Worth saving up for our proper house makeover

John has mastered flatpack furniture
John has mastered flatpack furniture

How was your Easter? And have you now taken refuge from it to recover? I know that feeling…

You might have heard recently that I’ve been having my home redecorated.

I moved into my current house just over three and a half years ago.

As far as I can tell, none of the previous owners had ever decorated it. As a result it was a palace of magnolia from top to bottom.

That all changed at the start of the month and thanks to the aesthetic eye of my girlfriend, plus a hefty dose of discussion, out went the magnolia and in came a completely different colour palette.

That was only the start of it though, because with the change in colour came new carpets and furniture too. My house has had something of a makeover... and it feels great.

I believe you should always play to your strengths and, when necessary, get the right people in to do the jobs that you know in your heart of hearts you can’t do.

It’s why I got Michal in to do the decorating for me. I am the first to acknowledge that I have neither the wit, the skill or the patience for decorating.

This stems from my school days when my parents suggested one summer that I might like to decorate my bedroom.

I was rubbish – bored within a day, frustrated by the pre-painting preparation and hell-bent on the finished vista rather than getting the job done properly. It was a life lesson in the old adage of “cometh the hour, cometh the man”.

Michal has been the man in my most recent foray into decorating. A Polish perfectionist, his work has been of the first order and a real pleasure to behold.

I saved the money up to get the job done; he did the work. It means I put money into the economy, he earned a living from my lack of ability and I got a great job done over the past month, even though it meant my girlfriend and I living in one room of the house for that month. The office actually

There was one area of the project that I did want to take on myself. I think that if you were brought up during the era of Airfix kits – other modelling options are, of course, available – you’re probably going to be ok with flatpack furniture assembly.

On this basis I have never encountered any problems and, believe me, I am the king of flatpack.

Give me a box of parts, a pictogram assembly guide and a fully-charged electric screwdriver and I can work wonders.

It’s all about methodical work you see. I have a maxim which was instilled into me by my father.

“Always make sure you have all the right tools for the job and all the parts you need before you do anything,” he used to say.

It was a lesson which stood me in good stead and I cannot tell you the number of wardrobes, chests of drawers, bedside cabinets and bookshelves I have put up as a result.

As time has gone on, the kits have become larger and more sophisticated but the original maxim still holds good. I even go to the extent of counting the individual parts in each small plastic bag before I get started.

If only I knew what the English translation of those Swedish names was. I might have new furniture, but I’m sure I’m missing out on some mainland European humour somewhere…

The hard work is over. Now the fun starts…