So here we are at the last episode of the fourth series of The Great Indoors and do we have a treat in store. The very lovely TV presenter, Supper club host, food editor and author, Laura Jackson let us have a nosey around her Insta famous London home. You can catch up on the whole episode here. As ever, a huge thank you to Topps Tiles for sponsoring this series and our producer Kate Taylor.
Laura is in the midst of a renovation, or at least the kitchen and back extension. So I thought I would collate some of Laura’s helpful tips for you following her own experiences.
First up… unfortunately, Laura and her husband were the victims of a cowboy builder after they decided to convert the loft as they wanted to start from the top down.
On to the loft space which now thanks to the new builder looks gorgeous. Laura kept the original pitched roof creating a triangular form which adds interest to the space. I love the tongue and groove she’s got going on around the room it adds a grown-up country vibe I think. It’s painted in Slipper Satin by Farrow & Ball and according to Laura it changes considerably throughout the day, it has a lilac tone in evening sunlight and on a bright day it has a green tinge.
At the other end of the room is a roll-top freestanding bath which, believe it or not, cost Laura £25.99 on eBay. Which leads us onto her great ability to scope out the bargains, which I discovered after following her on Instagram.
The overwhelming top tip from all of us is to invest in a quality mattress – save on the base if need be – but it’s all about the mattress!
She certainly loves eBay and it’s not hard to why she picked up this cute little kidney shaped sofa for £8!! and reupholstered it in this beautiful Palmyre L3709 fabric by Le Manach she found at Pierre Frey. Kate pointed out the curvey ‘esque’ blind here, and quite rightly it’s virtually impossible to buy a vintage blind to fit a window, so Laura went to the Hackney Draper
Moving on to the bathroom…
Laura didn’t want the house to appear too trendy or something that will date too quickly so the bathroom, in particular, is very classic and the fab glass-fronted cabinet was found at a design fair in Brussels – not all the best finds are in the French markets!
The reclaimed roll-top bath was found after lots of research as she just couldn’t justify the cost of some new baths. So, she eventually found this one from Original Baths based in Devon. The bathroom was made larger by knocking through to the small bedroom but Laura says, be wary as if you ever plan on re-mortgaging reducing the number of bedrooms can have an effect on the value of the house.
The thick shower wall has a certain Morrocan flavour giving the bathroom a unique and interesting look. After being inspired by a polished concrete bathroom years ago, she researched options and discovered Tadelakt, a Morrocan plaster (she went to Decor Tadelakt) although she said it is a very long and stressful process. The brass fittings were another eBay find.
Laura and her husband didn’t want the ‘traditional’ wedding list so they asked guests to buy their favourite book and the reason why – what a gorgeous idea and what a keepsake. But they needed somewhere to house them so they built a mini library for somewhere to sit and read all the messages from loved ones.
Sorry, there’s no ‘after’ shot just yet as the extension is still underway. They are working with Retrouvious on a reclaimed freestanding kitchen which I think will be a lot more difficult as you have to work with what’s available rather than made to measure, although ascetically it will suit the rest of the house.
A huge part of Laura’s life is cooking and entertaining so the kitchen island with it’s hob and travertine top will face the large dining table so she can chat with her guests while she cooks.
Laura’s biggest tip is to not rush, even though it can be extremely frustrating, she waited and found the perfect key pieces at a great price – it can become very satisfying.
Please do remember to rate and review us and check out our new Facebook group. This may be the last in this series but fear not, we’ll be back in a fortnight with a brand spanking new series!