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To really want to see the makeover at Downing Street?

160 replies

BlackCatShadow · 28/04/2021 09:47

I've been reading about how it cost 88,000 pounds to do and how Lulu Lytle was the interior designer. She has such a bold and interesting style. I must admit I'm very VERY curious to see how it looks. Has anyone seen any photos? I want know if she actually has gold wallpaper.

P.S. I know there are much bigger issues going on in the world, but I'm so sick of seeing house done in grey and crushed velvet. I'm really curious just how boho the whole thing went.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

BlackCatShadow · 29/04/2021 01:14

I read they can't afford a nanny and of course he's had an expensive divorce and still pays maintenance for several of his children.

Well, he does have a lot of children! A pack of condoms would have been cheaper.

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BlackCatShadow · 29/04/2021 01:16

I mean for the children of his many alleged affairs.

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Puttingouthefirewithgasoline · 29/04/2021 01:21

People forget Cummings isn't tory.

Re flats looking nice because we can't get out, Carrie did at least have cheques to escape too

BlackCatShadow · 29/04/2021 01:43

Carrie did at least have cheques to escape too

Literally! 😂

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TooMuchYarn · 29/04/2021 04:54

I was really hoping Boris might quit (possibly citing ill health) having got brexit done.
But seems less likely if he’s been splashing around $$$ on wallpaper etc. Hmm

Tavannach · 29/04/2021 11:58

Given that Boris now employs 3 photographers on government salaries I think we should be shown. We have to see photos of everything else, after all. The dog, the drinks in a field, the camping in Scotland etc., etc.

I suppose the makeover doesn’t chime with the ‘good old Boris - what a bloke’ persona.

paralysedbyinertia · 29/04/2021 12:00


It's totally beyond me too why would you spend ANYTHING on a flat you'd only be in for a couple of years and had literally zero chance of ever buying, I mean just why??

I imagine that they didn't originally envisage having to pay for it themselves.
FinallyHere · 29/04/2021 13:05

If you have plenty of time on your hands, who would turn down the offer to refresh the design, especially if you have a very generous starting budget and we're confident that someone who step in somehow to pay the final bill.

I'm only disappointed that this is what is giving our esteem PM grief, not all the other things that went wrong on his watch. However, if it is Cummings providing the meat of the allegations then it is less surprising that he has chosen to involve symonds who the spectator refer to as the 'First Girlfriend'

LongHotSummerJustPassedMeBy · 29/04/2021 13:10

Is it definitely the 10 Downing Street flat that has been redecorated? Or is Boris Johnson's own London flat the one that has been redecorated instead so that it can be rented out for £££ to a tenant with expensive taste? Just askingGrin

the80sweregreat · 29/04/2021 13:13

You can't take wallpaper with you , so it's such a waste isn't it?

FinallyHere · 29/04/2021 13:52

It's the number 11, dos street flat, where the PM and Carrie Symonds currently live together.

Rupertbeartrousers · 29/04/2021 14:20


I want to see it. The snobbishness around the "john lewis nightmare" is incredibly cringe - fine to say you want to decorate to your taste, you don't have to be rude about it. Also, I bet a lot of voters wouldn't mind a few things from John Lewis, myself included.

The photos online of Lulu Lytle's other decor is pretty intense for a flat that isn't actually theirs. I understand wanting a place that you live in feel "yours" but they might only be there a few years, and something that bold isn't going to be to everyone's taste, so it feels like such a lot of money down the drain to know that the next PM is very likely to be redecorating again.

I think with a property owned by the taxpayer there should be some rules around keeping it more neutral, or alternatively if you do something different having to reinstate it at your own cost to a neutral decor when you leave. I know there are rules like this in other tied accommodation eg. church vicarages, forces housing, boarding school accommodation. When we moved into our tied accommodation we were given a paint card of colours we could choose from, alternatively we could pay for our own paint or wallpaper but then it would have to be repainted at our own cost at the end of our tenancy one of the paint card colours. We also were given a loan for carpets, curtains, furniture, fixtures and fittings that is withheld out of salary so it certainly concentrates the mind on cost. You also think to yourself...well we might only be here x number of years so you don't go too out-there on the decor.

Excellent post.
BlackCatShadow · 29/04/2021 14:27


You can't take wallpaper with you , so it's such a waste isn't it?

I suspect Boris will try!
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TheEmperorsNewFlatRefurb · 29/04/2021 14:29

Xiaoxiong: agree with this post.

The photos of this designer do look very bold and intense.

This refurb will incur even more expense in a short space of time because it is likely to get dated very quickly. It seems likely to be very trend-driven and not a style that will last more than a couple of years. If the colours online are anything to go by, inhabitants of that flat may well find their frequency of migraines goes up coincidentally.

I can understand that a recent PM's family inherited a kitchen and flat that dated back to a very frugal Thatcher who didn't cook and so it did need gutting, but this sounds very 'Sun king' in style and behaviour.

TheEmperorsNewFlatRefurb · 29/04/2021 14:31

Plus, less light-hearted, sorry, I was sad to see Boris Johnson get so het up and impassioned about interior design and who paid for it, and to never get that het up about excess deaths.

the80sweregreat · 29/04/2021 15:25

I've never seen our PM so het up before.
He obviously hoped he could get away with this one or it would go away.
He probably hates the interior too maybe?
( not that I really care if he does or he doesn't, it is an obscene waste of money for a flat that will never be yours anyway)

StillRailing · 29/04/2021 15:42

He's an odd man.🤷

the80sweregreat · 29/04/2021 15:54

The most startling thing to come out of the whole mess is that the PM is given 30k of taxpayers money for this. I know that places need work and upkeep , but every single year ?
It feels wrong that each new family moving in can just change things around now on a whim : it's a crown building and should just be decorated as cheaply as possible inside and anything major should then be paid out of this allowance ( leaking tap or new cooker or whatever might go wrong)

Xiaoxiong · 29/04/2021 16:10

should just be decorated as cheaply as possible inside

I actually disagree with this - sometimes the cheapest thing is actually a false economy because it breaks and you have to fix it more frequently. In addition the flat is used for official duties I believe - interviews, entertaining world leaders, etc etc so it should have a certain standard of presentation and finish and ideally showcase British design and artisanship.

I live in very similar tied accommodation with an expectation of lots of entertaining, and I think our "landlord" has the balance pretty well sorted - I described our rules in one of my posts above with a standard neutral paint card, carpet and flooring samples to choose from and a £10k loan up-front for furniture if you need it, withheld out of salary over the next x number of years - I think this should probably be adopted for 10/11 Downing St flats too. For kitchens, they redo them I think on a 10 year cycle and you can choose from a standard range of finishes and fixings from Howdens but they're all kept pretty neutral so that the next person can't really complain that much.

If you want something different then you can pay for it, eg. when our kitchen is next redone I might splurge a bit on getting a kitchen designer from a fancy company like deVol kitchens to come in with a more creative eye and see if we can make it a little more functional, otherwise I know our landlord will just put in exactly the same arrangement of worktops and cabinets as what has always been here (which is not a very efficient use of space). I certainly won't pay very much for things I can't take with me though!

I honestly can't see that a single flat, even one with 4 bedrooms needs £30k per year for decor - unless that is also covering maintenance and sinking fund contribution.

Rupertbeartrousers · 29/04/2021 16:57

I do get the point that the Carrie Antoinette thing is sexist and ultimately it’s Boris’s work perk, absolutely his responsibility to stick to the rules and live within their means. But so much is made of Carrie’a eco credentials, I can’t get over the how lavish and wasteful it is to completely redo a flat every few years, when like others have said, isn’t even yours.

And simultaneously slagging off Theresa may, John Lewis (and by extension, all of their customers) to show off in Tatler was really unwise.

StillRailing · 29/04/2021 17:02

Eco luxe.

the80sweregreat · 29/04/2021 17:14

I agree that buying cheap can be a false economy , but in this case the flat doesn't even belong to them and 880 quid a roll wallpaper will only end up being changed again within a few years I can imagine. What's wrong with just magnolia walls and hard wearing floors ?
If everyone going into it changes it all it around again then it shouldn't really cost anymore than the allowances they get ( they shouldn't even get 30 k a year as it is! )
This is what I meant , in your own place going for the dearer options can be a good idea as it'll last three times as long etc but it seems all politician wives and g/f never like any of the things already there anyway ( apart from Theresa who is obviously much more thrifty)
It's all relative anyway , as Lulu has done it all now. They obviously think they will be there a while.

itsgettingwierd · 29/04/2021 17:19

There was a few photos of the type of thing expected if not the actual ones on a news channel the other day.

There was a wire basket coffee table thing for £3k and a sofa seat thing in blue for £10k

It just seemed so contrived in design, not very comfortable and I couldn't work out why you'd pay nearly £10k for something you could get from IKEA or somewhere else upmarket for £500- 3k - if you couldn't afford it.

stairway · 29/04/2021 17:22

This must be all Carries idea, Johnson can’t even be bothered to brush his hair. He’s clearly the stereotypical older man trying to keep the demanding new woman happy. First the baby that he won’t bother with Andy now the plush love nest that someone dodgy has paid for.

the80sweregreat · 29/04/2021 17:30

Even if I won the lottery big time I wouldn't hire a designer to do anything for me. Couldn't justify the cost when it's so easy to look on line and get so many ideas from the more normal places and some lovely paints etc.
Furniture has never interested me much though to be fair : my dfs sofa from the sale is 17 years old now and still going strong and that wasn't a fortune at all and you could pay it off monthly after three years! I bet lulu's bill for her creative touch was eye watering. It's another world isn't it?

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