Rustic Grey Pantry Cupboard by Life with Holly - The Art of the Slow Renovation

The Art of the Slow Renovation

Instagram is choc full of renovation accounts. It’s such an amazing place for gaining inspiration and following along with renovation journeys. Recently though I’ve found myself becoming less and less into other people’s renovations and quick transformations (I know, who even am I?!). Now I’m way more interested in the art of the slow renovation.

Slow Living - Pampas Grass and Foxed Mirror by Life with Holly The Art of the Slow Renovation


I noticed recently I was following a lot of accounts who went for a lot of quick reveals. Instant makeovers. A bit like Changing Rooms (do you remember that?!?). If I’m honest, it made me feel a bit shit seeing other people’s amazing lockdown makeovers when I was struggling with just homeschooling and running a business (I say just, I’ve since stopped giving myself a hard time and realised that, actually, this was amazing!).

Rustic Grey Pantry Cupboard by Life with Holly - The Art of the Slow Renovation

I work in the wedding industry which has been decimated by the coronavirus situation. A combination of trying to survive on less than 20% of my income, having my child at home 24/7, home school, dealing with postponed weddings and my husband working at home left me feeling drained. More drained than I’ve felt for a long time. Seeing Barbara’s new kitchen or amazing garden transformation made me feel like I should have been doing more. More painting things, more makeovers. I mean, I haven’t even got any decking or a pergola, and I certainly don’t have a garden bar!

Grey Chesterfield Chair in Victorian home by Life with Holly - Slow Reno

When you think about it though, you don’t need to. Great homes take time, as they say. Your home should evolve naturally. I didn’t want to find myself in a situation where I was painting things in my house to see what strangers on the internet would say about it. I stopped following the accounts who seemed to just be doing makeovers to gain likes and followers. Good luck to them, but it isn’t for me. I’m fully embracing the art of the slow renovation.

Rustic Oka Mug on Bed with White Company Bedding by Life with Holly - The Art of the Slow Renovation

A quick search on Instagram will reveal loads more people who are creating their homes over time. One of my favourite hashtags is #greathomestaketime, which focuses on people who are renovating their homes but they’re doing them slowly, in a considered fashion, rather than just sticking the latest trend in their home and hoping the followers will like it. Trends come and go, but by carefully curating your home over time you’re creating a home that is authentic to you.

Vintage Wardrobe in Period Bedroom by Life with Holly The Art of Slow Renovation

What do you think? Do great homes take time after all? Do you prefer a slow, considered renovation?


Comments (8)

  • Lydia

    18 November 2020 at 11:19 am

    Absolutely love this blog post Jo!! Resonates so much with me x

    1. lifewithholly

      25 November 2020 at 11:33 am

      Thank you so much! I had to write it to get it into my own brain I think!!

  • Tracey Harris

    18 November 2020 at 10:57 pm

    I absolutely loved this post and really appreciated what you said as it is so easy to get drawn in and begin to feel unworthy of being on Instagram. If anything this year should of taught us to be grateful for what we have……so thank you xx 💕

    1. lifewithholly

      25 November 2020 at 11:34 am

      You are so welcome, and so right. We should definitely appreciate what we have rather than chasing the unachievable show homes that Insta can sometimes throw at us xx

  • Debbie

    19 November 2020 at 8:47 am

    My dear girl you have hit so many nails on the head with your thoughts. Insta can become a place that leaves you feeling very dissatisfied with your own home. I started to feel very down with my lot, this just isn’t me . I’ve always tried to be glad about where I am. Your slow evolve theory is so true to life… a far better approach. My plan of action… I have stopped following so many people. I always like it when people show the “perfect” but then also show the crap that’s behind them in order to get the “perfect” picture. One of my favourites reveals her beautiful “black” bannister that has taken time to do…looks glorious but she then shows you chips and scratches where her gorgeous dog has caught it over time….real life… superb. It is far nicer to have lovely things that are true to you rather than a house full, of “magazine latest trends” that will be gone in no time for the next “things”. Oh boy , sorry but I could go on and on. I really think there are going to be too many unhappy people if we don’t take a common real to life approach. Well done you for sticking your head above the parapet.

    1. lifewithholly

      25 November 2020 at 11:36 am

      That’s exactly my point! These are our real homes, not interior design projects or rooms on episodes of Changing Rooms. I hate all the pressure it puts on you and the way it can make you feel inadequate because you don’t have something to do with the latest trend or the newest cushion cover, for example.

      PS – I’m like your favourite – I’ve shown pictures with empty wine bottles on the floor before that I’ve not moved out of the way! xx

  • Cathy

    23 November 2020 at 7:45 pm

    Oh I completely agree! In fact I’ve dedicated my blog to it! We simply don’t have the time or funds to keep doing super quick makeovers only to have to redo or change things later. My motto is “do it right so you only have to do it once!” I also find all these “quick buys” for home updates really wasteful. What happens when you’re done with them and do that room properly?

    1. lifewithholly

      25 November 2020 at 11:37 am

      This is so true! I read someone’s post the other day about how they had rushed their reno but were now having to redo lots of it because the paint was cracking and looked awful. It’s easy to get swept along but I’m determined now to do my own thing. I’ll check out your blog, it sounds right up my street! x

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