So here we are halfway through the third series of The Great Indoors podcast – time flies, so a huge thank you to DFS for their sponsorship and continued support. In today’s episode, Kate Watson-Smyth and I discuss how your houses can potentially earn a bit of cash, the latest interior TV shows (at long last!), my kitchen makeover and of course we will be popping in a design crime for you. As always you can listen to the full episode here but here are the notes that go with the show.
First up, we recorded this episode at my house as Kate’s was taken over for a photo shoot or rather her bathroom, which was re-painted in – in Kate’s words, a browny, greyish, yellow mud colour, which I can’t say sounds particularly attractive! Anyway, renting out your home for shoots can be a good earner although you have to be prepared that they may need to re-decorate and it’s not always going to be to your taste but it ‘should’ always be put back exactly how they found it.
There are many location agencies that are on the lookout for all types of spaces – from townhouses and country pads to log cabins and narrow boats! Initially, you can approach the agency, which tend to be nationwide, you can take some pics or they will come and take some for you, they will then manage the bookings and take a commission, but be warned it can be quite exhausting and disruptive – but can also be quite fun. Check out this pop video by Mae Miller which was filmed at Kate’s, so you may end up spotting your pad on TV!
On another note, after the constant money pit that is my house renovation, we are finally at the point where we think we could do a holiday rental – if we took a week’s holiday there is potential for it to pay for the flights or the entire break, can’t argue with that. We are lucky enough to have my amazing mum in the annexe for help with any logistics, although if you don’t have anyone on hand, think about a professional housekeeping team that can swoop in and help with the changeover, so they can supply linens and towels which they take away with them and they’re also available 24 hours.
If you are considering a holiday rental like Airbnb, for instance, you need to identify what your home is offering – they currently have an astonishing 2.9 million hosts with 14,000 new hosts every month so you need to think how your house stands out from the rest – as Kate says, make an Instagram corner that will appeal to the Instagram user!
So in summary, if you’re lucky enough to have a large and spacious home you could consider renting it out for photo shoots and TV, which can be very fruitful, whereas a smaller, quirky home could bode well for Airbnb. You can book into my holiday home is Brighton, Called the Trinket Box Cottages, here!
Homes expert Sarah Beeny is back with a new show, Renovate Don’t Relocate on Really, helping homeowners see the potential in their existing spaces to transform them in order to save the hassle and expense of moving. Our very own stat queen Kate tells us, 7 out of 10 people are unhappy with their homes – how it’s working for them. So Sarah has jumped on this to show us that it may not be that your house isn’t big enough it’s just how the space is being used. With the help of technology, she can project a full-scale floor plan on the floor to see the space without any furniture and with hidden cameras, she can track how rooms are being used, how much of the space is being used and how often.
Meanwhile, over on BBC2 Your Home Made Perfect has gone one step (or maybe a few steps) further with virtual reality to help people visualise the space. The premise of the show is to help homeowners who need their house remodelled, choose a design by two very different architects. I have to say I was sceptical when I first heard about the show but I have to eat some humble pie as the designs by the rival architects are actually so visually pleasing with this incredible cutting edge technology. However, as the designs were so perfect and pristine that I found the reality of the designs a little disappointing – a point Kate and I didn’t necessarily agree on!
It’s changed again since Kate’s last visit and I have to say I was a bit apprehensive about her reaction as she loved my previous brick floor. I am pleased to report that she loves the new hexagon reclaimed terracotta. We had to lose the original floor to make way for the underfloor heating and the builder husband’s first reaction was to lay slate – much to my horror! I pointed out that it would not suit our Sussex farmhouse, not to mention it’s GREY, but we also have a terracotta tile hung roof so I love having the link between them.
We chatted about having underfloor heating as it is on many a wish list. Mine is an overlay which is water fed so is less disruptive and cheaper to run whereas electric matting is ok for small bathrooms but is not very energy efficient. You can read about my underfloor heating in full here.
It just leaves me to continue with the wallpaper around the rest of the kitchen, then I think it will be complete! I chose a heavily patterned wallpaper not only because it’s fab but it can hide a multitude of sins – splatters and splashes. For extra resilience though I would slap on some decorators varnish to seal it and make it wipeable. Think about tiles though for wet and cooking areas.
One of our lovely listeners got in touch as she’s loving all the choices of wallpapers out there, however, she thinks that wallpaper trying to look like another material is a major design crime. For example, faux brick, faux panelling, faux tiles etc etc. Both Kate and I agreed on the fake wood and brick as you don’t get the tactile texture and roughness from a smooth wall as you would the real thing, so they are contradicting in that respect. Kate did mention the Chesterfield button back velvet effect wallpaper by Minehart for something a little different.
I totally get that if you have a space that lacks architectural details trying to introduce texture and interest can be difficult, so this is where these trompe l’oeil esque wallpapers have come into play. Kate had a point though, that in these types of spaces you can create interest using paints in varying forms, although I think using these faux finishes in a more subtle way can add texture, especially for the Scandi, neutral lovers out there. So it’s firmly in Kate’s design crime room 101, I’m staying on the fence!
Next episode, we have a real treat in store, we chat to Pearl Lowe in her stunning Somerset country house – the ultimate rock ’n’ roll retreat showcasing her unique sense of style.
It just leaves to me thank DFS for their ongoing support, my co-host Kate Watson-Smyth and our producer Kate Taylor. A massive thank you to by blog editor Luisa Ferdenzi-Rouse for compiling these show notes. Don’t forget to rate, comment and subscribe as it really does make a difference!!!!