SOMEBODY once said, it may have been Alanis Morisette, that life is a series of ironies.

And right now the irony is in home improvements. Never have our interiors been so central to our lives, nor have we had so much time to devote to them. Yet browsing around DIY stores and furniture showrooms isn’t an option in lockdown.

So we’re stuck with tired old sofas, wonky wardrobe doors, chipped paint, doors to gloss, cupboards to mend, and all those niggling jobs we would happily tackle right now, if only we had the right DIY stuff.

My sister pulled up her entire hallway/stairs/landing carpet in a spring cleaning frenzy early in lockdown. I was feeling smug after cleaning out three kitchen cupboards (I’m tackling them in weekly Saturday morning stages so I don’t leave myself with nothing to do) and she trumped me by texting a photo of her bare stairs. “I’ve gone hardcore,” she declared. I did point out that she wouldn’t actually be able to buy a new carpet for some time. She now has a load of rolled-up carpet in her garage, until the tip re-opens, and a largely carpet-less house.

I have lived in my house for two years now and it’s still a work in progress. There’s a hole in my kitchen floor which I just step over (I put a tray over it when anyone comes round, which doesn’t even seem odd anymore), my bathroom still needs painting, half the kitchen needs plastering, and I still have a terrible rotting front door that’s so flimsy it would probably fall open if I breathed on it. Replacing it was top of my to-do list when I moved in - instead I pretend it’s not there by hanging a curtain over it and shoving two old pillows against it in a futile attempt to stop the draught.

I’ve become obsessed with home improvements - I’m loving BBC2’s Your Home Made Perfect in which two architects compete to re-model a home, using virtual reality to create delightfully bonkers designs - and I keep thinking this is the time to get my house sorted, but I can’t buy paint or paintbrushes, nor are there any joiners or plasterers available. I can’t even go full Marie Kondo and clear out the piles of doom - VHS tapes, old handbags, atlases that still have Yugoslavia as a country - in my spare room because the charity shops aren’t open.

And now we’re bombarded with images of perfect homes - thank you Zoom. With every celebrity and their dog doing chat show link-ups from home, we get to see their expensively furnished houses. Sleek open-plan kitchen-diners, spotless breakfast bars, huge vases brimming with lilies, sumptuous white sofas...and the country sitting-rooms with high-end wood-burners and bookcases crammed with impressive hardbacks and the occasional Bafta carefully arranged at eye level. These tantalising glimpses into homes of the famous are causing serious interiors envy; Ellie Goulding’s lovely rustic beams, George Alagiah’s a gorgeous peacock print and Sophie Ellis Bextor’s to-die-for cushions in her shabby chic kitchen.

My friend said recently that because nobody is going out right now, social media is refreshingly free of people “living their best lives” and bragging about exotic holidays, mountain-top marriage proposals, epic gap years etc. But I think the bragging is still there - it’s just gone indoors. I haven’t got time for self reflection. I’m too busy feeling jealous of other people’s houses.

First thing I’m doing post-lockdown? Getting a joiner round to fit a new front door and fix my kitchen. Who am I kidding...this time next year I’ll still have tatty pillows holding up the door, and a tea-tray over the hole in my floor.