Meet Jane Stevens
I’ve been fortunate enough to have a career as an editor for a wealth of online and print publications, something I will forever be grateful for. So, when I retired in 2015, I knew I had to create something of my own, something that mirrors my passions and thus, my love for home and garden blogging was born.
I live in the Surrey Hills, one of the most picturesque parts of our country that boasts some of the UK’s most elaborate houses. When I graduated university, I moved to London and stayed there throughout my professional years, but I always knew I would return someday.
I’ve always been house proud and taken an immense amount of consideration in what I put in my home, but moving back to Surrey and seeing all these incredible houses triggered something new in me – I wanted my home to look like that.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have a six-figure budget to play with, but that didn’t stop me. I started exploring the world wide web, reading online articles and blogs for inspiration and, subsequently, quickly became obsessed with DIY features. Old Brand New was where my first project came from and it feels like I haven’t stopped since.
It’s amazing what you can do on a budget, with a bit of elbow grease and proper planning, many of my new pieces and designs feel as luxurious as those houses I coveted as a child.
However, it was the last room in my house that I designed that sparked something in me. Like many, I had neglected my conservatory. It had become a dumping ground for unpacked boxes and furniture needing a home.
It was dreadful and I made it my mission to give my conservatory the most sophisticated makeover it deserved. But when I turned to my trusted online inspiration, I was heartbroken to find there is very little out there. This meant I had to use my own creativity and through this, I am now sharing my own discoveries with our readers.
When the upcycling resurfaced a few years ago, I really didn’t see what the fuss was about, but when decorating on a budget, you soon come to realise it is not only essential but incredibly fun.
I am always on the lookout for unloved pieces to turn into something fabulous. I have been known to be late to meet friends or family because I’ve seen an old sideboard or unloved chair on the side of the road and I always have to get it in my car before another treasure hunter finds it.
I finished my initial revamping of the conservatory in early spring, although I am constantly changing and adapting it, and this teamed perfectly with my garden coming to bloom. Having lived in London for so many years, I had almost forgotten how incredible having your own garden is.
Nature can be rather lacking in the city and suddenly I was surrounded by birds, foxes and even the occasional deer and hare, absolute bliss. Sitting in my conservatory and watching the fledgelings is now one of my favourite things to do and has led to an avocation for bird watching during the warmer months.
- Portsmouth News
- Rochdale Observer
- Bristol Post
- Gloucestshire Echo
- Derby Telegraph
- Scarborough News
- Peterborough Evening News
- South Wales Echo
- Bath Chronicle
- Maccelsfield Express
- Manchester Evening Express
- Belfast Telegraph
- as well as various other blogs