Apologies for my looooong absence readers! I have been up to my neck in renovations, car boots, and bargain hunting. Goodness me, it’s November already and while many of you will be gathering your thoughts on Christmas and braving the first rage -inducing Christmas shop I am here to distract you with our latest developments.
As we draw towards a possible White Winter – I will be wrapping you up in white Metro-tile bathroom design with my featured article Snow Metro. We’ll be checking out how wallpaper can transform a dull grey wall and I’ll show you my latest lighting-love. And if that’s not enough I’ll be revealing more Freecycle Freebies and you’ll even get a sneaky peek at my latest home office/sewing studio. Oh my, it’s as if I’ve brought Christmas to you early!
Exterior finishing touches…
We have been concentrating on finishing areas that were untidy. The exterior was a good place to start as the September and October weather allowed plenty of warm days for Jason to complete the kitchen extension with render and paint. Here’s the finished kitchen extension from outside as the days progressed in between his very busy day job.
Accent a wall – with paper
During the same week I took myself deep inside B&Q’s wallpaper vault and chose a leafy retro design that complimented the accent colours around the rest of the space. The plan was to unify the lounge to the kitchen extension and in addition to bring some of the garden foliage inside linking it to the outside – when the doors are open this would become particularly apparent.
A plain wall just didn’t look right. It is perhaps a good example of how adding a little twist on one wall, such as wallpaper or artwork can draw your eye from one end of the room to the other. After all that’s what good design is all about – keeping the flow, continuous and interesting. Judge for yourself from the photos…
Repapered dining area, retro leaf design by B&Q
Featured article – Snow Metro Bathroom
Many a night have I sat up late in bed trawling through Pinterest to gain bathroom inspiration. I love these two examples below of how best to utilise space without necessarily crowding a room. Look at this brilliant storage shelf above the door and the refreshing colour combo with the green and white bathroom on the right.
Pictures sourced: Pinterest
That brings me to our Bathroom renovation. It was long ago that we decided to create a second bathroom in the house. We took the space from small separate dining room – a usual feature of most 1930’s houses – which was conveniently placed at the end of the lobby corridor. The aim was to simply modernise and fit this room with an a large walk in luxury shower with an open glass panel a sink and toilet.
Before – the old dining room. After – a new, warm inviting downstairs bathroom
There were a few things to consider with this project. Firstly the boiler and water/gas pipes couldn’t be moved so Jason had to put his carpentry skills to use and build a cupboard around this – making sure that we could still have future access should parts need replacing. Secondly, the door to the old kitchen extension had to be blocked up and we needed to think of a way to use the old door space – this was solved by a proportion of the sink being set back into the recess so that a little space gained there would also benefit in floor space.
Before – the old dining room. After – the new sink and built in boiler/towel cupboard
The sink was donated from my mum’s old bathroom which Jason mounted onto a slab of left over chunky oak work top. He oiled the oak before setting the sink so it was sealed should water spill. He then built a cupboard with shelving underneath. The ceiling was painted in crisp white Valspar paint, the walls in Valspar’s Dried Rocket. The bathroom toilet, shower glass, tray were all from Victoria Plum. When installing this Jason realised the glass support-rod was missing but a phone call to the company soon resolved this with a replacement and a few days later he managed to finish the job. We used large white metro tiles halfway along the walls (this future proofs the room in case you want to change the wall colour).
Before – the shower, After – with large open shower
As the windows are clear glass (and overlooked by our neighbours) we had to stick on privacy film and add a white Venetian blind. This is an inexpensive way around not having to change the actual double glazing. The natural oak stained wooden floor and some soft green towels gives the bathroom a warm hue.We’re thrilled with how its all come together.
Sew to study studio
I am currently writing this feeling all gloaty in what is now, my new office. After a year of having ignored the hideousness of our front room/reception room – it is now at the stage where I enjoy entering the room. This office/sewing studio space is smaller than the other lounge but provides ample space to which I know I will have hours of creating artwork, sewing projects and hopefully more writing. It’s been no mean feat getting here, I can tell you. And how I struggled physically to get the original embossed wallpaper off the ceiling, yes the ceiling!! as well as the walls. Crowded with all my boxes of fabrics meant that every time I wanted to get to an area, I had to shift a hundred items out of the way. But I chipped away… everyday. Which yes took me bloody ages but eventually I got there. Its not quite finished yet so please appreciate the mess-dodged photos with selective angles.
This is still a work in progress so check back in my next blog to see more office/sewing studio transformations.
A light shade of Artichoke
“what the hell is that?” were the husbands words on my new office light. I frowned, immediately defensive about my grey wire ceiling light. I was annoyed with him because he was right. Something had bugged me about that ceiling shade since I had put it up days before but I wasn’t going to admit that. I should have known I would get it wrong. After-all I had gone against my own rule “never, ever, buy accessories until you had finished the painting the room”. Because the chances are, you’ll get the wrong look, texture, colour. So the funny wire ceiling shade went back to the shop and I swiftly searched around on ebay and found this little gem (Lighting-Direct-sales £39.99)
The only snag though, was that I had to build it – this was vaguely mentioned in the small print indicating a two minute job but in reality actually turned out to be 1.5hrs of my precious life and at the cost of my thumbs – now of which have holes in them. Not to mention the many lost miniature bonding clips that still remain, scattered somewhere on the office floor (I’m sure I’ll find them the moment I walk in with bare feet). They supply around twenty more clips as the manufactures must know this would be the case. Moaning aside I love building stuff and this was so worth it!
13 rings in total had to be clipped to each other to form the shape of the shade
The ceiling shade works for three reasons in my office; The light bulb cannot be seen unless you are directly underneath it. The patterned layers are illuminated to different effect when on, giving it a textured feel and the colour is white in the day and seems softer in the evening to a more ambient glow. The shade matches perfectly with the Dix Blue paint colour on the walls (farrow and ball – copied version by Valspar at B&Q). I am pleased that Jason hated the first shade or I would never have discovered this one.
My dirty little secret…
I don’t ‘arf love doing a bit of laundry – This (mild) obsession can be traced back to my childhood – walking past an old laundrette as I leaned in the doorway to smell the warm soapy scent of clean clothes. My mother tells me that I clung onto the door frame as she tried to drag me by the arm, away from the eyes lurking above large newspapers.
And it is probably because of that, that I get that snug warm feeling of fresh laundry, a comfort of the past. Today our laundry cupboard might not get you too excited but I was pretty pleased that the once larder has now been transformed into the little handy washing space I’ve been hanging out for it to be.
Space saving, machine staking.
And lastly I couldn’t leave you for another month without showing off my lucky freecycle finds from last month. We came across an amazing haul of unwanted belongings and ended up stuffing the most incredible finds into the boot of the car. Items ranged from an Ikea trolly (that has been on my wish list for a long time) to a beautiful original nautical oil painting. The unwanted items were the remains of a house clearance so everything had to go. We turned up to collect a vintage 1956 Singer sewing machine, the most adorable 1970’s glass owl, two paintings, knitted blankets, and a 1940’s towel geometric towel rail.
That is all for now. Please feel free to ask questions or add any comments. If you are a new subscriber then WELCOME and thank you, I mean that – Thank you for your time and I hope I continue to inspire you and give you tips on home renovation.
Until next time, keep warm and stay glowy.