Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Quick and Easy Bathroom Makeovers

Quick and Easy Bathroom Makeovers
We can sometimes be put off at the thought of redesigning our bathroom suite, knowing full well that it is a development that once started, must be finished in an appropriate time scale as it is an essential part of the home.
Once we make the commitment to remodelling our bathroom we must finish it, so making the decision to start it in the first place involves a lot of planning and sometimes money from the get go.
There are of course several bathroom makeovers that are quick, easy and cheap, breathing new life into your bathroom suite without embarking on the sometimes long and stressful journey that bathroom design can evoke.
With a few simple touches here and there, your bathroom can be transformed from a dull suite to a personal escape that can be enjoyed whether youre having a quick shower in the morning or a deep soak at night.

Bathroom Makeovers

Add a Focal Point
Considering your bath, basin and toilet are all matching, the “wow” factor is often spread across those three features, all defined by the same qualities such as there colour and style.
A great way to transform your suite in a quick and easy fashion is to replace one of your bathrooms features with something unique that still remains within the overall style of your suite.
By replacing your uninspired basin and pedestal with a stylish vanity unit or replacing the bath with a freestanding bath can give your bathroom a completely new feel.
Replacing one item rather than an entire bathroom suite is a cheaper alternative to get a new look but choosing the right furniture is key.
If your suite is predominantly white and a versatile design, its easy to find a stylish vanity unit that oozes the same appeal as the other features in your bathroom; try looking at wooden designs with a countertop basin as they sit well with most bathroom styles and stand as a focal point.

Have a Clear Out
If you have a large family, the bathroom can become a dumping ground for empty shampoo bottles, over used toothbrushes and the odd book or magazine.
By clearing out all the clutter in our bathrooms, including spare toilet rolls etc (they can be stored elsewhere) your bathroom can be transformed into a much more peaceful escape.

Add a Shower
Invigorating your body at the start of the day and washing away stress at the end, adding a shower to your installation is a fantastic way to make your bathroom all the more functional.
Available in a wealth of styles to suit your current bathrooms design, transforming your bath into a bath shower is made easy with plenty of top brands offering modern and traditionally styled shower installations.
Just having a bath in your suite can make life difficult, especially if you have a big family all in need of a wash in the morning or at night, adding unwanted stress to your daily routine, so complimenting your suite with a shower is a great investment in the long term.

Transforming your bathroom doesnt mean removing your old bathroom suite and beginning the long journey of choosing a suite and getting it installed; you can easily brighten up your bathroom with a quick and easy solution.

Guest author: Izzy Evans, 20 year old student, blogger and interior design enthusiast from Staffordshire. Izzy now works on her latest project, a brand new blog for Bathroom City

Monday, 18 November 2013

Scaffold board shelf

There are parts of the house that we wanted to change that were just not possible, if we had an endless pot of money then these would be possible but without the large funds needed some things we will have to live with.

One area that we could not change was a massive section of concrete under the radiator on a kitchen wall, this section is part of a structural wall and could be removed but would be quite a major job and so we decided it would be safer and cheaper to leave the concrete in place and make a feature out of it.

As you can see in the below image there is a thick chunk of concrete under the new radiator in the kitchen.

Kitchen demolition and removal
We have now created a box section over this and topped it with a scaffold board shelf. This has made a beautiful feature of a section of the old house that we couldn't change and is the perfect place to display my collection of lanterns. What was once a problematic lump of concrete in the house now looks beautifully restored.
Scaffold board shelf

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Built in wine rack now added to our custom kitchen

We originally wanted to include a section for chopping boards and left enough gap for these to be included in between the kitchen cupboard and the dishwasher but whilst I was away for the weekend James decided that it would be far more useful to build a wine rack in that space and keep the chopping boards elsewhere. I completely agree and storing more wine is a much better use of space!
Custom made wine rack in the kitchen
Now all it needs is a lick of paint and it will look like it was meant to be there all along! 

Friday, 15 November 2013

Finishing off kitchen cupboards

When building our own custom kitchen a lot of things have been needed to be custom created. Although we bought off the shelf kitchen plinths for the bottoms of the units we didn't have anything for the bottoms of the raised cupboards. Here we used off cuts of plinth that was cut off to level them into the floor and they look lovely. Not having enough money to go out and buy everything that is ideally needed makes you much more resourceful and shows that you really can build a kitchen on a budget.
Finishing kitchen cupboards

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

How to build a bespoke kitchen on a small budget.

When we bought our first house we bought on a shoestring budget and we bought a complete do-er up-er hoping that with the skills of my partner and his dad we would be able to build what we wanted but at a fraction of the cost.

Apart from a plumber, a plasterer and an electrician all the work has been completed by the family on a very small budget considering the work that has been carried out. The kitchen now looks like a bespoke £10k kitchen but at a fraction of the cost.

You don't have to buy new.
First we managed to buy a second hand kitchen, try searching through local papers and E-bay to find a second hand kitchen. It doesn't matter what doors or work tops are on the kitchen just make sure that the carcasses are in good condition. We were lucky and managed to pick up a second hand kitchen for £300 and this included nearly enough kitchen units for the whole kitchen including the island.

Shop around.
With the kitchen units in place it was now time to buy the cupboard doors and here is where we spent the most money. My biggest piece of advice is to shop around we started our search in all the local stores including Homebase and B&Q and got quotes from these. We then went to places like Howdens for further quotes but these were still coming out higher than our budget allowed. Then we took to the internet and found a company that would make all the custom door sizes that we needed for around half the cost. There was a wait for the doors to be made but the savings we made the wait was worth it. The bonus with building our kitchen ourselves was that for each section we could shop around for the best price. Our kitchen sink came from Ikea, the worktop from Homebase, the doors, hinges, draw runners and door handles all online the match board from the local Jewsons and tiles from Topps Tiles. Each shop has its own special offers and deals so it is worth shopping around if your on a tight budget but it is possible to build a stunning kitchen for a quarter of the cost.

Finishing touches.
Next buy your door handles and hinges and again we shopped around and found a supplier on E-bay that was selling soft close hinges for 99p each. We now have a beautiful kitchen with amazing soft close doors and draws and it looks expensive but it really didn't cost a fortune.

If in doubt get the paint out!
Even if you can't afford a whole new kitchen by painting an old kitchen and just buying new handles can make a massive difference and give your kitchen a fresh new look. With all the end panels in the kitchen, rather than buying matching panels in the same material as the doors we used a match board style MDF and painted them. This same material was used all around the island and looks wonderful.

How to build a kitchen on a small budget.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Adding the finishing touches to the kitchen

We are now speeding through the finishing touches in our house and now we have added the plinths to the underside of the kitchen units.
Plinths under kitchen units
However this wasn't a straight forward job. With the floors still slightly uneven the plinths had to be customised and scribed in to fit snugly. It's so nice to see the kitchen that already looked amazing look even more finished.  
Fitting plinths under kitchen units
Now we just need some skirting to complete this section!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Kitchen doors and handles now fitted.

This is really the biggest transformation to our home so far, adding new kitchen doors and handles throughout. We bought the kitchen second hand as we didn't have the budget to buy a whole new fitted kitchen so with James's clever skills he used all the kitchen carcasses to layout the kitchen how we wanted with the view to put all new doors and handles on at a later date. Well that later date has arrived and we have chosen the most beautiful off white/cream kitchen doors and it is now time to fit them.

Choosing kitchen door handles is an incredibly hard job and finding the right style was near impossible for me so I left this up to James and what he picked was just perfect and I love them. I thought the kitchen was already looking good before but now the whole place is transformed yet again.

Another thing that James insisted on having was soft close EVERYTHING he was adamant that we were to spend the extra money to get soft close hinges for the doors and soft close hinges for the draws. I must admit it is nice but I don't think I am quite as excited as he is and miss being able to slam cupboard doors in anger!

New kitchen doors and handles

New kitchen drawers

Fitting new kitchen cupboard doors

The kitchen decorated

New kitchen cupboard door handles

New Kitchen

New Kitchen complete

Before and after kitchen renovation

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Skirting boards added to our home

It really does feel like we are flying through the jobs list and the finishing touches are happening thick and fast right now. Fingers crossed if we keep working this hard we will have the downstairs complete ready in time for Christmas.

Although we were in the house for last Christmas the place was a real building site so to get the downstairs ready it will really feel like our first Christmas in our new home and I can not wait. Check out the pictures from Christmas last year and you'll understand why it wasn't a very festive place to stay.

Now we continue with all the finishing jobs and this time we add skirting around the bottom of the island.
Fitting skirting boards around an island
All it needs now is a coat of paint and that's another job done. 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Finally we have some curtains!

After well over a year of living in our house we have finally got to the point where we are adding finishing touches and putting up curtains. It's a very exciting job that is now complete.

For months there has been no point in putting up curtains that will only get lagged in dust and debris from the house build but now the walls are painted we can finally put up the curtain pole that we bought months ago and hang the curtains.
Hanging a curtain pole

Sometimes when your doing a house renovation for so many months it is often very boring visiting screwfix and Jewson's week after week and buying endless supplies of building materials and sometimes you just need some proper retail therapy and buy some soft furnishings. This is exactly what we did about 6 months ago and decided that we loved these curtains and that they would be perfect for the theme and colours that we had chosen. Not wanting them to go out of stock we bought them and had them in storage for months so it really was exciting knowing how long we have owned these for to finally get them hung.
New curtains

Now we can close the curtains at night.... it just might be a while before we remember to open them each morning! Whoops.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Time lapse video of flooring being layed

With one solid weekend with James and his dad working on the flooring we now have a beautiful oak floor throughout the downstairs of the house. Watch the time lapse video here to see the floor going into the living and dining room in the house.
Oak floor in the kitchen
The oak floor running through the kitchen looks amazing and really does look beautiful.
Kitchen with oak flooring
Now we have a nice new floor we have had to go and buy ourselves and door mat as really don't want to be making our lovely new floor dirty!
Oak flooring in a modern kitchen