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The House Doctors: A renovation revolution

WE’RE living in chaos at the moment renovating the back of our own house, so for all the readers out there going through a redesign, we feel your pain. We also know how amazing you are going to feel when it’s finished.

It is so exciting to hear from so many of you joining the renovation revolution. Keep the questions coming in. A problem shared… We are sorry we can’t reply to everyone personally, but check out our Instagram ( for more tips and ideas.

We are about to move to a new place that needs a total renovation. How long should we live in the space before we start work? Should we do it all in one go or to do it in stages? — Sheena

There’s no rule of thumb for how long you should live in a property to get a feel for the way you want to live in it. But nothing can prepare you for how much it will change the way you live when you have renovated your home.

Finding the right people for you to work with is going to be the key. Take some time to do your research — local forums can be really helpful for recommendations or look for designers on Google and Pinterest that may work in your area.

Explore their portfolios and, most importantly, arrange a meeting. It is quite an intimate relationship, designing a home for someone, and it is important that you have a creative spark with them.

We have been saving up for three years to renovate the back of our own home, so we understand how important it is to get it right.

If you can do it in one go, then this is recommended, as renovation can be a messy job, and you don’t want to be opening that can of worms several times. The dust gets everywhere. But if phases are the only way that will work for your budget then prioritise the top of the house and work your way down to minimise the damage to newly finished areas as you work your way through. Bathrooms, and then kitchens, tend to be the priorities and certainly create the most upheaval, so get those done first.

We’ve inherited dark wood furniture from my girlfriend’s grandma, including two wicker chairs. We’d love to incorporate these into our home but don’t want it to look like a doctor’s waiting room — Matthew

Loving this one! Brown wooden furniture is a passion for us and we are totally up for bringing it back into fashion. If a piece is beautifully made, the chances are it will give your home an edge of sophistication and outlast you, so it should be cherished. If you simply don’t love an individual piece, though, don’t beat yourself up — let someone else love it.

Keep those that hold the best memories and fit best in your life. The wicker chairs sound gorgeous. Wicker is having a real moment. Painting them is a great idea if they are structurally sound but looking tired. We resist getting out the chalk paint as much as possible. It can be overused (upcycle-o-rama — think before you paint, people!), but when used in the right way, it can bring a contemporary burst of colour to a tired-looking piece.

Unify these pieces by giving the bones of your home (doors, walls and skirts) a consistent colour.

Would a terrazzo floor work for a family kitchen, or would it look a bit too much like a train station? Is fitting fiddly? — Jenny

We love a person who can get behind a bit of terrazzo! We have been using it in our interiors for years now and it adds so much personality to a space.

Don’t be afraid of the train connection. Those clever station designers knew what they were doing because it is durable and hides a multitude of sins on a floor, perfect for those red wine spills (we’ve been there) or children using their crayons on your floor (we were those kids).

It is fiddly to install, though. Terrazzo requires professionals and can be costly.

You do not want it cracking on you. There are some amazingly skilled terrazzo companies all around the UK, like Diespeker, and they have the option of tiles, instead of a poured floor. Tiles are a great way to get down the cost. Underfloor heating is a must with this floor option and this needs to be factored into your budget. A more budget-friendly option is vinyl and you might want to try Atrafloor, who offer a huge range of designs, including terrazzo. Order well in advance because it is made to order and the lead times can be long.

Got a question for Russell and Jordan? Email

We’ve got a real taste for terrazzo…

Top tile

This terrazzo floor tile by Mosaic del Sur is completely made to order so you can create any combination of colours and stones you dream of. It’s the Rolls-Royce of terrazzo! From £105sq m,

Bit on the side

This Lirit side table is a real gem. Total glamour for a sitting room or splash out for a pair and use them as glamorous bedsides. £498,

Completely floored

Go all out but don’t blow the budget with this oversized Terra terrazzo vinyl… not for the faint hearted! £59 sqm,

Well lit

This terrazzo candle pot is amazing and smells divine. Once the candle is finished, keep for display. £65,