Friday, 30 April 2010

Day 7: House renovation*

So the clever builders keep knocking things down...and putting things up. The first fix is done, the plumber is updating the heating and boiler and the new kitchen skylight is in! The bi-fold doors are coming next week and then we will see the garden. I can see how the L shaped kitchen will work in my head. Only 2 weeks until it is real.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Day 6: House renovation*

When we ripped the kitchen units out we found these lovely patterned tiles. There is something so thrilling about pulling a house apart, peeling back it's history, wondering who laid these tiles and if they had a happy life here.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Day 5: House renovation*

Look - they knocked the kitchen down yeeeeeee ha!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Day 5: House renovation*

The walls are coming down!!! Oh, they are going up too. How fast is this Welsh builder?

Monday, 19 April 2010

Day 4: House renovation*

You could spend your whole life looking at wall tiles - pop ones in candy colours, geometric ones, metro ones, understated ceramic ones, porcelain floor tiles. How to stop??! The answer is when you have builder's knocking down walls, a looming deadlines and a brief to stick to, then is the time to stop...The brief for the bathroom here is 'contemporary eclectic'. We have dark, dramatic floors, white neutral walls and so some bold feature tiles in a geometric pattern or a bright colour will make the whole room pop. For geometric and patterned tiles I saw some stunners at Fired Earth, Emery & Cie, Dar Interiors, Motif Tiles and Bisazza. But to get the intricate pattern effect we wanted was going to take some serious dosh. So the bold colour option seemed more viable - I found some amazing large format glass tiles in red, pink and orange which fitted the bill, but glass tiles in the shower area = high maintenance in hard water areas [who wants to scrub walls tiles every day?]. So cue some large scale wall tiles in ceramic - Johnson Tiles and Surface Tiles were my saviour. In the end 'my client' went for Milan Blue ceramic tiles 300x600mm by Original Style.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Day 3: House renovation*


Things are moving on swiftly - bathroom walls going up, new windows going in. My client's builder has arrived 2 weeks early, so the planning phase has literally gone out of the new window. It's seat of pants stuff. We have to get ours hands on lovely sanitaryware - and fast. No time for online items with 10-day leadtimes. The man on the phone at Cardiff bathroom store is our saviour. He has a Villeroy & Bosch acrylic Oberon bath in stock. The white modern curves of this piece will suit the space perfectly. It looks double-ended [luxurious and great for kids] but isn't so space-greedy. He also has a semi-recessed Roca Senso basin - more curves that will add warmth. We get a shower too - a Hudson Reed model with stunning cross dial. And a Phoenix heated towel rail and Ideal Standard Concept wall hung toilet. Seriously good for two hours shopping...

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Day 2: House renovation*

Day 2:
The bathroom.

It's day 2 and we know where the services will run and have decided on a layout. There is little time to ponder over a brew and a breakaway as the builders are busy knocking down walls ha ha. What next? It's time to think about the 'envelope' - what materials will we specify for the floors and the walls? Get these right and the rest is easy. Get it wrong and you'll be looking at expanses of cheap and nasty for years and years. For the floor there are clear favorites for a family bathroom - ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles, rubber flooring. [wood flooring was a no-no, not for messy little ones]. I don't love ceramics though [they chip easily] and while rubber is warm and tactile, it gives a very specific look [60's pop]. So porcelain is the best - it's impossible to chip or scratch, is super waterproof and can look expensive without taking all your dosh. Stontech 1.0 do a stunning porcelain tiled floor [pictured] in black/brown and it's suitable for bathrooms. Yummy. Available from Surface Tiles, £67 per sqm.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Day 1: House renovation*

I am redesigning my brothers interiors.

The bathroom is heading up to the stars, leaving room for an 8metre kitchen yee ha. This will be a challenge for the upstairs layout [we are effectively squeezing a bathroom into the third bedroom, while trying to keep that bedroom as a working space]. Nothing that some clever space planning won't solve. So before we can even really begin to think about concepts the walls are coming down! And the concept? Well, it's a family bathroom, so above all else the materials must be robust to splashing and bubbles. Robust materials don't mean we have to leave style at the door. The other golden room with family bathrooms - circulation. When you have 10 squillion bodies all vying for the basin, you need room to manouvere. Space is a luxury, but carefully locating basins, baths and toilets buys back valuable inches. So the concept? Bright eclectic. Contrasted with a dark floor. So you get a big fat slap across the face when you take your morning shower. And the colour shot is one for the kids too.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Blodwen* - new online store

Well, I haven't written for so long. Life takes over - new house, new interior design projects, my friends beautiful wedding at House for Art Lover. Before I can start thinking about our new house [new project!] I have to finish my brothers house, and drag myself away from new websites such as Blodwen. Strictly speaking, spending hours on Blodwen is interiors 'research'? It's so nice to see a Welsh online shop selling cool, handmade stuff. I am going to find space for their Carthenni traditional wool rug in our new home. Not sure I like their prices so much as their designs (£395 for a blanket, ouch). It may be beautiful but so far it ain't demographic.