Nigel’s DIY Adventures in Thamesmead Part 3 – A Way To Make an Entrance

August 21, 2017

This is the third part of our blog series about Nigel, our DIY superstar, in the Thamesmead / Abbey Wood area. In the first & second posts, he walked us through making the kitchen and living room much more cosy with low spend and a bit of effort. This time, he’s writing about how a redecorated hallway makes all the difference to a great welcome home.

Not so Mellow Yellow

The majority of the hall needed glossing – so many doors, cupboards, pipes and frames for such comparatively small space.

The old wood work was yellow and stained, the walls were also yellow and dated. In short, it looked dirty, drab and uninviting.








After a few hours painting an initial coat of emulsion, I moved onto the glossing and then completed a second coat of emulsion; the hallway was finished except for the flooring …










Floors galore to sand

One particular school day (I was working that night), I was really trying to finish the bedroom floor. I had the sander out and was already making a mess so it was a good time to finish the hallway off as well.









I feel the hallway was my biggest achievement as this is the first impression for guests and the entrance to my home.

My own ‘Welcome Home’

Although it has taken 5 weeks to get this far, I actually spent about 8 full days decorating, freshening up and titivating my home. I work 4 night shifts a week, do voluntary care work, help out quarterly at the Greenwich Catholic Fellowship and have gotten involved with the Greenwich Carers Centre. Life has been hectic but worthwhile. I got to see a transformation to where I walked into after doubting if I’d manage it. It’s become somewhere I can’t wait to get back to; a sanctuary and my own space. It’s a place that, for less than £300.00 for decorating materials and a bit of effort, I could call home. Though it’s temporary, this DIY is well worth it and has been a tonic boosting me in so many ways. I have motivation, I have dedication and my home allows me to access so many more opportunities. The majority of the graft is done and I can have ‘me’ time to sit back and enjoy my new space.


Next time – A Bedroom

Another great installment from Nigel to show how important it is to make your property feel welcoming, not just for guests but for yourself. Some hardwork, enthusiasm and a small budget can go a long way. Nigel’s final installment will be on the bedroom with the help of Smooth FM to really make a house a home.

If this post has inspired you to want to live near Nigel in Thamesmead/Abbey Wood, check out our availability and apply now!

Nigel’s DIY Adventures in Thamesmead Part 2 – A Living Room

May 25, 2017

This is the second part of our blog series about Nigel, our DIY superstar in the Thamesmead / Abbey Wood area. In the first part he guided us through how he made his kitchen more homely and appealing at low cost. This time round he’ll be writing about how he made his living room ‘a different space entirely – warm, inviting and homely’.

Night Shifts, Laminate Flooring, Beautiful Paint

The following week I finished work for the week on the Thursday morning at 7am. I drove straight to the flat via B&Q where they had laminate flooring on offer throughout their January sale. With basic flooring at £5.00 per square mtr, I estimated i would need 7 packs at £12 per pack total cost £84.00. After lugging this from the car to the lift then up the final flight of stairs and into the flat, I made a start on painting the walls in the living room.

This time I used Leyland Trade Matt Pure Brilliant White paint purchased from Screwfix at £19.99 for a 10Ltr Tub. This was beautiful to work with, as you can see from the pictures below.


Dot Dot Dot | Affordable Housing | DIY | ThamesmeadDot Dot Dot | Affordable Housing | DIY | ThamesmeadDot Dot Dot | Affordable Housing | DIY | Thamesmead








Once again using a smaller brush to pick out the edges I was ready to get the larger roller on the walls and within 3 hours had given 3 of the walls and the ceiling their first coat of paint.

Dot Dot Dot | Affordable Housing | DIY | Thamesmead

Dot Dot Dot | Affordable Housing | DIY | Thamesmead







Fading Daylight, Balcony Doors, Skirting Boards

Whilst allowing this first coat to soak in and dry, I made a start on glossing the skirting boards and the door and windows leading to the balcony. The gloss was also Leyland Non Drip Pure Brilliant White Trade paint, costing £16.99 for 2.5ltr tin.
After picking out the edges with a smaller brush, I then set to filling in the larger areas with a roller. I find that using a fibre roller rather than a sponge roller gives a smoother finish, but they soon disintegrate, so make sure you have plenty of spares. You can get a 5 pack from Poundland.

Dot Dot Dot | Affordable Housing | DIY | ThamesmeadDot Dot Dot | Affordable Housing | DIY | ThamesmeadDot Dot Dot | Affordable Housing | DIY | Thamesmead







As the daylight began fade rapidly, I had to bring in more lamps to help me see what I was doing. I found this actually highlighted areas that had previously been missed on the walls and ceiling. Being able to control my own shadows therefore enabled me to give all the emulsioning a second and final coat of paint, which you can see below.

Dot Dot Dot | Affordable Housing | DIY | Thamesmead

Dot Dot Dot | Affordable Housing | DIY | Thamesmead

Dot Dot Dot | Affordable Housing | DIY | Thamesmead







This room was completed in 10 hours excluding the back feature wall and adding a few tea breaks in between. By 8:30 pm the smell of paint and aching arms called for a drink or 3. Having been awake 23 hours by this stage it was definitely time to call it a day!

On Friday I woke up at 8am, admired the work and inspected for any missed patches whilst making a cuppa. Now I had the bug to get things going I cut in the edges on the feature wall and within 2 hours this wall was finished. This only took 1 generous coat. The paint was part of Wickes ‘Colour at Home’ range and the most expensive of all the paint purchased at £16.99 for 2.5ltr tin.

Dot Dot Dot | Affordable Housing | DIY | Thamesmead

Dot Dot Dot | Affordable Housing | DIY | Thamesmead







Tea Breaks, Mounted Clocks, Great Value Flooring

My friend arrived at 11am all dressed up ready to do some painting, but I had already done that, so she asked me what needed doing. I said I had a clock that needed putting up (below). I had originally bought this for my room where I was living previously, but never got the opportunity to put it up. Whilst the clock was being mounted, I concentrated on the curtain track and curtains. These cost £14.99 from Wilko and were long enough to do living room and bedroom windows.

Dot Dot Dot | Affordable Housing | DIY | ThamesmeadDot Dot Dot | Affordable Housing | DIY | Thamesmead








As the clock (available online approx £12.00 inc delivery) was being completed, I made a start on the flooring. As previously mentioned the total cost for the flooring was £84.00. That is less than half the cost that I would have had to shell out on carpet if i was to cover the entire living room floor. After a couple of tea breaks and approximately 3 hours later, the whole room had began to take shape and became a different space entirely; it was warm, inviting and homely.

Dot Dot Dot | Affordable Housing | DIY | Thamesmead






With the addition of curtains, and over time some furniture and soft furnishings, slowly it became home. I look forward to coming in from work and adding little touches like lighting where I’m able to change the mood of the room.

Dot Dot Dot | Affordable Housing | DIY | ThamesmeadDot Dot Dot | Affordable Housing | DIY | Thamesmead





Next Time – A Hallway

Thanks again to Nigel for leading us on this DIY adventure! Hopefully you’ve learned something about how to redecorate a living room. Next time we’ll be looking at the piece of DIY he’s most proud of – his hallway.

If this post has inspired you to want to live near Nigel in Thamesmead/Abbey Wood, check out our availability and apply now!

Nigel’s DIY Adventures in Thamesmead Part 1 – A Kitchen

May 15, 2017

This is the first in a series of blog posts about DIY by our guardian DIY expert, Nigel. Nigel has been a guardian in the Abbey Wood/Thamesmead area since January, and also happens to be a DIY superstar!

He transformed his flat from blank canvas into a gorgeous DIY temple. This inspired us to turn to him for this blog series: Nigel’s DIY Adventures in Thamesmead. Follow this series for top-notch tips to spruce up kitchens, living rooms, hallways, bathrooms and more at low cost.

Nigel tackled his kitchen first, so that’s where we’ll begin. Over to you Nigel!

A Kitchen Ledge DIY Challenge

After receiving the keys to Hibernia Point on Tuesday 17th January, I didn’t actually step foot in the flat until 8am on the Thursday. This was after my night shift, when I dropped off a mattress I had acquired. Only then did I realise how spacious the flat was and how much work was required to make it homely, clean and fresh. I thought to myself “what have I done”!

After walking around weighing up, sizing up and taking pics of the rooms, I returned to where I was staying to make arrangements for utilities and bills. Then on Friday 20th January I returned to the flat armed with paint, rollers, brushes, a bag of tools and most importantly of all – a stereo for company.

The first area I wanted to tackle was the kitchen windows (below); they really didn’t look the best. They were rough and didn’t do the view from the window any justice. Especially the morning sunrise and evening sunsets on a clear day: they’re amazing.

I scraped off the worse of the flaking old, yellowy black paint. With legs of jelly I climbed onto the kitchen work top and made a start by cutting in using a smaller brush and a 2.5ltr tin of Dulux Once Pure Brilliant White Gloss.

Affordable Housing | Dot Dot Dot | DIY

After a couple of hours and forgetting the fact I was 12 stories high on the window ledge I had completed the window frame and the above panels that have been previously painted out, as you can see from the picture below.

Affordable Housing | Dot Dot Dot | DIY

Floors and Walls, Walls and Floors

For the larger areas, using a small roller and tray gives an even cover and speeds up the process. For the walls I used Lidl’s kitchen and Bathroom mould resistant paint that was on offer: 2 x 2.5ltr tubs for £10. This paint I found to be thin and took 3 coats in total to cover and the finish was not as good as I would have liked. But it gave a fresh clean crisp white finish instead of the grey and blue colour scheme, which was welcome. You can see the contrast below – excuse the blurry photos!

Affordable Housing | Dot Dot Dot | DIYAffordable Housing | Dot Dot Dot | DIY








The lino floor was in reasonable condition so I left it in place and just gave it a good scrub. However, this needed to be done anyway due to the amount of paint drips from the watery paint used.

In total I spent 14 hours over 2 days redoing my kitchen. This included the glossing of the doors, frames, windows and skirting boards, 3 coats of paint on walls and ceiling.

Next Time – A Living Room

Hopefully this first post has given you a few ideas for Kitchen DIY! Next time Nigel will be running us through how to redo a living room.

If this post has inspired you to want to live near Nigel in Thamesmead/Abbey Wood, check out our availability and apply now!


Joe’s Five Top Tips for Turning an Empty Space into a Home

June 27, 2016

Everybody wants a lovely home, but if you’re living somewhere temporarily such as in a guardianship property, spending half your months wages in IKEA probably isn’t a good idea…

Wall decorations1. First of all it’s worth checking, Streetlife, Freecycle, Gumtree and various other websites for bits and bobs that are being thrown away. You would be surprised what people are willing to throw away, I have acquired a sofa and a set of chairs – it’s great to make use of waste!

2. Shelves and work surfaces are an important way to fill a space and keep on top of clutter. Most joinery workshops throw away perfect sized bits of wood/board daily so don’t be afraid to find your local workshop and see what you can pick up.

Joe - hammock3. Rope. Everybody needs a washing line plus you’ll probably find something else to use it for. Buy a couple of pulleys too… Get creative!

4. Walls are there to be decorated. Corners are great for shelves, and the rest for mirrors, pictures or whatever you feel like fixing to the wall. The wall’s the limit. Borrow a drill, buy some wall fixings and get fixing. B&Q’s website has got some helpful tips.

5. Make it unique. I decided I wanted a hammock in my living room, why not…?

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