I've recently started following a lot of renovation IG accounts where incredibly chill and cool people document the excitement, stress and frustration that comes from renovating a house. Following them is the logical next step after an obsession with interior porn: I get to embrace the highs, lows, and possibilities that come with owning and working on your own home. It's like playing a game of mental Sims; fantasising about what I would do if I owned that two-bed Victorian terrace in South-East London.
What would not be part of my fantasy is doing all this in a pandemic. But that's because this is my fantasy where I can control the circumstances of my renovation (my budget, in case you're wondering, is infinity pounds). This is not the reality for these renovation Instagrammers. A pandemic is not something you can really anticipate, meaning many people ended up completing on their homes just as we went into our first lockdown, adding a fun layer of chaos to an already stressful experience.
To get some perspective on what it's been like to redesign a house while the world turns upside down, we asked four of our favourite first-time renovators how they managed in 2020. From money management to DIY tutorials to rental modifications there is wisdom here for everyone – whether you are an established homeowner, someone who's only recently completed or, like me, a renovation fantasist.