Having your bathroom done is a big investment and one you want to make sure you get right because once it’s completed, there’s no turning back. Or you can turn back, but it will be expensive.

Many of us get lots of inspiration from websites like Pinterest, shop catalogues and even seeing ideas in films or on the television can add to the ‘mood board’ we hold in our heads. However, transferring a collection of ideas held in your brain into a real-life design can often prove to be downright tricky and you end up with a bathroom that doesn’t resemble those carefully laid out ideas.

That’s why companies, like Harrogate Bathroom Showroom, can prove to be an excellent investment. The company has a tight team of designers and consultants who spend their working days coming up with the most beautiful bathrooms in the country. They understand that remodelling a bathroom isn’t a walk in the park as there are so many factors to foresee and take into consideration before you start choosing tiles and accessories – the easy bit!

Plumbing and electrical system

The first thing to understand, Harrogate Bathrooms tell me, is the knowledge of the underlying plumbing and electrical system. If you are planning on moving the position of the toilet or the shower, these changes will dictate where you can move them.

If you do plan to move the toilet, sink, bath or shower then you’ll need professional services – ones you can rely on to do a good job.

When we first moved in, we decided to update the upstairs bathroom and we called on a friend of a friend to help out. I wish we hadn’t as the bath was never installed properly and had I had proper advice, I would have used the space more wisely. Hindsight!

Drawings and plans

Harrogate Bathrooms use award-winning 3D computer-aided design software for their design plans and are able to show you a life-like image of your finished bathroom before you go ahead with the work.

A touch of luxury

black and white bathroom

The bathroom showroom at Harrogate is a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of fixtures, faucets and solutions that cover all budgets. A chat with the design team will bring out your ideas and they can then advise the best solutions to give your bathroom a stylish glam touch that also suits your budget. Their finished bathrooms range from £3000 to £90,000.

Your perfect bathroom

Harrogate Bathrooms design studio brings together an enormous range of products from the world’s most renowned manufacturers – pick your tiles from the most exclusive ranges Verona has to offer, choose a beautifully designed basin or cabinet by Villeroy and Boch, and finish off with brassware from Hansgrohe.

Bespoke professional services

After reading this post, I am sure you can see that redesigning a bathroom can become quite a headache but it needn’t be. By choosing Harrogate Bathrooms, the stress is immediately taken away from you at the initial consultation. They will oversee the entire process for you and keep you up to date on the work at every single stage.

So, choose your style – traditional, modern, classic. Take a look at the amazing range of tiles they have and then give them a call so they can make your dream bathroom come true.

Disclosure: collaborative post

Dream bathroom

It may not come as a surprise to you that if I have been talking about updating our kitchen, then our downstairs bathroom is up there with those plans too. In fact, this is part of the reason the work is taking so long. I need to gut half of downstairs, relocate the rooms and then build, tile, paint and furnish them too. Like I said, I don’t mess around and I have the patience (most of the time) to wait for this work to happen – trust me, you’re going to hear alllll about it the day I get started.

I have been seeing some fabulous bathrooms on my Instagram timeline and taking screenshots of them for ideas. I am seriously making the most of my iCloud storage, that’s for sure!

Our downstairs bathroom is currently a pale blue suite (which is truly revolting) consisting of a sink, toilet and shower. It is the worst use of space there could possibly be as the washing machine also occupies some but outside the room. It’s difficult to explain and I don’t want to put up a photo of it.

bathroom makeover bath mat

I really like the idea of a downstairs bathroom including a shower. Although, I do wonder if it makes guests feel uneasy – as if they are entering someone’s private space. In order to avoid that, I’m going to have to think up some clever ideas for hanging the towels to dry.

Anyway, at the moment, we have to step up onto the shower base which is quite high so one of the first changes I am considering is a walk-in shower with that slight dip in the floor which encourages the water to run into the drain in the centre. The sides that aren’t walls, I’d like to be glass and if a wall needs building, I’d like to use those square glass bricks which I think work really well.

Other Bathroom Luxuries include rainforest shower heads – I just love it when I go on holiday or to someone’s house and they have one, doesn’t it seem the ultimate in shower head luxury?

black and white bathroom

As for colour schemes, I’m thinking black and white. White being the main colour as it really brightens up a dark day. There is the added benefit of being able to use all colours of towels which can add an individual look every time you change them. I could even alter to match the seasons! Imagine that, black and white in the winter, greens and bloom colours in the spring, sea blues and summer sunset colours in the summer and rich autumn reds in September.

One last thing I am keeping in mind is, simplicity is best. An uncluttered bathroom with handy storage keeping everything out of sight is the key to a mindful start to the day. A peaceful shower before the madness of another day starts.

How about you? Have you any big home plans this year?

Disclosure: A collaborative post.

Photo by Jose Soriano on Unsplash

It looks like it’s still a long way off, having my dream kitchen plans fulfilled. Before even buying the house, I said to the husband, the kitchen needs changing – not just changing in fact but completely gutting, moving to another area and then starting from scratch. Just writing down the words excites me.

I have lots of different ideas of how I’d decorate it but white cupboards will probably be my staple.

When I start thinking of tiles, my brain goes into overload and I am inspired by so many different ideas around me, for example, those wonderful – what I’d call – mish-mash of tiles. Where it seems someone has been to a second-hand shop and bought a load of odd tiles which somehow work beautifully together. I first saw this design in a pub in Dorset on the floor years ago. I stopped there and then in my tracks and took a photo for my Instagram feed.

You see, at the moment, my kitchen is a separate room from the living area, which means I am cut off from the family whilst I am in there.

Then there’s the white ‘Underground tube station tile’ look, another one I like to imagine in my kitchen. And, of course, the classic Mediterranean look. One thing’s for sure when the time comes, I shall spend hours searching for my final choice on sites like Tiles and Bathrooms.

My dream is to create a family room. A room where I can watch and help the girls with their homework. A room where we can cook together, interact and enjoy each other’s company.

I find in this day’s world, the more they get used to interaction, conversation and joining in with family moments, the better. Also, working as a TA now full time, I am acutely aware of what a parent’s support means to the child’s abilities and achievements in class. With Secondary school looming up this year, I need to get them into the habit of doing homework daily and being there to help them when they don’t understand (God help me!)

Currently, the kitchen stands at the back of the house, overlooking our garden but that’s the view I want to enjoy from my sofa – we have the most spectacular sunsets all year round. By moving the kitchen to the side of the house and keeping it open plan, I can make a large family room that looks out over the garden (nice big folding doors) that will allow me to make more of our garden in the warmer months too.

So, the dream lives on but the reality is a little while coming. However, that doesn’t stop a few updates here and there does it? In the meantime, I shall repaint the walls and ceiling, try and eliminate all surplus from the kitchen tops and clear out the cupboards of all of the equipment I no longer use. That should keep me busy for a while!

Photo credit: Photo by Aaron Huber on Unsplash Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Disclosure: Post in collaboration.

teen sleep station

It’s Sunday morning. We had a late night last night – out for dinner with friends and then back to theirs for drinks and fun. The children are all the same age and went off to play (although we’re not allowed to call it ‘play’ now – they’re too old for playing) and we sat around with beers for the dads and prosecco for the mums. Mmmm.

It was a great evening, the conversation flowed as fast as the booze and before we knew it, it was time to go home – which, fortunately, was a matter of walking up the road.

Looking back to our dinner out – the kids down one end of the table conversing via their phones (I’m serious!) and us up the other talking to each other – proper talking, you know, eye contact, laughter and using-your-mouth-rather-than-your-keyboard-talking.

We did make them put their phones down when the food came out and I was happy to see them chatting as they shared the garlic bread out. (They counted out two pieces each and took size of slices into consideration so it was a fair share.)

Anyway, now it’s Sunday morning and my sleeping beauties are still tucked up comfortably in their beds. Gone are the days of the 6.30am wake ups at the weekends (thank goodness!). Mind you, tweens need their sleep – I read an excellent book – Blame My Brain by Nicola Morgan recently.

I’m finding it quite hard to adjust; dad and I are early risers so by 8.30 we were downstairs sipping our first cups of steaming hot tea. That’s a late wake up for us. I found myself thinking frequently – should I go up and check on them, wake them – make sure they’re still breathing. I know! Nonsense, isn’t it?

I didn’t by the way, I left them to sleep and, as I crushed the urge to check on them, my thoughts drifted into the future when my sleeping teens will lose most of the weekend mornings (If my Tom and Megan experience is anything to go by).

Did you know that double beds are now a tween requirement? I found out from my two as lots of their friends now have double beds to sleep in.

Well, we couldn’t squeeze a double in Alice’s room (she chose the box room, remember? – to get away from her sister *eyes roll*) for love nor money but Bessie has done a little bit of actual research and on her internet travels she has come across a ‘sleep station’ – I do like that name! She has even shortlisted the Sleep Station double divan bed as her top choice.

I have to admit, I admire her sense of practicality – those underbed drawers could home all sorts of essential tween sleepover gear – extra sleeping bags, blow up mattresses, pillows and so on. Plus, of course, having an extra double bed in the house would make our huge family Christmases a lot more comfortable.

I can’t see us investing this birthday but who knows? Maybe further down the line we might consider it.

Talking of birthdays – they’re going to be 11 in July -eek! – a list is already in the making (hair stuff, make up and clothes), possibly a Girl Guide camp week over the summer (yet to get the ok from mum and dad).

One last, super piece of news I want to share is – they have both been accepted at their first choice secondary school – grammar. Come September, we’ll be parenting secondary school kids!

Photo by Lucija Ros on Unsplash

Disclosure: collaborative post

Emma at A Bavarian Sojourn has been committing her 2019 plans to (digital) paper and she wondered if I’d like to share what I have in mind for this year too. The answer is, thanks Emma – you’ve given me the perfect excuse to write a ‘proper’ post!

Where do I start?

Work and Study

It’s 15 months now that I have been working as a Teaching Assistant in a local primary school and I love it. Where working for the Italian Tourist Board in London was my best job ever, this is quickly becoming a close second choice. (I never thought I’d say that as the thought of working with 30 children a day – all day – horrified me but here I am telling you otherwise).

There can be stressful days, as in any job, and sometimes you may hear me say – ‘I hate this job – it’s the worst job ever!’ but that thought disappears as quickly as it came. It’s a tough gig, you’re on your toes all day long and I’ve had to relearn long division, fractions, percentages and all number of mathematical questions. The part that keeps me going is my colleagues. I have met such a wonderful bunch of supportive woman (and a few men too).

In my initial enthusiasm, I wanted to study a degree so I could progress to a class teacher, the problem with that is it will take 6 years to complete studying part-time (and, seriously – I might want to retire by then!) However, I did start an Open degree, my first modules were Beginners Italian (easy 30 credits) and beginners Spanish as I give the weekly Spanish lesson to my class, so it made sense. I’m halfway through my first year and have 98.25% in Italian and 76.5% average in Spanish. *happy face*.

Then I got wind of the many mental health issues primary school students up and down the country are suffering from. 1 in 4 children. I’m going on a few courses to improve my knowledge and I’m thinking of redirecting my degree to gain knowledge in this area.

I have completed a level 3 Diploma in Teaching Assistant. It was an online course and I’m waiting to hear from the moderator that everything is ok. It should be as I have had a tutor throughout who has guided me and passed the units.

I’ve just taken up an Awareness in Mental Health Certificate (level 2) that should be completed by May/June time. So I have been keeping my brain busy.

Naturally, there is little time for other creative hobbies but I hope to catch up over the summer in that camp.

My social media presence has dwindled enormously. I’m not too bothered about that anymore. I post when I have something to say and, although I like to keep them ticking over, it is no longer a Must Do for me.

Consequently, I have lost touch with the wider blogging community as a result. sometimes this breaks my heart as I made so many wonderful friends and I miss them but I accept this as a result of the life choices I have made.

I’m not ready to pull the plug on this blog just yet – there’s been too much blood, sweat and tears that went into building it up but occasionally I have found myself considering calling it a day.

2019 Travel Plans

los alcazares Costa Calida

As you know, we have a mobile home in Thanet and we shall be spending a lot of our weekends down that way. I love to visit the Turner Contemporary whenever I get a chance and the twins will make full use of their Dreamland passes I am sure. I feel as if we have explored Thanet well now even if I didn’t pop back and write about every excursion!

Spain – Calpe

We are all very excited to be going off to Calpe in Spain in June. Our school has chosen to take a two week Whitsun break, this means we can use the second week to book a fairly priced holiday and we are returning to Spain this year – it’ll give me the chance to practice my Spanish!

Twin life

I am so proud of the girls; they passed their 11+ exams in September and the Mayfield Grammar School test. All that extra hard work over the summer holidays paid off. I don’t regret coaxing them to learn over the summer. They had plenty of time to have fun and play and without it – they would not have passed. Now we are waiting to hear if they are assigned places at the grammar school and they’ll be off to secondary in September. That’s a sobering thought!

Menopause and other health issues

Urggh! I know I have spent the past ten years or so wishing for my periods (I hated them) to stop but boy this menopause stage is vile. However, I’ll take the menopause rather than the periods.

Hot flushes, night sweats, weight gain, moodiness and hormone swings that cause me to go from normal me to a crumbling version of me who thinks everyone hates her and that she is good for nothing.

It’s tough and I’m hoping that by the end of the year my system will have got over the worst.

We can but live in hope, eh?

Latest bargain – £10 for this jacket!

Hair cut – I’m blaming the hormones once again for convincing me to have my hair chopped short with a fringe last summer. Although I walked out of the hairdressers happy, I ended up hating it and have been growing it back since.

Other health issues include, the enamel of my teeth starting to erode. I’m using Regenerate toothpaste and I want to invest in their serum next month (pay day issue!) Having fallen over last winter and landed on my front tooth, cracking it in half and having to have it rebuilt it is now a tiny bit wobbly making me determined to hang on to it (literally) for as long as I can.

Weight gain – already mentioned above but I’m going to try and see if I can knock off a few pounds. Let’s say 5.

That’s about it, or rather, there’s plenty more but I shan’t bore you any longer. In fact, if you’re still here listening to me warble on I commend you. Thank you.