Domestic bliss recharges batteries

GEORGINA STYLIANOU
Last updated 07:57 17/08/2014

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Home Sweet Home

Maximise resale value ... or space? Good things take time Summer is outside renovation time There's no place like home Vital to keep a check on all your finances Forking out for the fence Be careful: it's a DIY jungle out there Laundry envy prompts reno action The 100-item-long list of odd jobs New home leads to puppy love

OPINION: Press journalist and first-time homeowner Georgina Stylianou shares the highs and lows involved with getting a wobbly foot on the great property ladder.

I am a domestic goddess, hear me roar. 

After the last few days I'm thinking about packing in journalism and giving Martha Stewart a run for her money. The past couple of months had been a little crazy so I applied for some annual leave and spent the last three weeks counting down to my three days of freedom. I had plans to go swimming, maybe get a massage, read a book and chill...but that's easier said than done. What I actually accomplished in my three days off was nicely summed up by my partner. 

''You've turned the house into a home,'' Robbie said. I love praise.  

His wording was a slight exaggeration but a woman's touch does go a long way. 

A few carefully hung pictures, some new cushions, a bright cookbook stand, a chalkboard in the kitchen and some baking does wonders for a home. 

I also tackled The Insanity Room, also known as the spare room where everything goes to die. I even resisted the urge to cry as I tiptoed my way through the random boxes of tools and renovation clutter. A couple of hours later and what was once a hellhole where the only accessible item was the vacuum was now a room with a purpose. Shelving units neatly contained electrical cable, sandpaper, gap filler and paint cans and six boxes storing what can only be described as stuff were reduced to three and plonked in a line in the corner of the room.

I burnt some incense in there, vacuumed and chucked a lot of rubbish in the bin. It now feels more like Renovation HQ and, while the walls are still bare and the fireplace remains semi demolished, it no longer gives me the heebie jeebies. 

I bought some etching primer and a beautiful Dulux colour called Riviera Sea and this weekend I intend to give some old laminate drawers a retro makeover.

We had both sets of parents over for dinner on Friday night so I got prepared and baked a blueberry and ginger teacake and made some vanilla custard. Cooking in our new kitchen is still a novelty. Three days flew by and I had no regrets about not spending my time sanding, plastering and painting. I was able to enjoy our little house and felt genuinely proud of it. My batteries are recharged and I'm ready to get stuck in again.

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Georgina Stylianou is a reporter at The Press. This is her weekly series about owning her first home. 

Email georgina.stylianou@press.co.nz or tweet @gstylianoupress

- The Press

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