Made in Margs: The diary of a renovation

A Margate sunset

If you follow our Instagram feed you will see I have been visiting Margate rather a lot over the last few months and have now become the proud owner of a very tiny bungalow in Cliftonville. Five minutes from the sea and a ten minute walk to the old town, the house is in the perfect location, but needs a lot of imagination and even more work to turn it into the streamlined Modernist home we have in our heads (and on my pinterest boards)!

Over the next few months we will be stripping walls, pulling up carpets and knocking down walls and I will be sharing our ideas and asking for advice. We have never renovated a house before, as raising children and having a career always seemed more important.

I have never embarked on a joint project with my husband either and it will be interesting to see how an eclectic, colour loving fashion forecaster and minimal, graphic designer can bring their two visions together. Our house in London is mostly my taste – so it will be a challenge for me to discuss rather than decide!

Here are a few of the patterns we have encountered while stripping back the layers!

It may look Martin Parr retro chic but trust me it’s really not!

The Vision


  • Linda Pennell says:

    Definitely keep that lino!

  • Dani says:

    Am I weird? I really love those patterns…

  • Lin Morris says:

    Good luck with the cottage. I’m so looking forward to seeing the transformation. I have such fond memories of Cliftonville. My grandparents used to decamp down there every summer at the Walpole Bay hotel. My parents, uncles aunts and friends and cousins would join them – visiting Dreamland, playing cricket on the green, walking along the beach, making crepe flowers on the beach with my father, going to the circus. With photos in my albums to record every activity although I haven’t been down there since the 50’s I feel as though I have.

  • Sarah says:

    How lovely, good luck, look forward to seeing the results of your hard work and inspiration.

  • Sue Evans says:

    Congrats Jane. Well jel !! You certainly had vision being able to see beyond those carpets and wallpaper, I’d have turned tail ! Looking forward to seeing the completed house which I am sure will end up bearing all your hallmarks rather than Rob’s ! Mike has lived with my eclectic (bad) taste for 50 years and yearns for a touch of minimal modernism so he knows where Rob is coming from.

  • amanda says:

    I hope you are keeping that lino floor….it’s fab! Ax

  • Yvonne says:

    Love the lino such wonderful stuff.

  • Jane says:

    I know isn’t it
    J x

  • Jane says:

    It looks fab in the picture A but its really gross IRL!
    J x

  • Jane says:

    Lets see how it turns out Sue!! Im really trying to hold back but bad (good) taste may win out!!

  • Jane says:

    thanks Sarah – watch this space
    J x

  • Jane says:

    Me too Dani but in this case they are smelly and dirty!!

    J x

  • Jane says:

    Lin – I LOVE the Walpole Bay hotel – its fabulously bonkers and my new favourite shop is Batchelors Patisserie on Northdown Rd. Did you ever go there? Your holidays in Margate sound wonderful.

    J x

  • Nancy says:

    What a great project and I love the way you’ve given the patterns some dignity! What colour is the bathroom? I’m still patiently waiting for pink or turquoise basins to come back into fashion…

  • Tracy says:

    LOVE the lino – hope it’s keepable once cleaned up?
    Also love the triple flamingo washbasins in the ‘vision’ – will they make it to the final edit . . . ?

  • Harry Fields says:

    Great article really impressive it’s very important to know about renovations before you can do anything in your house thanks for sharing this information with us .

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