Renovating – It’s in the Details

Renovating our house - a room with no furniture, stripped back to brickwork ready to renovate

We have just started renovating the upstairs of our house and we have spent the majority of our time focusing on colour palettes and vision boards, but now it is time to get focused on the nitty gritty details. After all, unless we get the details right our renovation project will look half finished. I have never shopped for skirting boards, architraves, doors, windows or radiators before, but now I am fully immersed in the details.

Skirting Boards

For me, skirting boards have never been much more than key protectors to stop me damaging the wall when I hoover. However, on reflection, I also rather like the aesthetic look of skirting boards and would find it rather odd if a house didn’t have them and, even more importantly, I am not great at being neat at the edges when painting, so skirting boards can hide my imperfections rather nicely! What I hadn’t realised in all these years of ignorance are that there are numerous options of skirting board to choose between.


Having done my research, I quickly discovered that good quality MDF skirting boards (Medium Density Fibreboard) are the recommended product because MDF is easy to install, it doesn’t warp or swell (unlike the wooden alternatives) and it is affordable. It can even be bought primed ready for you to fit and paint. Now you can even buy HDF (High Density Fibreboard) skirting boards, which is the densest MDF on the market and water resistant making it perfect for bathrooms, kitchens and floors that are frequently mopped. There are a great number of designs on the market to ensure that you can find one to suit your taste and style and you can even cover existing skirting boards, wires and pipes with your skirting board if you choose one with a rebate option. I love this idea! No more messy wires for J to pull or Orion to chew.


I have always had white skirting boards and I do like how they finish off a room, but I have recently seen some lovely photos of neutral walls and painted skirting boards which make them a super feature of the room. I will have to give this some thought now. What do you think? Coloured skirting boards or white ones?


I have found myself torn between this more traditional and detailed skirting board and this more modern simpler skirting board.

Heritage Skirting World Skirting Board for our renovation project Wave Skirting World Skirting Board for our renovation project



Which do you prefer?



Our upstairs internal doors are rather bland and a horrible colour, which reminds me of cigarette smoke staining, so they will definitely be leaving our home and being replaced with some brand new doors. Doors have never been on my shopping list before, so I wasn’t sure where to start and was overwhelmed by the choices on the market. However, I have been naturally drawn to the shaker, 4 panel and 6 panel door styles so this has narrowed down my search and because our hallway is quite dark I think that white doors will brighten the upstairs as opposed to the oak veneer option.


When considering materials, you can choose between hollow or solid doors. Hollow doors have internal air spaces making them lighter and usually cheaper than solid doors, however, they are also more likely to change shape when conditions change throughout the year. Solid doors also provide better sound and heat insulation, which in our house is really important as noise travels everywhere at the moment. Since we are planning to be in our house for a long time it makes sense to pay more now for a better quality and longer lasting product.




Okay so I will admit it… I had no idea what an architrave was until I started looking into renovating our home. For any renovation beginners like myself, an architrave is the decorative moulded frame around a doorway. Seems simple right? Oh no! There are so many style options that I love I can’t decide which one to pick.


Similar to skirting boards, MDF architraves seem to be the most popular option although wooden options are available to purchase too. You can also purchase architraves made using HDF too, perfect for rooms where moisture is present. Architraves can be bought primed ready for you to paint once they are fitted. They come in a variety of thicknesses and heights, which is great news for us as our upstairs doors are taller than standard door height. There are also plenty of different styles available to ensure that you can find something suitable for your home no matter the age or style of the property. It is absolutely key to measure your door before you order so that you get the correctly sized architrave. If you are a seasoned DIYer then you can fit the architrave yourself, or alternatively you could hire a carpenter to complete this for you.


I have a definite preference when it comes to choosing an architrave and I love this style. What do you think?Colonial Architrave from Skirting World for our renovation project



Our windows are old (1980s) and clearly not doing their job anymore. We knew that they would need to be replaced since we were renovating, but over the winter it was a very chilly 14 degrees in J’s room overnight and so new windows were pushed up to priority number one. They are actually being fitted next week, which is very exciting! However, when the first window company came to do a quote I realised that there was more to window shopping than meets the eye. Firstly, I had no idea what the poor man was asking me half the time. He kept using jargon and was met with me staring blankly back at him completely clueless. Needless to say, I soon became far more knowledgeable and opinionated ready for the remaining quotation visits. To help you not make my clueless mistakes I have compiled a list of key things for you to think about prior to asking for a quote for new windows:

  • Do you want to replace like for like in terms of style, or would you prefer a new style window? (Our windows have Georgian bars and we decided that we don’t want them anymore.)
  • What colour frame do you prefer? (We quite like the grey frames which you see on modern houses, but since we can’t afford to renovate the outside of our house we decided to stick with white at the moment and consider an alternative for the future. I was also concerned about resale in the future as the coloured frames may become less popular and the rest of the houses on our street all have white frames.)
  • Which way would you like the windows to open?
  • Where do you want your windows to open? (Side/bottom etc.)
  • Where on the window do you want your handles positioned?
  • What is your preference for material/colour of handles?
  • Do you need child locks/safety device?
  • Do you need a privacy finish on the window?
  • Do you want double or triple glazing? (We were recommended double glazing by everyone who quoted for us.)

I hope this helps you and I will let you know how much our new windows improve our home once they are in.


Hopefully our renovating will be well and truly under way next week as hubby has a week off and the builders are in. Now that I have thought about the little details for our renovation work I feel more confident that we are going to turn our house into our home. I can’t wait to show you the results.


Have you undertaken a renovation? Do you have any tips or tricks? Let me know in the comments.


*This is a collaborative post.





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