My Bathroom Makeover

If you’ve been bored by my constant moaning on Instagram over the last few weeks then you’ll be pleased to hear that the bathroom is finally finished! Yay!

BEFORE

bathroom

AFTER

dscn4568

dscn4572

It actually hasn’t taken that long at all but when you’re without a shower and having to go downstairs to the toilet 3 or 4 times a night (it’s fun being pregnant!), 4 weeks can feel like a very long time. Getting it done in the first place was a bit of an impulse decision. The bathroom was not to our taste at all, but as I’ve talked about previously we found it hard to justify spending the money. Anyway, I’ve waffled on about that already – we decided we were going to go for it and that was that – before we knew it the house was covered in dust and the nursery project was put on hold while it housed all the builders tools and a complete bathroom suite!

We found a builder based on a friends recommendation and he gave us the option of starting straight away (and I’m talking within a few days!) or not until March (which is obviously not ideal as that’s when the baby is due!) so we went from coming around to the idea of getting it done to having to order a suite, floor and tiles etc ready for work to begin that very week. It was a bit of a panic I don’t mind telling you, I mean I hadn’t even started work on a mood board yet and all of a sudden I was being asked to make sure we had something ready for the builder to fit in a few days. I think a spent a complete weekend on various bathroom websites making lots of different mood boards until I finally  narrowed down what I wanted. Luckily we managed to order everything in time and work began. We had a few issues along the way as is so often the case in old houses but 4 weeks down the line and it’s done. And here it is!

Traditional Style

dscn4602

dscn4600

In keeping with the period of the house, I went for a traditional style suite. The basin took a bit of persuasion as the hubby was worried about having no storage but I managed to win him round. We ummed and ahhed over a high level traditional toilet but in the end opted for this smaller style as it left room for a cabinet above. I found the cabinet one of the hardest things to choose. I was adamant I didn’t want a modern/mirrored style so spent hours trawling eBay for an antique cupboard that we could paint. Eventually I found one, it’s a little on the small side but I’ve decided we are just going to have to be more strict with our toiletry collections (hubby – I’m talking to you here!).

We also found it tricky to decide on a shower screen or curtain but in the end once everything was in, we decided that a curtain suited the scheme better. I bought this one from H&M so that we could use the shower straight away but thinking that I would replace it eventually, but actually I’ve decided I really like it!

 Freestanding Bath

I was desperate to get a freestanding bath in there somehow and when one plumber that we asked to quote told me there was no way it was going to be possible in such a tiny room, I became even more determined – even if just to prove him that he was wrong! So Mr Plumber, if you’re reading (very much doubt that he is but you never know!) you were wrong ha! I found this fab shower bath which basically acts as half freestanding and half normal bath?? (Is there a name for the other kind??) It’s on the short side I won’t lie, perfect for me at 5ft nothing, not so much for Chris (or anyone over 5ft I would say!)

Patterned Tiles

dscn4603

I think I must have ordered about 10 different floor tile samples – I knew I wanted some sort of pattern but for some reason found making a decision really difficult. Originally I was going to go for a geometric print but in the end opted for something more traditional. I am so pleased with these Deco tiles, they were much more reasonable than some of the others I considered and I think are perfect for the room! Lots of people have been asking about me about grout too – and actually it can really change the look of tiles! We used Ardex Stormy Mist for the wall grout and Cast Iron for the floor.

Woodwork

img_7186

Again, in keeping with the traditional style of the house I asked the builder to add a skirting board back into the room. For some reason, he thought that was mad and tried to talk me out of it on several occasions but I’m so glad I stuck with it. I think it really helps finish the look. I only wish I had added coving as well! The skirting and other woodwork is painted in Farrow and Ball’s Railings, I’ve been desperate to use this colour somewhere in the house and finally managed to get it in there somewhere!

Accessories

dscn4563dscn4571

I decided to add some rustic wood accents into the room just to soften the overall look. I found this great floating shelf on eBay and thanks to the power of the Instagram community, managed to get my hands on this fab vintage milking stool. I also treated myself to some lovely Meraki products which yes, I’ll admit – were bought for the gorgeous apothecary style packaging but actually are so lovely to use! Then I went a bit crazy in the garden centre with plants and cacti – I’m hoping as they are all less than 2ft from the bath I will actually remember to water them for a change!!

dscn4601dscn4597dscn4596

Advertisements

My New Downstairs Loo!

dscn4577

I’ve always said that when we eventually got around to decorating the downstairs toilet I would go for something quirky and perhaps a bit braver than in the rest of my home. I think the downstairs loo is the perfect room to go for something really different and creative!

This is how it looked before. Yep, you guessed it – floor to ceiling blue again! The previous owners definitely had a thing for blue tiles!!

I had my heart set on a statement wallpaper of some kind. I spent a lot of time browsing Pinterest for inspiration and decided I wanted to go with some sort of combination of a Gentlemen’s Club and a dog theme! SO imagine my delight when I came across this amazing paper from the Graduate Collection at Wallpaper Direct. It combines the two looks perfectly and is definitely the statement I was after! Dogs, in hats?! What’s not to love!!

dscn4576

As it is quite busy, I decided I would use it only on half of the walls and pair it with some traditional style panelling. You can buy panelling kits from several websites but they are pricey, even for such a teeny room it was working out at over £500, so instead we decided to fake it! I actually remember seeing the idea on The Great Interior Design Challenge either last year or the year before. I found a great website selling traditional style skirting and rails. I went for a large skirting and detailed dado rail combined with some simple rails to make the panel effect. The walls and woodwork were painted in Farrow & Ball Off Black. (I told Chris I’d chosen grey so was a bit nervous for him to see it and realise it was black – but luckily he loved it!!)

We went traditional again in here with a low level toilet. However when it came to the basin I simply couldn’t find a traditional style that was small enough so had to go for something a bit more modern than I would have perhaps liked.

dscn4578

I’ve always had a thing for parquet flooring so when I came across this parquet effect vinyl I couldn’t resist. It really adds some warmth into the room and is a great alternative to tiles. I have tonnes of it left so I’m determined to use it somewhere else in the house…

To add more of the Gentlemen’s Club theme I accessorised with this great bowler hat style light and a vintage shoe last toilet holder.

So what do you think? I’m so pleased with how it’s turned out! It’s exactly as I imagined!

Getting A Balance

IMG_5189

One of the most important things to bear in mind when designing any room is to aim to get a balance of aesthetics and practicality. It’s all well and good having a beautifully styled living room but if you don’t have enough storage, or somewhere to put your feet up and a place to rest your cuppa, it’s just not going to work as a home.

I’ve been aware of this more than ever while planning the nursery. Of course I want the room to look beautiful, but I also really want to make sure that I create a fun space for my little boy that gives us everything we need too.

Continue reading “Getting A Balance”

Bathroom Plans

bath2
amara.com

 

We’ve battled with the decision on whether to update the bathroom for the last two years. There’s nothing actually wrong with it, in that it’s less than 5 years old and everything works, in fact it was the most recently decorated room in the house when we moved in. But frustratingly, it’s just not to our taste…at all! However, we’ve found it hard to justify spending the money to re-do it simply because we don’t like it.

However, now that we have a little one on the way I can’t help but feel that it’s now or never. I can’t see us finding the time (or the money!) after the baby is born and so we’ve just decided to go for it! We are up against it time wise though! I am due at the end of March and really don’t fancy bringing home our new little bundle of joy while we’re in the middle of some major DIY work – so I’m really hoping we can get it done in good time before the bubba arrives.

Continue reading “Bathroom Plans”

Home Gifts as Chrsitmas Presents

livingroom.jpgIt’s about this time of year that panicked friends and relatives start begging you for Christmas pressie ideas! Fortunately for them :) I always have a list as long as my arm of things I would quite like but haven’t gotten around to buying myself. These invariably, are all house related items (of course – what else?!) and I find this doesn’t always go down well. So that’s led me to ask, are housey things acceptable Christmas presents?

Last year, Chris bought me (along with lots of other lovely things) a rug for the living room. It was actually very sweet of him, the rug had been sold out for weeks leading up to Christmas and I was desperate for it. He managed to track one down in a store somewhere far away, bought it for me and snuck down on Christmas morning to put it out while I was still asleep. I was thrilled. But when people asked what we had bought each other and I excitedly told them he’d got me a rug, it was met with “oh dear, so I take it he’s in the dog house?”

He wasn’t, of course. But so many people seemed to think that that was not an acceptable gift for a husband to buy his wife. Whenever my mum begs me for ideas and I send her links to cushions and bedding, she’ll reply with ‘I need better ideas please. Things for you.’ But these are things for me?! Nothing makes me happier than new cushions and as for new bedding, well that makes everyone happy doesn’t it?!

I see nothing wrong with getting things for the house as gifts. I honestly prefer them to clothes  or make up, neither of which excite me like they used to. So why are people reluctant to buy them? As I’ve been shopping this year, I have found myself wary of buying people things for the home, perhaps they don’t get as excited as I do and do see it as a boring present?

What do you lovely people think? Would you be upset if you found a new rug waiting for you on Christmas morning? And do you think twice about buying people things for their homes?

 

What are you doing for Christmas?

kitchen.jpg

It’s the question that everyone gets asked several hundred times a day at this time of year. ‘What are you doing for Christmas?’ With less a month to go, I feel a little anxious to tell you that we still don’t know!

I tried to get ahead of the game this year by bringing up the subject several months ago, but as you can see – it hasn’t got me anywhere. Ever since we bought our first house almost 5 years ago, I have been desperate to host Christmas. I don’t know if you can tell by my abundance of decorations for all occasions, but I absolutely love hosting. I love the preparation of getting the house ready and for some strange reason (must be the Greek in me!) I love fussing over my guests – fetching drinks and making sure everyone has eaten too much!

Unfortunately, I don’t actually enjoy cooking all that much, but luckily Chris is a dab hand in the kitchen and actually seems to enjoy it – it takes a lot more to stress him than it does me, I could quite easily throw a paddy about my sprouts not turning out how I imagined! (Why does nothing ever look like it does in the cookbooks? It can’t just be me?!)

With Chris covering the cooking and me on decorations and drinks, we’ve got it covered between us. So why five years later have I still not managed to get everyone to ours for the day?

The past few years we have alternated between spending Christmas day with my family one year and Chris’ the next, but this year we are hoping to spend it all together. We just can’t decide where. My family are on the large side (as in the number of people not the size of the people!) which means my Mum sometimes has up to 20 people for dinner. The thought of cooking for 20 might actually even scare cool-headed Chris. Plus even if we thought we could manage it, where would we all sit? At best I can probably fit 8 around my table, maybe 10 if I bring in the outside table and get a couple of emergency chairs from the loft!

So my question is how do I offer to host but restrict it to 8 people only?! Can I really do that? Or shall I just embrace the fact that I’ve finally got my chance to host and just cram us all round my little table?

While I stress over that for a few more weeks before it ends up being too late and we miss out again…why don’t you lovely lot tell me how you’ll be spending your Christmas’?

House Plans for 2017

Come January it will be two years since we moved into our little house. The first year that we were in we constantly had a project on the go. At one point we were simultaneously fitting a new kitchen and decorating both the living and dining rooms. There was no stopping us. Every spare minute we had was spent doing some sort of DIY job or other. By the end of the first year we had made good progress with the downstairs almost being complete (the loo didn’t manage to get a look in and the hallway carpet remained on the t0-do list until we could decide between tiles / carpet / runner etc) but all in all we had worked pretty hard!

The second year however, has not been quite as productive. All we seem to have managed this year is to decorate our bedroom, and even that just involved re-jigging some furniture,  a quick lick of paint and the addition of a clothes rail. We’re still “getting around” to doing the carpet and finding a new bed…

1

So what happened?! I had big plans for this year. I thought I would be relaxing in my new rolltop bath in my freshly decorated bathroom by now but instead I sit in my very un-inviting bath staring at the floor to ceiling blue tiles wondering how we got so lazy! And don’t even get me started on the hallway carpet. I resorted to what some-might-say was a rather drastic attempt at speeding this along by spilling a full tin of grey paint on it but even that didn’t work – I’ve walked past the humongous grey spillage several times a day, every day for over 6 months now and still we haven’t managed to get around to replacing it!

We just seem to have hit a bit of a brick wall and somehow need to find our motivation again.

As you will probably have seen we’re very excited to be welcoming a new addition to the family in March of next year, which means of course that we absolutely HAVE to decorate at least one room before then. I am hoping that knowing that we have to do this will spur us on to finish those jobs that we just haven’t managed to get around to. Just to add to the pressure I thought I would share my list of jobs in the hope that you lovely people can nag me if it looks like I’m not going to achieve at least half of these by the end of the year!

So here goes.

  1. The Nursery. This absoultey HAS to happen. If I haven’t at least ticked this off the list then I’ve failed completely.
  2. Mollys room. Yes my dog has a bedroom. No, it doesn’t have dog print wallpaper or doggy furniture. In all honesty, it’s just a spare room but Molly has claimed it as her own and now takes herself off to bed in the armchair in there. It hasn’t been decorated since we moved in and could do with just a simple freshen up.
  3. The Bathroom. I long for a bathroom that I actually want to spend time in, rather than one I cannot wait to get out of! It’s a very small room so we need to be clever with the space, but honestly anything would be better than how it is now. Did you not hear, floor to ceiling blue tiles?!
  4. The Hallway Carpet. Another thing that absolutely has to happen. It looks like it’s been down for about as long as I have been alive. Time for it to go, paint spillage and all.
  5. The Downstairs Loo. Probably not essential and therefore quite low down on the list but still I would like to change it up a bit. I fancy something quirky, not sure what exactly yet…
  6. A New Fence. Back in the summer I posted about how I was desperate to change my ugly fence. Well, of course I never got around to it despite actually having bought some new panels. These WILL be fitted come Spring time. I promise.
  7. The Front Garden. Again, probably not essential but my front garden is just a bit…bleurgh. It bores me, needs to be prettier.
  8. The Under Stairs Cupboard. This is probably a days work only, there is no excuse for why we haven’t gotten around to doing this in two years. The previous owners of our house very kindly (!!) left us about 40 tins of virtually empty paint, along with some textured flowery wallpaper which again looks as though it could be as old as me and actually wasn’t used anywhere in the house? Instead of clearing it all out to make way for me to build up my own collection of half used paint tins, I just piled things on top of it. Safe to say, now you can barely get in there. I also managed to break the light in there so that needs to be fixed too.

As we are going to be having a baby, I think I’ll be realistic and leave it at that for now. I could go on forever but let’s be honest, we’ll have other priorities next year! The list seems quite do-able don’t you think?! I hope to tick off at least half of these before next Christmas. Let’s see how I get on.

What’s on your to-do list for 2017? Has anyone else hit a brick wall with DIY jobs? Perhaps we can encourage each other to be more productive next year. As always, I love to hear from you so do leave me a comment below :)

 

 

Front Garden Dreaming

HouseMy latest obsession is with front gardens. I’m absolutely desperate to get to work on ours in an attempt to make it just that bit prettier. According to the husband, “making the front garden prettier” is fairly low on the priority list at this moment in time, but since when has that stopped me planning?! :)

Continue reading “Front Garden Dreaming”

My Bedroom Makeover – Take 3!

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’ve really struggled with my bedroom. When it came to decorating the other rooms in my house, I had very clear ideas of how I wanted them to look. I was decisive when it came to buying furniture and accessories and the rooms just came together – exactly how I had imagine!. But for some reason, I’ve found this room tricky…

Continue reading “My Bedroom Makeover – Take 3!”

The Downstairs Loo…

loo3

The toilet is the last room to do before we’ve finished the downstairs in our house. It’s a tiny little space, but you know me by now…that doesn’t stop me having big plans for it! (Check out my Pinterest board here)

I think, and it seems to be a shared opinion, that the downstairs toilet is the perfect space to create something that might be a little braver than your usual style. A place to be a little adventurous! I know I want to do something different in this room, but I just can’t quite decide how far I want to push it…

My ideas range from bold but stylish, through to ecelectic and quirky and then onto the downright mad!  For some reason I want my loo to be a talking point. Don’t ask me why!

Continue reading “The Downstairs Loo…”