Jay Blades' Home Truths and the chore he'll happily spend four hours doing

Jay Blades, author and presenter of BBC1's The Repair Shop, gets up close & personal with his home

Jay Blades standing in front of a wall of tools
(Image credit: TBC)

When he's not fronting BBC1's The Repair Shop’s, Jay Blades lives in Wolverhampton with his fiancée, Lisa.

What's your favourite time of day at home?

Cor blimey, that’s a hard one. It’s all day, every day! I’m just so grateful for living right now. 

But really, it’s when I’m playing vinyl – and that could be any time. I love buying vinyl, especially reggae, soul and jazz. Then I like to do livestreams on MixCloud and Twitch.

Where’s your happy place at home?

I’ve got a zero gravity chair and it would definitely be when I’m in that. It makes you feel as though you’re weightless and floating, which is great for me as I’ve got four ruptured discs in my spine.

What's on your bedside table?

A full decanter of water and a glass. I have a drink of water before I go to sleep and a big glass of water in the morning before I do anything else.

What's your home addiction?

It’s probably finding things that I can make or adapt. I love heading to charity shops, finding cool stuff and taking it to my workshop so I can do it up in a way that’s totally unique to me. 

Normally you pay quite a bit of money for something that’s bespoke, but because you can do it yourself it’s, like, cool, I’ve made this! 

I remember once I was walking around a local forest and there was this youngish tree that had fallen and I asked the guy who owned the land if I could take it. Once I got it home I rubbed it down slightly, leaving a little of the bark on and attached it to the wall by my stairs to act as a handrail. It wasn’t perfectly straight but that’s the beauty of it. 

And it ages - as you put your hand on it as you go up down the stairs, you’re sanding and grooving it so it becomes a part of your family history.

What’s your home pet peeve?

Smells! I’m really sensitive to smells so we like to open the windows and let air in. My missus is also a bit of a clean freak, so if it doesn’t smell of the outdoors it’ll be smelling of bleach anyway!

What chore do you love?

Ironing. I meditate during ironing, so I can iron for about four hours straight. It’s quite boring and I love doing boring things because that’s the opportunity for your brain to start thinking. 

When you’re busy you don’t have time to think about anything but what you’re doing. So ironing offers that quiet time that allows your brain to digest everything, and get that lightbulb moment.

Jay Blades standing in front of a wall of tools

(Image credit: BBC/Ricochet/Ian West)

Do you think you're a good host?

I think I am but it depends on the people you have coming around. To me, a good host depends on the guests that you’ve got. You have to choose wisely who you invite into your home. 

What do you do if you have time at home on your own?

Play vinyl or organising. I don’t get much time to organise things. I’m so busy that when I’m home I’ll be ironing or packing ready to go and film again, so when I’m here I’m just thinking about the things I’ve got to sort out, and I just love getting things organised. 

What do you miss most about your home when you’re away?

My bed. It’s really comfortable, and staying in different hotels with different pillows… it’s not great. Sometimes I’ll even turn up with my own pillow!

Quick fire questions with Jay Blades

  • 1. Shoes - On or off in the house? Off
  • 2. Eat at the table or on laps? Table
  • 3. Lighting - bright or moody? My rooms are normally quite darkly lit - one light in the corner and that’s it
  • 4. Quick shower or long bath? Long shower!
  • 5. Room decor - Colourful or neutral? Neutral with a proper splash of colour!
DIY With Jay by Jay Blades | £10, Amazon

DIY With Jay by Jay Blades | £10, Amazon

Even if you've never put up a shelf, repainted a room or fixed a dripping tap, Jay Blades new book will supply you with the confidence to tackle these everyday DIY jobs.

His latest book, DIY With Jay by Jay Blades is available now (£20, Bluebird).

Thea Babington-Stitt
Assistant Editor

Thea Babington-Stitt is the Assistant Editor for Ideal Home. Thea has been working across some of the UK’s leading interiors titles for nearly 10 years. 

She started working on these magazines and websites after graduating from City University London with a Masters in Magazine Journalism. Before moving to Ideal Home, Thea was News and Features Editor at Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc and Country Homes & Interiors.