Making your home your sanctuary

Lucy Burt for Smart Divorce

In this episode, Tamsin is in conversation with Lucy Burt of Nest Interior Design. They talk about how to make the former marital home your own and how to make small changes that make a big difference. Whether you’re selling your marital home and buying a new place or want to change up your former marital home, this one is for you.

Lucy founded nest some fifteen years ago after re-training at Chelsea College of Art & Design and has been designing interiors of all shapes and sizes ever since. Her previous life was in IT and now she channels all those skills gained in managing clients, suppliers, budgets, projects and teams into organising interior projects – much more fun!

All this time later, she still feels very lucky to ‘do interiors’ for a job. Projects are so varied, working with different clients, budgets and briefs each time so there is always something new to learn and never a dull day.

Lucy lives in Sale, Cheshire with her various unruly animals and children.

Instagram @designbynest
0161 414 0032
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Tamsin is a Chartered Financial Planner with over 20 years experience. She works with couples and individuals who are at the end of a relationship and want agree how to divide their assets FAIRLY without a fight.

You can contact Tamsin at or arrange a free initial meeting using She is also part of the team running Facebook group Separation, Divorce and Dissolution UK

Tamsin Caine MSc., FPFS
Chartered Financial Planner
Smart Divorce Ltd

P.S. I am the co-author of “My Divorce Handbook – It’s What You Do Next That Counts”, written by divorce specialists and lawyers writing about their area of expertise to help walk you through the divorce process. You can buy it by scanning the QR code…
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(The transcript has been created by an AI, apologies for any mistakes)

Tamsin Caine 0:06
Hello, and welcome to the Smart Divorce podcast. In series five, my guests will be helping you to come out of your divorce, dissolution, or big breakup and create a different you, move forward with the things that you want to be able to achieve. And think about things differently. I really hope you enjoy this series. I’m your host, Tamsin Caine. And we’ll be meeting some fabulous guests, I hope you enjoy them. If you do have any suggestions as to the guests that we could have on, then we’d be more than delighted to hear from you. I hope you enjoy.

Tamsin Caine 0:50
Hello, and I’m delighted to be joined today by Lucy Burt. Lucy is an interior designer. And I’m really looking forward to this conversation with her today. Because she’s going to tell us all about how to make your house your own home. When you’re going through divorce, you often move house into a new space and don’t necessarily have huge amounts of money to do it up. Or you might want to make your marital home your own rather than having a place surrounded by memories in every room. So we’re going to talk about that today. So Lucy works generally with people in Cheshire, she works on an hourly rate, we’re going to find out more about that and how she works and how you can contact her later on. And she says that no two projects are ever the same. And it’s very much a collaborative process between herself and her clients. Having looked at Lucy’s photos of the work that she’s done over the last must be at least the last year or two. The work is absolutely incredible. And some of the some of the posts that that I’ve seen on social media are amazing. So I’m really looking forward to this conversation. So Lucy, welcome.

Lucy Burt 2:08
Hi, nice to be here.

Tamsin Caine 2:10
It’s lovely to have you guest with us today, I’m really looking forward to to the things that you’ve got to help us with. So if we start off, I think that that is quite a common scenario, a situation that our clients find themselves in is there in the marital home. Because it’s easier for the children. And and if it’s at all possible, lots of people do prefer that. But I guess you don’t necessarily want to make every single room different. But I know we’ve spoken about this offline prior to prior to this recording, what’s your take on that?

Lucy Burt 2:55
I think it’s probably each situation is different, if there is probably quite different whether there are children involved or not children involved. Because if it’s just you, and then so you find yourself living on your own, you might feel more inclined to really have a fresh start, if you feeling negative about the current situation or the situation that’s just passed, and you feel like you really want a kind of a fresh start a fresh chapter, I think you might feel more inclined to do that to really be like, Okay, I’m gonna work my way through, and perhaps stamp more of my own personality on it, give it a so that I feel different in these spaces. When I come home, as I move around the house, if there are children involved, it may be that you might feel you need to be more sensitive to that situation, you’re not looking to wipe out memories, you’re maybe just looking to create more positivity into the current situation. So you might want to change perhaps the lounge space or you know, a communal space. And you could always do that collaboratively yourself and your children. So you could involve them in that. So it feels like something kind of quite exciting to do that. Or it might be that you want to say to them do they want to give their bedrooms, a bit of a changeup. So I think very much depends on the situation and how sensitive the situation is and how you feel your children would respond to that, whether it would be something they would like to do or actually if it wouldn’t. And perhaps you might just want to then do your own bedroom, your own kind of more personal space and leave those more communal spaces that you share until a later stage. So I think you’ll obviously know your own children and the situation and whether it’s right to be a bit more gung ho or to just be quite gently, gently,

Tamsin Caine 4:37
I like that generis. It’s really interesting that you say that because I hadn’t thought about it until you said, which probably makes me incredibly self centred. It was not something I even thought about with my with my own halves. But I think certainly creating it A sanctuary of your own of your own bedroom, in your own spaces is really important. What are some of the things that you might want to think about? So if we, we think the, of the of your own bedroom, for example. So that was potentially the marital bedroom, if you’re, if you’re staying in the family home, what are some of the things that we might want to think about in terms of making some changes in there.

Lucy Burt 5:27
So as with any kind of redesign, it’ll come down to budget if your budget is quite limited, because you know, still there’s a lot of things to sort out financially, etc, then you’d probably want to leave alone things like carpets, flooring, and curtains and blinds, they tend to be the more expensive areas to change up. So providing you know that you don’t really hate those. And you think that you could just work them into a new scheme, I’d probably start with a look of paints, because although it’s upheaval in terms of you might need to move the furniture around, cover it up, et cetera, it’s by far the quickest and most inexpensive way to change up a room and habit feeling completely different on a Monday to it did on the Friday night. Even if you only do that, even if you keep everything else because of budget, and you just change the colour on the walls, that will give it a completely different feel. And and it’s a real opportunity to do something just for you something really indulgent. So often when I do go out and work on family projects, there’s always not a conflict. But there’s always people have different opinions, people have different preferences. So generally one person compromises a little bit in one area. Whereas if you no longer need to do that, and you’ve always wanted Milan know and emerald green bedroom, or dusky pink bedroom or whatever it might be, it’s the opportunity to think well, it’s only for me, you know, the children don’t even necessarily spend lots of time in there apart from coming in or out. So I can just do whatever I want in terms of paint colour. So that’s one quick way. Other quick ways could be just things like the bedding, you’re just changing the bedding and putting something on there, that’s you know, just a little bit of a change a bit of a freshen up doesn’t need to be expensive, rugs popular rubbed up rug down at the end of the bed or by the side of the bed, a little chair, maybe you know, a little chair by the window lamps, putting some plants in there, just putting a vase of flowers on the dresser. Now, maybe even a bit of upcycling. So if you’ve got a dresser, or chest of drawers or even a wardrobe that you think well, you know, it’s really useful in terms of practicality and storage, and it really wants to have to replace it from a cost point of view. Now, give it a paint, you know, as long as you can, you can pretty much use any paint that you might have laying around. And you know, generally people have got, you’d need more than a test apart for a wardrobe or a bigger item. But generally people have got half finished pots of paint around. And as long as you prime it with a decent primer, you can then pretty much use any paint that you’ve got lying around on top of that. And that could just give it a real new look and feel as well. Something that you think oh, it’s a bit cumbersome. I don’t love it, but I can’t afford to replace it. So you could be a bit creative

Tamsin Caine 8:15
Sounds amazing. So so there’s paint that I stick on my walls. As long as I prime the furniture, I can paint that colour on my furniture.

Lucy Burt 8:25
Yeah, in an ideal world, you’d be doing wood paint, you’d be using eggshell paint, but if you don’t have that, and you prying that and the primer, this is boring and technical, but it is useful. Frying whether I always recommend is Zinsser. So Zynga, you can put as a base coat on anything. So if you want to paint over the tiles, you might have a tiled fireplace, you know, just with a few kind of little side tiles around in the surround, you could put it on top of that and then paint them whatever colour you want. You could put it over marble, you can put it over kind of so you could put it over wood, you could put it over radiators, you could put it over pretty much anything as long as you pry now if you go because you’ve got a good base

Tamsin Caine 9:09
Sounds amazing. I’m very impressed with that. I’ve always gone hunting for stuff that says I can use it on furniture.

Lucy Burt 9:19
I just think in an ideal world you would do that but if you’re a little bit short on cash, but you can see that you’ve got things laying around that you’d like to use then that’s quite a good investment to have a part of that syndrome and because you can then just give things a new lease of life.

Tamsin Caine 9:32
I love that that is that’s amazing. And are they’re just fit because I for one I’m not particularly good with in colours and all that sort of thing. And my majority of my house is has blue paint, ball of some shade or other other other kind of colours that are in the moment that are things that you can consider for bedrooms space to make it feel like a real kind of indulgent sanctuary where you can hide away from the rest of the world.

Lucy Burt 10:08
Okay, so again, that’s quite well, it depends, I always say to people one work with the room. So if you’ve got a really lovely light, bright filled room where the sun streams in, probably don’t do something like paint it in a rich jewel colour or charcoal or try to create a really, really kind of cosy cocoon go with what you’ve got. So that type of room might be well suited to having, you know, a pale colours in there or off white colours or more neutral colours, just sunny a type of colours that are going to reflect the light and so that when you wake, you feel, it’s really quite cheerful and positive place to be, if your room lacks natural light, and this doesn’t just need to be the bedroom, this could be any room, then you could really embrace the fact that you don’t get a lot of natural light in there. And let’s make it quite cosy. So you could go, there’s lots of dark navies around very dark greens, bottle greens, and they feel like quite, it feels like a really brave thing to do to do that. But actually, it’s really impactful. And ultimately, you do mainly just sleep in your bedroom, you don’t necessarily, you can’t really create a light space out of a space that doesn’t have a lot of natural light. So I would say go with it, one go with what you want, but to try and work with the room a little bit. And in terms of trends, I always say to people don’t follow trends, just mainly because they are they’re passing. So you know what’s in so to speak now won’t necessarily be in six months time. Plus, who am I you know, it’s your room, it’s your house, it should reflect you, you should walk through the door and it shouldn’t feel like you’ve copied something out of a magazine, it should feel like you’re really happy to be there and it reflects your personality and you can relax there. So yeah, I would say go with what you’ve got, you’ve got a dark space, do something really quite cosy and dramatic in there. If you’ve got lots of lights and keep it nice and light and bright and fresh.

Tamsin Caine 12:05
I like that, I’ve always kind of thought not that it was the other way around. But that if you’ve got a an already dark space, you should try and somehow lighten it up by painting the walls lighter colours, but sounds like that’s not the case which is which is cool. I like the idea that what – this is perhaps a random question, but what about woodworking stealing so if you paint I, I try and kind of paint my walls and my woodwork as you can see is white and my ceilings. All the same. They’re all white as well, because that kind of feels like a quite a normal thing to do. But I’ve seen some amazing houses on Instagram where they’ve got, you know, brilliantly bright coloured doors and like, what is that a kind of thing we should be looking at doing? Or is it again, it’s a personal taste thing.

Lucy Burt 13:01
Yes, it’s a personal taste thing. But definitely there’s a lot there’s a lot more out there to say there’s a lot more inspiration to take from in terms of people starting to treat the ceilings you know as the fifth wall or using the woodwork as an opportunity to add another colour in. So something that I’ve done quite a lot with my clients recently is a complete colour wash. So the walls are one colour, the woodwork is the same colour. So you start right from the bottom. So the skirting boards into the walls. And if you feel brave right over the ceiling, any joinery that you’ve got any bookcases, the inside the door, so your door that’s behind you, if you if you carried on that wall colour all the way across, that would be the type of thing that I’m talking about and right down to the skirting. If you are using a really bold or dark colour, you might not feel comfortable taking that over the ceiling. And you might feel it’s going to close the room in a little bit. Because traditionally, that’s the reason why the ceiling is white to draw the eye upwards. So wherever the lighter spaces are, it draws your eye up there. So as if they’re dark, it will bring the ceiling down a little bit. But what you could do is a graduation. So say you are having I don’t know Navy, for example, on the walls, you could then have a more of a mid tone blue or a lighter blue on the ceiling. And it’s less jarring than having quite a dramatic colour and then White woodwork. So it can be just feel a little bit more subtle, I suppose. If the woodwork blends into the wall colour rather than you’ve got these cutoff points, because that’s the other thing that the skirting boards and the way your walls meet your ceilings at that point there, it cuts the eye off. So automatically you’re drawn to those parts where you see the colour change into the white whereas if that bleeds into each other, it does make the space or feel much more cohesive and bigger. And it feels more relaxing to be in because you haven’t got your moving around and your eyes cutting off at lots of different points. It’s just all kind of quite cocooning around you

Tamsin Caine 15:00
That’s really interesting. I never Yeah, at it wouldn’t have never thought of doing the skirting boards. And so, again, to go technical, we’re using a we’re using the primer on the, on the wooden using the same paint as we do on the walls,

Lucy Burt 15:18
you can either do that or you can just buy if you’ve got quite a lot of woodwork, then you can just buy the eggshell finish of the same paint colour. Yeah, okay. Yeah. And then and also, the alternative is you just do something really contrasting. So if you are feeling quite bold, you could work with colours that work quite nicely together. So I didn’t know. So it was grey and pink, for example, you could have grey walls, and then you could do your woodwork pink, and then you could have a bit of a white with a pink tone to it on the ceiling, so that it all just feels quite cohesive and harmonious. So you can just do you can just go crazy, you can just do what you want. Because why not? It’s just paint.

Tamsin Caine 15:57
I love that. I love that. Talk to me about wallpaper. So I’m stuck in it choosing wallpaper. I have one room in my lounge, which I chose more paper for. And pretty much since I put it up. I’ve lived with it but really not liked it. Now how to how do we choose wallpaper that we that we can live with?

Lucy Burt 16:30
Wall paper has definitely come back round. So I think that and I know I said don’t follow trends. But certainly the feature war was a trend. So people would do, I don’t know their chimney breast wall or their fireplace wall in their bedroom with a mirror on or that type of thing. So you tended to think which way you’re going to be facing and then that wall would be a feature wall. Whereas now you are seeing a lot more of the whole room wallpapered, which traditionally is how it would have been traditionally the whole room would have been wallpaper, if you look back over, you know, kind of previous times. And people do feel more worried about that. I think it feels more of a commitment one its cost to its time. And also then if you don’t love it, you’ve got four walls on that will pay for the one that you’ve currently got. So you need to find something that you really think yeah, I love it. And also, I’m probably still gonna love it in five years time rather than just, you know, till the end of the year and then want to change it. So I tried to start with people thinking do you like geometrics? Lots of people like geometrics. Lots of people think that’s hectic, it’s hectic on the I, all those kinds of you know, it’s very linear. So I think about do you like geometrics? Do you like florals? Do you like stripes? Do you like small scale prints? Do you like larger scale prints and tried to narrow it down a little bit? That way? Do you want something that’s a bit more kind of organic and painterly, you know, maybe a softer floral, rather than a kind of a 70s Quite a graphic floral. So and think about maybe what you might wear, because sometimes people’s homes can very much be a reflection of what they would be comfortable wearing. So their homes might be neutral, their wardrobes will be neutral, they might have some pattern in their wardrobe, but it’s probably small scale. So you know, a small scale print rather than something quite bold and out there. So I would really spend time getting looking at as many images as you like, as you can. So whether that be on Pinterest, whether that be on Instagram, through magazines, think about and this is the same with everything but think about but will that work in my house? Will that work in this room that I’ve got in question? Because you see a lot of these kinds of very dramatic wallpapers in vast period homes with high ceilings with massive windows with lots of light, very staged. So you know, it’s not necessarily what to think about. But will that also work with my sofa will not work with my Kurt. And if you’re not looking to completely start over, he needs to think about Will it fit in with everything else in the scheme as well. So I’d say look at as many as possible. Think about the space. Think about if it’s a lounge, for example, you could be you could have a room which has a fireplace, it might have windows, it might have two internal doors, it might have lots of kind of chopping off points, so to speak. So then if you choose something with a big scale, it actually then just looks quite piecemeal in the space. So unless you’ve got lots of big uninterrupted walls, you probably want to have something with a slightly smaller scale on it so that it doesn’t feel the same as the flower for example. It’s kind of chopped off partway through at quite a lot of places because then it probably won’t give that overall dramatic effect that you want. Ideally for wallpaper you want big well certainly uninterrupted walls, so less windows, less doors, less kind of forces anywhere. Think about your artwork. If you live artwork, you’re probably not going to want to put prints and pick pictures on top of quite a busy wallpaper. So kind of that might then work with paint, you might be better with more of a more simple canvas, just get as many samples as you can, most websites will. And most suppliers will send out free samples as well. And really live with them for a bit, try and get a decent one kind of an a4 size pin it up and think, do I love it? Or do I just like it today? But I’m not 100%?

Tamsin Caine 20:28
So actually, like stick it on the wall? Like blue tack it or whatever to the wall?

Lucy Burt 20:34
Yeah, absolutely.

Tamsin Caine 20:35
It’s a great idea. Yeah, cuz I know you would do that with tester pots, wouldn’t you like painting a little bit to see. That’s, that’s genius

Unknown Speaker 20:44
Probably get more than one because then you can put one I don’t know, in the lightest part of the room as I would always suggest with paint and then one in the darkest part of the room and see how it is in the morning, see how it is in the evening. Just see if by the end of the week, you’re thinking yeah, I’m excited about this, I’d be thinking I really got off that idea.

Tamsin Caine 21:02
I love this, hello, this. Well, what other things can we do to a room that that are kind of not necessarily dramatic changes, but kind of smaller things that that we can add to a room to just change them up a little bit.

Lucy Burt 21:21
So some of the things that are touched on for the bedroom. So really impactful can be plants you can buy really inexpensive, huge plants from you know from garden centres from supermarkets now from you know, b&m and Dunelm. And places like that you can pick up quite inexpensively if you’re not green fingered. There’s lots of very realistic fake plants as well, you know, that’s the case, a lot of people just think I don’t have the time to be, you know, having to remember to factor something else. And I don’t have particularly green fingers myself, I don’t seem to do well with plants. So I’ve got a bit fakes. So I know even if the real ones die, there are some decent fake ones, because that can really make a real feel quite cheerful, you know, having some greenery and some colour in there as well. So you could add in some plants. Another thing that we did just touch on is prints. So you can buy really inexpensive prints and artwork online, and then put them in inexpensive frames, you can pick up really cheap frames from Ikea from Wilcos, from Dunelm, from loads of kind of high street places. And you can just create yourself a bit of a gallery wall without really probably spending, you know, 100 pounds, rather than buying one piece of kind of investment artwork isn’t you could do the same with photos. You know, you might want to with children, you know, you could go through photos, holiday photos are always something that people want, they love to revisit and to it’s really nice to look at those photos. And you know, kind of bring back happy memories. So that’s something that you could do as well. So and you could mix them in, you could mix in some artwork, some photos, when you go to galleries, you know, if you’re out and about museums and galleries and things with children, when you go through those kind of gift shops at the end, you can usually pick up just postcards or small scale prints of art that you might have seen, doesn’t need to be expensive, a couple of pounds, put it in a nice frame, particularly with a mount that’s a real kind of tip as well. If you buy a frame with a mount, everything automatically looks kind of more polished, it looks more professional if you’ve got the mount to it as well. So there are ways that you can really quickly change up a space by putting some prints and some artwork on the wall. Mirrors again, that’s another way that you can change something up again, you can buy quite large scale mirrors quite inexpensively works putting away if you don’t really love your carpet, but you can’t really afford to change it, putting a rug down in front of the fireplace or you know, in the middle of the room in front of the city or whatever can be a good way for you to add in a little bit of colour and pattern, see if you like but it doesn’t necessarily need to be expensive. And if you’ve got young children, there’s loads of those indoor outdoor rugs now that can go in the washing machine and then can just be hung out on the washing line and you can really you know, they’re very kind of scrubbable so if anything gets spilt you don’t need to worry about it. So yeah, rugs, plants, art prints, even just you know, changing one thing in the room, a lamp, you know, so you’ve got you can the high street have got so many great places now where you can pick up inexpensive items like that. Or if you’re quite into having a little bit of a rummage round, you know, charity shops, you can often pick up great things in there, particularly if you like older or mid century or retro style furniture, you can often pick up you know, a great lamp or a side table or something which can just, you know, it’s just quite nice to come into a room and think yeah, it was really small change, but it’s made quite a difference. Yeah, they’re the main ones I think that I can think of if you’re not wanting to paint and you’re not wanting to change your furniture, then just changing up a few of your accessories. cushions, throws, you know along the same line as rugs, they’re things that you can pick up quite inexpensively Max mix and match and a few kind of colours and patterns. And if you don’t love your sofa, or you think, you know, ideally, I would like to change it. But that’s a real kind of investment item for most people, then putting some new cushions on there, maybe a blanket over the arm, that type of thing, we’ll give it a bit of a good bit of jazz up

Tamsin Caine 25:24
I like that. They’re really great ideas. And what about so let’s say that we’re not standing in the family home, what a new place, but new place needs that bit of work. But benign, any place where we can afford to do that at the minute. So maybe we’ve got a kitchen and a bathroom, that there are perhaps kind of bigger jobs really, are there any other kind of smaller changes that we can make to those sorts of rooms, if they really could do with a full on refurb, that there’s some smaller things that we can do in those sorts of rooms, that will make a difference, until we’ve got money to to make the big changes.

Lucy Burt 26:08
Yeah, so in the kitchen, if we start with the kitchen, then the obvious thing is the cabinets. So if you were up for it yourself, then you can paint the cabinet. So you could either use a roller, or you could just use a brush, or you could use a combination of the two, if you’ve got the time. And the best way to do it is to just take your time with it and do it door by door, take them off and just do them you know, perhaps if it’s a nice day, you can just do a pure time and leave them out in the garden to dry. And you could either use the cinza that I talked about before. So colour on top, or you could buy, you can actually get specific kitchen paint for cabinets, it’s just a little bit tougher, it has a hardener within it. So because they do take quite a lot of knocks in the pitch and constantly opening the cupboards and drawers and things. So that’s one way. Obviously, if you had a little bit of cash, but not enough to change your kitchen, then you could ask you could get somebody in to do that. So there are kitchen spraying companies who will come and even if you’ve got quite a large scale pitch, and a client I know did this recently, and it was 2000 pounds, but a new kitchen and the size of their kitchen would easily have been 20. So 2000 is a lot of money. But it completely transformed the kitchen. So if it’s one I don’t know, maybe it’s really quite dated. And you think Oh really, that would be the first thing I’d like to change. 2000 pounds isn’t a horrendous amount of money to feel like you’ve got a new kitchen for the next however many years till you can afford to change it handles, you could change your handles just changing up the handles, obviously, you need to be careful with the dimensions, you need to make sure you’re buying something else so that you can use the existing holes and you don’t need to be filling and creating a bigger job for yourself. But changing the handles come in, there’s loads of great sites around and you could just order one, try it see what you think before you order all of them. What else could you do, you could just paint the walls if you don’t want to paint the cabinets. So you know, we’ve talked about painting quite a quick way you could put a new blinds up at the window, you could put liner down on your floor if you hate your tiles or you really dislike the flooring and or even if you feel you don’t, it’s not hugely hygienic. Maybe you think oh, it’s really old that floor and I don’t really love the thought of maybe you know the kids calling around on it or whatever, even after you’ve cleaned it, you can get really inexpensive sheet liner that looks like tiles that’s, you know, maybe even quite fun, or that looks like wooden flooring. There’s lots of good options around. And the key with that is just to make sure it’s prepped really well so it’s probably worth getting somebody in to do that unless you are quite handy because lineups really difficult to work with, you know, around the corners. There’s lots of angles around kitchen cabinets, new new stalls at the island, if you’ve got an island, again, putting artwork up in the bathroom, something that you could do so you might often people don’t love the tiles that they might inherit. So you could paint the tiles. So there’s tile paint that you can get specifically for bathrooms and specifically for that job. You could do it yourself if you felt brave equally you could get a decorator in who would do that for you generally tend to put it on with a little roller so you get quite a neat finish and no brush marks and then the painstaking bit as you can then get a grout pen and go over the grout lines because otherwise you’ve got your paint in your books, it looks okay it probably looks better than previously if you didn’t like the tiles but it’ll look a bit more professional. If you then go over and do the grout as well in whatever colour you might want to do it so they do then look like new tiles, you know and that’ll do you for a while. You might want to change the panel on the side of the bath if you feel that’s a little bit dated or a little bit yellowed. And any plumber will be able to advise you on what size you need to match in for that you might want to change just your showers. If you’ve got a shower over the bath you might want to change screen, you know, just those type of things are the things that tend to date, and maybe yellow under cold. So the seals, those plastic seals and things like that, you could change your taps, but not change your basin, you could change your toilet lid, you know, but not have to change your whole toilet. So there’s quite a few things that you can do. And again, painter, there’s quite a few things that you can do, I would say think about the things that really trouble you. The things that when you look around the house, you thought that’s gonna have to go, you know, something that doesn’t reflect you on what you would ideally choose and try to change those things first, because bathrooms and kitchens are without doubt the most expensive rooms to completely rip out and start over with, because you’ve got all the labour as well as all of the materials. So, yeah.

Tamsin Caine 30:48
So lino, and we’re gonna bring you back to lino a bit fascinated by lino I found, I think it was on Instagram, this company that do the most amazing, like, properly jazzy. This is my mom’s word from about 1970. But proper, like, really, really cool. And like, I know that some geometrics are some like really funky colours. So I’m thinking, I’m quite fancy some of this, who on earth do I get to fit lie? No, like, what? Check what type of trades person that might looking for when I’m looking for someone to do that.

Lucy Burt 31:32
So there will be some companies that that will just do that. But generally not because it’s not, you know, lino’s kind of coming back round in that you can get much more modern and contemporary lino now, but you’re probably not going to find anyone who just fits lino. So I would say a carpet fitter. If you go into any flooring shop, they will generally tend to sell line as well. So they’ll have people kind of at the more kind of high end people are looking for candy and Camaro and Amtico. And that type of that’s effectively vinyl flooring, but right at the top end, and it just looks very realistic, it’s very durable, it has a lifetime guarantee. So shops that sell that will also likely sell them or inexpensive vinyl as well. Because a lot of people do use that sometimes as a temporary measure. Or sometimes when they think I don’t want to put anything too expensive in while the kids are quite young. And you know, we’ve got maybe ride ons in the house and things like that, that can flow around or in rentals. So certainly, I think most flooring shops, you’ll find they have got a vinyl range in there as well. So they’ll be able to recommend you a fitter. And I would, as I say gets a fitter because we’ve tried to do it in our own home. That with my husband, very angry. And a lot of destroyed lino in a big peak when I came home. So yeah, definitely worth getting someone in to do it. Because if you know what you’re doing doesn’t take long.

Tamsin Caine 32:49
Yeah, I’ve got this sounds very posh. It’s not very posh. But I’ve got an ensuite. And it’s not the floor space is not big. But they like my Yeah, but if I do it myself, I’ve got to cut out this toilet bit. I’ve got cloud this sink bit, I’ve got to cut out those pipes bit where the radiator goes. My that I’d need a person who knows what they

Lucy Burt 33:15
recommend someone, definitely don’t do it yourself. Because you’ll wish you had and then you’ll ruin the lino, and it’ll probably only cost you 100 150 pounds for someone to do it for you. And then it will look perfect.

Tamsin Caine 33:25
Oh definitely, definitely get someone to do for me. So that that’s really brilliant advice. Or what about if we’re, if we’re going big scale, right? So we’ve we’ve perhaps so one of my clients recently actually she’s them. She’s bought in? No, she didn’t. She inherited she is staying in the family home, but they don’t need just bought the family home, when sadly they split up. And they’re about to embark on an extension. She’s about to embark on extension in the planning planning permission was already in place when they bought the property. And so what are some of the things that are a good idea to be thinking of if you’re, if you’re going full on extending your house.

Lucy Burt 34:17
Okay, so if you’re going to have an extension or some kind of remodel, anything that involves structural work, then I would say think about everything in as far in advance as you can. So you want to be thinking about how you’re going to move through the space. So you want to be thinking about where you’re going to put things often I go out to see people and they’ve had a beautiful space designed and they don’t have anywhere to put their Hoover they don’t have anywhere to put it or they haven’t actually got enough space for all of their food. So depending on most are lots of extensions do involve a kitchen space, because that tends to be the area where people want to remodel that space. A lot of people particularly with families, like To have a kitchen dining kind of snug space, so that it’s a bit of a multifunctional room that everybody spends most of the time. And that’s really popular. So if, for example, you were remodelling, to create that kind of space, then you want to be thinking in advance one, you want to be thinking about your kitchen. So planning out that kitchen, so that you can really maximise the space there, and use it in a way that you will want to so that if you’re big on cooking, you know, you’ve really thought through the appliances and that type of thing, whether you want an island, so thinking about the actual layout of the space, and how you will move through, it will use them have space for a dining table, if you’re wanting to get a little sofa in there, and maybe a TV, will you have space for that as well. So really playing around with the actual layout of the space, which is something often that the architects will help you with right at the beginning, when it is something that you can also do yourself, it’s something I get involved with people, sometimes people just really crudely will just draw up the space on Squared paper, you know, to scale so that they can then see, you know, kind of fit a two seater sofa, and there will be fit six seats around the dining table or whatever it might be, you don’t want to end up spending lots of money on a space, and then you can’t actually fit in everything that you want to fit into the space, then he wants to think about furniture. So you know, you just want to think about thinking about there’s lots of delays and still even you know, as a kind of a fallout of COVID. So you want to make sure that you’re thinking about your bigger items and that they’ll be here in time, you can think about obviously I think about the decorating, that will tend to come towards the end of the project would be the decorating and the flooring. Sometimes people spend quite a bit of time thinking about the flow from the older part of the house to perhaps the newer part of the house. So you might need to think about thresholds where one floor and will meet another Do you want them to flow together? Do you want to treat the new space quite differently and give it a completely different feel. So worth spending a little bit of time on thinking about how they’re linked together. And lighting is massive. I don’t want to take away from electricians, but they often do want to put a lot of spotlights where you don’t necessarily need a lot of spotlights. It’s not hugely relaxing to spend a lot of time under that type of lighting. So I would say particularly in a space like that, which is quite multifunctional, you want to think about having different layers of lighting. So you’ll want spotlights because you’ll need to chop food and prep etc. that there can be quite discreet and recessed, you might then also want some more relaxing lighting. So you might want maybe a pendant over the dining table or over the island, at which point you have them all on a separate circuit. So when you do come to that you can flick off the spotlights. And you can then think, yeah, we’re gonna linger around the table for a little bit, you might want some task lighting, because you might be going to do laptop work in there where the kids might be going to do their homework. So you might want some kind of focus table or floor lamp in there as well. So yeah, just thinking about really thinking ahead as to how you’ll use that space. And when I touched on the table lamps and the laptops and things like that, thinking about sockets and switches, and making sure that they’re where you want them to be early on, rather than once you’ve got a fully plastered room and then you realise you might have to put a table lamp there. So you want to be ahead of your contractors all the time. So that when the electrician says to you, where do you want to put, you know, where do you want me to put your sockets and switches you’ve really thought that through and perhaps even drawn them out on your plan. And that’s something I do spend quite a lot of time with customers on going over architect plans and making sure it doesn’t just look great, but it’s actually going to function for the way you live needed to have enough storage and all those kinds of more mundane things allow the space to look better because it means all the things you don’t want on show are hidden away and that you know you’ve got plenty of space if you buy loads of I don’t know special opposite supermarket then you might want a particularly large kind of larger pantry type cover. You might want overflow space for things like that. And you want to be able to make sure you’ve got space now for all the recycling that we have to house within the kitchen. There’s so many different things to think about in that type of space that the sooner you start thinking about them the less stressful it will can be.

Tamsin Caine 39:06
That’s such a good advice I really wish I’d had you in my life when I was doing kitchen. We managed to have no space for our kitchen Ben bland into our kitchen design and and we have all spots in the kitchen. So we’ve got a kitchen dining kind of space. Yeah, all of the lights and spotlights I really wish we did got a sort of pendant light over the dining table that would have been that would have been really nice but yeah,

Lucy Burt 39:36
yeah lighting can make such a difference to how you feel within the space and if you look when you go out and about in restaurants and cafes, you will see that it is aimed very much with that in mind. So if you go to McDonald’s are a fast food restaurant bright lights, eat your food, keep on moving, you go to a more intimate restaurant, there’ll be much more subdued lighting over the table to encourage you to linger to have the dessert to have the coffee Need to really feel that you don’t want to leave, I suppose. So it really does impact on how you feel when you’re in a space, so much different layers of lighting. And that could be in any space, I would say that’s the same in a lounge space or a bedroom space as well. Depending on what you’re doing, you’re going to want a different level of lighting.

Tamsin Caine 40:17
I love it. That’s such great advice. And we’re coming to the end of our time together, unfortunately. It’s just feel like I could ask you questions for a very long time. Is there anything that you like to add? Is there anything that I’ve not asked you that you think it’s, it’s really important that people understand about making some changes to their spaces,

Lucy Burt 40:44
I don’t think so no, other than I would just say, generally, people tend to, and this is human nature, it might be in how you dress it might be in you know how you decorate your home stick to what they know. But generally, when people do make a change, so they decide, I don’t know, to paint that would work the same as their wall, or they decide to be quite bold with colour in one particular room, they really get a taste for it, once they’ve done it. I’m really glad I did that and had that bit of a nudge, because it’s made a massive difference to how I feel within the space, it feels more me. And ultimately, that’s how I should feel. So I would say you know, you don’t want to be crazy, don’t be talked into doing something you don’t want to do. But if you feel you’re open to an idea, then do it and try it in a small room, try it in a downstairs toilet, or a utility room, or I don’t know, you know, a cupboard, under the stairs even or something like that, you know, just try being a little bit bolder in one space and see how you feel with it. Because your home really is your sanctuary. You know, and you really do want to come through that door and feel like I can breathe out this feels. And that’s different for everybody. That won’t be the same in your house to next door’s house to your friend’s house to your mom and dad’s house. So let it be a reflection of what you really like.

Tamsin Caine 42:01
I love it. That’s fantastic. And if any of our listeners or viewers would like to get hold of you, because they think you’re amazing and need your help, how can they contact you.

Lucy Burt 42:13
So my company is called nest interior design. And the website is nest interior I have sadly had an Instagram issue this weekend that we were just chatting about earlier. But I will be setting up a new Instagram account. And hopefully we populating it. And that can be a really good way just to kind of have a quick chat by a DM. So that’s going to be at designs by nest. That will be the interesting. And obviously all the contact details are on the website. So you know, you can always just give me a quick call. And I’m always really happy to I always with all of my clients have an initial telephone chat anyway, just to try to understand you know, what you’re looking for and how we could work together. So I do larger projects. I also do workshops where I just pop out for two or three hours. And we just went through things and make some decisions while I’m out on site with you. So I tried to make it as flexible as possible.

Tamsin Caine 43:07
That’s amazing. Lucy, thank you so much for your fantastic insights. And I’m really excited about making some changes in my house. I don’t know about anyone else. But thank you it’s been a real pleasure to speak to you all. Thank you

Lucy Burt 43:21
Thanks for having me.

Tamsin Caine 43:26
I hope you enjoy the episode of the Smart Divorce podcast. If you would like to get in touch please have a look in the show notes for our details or go onto the website Also, if you are listening on Apple podcasts or on Spotify and you wouldn’t mind leaving us a lovely five star review. That would be fantastic. I know that lots of our listeners are finding this is incredibly helpful in the journey through separation divorce and dissolving a civil partnership. Also, if you would like some further support, we do have Facebook group now. It’s called separation divorce and dissolution UK. Please do go on to Facebook, search up the group and we’d be delighted to have you join us. The one thing I would say is do please answer their membership questions. Okay, have a great day and take care