Jason) visited us in week two and we talked through our preferences with him. He helped us work out the best layout for the wardrobe interiors to suit our different needs. Once the designs were drawn up, A Sharps surveyor (Adam) arrived to finalise the designs and produce the more detailed drawings that are used to cut and prepare all of the materials needed. He also helped us design a boxed shelf behind our headboard for our bedside essentials e.g. water, books, phone, etc. – as our room layout didn’t allow for bedside tables.
Both the Sharps designer and surveyor were extremely helpful, professional and friendly. The team who called to arrange dates and times for their visits were equally as friendly, making the whole experience much easier (which I was extremely grateful for, as renovating can feel a bit overwhelming at times with a baby in tow!). This was definitely a time to let the experts do their thing.
Now the planning process is complete, the next stage is installation! I’m really excited to see it all come together.
Children have a lot of ‘stuff’ so we opted for a full adult-size wardrobe and used it to store toys, travel accessories, books, etc. as well as clothes. It will grow with our son so we saw it as a useful investment.
A good investment
Time isn’t something we have much of at the moment. During our previous renovation I remember spending our evenings and weekends completely absorbed in DIY and painting into the early hours. Now our son is on the scene, my husband and I don’t have the free time to be as hands-on as we’d usually be.
We frequently upcycle and bargain hunt if we feel we can get the same quality but at a cheaper price. We once purchased a cast iron Victorian bath for £30, re-enameled it and it felt brand new. But when it comes to clothes storage there’s nothing I’ve found on the high street or online that beats bespoke wardrobes. They optimise space, can be tailored to your clothing requirements, plus their high quality means you won’t be shopping for new ones in a few years.
This is one of those instances where we decided to treat ourselves to quality – investing in something we use every day. With this came the additional benefit of having everything taken care for us – one less worry.
We’d used Sharps in our previous home and I knew straight away that we’d be opting for the Shaker units in ‘Stone’ colour again. The shade fits well with anyone who loves a neutral room scheme, while the insides are not only designed for you but they feel extremely well made.
All coming together
Installation of three Shaker wardrobes (2 x bedroom, 1 x nursery) took three days in total. Otto our Sharps Installer fitted them extremely well – you could tell he takes a lot of pride in his work. He actually fitted our previous wardrobes, which he remembered-! A Sharps Field Installations Manager (Stephen) also arrived on day one to ensure Otto was clear on the designs and that we were 100% happy with the plans before commencing. Both were extremely polite and professional.
It was so exciting to pop into the cottage and see our wardrobes go up – it quickly started to feel like a home rather than a house.
The Sharps service
The Sharps team really looked after us from beginning to end. They were clean and tidy all the way through and worked around our other tradesmen well. Otto made sure to check where we wanted our hanging rails to go, Stephen was helpful discussing the final designs, while another Sharps employee phoned to discuss waste removal post-installation. The smooth and easy process was something that really stood out - usually with other projects we’re left with the mess to dispose of. A great finishing touch.
We felt in safe hands with the entire Sharps team and are once again thrilled with the service and final result.
The exciting bit
It might be something to do with my love of the movie Clueless as a teenager, where Alicia Silverstone has a revolving wardrobe and selects her outfits via a computer (very cutting edge in 1995!),so the moment we were left with our new wardrobes I couldn’t wait to get stocking! (Yet to get an outfit selector… Imagine it!)
Children have a lot of ‘stuff’ (!) so we opted for a full adult-size wardrobe and used it to store toys, travel accessories, books, etc. as well as clothes. It will grow with our son so we saw it as a useful investment.