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

All interior designers design 5* hotel rooms with the intention to make the guests feel as comfortable as possible, while also ensuring that they are waking up in a sort of mini-palace each morning.

hotel bedroom

 

Other than the out-of-this-world technology that hotels are starting to incorporate to make them stand out from their competition, a hotel room should be pretty easy to replicate in your own home, even if you’re on a budget.

Here are 5 ways that you can bring the 5* hotel right to your bedroom:

King-Size Beds

What is the first thing that you do when you get to your luxury hotel room after a long flight? I will tell you: you dump your stuff, and you check out the comfortability of the bed.
King-size beds are essential to a luxury hotel room, and it is rare that you find a hotel room with a double bed, or even singles. Not only does it give you extra space to starfish, but it gives you space to get away from your human-radiator of a partner during the hot weather.

Overfloor Heating

While underfloor heating is a massive luxury to any home, overfloor heating is inexpensive and can heat up the bedroom without spending a fortune on the energy bills each month.
It only takes a few hours to set up, and goes straight under your carpet, laminate or tiles rather than ripping up the floorboards. It is the perfect way to add luxury without costing a bomb!

Double Up

A hotel room is commonly designed for two people. As they want each guest to live as easily as possible during their stay, there is usually double of everything.
For example, there is always a bedside table either side, for each guest to add their glass of water, phones or even store their own underwear in the drawer underneath. And more often than not, each guest has access to their own plug socket next to their bed.
This is an easy way to replicate a luxury hotel room, and it will also stop your partner hogging your sockets at night or taking up your bedside table space.

Funky Lighting

Interior designers design hotel rooms with the guest in mind, trying to make everything as easy as possible. There are often light switches next to the bed, to save guests from getting out to turn the light on and off; they can simply roll over to turn the light off.
Add bed lamps and switches next to the bed so that you can have the same ease. Also, while dimmers are inexpensive to add to a bedroom, they certainly add a touch of modernity.

Crispy Sheets

When was the last time you stayed at a hotel that had black sheets, or even a weird green colour? Never. The reason that hotels always use white sheets is to prove to the guests that the hotel is clean, as white will show any stains (gross but true).
Opt to use crisp, white Egyptian cotton sheets on your bed, rather than a sheet with colours or patterns.

brabantia bin

If there is one item I have coveted since focusing on Kitchen style and interiors, it’s the Brabantia waste bin.

I saw my first beautiful Brabantia when I was living in Italy. It was a style statement and I instantly fell in love, as have any other discerning kitchen owners the whole world over.

The first thing to catch my eye was the simple but eclectic style; it is minimalism to a T. It is so beautifully designed that I am sure Brabantia haven’t had to make any enormous changes to its looks since it was invented.

The Dutch company, founded back in 1919, has been focusing on houseware products for waste storage, food storage, food preparation, laundry care and hardware that includes post boxes and bathroom accessories. They total over 500 products today including the Brabantia waste bin and I am certain they have the perfect bin for you.

Another Brabantia design idea that struck a chord with me was the ingenious touch opening lid. It was the first time I’d come across such a lid and, as I always have my hands full when I go to the bin, this clever way of opening the lid immediately hit my jackpot. (They also have a traditional pedal bin if that works better for you).

There is a straight-back bin which means it can fit snugly against a wall and as the colours to choose from are fabulous, you can even make a style statement at the same time as being practical.

In fact, it is a bin worth showing off as everyone who sees it will be enamoured. Due to the clever opening, the bin is transformed into a healthy and safe refuse collector which is easy to use and can be recycled too. Because the Brabantia brains not only have invented a cool bin for you to display in your kitchen but have also looked into the day it will need to be replaced and have made it is eco-friendly as possible.

Mind you, I wouldn’t worry about having to throw it away just yet as it comes with a 10-year guarantee!

One last word – don’t be tempted to go with a copy version – it is quite simply not the same.