Tag Archives: bathroom

Let her eat cake!

12 Aug

It’s quite frustrating knowing that you’re not making much progress on your home renovations, particularly when you’re pumped and ready to go! We’ve done everything we can since coming back from holiday to prepare for the kitchen build and the  bathroom refit, but we’ve had to twiddle our DIY thumbs until the ‘professionals’ come in and do their bit! Anyway, a huge HURRAH because hunky plumber man started work on the ensuite on Thursday! Actually he arrived with a plus one, as there was no way he was going to be able to remove the sunken bath without some help (I would happily have lent a hand if only he’d asked!). So now, the bath is gone, the toilet and sink have been removed and the boarded up door has been plastered over, all ready for the tiler to start next week.

Remember this………..



And the view from underneath (i.e. in the garage)….


Well instead we have this………………


OK so its a work in progress!


We had a slight tile crisis on Monday as it turned out the Travertine tiles that we’d set our hearts on need sealing after they’re laid, plus resealing every couple of years after that. This all sounded like too much hard work – they were high maintenance tiles and high maintenance anything is to be avoided! On top of that, when the tiler came out to measure up the room and check out the sample tile, it literally crumbled into pieces in his hand!






Oh and this is what I’ve been getting up to when I’m not DIYing! Made from scratch – even the almond and lemon pastry! I’ve got to have an outlet for all this  pent up DIY energy…………



To sink or not to sink………..

6 May

So IB’s been getting a little bit frustrated this weekend with the lull in DIY activity. Basically we’re kind of twiddling our thumbs at the moment until we get all the quotes in from the builders for the kitchen work. Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of little jobs to be done, but IB wanted something meaty to get his DIY teeth into.  Me, I was all prepared to take a break and relax and enjoy the bank holiday weekend, especially as it’s been a bit of a stressful week on the work front. In the end though, IB was not to be put off and so he decided to tackle the ensuite.

Now I’m sure I MUST have mentioned the interesting décor that characterised the ensuite in a previous post, but just in case, picture green and brown paisley wallpaper, orange carpet and an avocado bathroom suite and you’re there. And just in case your imagination isn’t up to the job………





Of course, the focal point (and by that I mean ‘talking point’) of the bathroom is the sunken bath. Circa 1970, it’s like something straight out of a Bond movie (one with Mr.Connery of course!). In fact I’m sure I did see it last week in a scene when I was watching ‘Diamonds are Forever’!



For anyone who has never bathed in a sunken bath, let me tell you, it is quite an unusual experience. First of all there’s the odd sensation of stepping down into the water instead of throwing your leg over the side as is normally the case. Don’t get me wrong, stepping down into the tub has its appeal, it’s a more graceful and elegant way to get in the bath for a start! The real challenge for me though was when I was luxuriating in my bubble bath and one of the kids or IB came in for a chat. There’s something quite disconcerting about being in a bath, that’s sunk deep in the floor and trying to have a conversation (or asserting parental or wifely authority) with someone, when their feet are closer to you then their face is!

So, the sunken bath will go in time. But for now, IB has stripped the room bare of all other evidence of the 1970s and the room awaits its fate.  I feel a mood board coming on!




Bathrooms a go go………..well almost!

1 Apr

Well as of 4 o’clock this afternoon, the bathroom is 90% complete! Can you believe it, because I’m not sure we can. We’ve just been standing in the doorway of the bathroom trying to take it all in and grinning at each other like crazy people the whole time. All the individual elements that we bought from different shops/online stores over the last two months, the bath, the sink and oak unit, the floor tiles, the wall tiles, the shower ring, the filler taps, we hoped they would all go together, we THOUGHT they would all go together but we couldn’t be totally positive until they were all actually installed. We never wanted a catalogue bathroom. We were always striving for something unique that reflected our tastes and even though it’s not quite finished, we’re both agreed that’s what we’ve got. There’s still a few things left for our bathroom guys to finish off, like:

1. the nuts and bolts that screw the toilet to the floor were missing from the kit that came with the toilet, so that can’t be properly attached yet, although it’s all set up and ready to go. Yesterday there was a bit of a crisis because the old waste pipe needed to be cut back a bit to accommodate the new toilet.

do it yourself blog Waste Pipe


However when the bathroom guys went to cut it, they found it was made from lead (as waste pipes from the 1950s are inclined to be!) and so they blunted their hacksaw! Anyway they pitched up today with industrial strength cutting equipment and the jobs done!

2.Tthe bath is in position but isn’t bolted down and we’re waiting for the pop up plug which is on order and due to arrive on Tuesday.

3. The tiler has left too big a gap for the filer tap for the bath so that tile needs to be redone.


But our bathroom guys have promised us by the end of Saturday afternoon, the bathroom will be up and running! Some bits of paintwork still needs touching up or redoing, so its out with the brilliant white again for me! But other than that all we have to take care of is the finishing touches like the mirror, the light switch and a new door! Easy!! Well easier!

So here it is, where once we had this:

Old bath


Now we have this:

do it yourself blog

New bath!


And where once we had this:

do it yourself blog

Old bathroom unit


Now we have this:

do it yourself blog

New cabinet, minus the drawer!


Oh and just to give you a sense of what the tiles look like……………………………..


do it yourself blog


Anyway, roll on next weekend!

The importance of contingency funds and other worldly DIY advice!

16 Mar

So, if you read this blog on Monday, you’ll now be expecting to see pictures of our new bathroom tiles in place. Well the disappointing news is that the tiling is on hold (well actually everything has come grinding to a halt!) because the plumbing for the new filler tap is still proving a challenge. Although, the beehive hole is gone and the pipework is now boxed in……………………..

doityourselfblog Where the beehive once was

Hive out, bricks in

doityourselfblog No more pipes!

Where have all the pink pipes gone?

But basically the hot water is still dribbling rather than gushing out of the filler tap  (and shower) and nothing can move forward till its fixed. IB has now resorted to contacting hunky plumber man for his advice and he has suggested that if we fit a ring system and pump for each bathroom then that should overcome the problem. Apparently the new filler tap is currently plumbed into the main water system rather than the hot water tank and so the water pressure isn’t as strong as it should be.  We could fit one pump and that would solve the problem but it would also mean that when both showers/baths are in use, then only one person would get good water pressure, so each bathroom ideally needs its own pump……. Still following? Good. Because the upshot of all this of course is that we are now faced with an unplanned for expense, so we’re likely to go over budget on our first room! Now I have heard the advice on a zillion TV programmes about the importance of a contingency fund but I was always slightly suspicious of the whole idea. I figured if you project plan carefully you will know in advance what tools/materials/expert labour you will need for renovating any room and can budget accordingly. I’ve even been arrogant enough to think that we won’t spend our contingency fund because our planning has been so careful and thorough, luckily I hadn’t got as far as planning what we might do with any unspent money (well except for a tiny bit of day dreaming about a holiday somewhere hot and sunny to celebrate the house being finished).

Anyway I’m now starting to panic that the bathroom won’t be ready for Easter which is a bit of a downer as my parents are coming to stay for a week. With no shower and only one (sunken) bath it’s going to make the mornings fun, NOT! I think a bath rota pinned to the fridge might be a necessary step! The other thing is with Easter so close I better get cracking on the guest bedroom next week which is still in its raw post plastered state! That’s another mood board that needs to get underway this weekend! Maybe I can distract my parents from our lack of shower facilities with a really nice bedroom to sleep in! But before I can start on the guest room, I MUST finish painting the bathroom today otherwise I’m going to fall behind schedule. Speaking of which, IB bought me the most fantastic gift last weekend, not diamonds, not shoes, not even chocolate, but this baby………………………..

doityourselfblog New Roller

My new DIY toy!

It’s an extension arm for my roller and OMG I’m in love! Maybe it’s a consequence of living my life so far below the clouds at a weeny 5 foot 2, inches which means that ANYTHING -not just high heels – that helps me to reach places that other grown-ups can is always going to bring me joy. Seriously though, putting the primer on the ceiling with just the roller and a step ladder was ok but having the extension arm meant I put the first coat of paint on with NO need for the ladder and I did it in half the time. I’m actually looking forward to painting today because I get to take the extension arm out again……I wonder if they come in other colours……………………….

By the way the curtain saga lingers on, only there is now finally light at the end of the tunnel/window, thanks to my sister-in-law, who having read my blog earlier this week emailed me to share the curtain solution she’d recently stumbled on (thanks in turn to her sister-in-law). Apparently, and forgive me if you already know this, but tucked away in various corners of the retail world, are discount fabric shops, where you an source curtain material and even in some cases get your curtains made up to your specifications. And they are not as I assumed filled with discounted fabrics of the kind no one except those rare creatures with a fondness for 1970s poly-cotton and acrylic would appreciate. They also carry scrummy ‘posh’ fabrics (as my sis-in-law calls them) and they are significantly cheaper than usual retail prices. She snagged herself some material that is currently featured on the front page of Country Living mag (Trailing Oak leaf by Voyager)   which normally retails at £37.50 per m, but she got it for only £21 per metre! So guess where I’m off to this weekend? Hopefully I’ll have good curtain news for you next week!

Primer, primer everywhere!

8 Mar

OK I know I’ve been working hard on my DIY activities because I’ve got actual blisters on the palm of my hand from holding the paint roller, as well as ingrained paint marks streaked across my nails! This week alone I’ve managed to completely coat the bathroom ceiling and walls (including the tricky bits round the windows) in primer.  Not bad going considering I’ve only got mornings free to paint. As of two o’clock this afternoon things moved up a notch as I finished covering the ceiling in a coat of white emulsion. I was hoping that unlike all the women I know, it would be fine with just one coat, mainly because I can’t seem to paint ceilings without getting serious splashback in my eyes and on my hair and face. Unfortunately however, the tiler has been round this afternoon, finishing the grouting on the tiles on the back wall of the bathroom and so now there’s a four inch deep grouting stain along the length of my lovely white ceiling!


do it yourself blog Grouting on Newly painted ceiling

My grouted ceiling!


The tiles don’t look at their best in this pic as they’re still coated in grout which can’t be cleaned off for 24 hours. Speaking of tiles, we had a major crisis last night when the first half of the wall was tiled because it didn’t take an interior designer to see that the floor tiles that we’d bought were not going to work with these wall tiles. They had seemed fine together in the shop but with the wall tiles up, the floor tiles looked more clashing than complimentary. So back the floor tiles went today. IB was not impressed having only moved all 25 packs up the stairs from the hallway at the weekend, he now had to take them back down the stairs and out to the car, then out of the car and back into the shop again. Well he’s always wanted a six pack!

Anyway, now we have to go tile shopping again which I hate so much.  As this experience shows, we’re not the greatest at envisaging how well things will go together once they’re in situ! Although I guess this time it’ll be easier to pick the right floor tile because the bathroom has progressed so far and we can just bring a couple of samples home and try them out against the tiled wall.

The other thing we need to sort out is the bathroom mirror and unfortunately we fundamentally disagree on what we want for the room and I don’t think even a mood board will sort this one out. IB is keen on having something functional, something with built in lighting and a discreetly hidden shaver point, along the lines of this. I on the other having flicked through my mags for inspiration, want something more individual and full of character, something which doesn’t scream ‘mass produced bathroom mirror’, something more like this. I’m not sure this one’s worth the fight…… I might just give way and score some major brownie points which I’ll can cash in at some stage in the not too distant future…………


Paint rollers, primer and a ladder!

6 Mar

Does everyone except me know that roller sleeves slide on to paint rollers, straight over the two black rings on the roller arm, which are there apparently to lock the roller sleeve in place once it’s on. IB reckons the whole world knows this and he also reckons the fact that I spent fifteen minutes this morning trying to remove the black rings BEFORE sliding the sleeve onto the roller arm is a good enough reason to change the name of this blog to ‘dippy’ diy decorating dame! And you know the saddest part of this tale? The person who put me right about the whole fleecy sleeve, black ring issue was hunky boiler man. Remember him? The tallest (and most sombre!) tradesman to cross this threshold to date. Well he was back today to address a couple of blips we’ve had with the new boiler and so frustrated was I in my battle to get the black ring off the roller arm that  I stopped him en route to the hotpress and asked for his help. ‘Eh I think this bit is meant to go over the ring’ he said, slipping the fleecy sleeve on to the roller arm with one deft flick of the hand . And as the sound of the black rings locking into place filled the air, he turned back up the stairs, head bent, but the grin on his face clearly visible! We might have to find ourselves another plumber……..

do it yourself blog eiydecoratingdame.wordpress.com Paint Roller

Anyway, once I’d got my roller righted, I was off. Paint tray filled with primer,  rags at the ready, brushes in a jar of water and up the ladder to paint the bathroom ceiling.

do it yourself blog eiydecoratingdame.wordpress.com The Dame is ready to paint

The Dame is ready to paint!

do it yourself blog eiydecoratingdame.wordpress.com Plastered Ceiling

Ceiling post plastering

Now I KNOW we’ve just had the living room plastered, but we have I confess broken the golden decorating rule of never starting more than one room at a time. The reason for this? Well, firstly it made good sense financially to have more than one room plastered at a time (we had three done in total but more about that another time), secondly we both were desperate to have one decent bathroom in the house, and thirdly the guys who we wanted to use could fit us in end February/early March. They’re fitting us in around another job so they’re working weekends only. They started work two weekends ago and in that time they’ve ripped out this…………

do it yourself blog eiydecoratingdame.wordpress.com Pink Paisley Bath

Shield your eyes!

And this……..

do it yourself blog eiydecoratingdame.wordpress.com Pink Sink

Matching pink sink!

As well as the hideous pale grey tiles adorning the walls and the pink shag pile carpet that was on the floor. Along the way they’ve discovered some very interesting pipework under the floorboards which led them to spending a day longer on the replumbing than they anticipated. They also found that the tiles were CEMENTED on to the walls, which led to a few expletives and the use of a jack hammer to get them off. Much to the excitement of the kids, there was then a David Attenborough moment when they discovered a wasp’s nest (no longer operational thankfully) behind one of the air vents!

do it yourself blog eiydecoratingdame.wordpress.com Wasps Nest

Maybe all that pink just got too much for the wasps!

Anyway by the time the plasterer came, the room was a barren map of exposed brickwork, striped walls and protruding pipes with little to recommend it other than the newly fitted spotlights and fancy radiator, but even that got removed in readiness for plastering.

do it yourself blog eiydecoratingdame.wordpress.com Barren Bathroom

Wasps apartment was in that gap on the top left.

Now the plaster is finally dry, its my job to make sure as much of the painting as possible is done before Saturday when the floor tiles go down. By the early afternoon I’d managed to cover the ceiling and half the walls in primer. It’s not as easy as it looks given how thick and gloopy the primer is you have to lean really hard on the roller to get even coverage.  It also didn’t help that my paint tray is way too big to rest on the top step of the ladder so I had to keep getting up and down to replenish the roller with paint. My next job tonight? Trawl e-bay for a bigger ladder!

do it yourself blog eiydecoratingdame.wordpress.com My mornings work

My mornings work.....