The treat yo’self edition

Even though I can hardly believe it, it is in fact – that time of year. Christmas has rolled around and it’s time to start thinking about presents.

Last Christmas – not the George Michael belter – we were in the first throes of renovation. We got the keys on 3 December 2019, took the month off our day jobs, and stripped the house completely. We worked right up until Christmas Eve and then escaped the dust and chaos for a few days!

When you’re trying to get a gift for someone who’s bought a renovation project, getting them lovely house things can be a bit impractical, especially if they’re not living there yet. We do have a few things from last Christmas that are still in their gift bags – and we’re not ungrateful! We just haven’t got anywhere to put things yet, even almost a year on.

So I’ve decided to do a round up of the best gifts for people who are in the middle of renovation realities. I’ve done two versions, one treats, and one practical (linked here) and I asked the Instagram hive-mind what they thought too, so hopefully it’s good and varied. I’ve tried to consider all budgets and featured as many indies as possible since it’s so important to support local, but especially at the moment.


At the top of my list this year – slippers with firm soles. Basically shoes. The floors in our house are A. filthy, and B. have the odd screw or nail hanging around which you really don’t want to step on with bare feet. See also: flip flops.

House plants

One of the first car loads of stuff I moved from my flat to the house was full of house plants. The immediate difference it made to the house by having a bit of green and life in it was amazing.

Mist diffuser

Bit of a weird one, but having a cool mist diffuser (sorry, it’s an evil Amazon and an affiliate link) this has been an absolute lung saver. I have pretty bad allergies especially to dust, and I got diagnosed with asthma at the start of this renovation – so having this on at night, right next to the bed has really helped. Add a few drops of essential oil for the full spa-but-in-a-building-site experience.


Not everyone’s a candle person, but I am – and similarly to house plants, they’re a reasonably quick and cheap way of making a building site feel more like a home.

Food subscriptions

I got given a 6 month cake subscription for my birthday and it was the absolute BEST! Coming over to the house to work and there be a parcel of cake waiting for me was just the gift that kept on giving!

Anything that’s going to help out with not having to cook or getting a little cakey or boozy treat will go down well with renovators, I’m sure!

A Takeaway

Ordering food in has been our weekly treat while renovating – we’re very food motivated people! Any vouchers for local food or just saying their next takeaway is on you will be very much appreciated.

Water bottles/Thermos mug

Anything that prevents dust and filth getting in your water and coffee!

Shower treats

After a long day of reno, having a shower is literally a little slice of heaven. When the water runs brown for the first 30 seconds you know you need to scrub!

Obviously any soap or shower gel will do – but something luxurious or really fresh would make that shower better!

Skin and hair care

Same goes for skincare, a lovely cleanser, moisture mask and face flannels/reusable pads to get the dust out of your pores and protect your face!

Also, a lot of moisturiser and a good hand cream.

If they have long hair, I’d suggest a leave in hair mask or deep conditioner. I have quite curly hair so it’s very dry and the dust made it absolutely ridiculous. I’d not wash out the conditioner and put more on before house work and my hair would just slurp it all up!


Just, wine.



  1. Hi, we have also just bought a reno project (also in Bristol :-)) and looking to ask family and friends to buy us the essential tools for christmas. Problem is I have no idea what we will need… any recommendations for ‘must have’ tools? Obviously the heat gun is already on the list haha ­čÖé

    P.S LOVE your insta, been so helpful to us already.

    1. Hi Gemma, thanks so much! Congratulations on your reno project, so exciting! I’ve literally just posted a more practical gift guide which has some tools in it which you might find useful. We’ve borrowed 75% of our stuff, it’s amazing what people have in their garage that they’re happy to lend so would recommend doing a massive shout out to friends and family. Just shout if you have any reno questions that we can help with! x

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