The one with TV Star George Clarke, a screwdriver, Prosecco and kisses • Lifestyle Wall
We live in an old house, a very old house, with crumbling walls, peeling lining paper everywhere you look (bar the teeny tiny corners I snap and share on Instagram of course) and a funny layout upstairs designed by the previous owners, that gives me a wonderful shoe cupboard if I had super small feet like a pixie.
We have big plans for the house that we have nicknamed the "forever home". It started as a house for forever and it is slowly becoming a house that will take forever to finish! Owning a listed house makes you fall in love with the fabric and history of the building. You know before you turn that key in the door that it's going to be a labour of love and you have to really love it.
We have grand plans to knock down the leaky conservatory, create a real heart of the home, family kitchen, move our en-suite bathroom and create a false wall behind our bed in the master bedroom and change the configuration of the family bathroom and cloakroom that works for now, but is in desperate need of updating. The thick 3 ft deep walls that surround the rooms like armour need to be re-skimmed and repainted and we are slowly working our way around the downstairs, bringing the tired walls back to life. But the internal walls that are cracked and littered with gaping holes from pictures and photos long since taken down, need to go!
We don't really know where to start, other than a nervous walk around our washing strewn house with a listed building officer, sharing our hopes for the future, plans to move internal walls and watching him nod and snap away on his camera.
So when I was invited to spend the afternoon learning about the Lifestyle Wall with British Gypsum's Rooms Made For You I was intrigued. Ok, I lie. I saw that George Clarke was an ambassador for the product and immediately thought an afternoon with George... he's on my laminated list! Ba ha ha!
I travelled up to London to the Good Housekeeping Institute with both my mother in law (she's been a Good Housekeeping loyal reader for as long as I've been alive) and my mother (she's been a fan of George Clarke for as long as I can remember) green with envy, and wondered what was in store.
After a quick (I'm so used to meeting a celebrity, oh wait no that's not true) handshake with George outside the venue as he chatted to a colleague I went to meet some fellow bloggers at a coffee house around the corner, so as not to walk in alone. Giddy schoolgirls was to be the order of the day.
The team from British Gypsum couldn't have been more welcoming and after a couple of glasses of Proseco and a few sweet treats we all sat down to listen to an introduction to the product - the Lifestyle Wall and then it was George's turn to take the stage.
I'd be lying if I said there wasn't an air of anticipation in the room when he took to the floor. He's the sort of celebrity that perhaps you think might not be as charismatic or charming as he is on screen, but no. What you see is what you get with George. He is passionate about his family, his practise and his work. And the products he promotes. It was so refreshing to hear that he doesn't just endorse every product that lands in his inbox, that he has to actually believe in the product he promotes.
I was every consumer they described. We have mirrors that have fallen down, great huge gaping holes where we've tried and failed with the "right" plasterboard screw. I am not sure our marriage would survive a gallery wall.
We have picture ledges in our house so I can rotate my favourite prints and photographs. It saves so many arguments.
But this product is different. Quite frankly I think even I could hang off a wood screw if the wall was made from this Gyproc Habito structure. Now say that after 3 glasses of Prosecco.
It was great to take part in some blogger challenges, watching some of my favourite friends Katy and Kate get to grips with a screwdriver and watch as we all flashed our cameras at George and his bulging biceps. This product is 5 times as strong as plasterboard and it took 5 times our normal strength to screw a fixing into it! Not to mention that it can withstand knocks and bumps from boisterous boys and over zealous little girls.
This product is different. It is better. It would absolutely change my home. I love displaying photographs, we have some huge pictures and an enormous driftwood mirror that needs 3 of us lift, that are languishing in the garage in search of a new home. But the walls can't take it. We need to slowly rebuild it, and as we do I know exactly what we need, the Lifestyle Wall.
I long for beautiful smooth walls like these. A kitchen that demands contemporary open shelves and a hallway free from the interesting sand texture paint in an attractive shade of lemon that currently adorns the walls.
Towards the end of the afternoon, after trying out the product for ourselves, hanging a gallery of photographs and chatting with the team from British Gypsum and George about my days as a Land Buyer for the national house builders and their thoughts on the product, George signed copies of his new book More Amazing Spaces and I joked to him as he signed my copy, "Could you dedicate it to my mum, Vivien. In my whole blogging career this is the most impressed she has been!"
It was a pleasure to spend time with people who are passionate about the products they create, you can see the years of development that have gone into creating an innovative concept for the everyday home.
And when it was time to go home, I shook hands with the lovely people who had invited me to the event, the staff from British Gypsum and finally George. Who said, "Oh let's do kisses!" And we promptly exchanged a kiss on each cheek. Cue a gaggle of female lifestyle bloggers including Lori. Kerri-Anne and Fritha oohing and aahing in the background!
Can you spot your favourite interiors bloggers?! Thank you so much for the invitation to learn more about the Lifestyle Wall. It's on my wish list for our new bedroom next year, and perhaps I will keep my marriage and get that gallery wall after all...!
It would also be so handy to have a piece especially for photography, so any one who is looking for a more robust exhibition stand or flexible shop wall should take a peek!
You can buy the brand new Lifestyle Wall from the following retailers.
In collaboration with Rooms Made for You