It's been a major production

The TV producer had to learn some hard lessons when she renovated her five-storey house
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The Independent Online

I live in London W14, which some people call West Kensington or Olympia. Our house is very much at the insalubrious end of Kensington. We moved there about two years ago and we're still doing it up, although we've almost finished. The property is a typical terraced house, built in 1888 to 1890. It has four floors, a lower ground floor, and steps up to the front bow-window.

We decided to move here because of its size. It's a big house with many floors and plenty of room. As it had been on the market for a while, we were lucky enough to pay a reasonable price. It's the perfect place for everybody in the family, apart from me; my children can walk to school, my husband can walk to the office and I can't walk anywhere.

The house has five bedrooms and three bathrooms. As my father once said: "It's got a lot of stairs." When we first moved in our bedroom was on the top floor and he said: "Well, you're going to get very fit because if you forget anything you'll have to run back up a lot of stairs to get hold of it." One girl who came round and saw our bedroom and bathroom said: "It's just like a hotel - can I check in with you?" We have a sunny garden, where I built a playhouse for my daughter, which she never goes in. One mistake we made was to finish the garden and then acquire a new dog.

Everyone is staggered by the kitchen, mainly because it's the exact opposite of what you'd expect if you knew me. In previous homes, our kitchens were quite folksy. But we employed an architect for this and the result is like walking into the bar of a Seventies bachelor pad. There's lots of walnut panelling and brown suede, and a great big mirror over the sink that lights up.

The biggest mistake I made was to put ceiling speakers in the TV area. We get fabulous sound, but if you happen to be upstairs in the drawing room you can hear every word; it drives my husband mad. My daughters and I watch The OC and he says he can hear all of it upstairs. We're probably going to have to build him a soundproofed room so he can be grumpy in peace.

We buy most of our furniture second-hand, though some is inherited. I recently bought some fabulous red velvet sofas, which I got from a shop called Succession in Pimlico, which makes entirely handmade sofas using traditional methods and materials of really good quality. They're the most comfortable sofas in the world.

One of my other favourites things is a coffee table I bought from a shop in Honiton. Originally a Swedish gym horse, it has a wonderful weathered leather top.

I once went to Ikea to look at furniture, but I'll never go back. The problem with Ikea is that the products look great in the catalogue, but when you get them home they look ghastly and dilapidated in about 10 minutes. If that's what you can afford, that's fine, but I tend to spend a little more money to get something that's going to last. Ikea's design can be fantastic, but the patience you need to shop there is beyond me.

When buying furniture, I try to avoid anything that's going to date too quickly. I think it's interesting that interiors have become susceptible to fashion in a way they weren't even 10 years ago. I think you have to be quite clear about what your style is. We've pretty much finished all the work on the house now.

At this moment, I'm no longer at Talkback, where I was an editorial director. I'm in the process of founding my own TV production company, and I have a new book coming out this year.

Daisy Goodwin's new book, Poems for Life, will be published by HarperCollins in October

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