Four years ago, Diana Griffin-Strauss went in search of a new apartment for herself and her teenage son. Finding such a flat proved something of a problem. First there were a couple of gazumpings followed by a wait of nine months for the completion of the seemingly inexhaustible paperwork. Then, at the precise moment when serious structural work was due to begin, she was involved in a car accident which landed her in hospital for a month and immobilized her for a further nine.
Incapacitated as she was, she decided that there was nothing for it but to direct operations from her hospital bed. For two months the builders worked under verbal instructions given over the telephone. Not once did Diana Griffin-Strauss manage to take a glimpse of her apartment, even though one bedroom needed to be converted into a bathroom, new fittings had to be installed throughout, and cupboards built along with new kitchen fitments.
I was quite petrified as to what I would encounter on my return, she says. Imagine, then, my astonishment and relief when I found that every single detail had been carried out exactly as I had envisaged it. It was certainly a major triumph on the part of the builder, Town Joinery.
The handmade kitchen was perfect in every degree. Proportions and details were spot on. All that remained to be done was the decoration.