DIY fit your own shower basket

We finished refitting our bathroom a little while ago, but I couldn’t decide if we needed a shower basket, so we waited and lived with the bathroom before committing. I obviously struggle with commitment as two years later! it seems only now is the right time to get all the bottles off the side of the bath.

So if like me you’re finally able to take that big bathroom step forward here’s the details of what we bought and how we fitted it.

Brass makes it an investment piece 😀

I decided to spend the extra and get a chrome plated brass basket.  Over the years we have gone with the inexpensive steel products and not long after fitting they have developed rusty spots in the joins.  This shouldn’t happen with a brass based fitting so worth the investment. The basket we chose was the Britton Single Deep Wire Basket 260x120x80mm ordered online from victorianplumbing.co.uk for £48.60 inc postage, so not too expensive. There were fitting instructions supplied with the product but here are my tips and picture diary of the process, which you might find helpful too as they would generally apply to many similar products.

The facts

  • Tools needed: sharp pencil, masking tape, spirit level, drill with 6mm drill bit & someone familiar with using a drill, screw driver.
  • Time taken including prep and clear up: less that 30 mins. Before starting protect the bath surface with cardboard or a thick blanket to protect from screws / tools dropped.
  • Have a good think where to fix it, stand in the shower and have a dry run to decide on best position.  We decided to put this one fairly high, and to one side so it wouldn’t stop the shower screen from being pushed towards the wall if needed.

Step by step instructions

  • Stick masking tape over the area the basket is to be fitted so the screw holes can clearly  marked onto the wall.  Also having the tape apparently reduces the risk of the tile chipping when it is drilled. Using a spirit level draw a line across the area where the basket bracket is to be fitted, then place the bracket onto the pencil line and mark with a pencil the position of the holes to be drilled.
  • Drill the holes to the depth sufficient for the screws supplied with the basket. As a guide before drilling measure the length of the screw against the drill bit and mark the length on the drill bit with a bit of (red) tape so you know how deep to drill.

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  • Insert the rawl plugs supplied into each of the drilled holes,  firmly push them in with the screw to make sure the plugs are completely in the hole and not protruding.

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  • Remove the masking tape and screw the bracket to the tile.

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  • Use a spirit level to check the bracket is level and make small adjustment if needed before completely tighten the screws.

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  • Slide the basket down over the bracket fixing, it will be a tight fit but the bracket should be screwed firmly to the tile so it should not move.
  • Fill the basket with your bottles and enjoy!

My shower basket

Hope this encourages you to undertake a bit of DIY.  I do a lot of pointing but my husband handles the drill, gotta keep him involved 😘. Next week I will be helping to repaint my daughter’s 3 storey town house, all one colour I hope. I’m already feeling tired but I will bring you the highlights.

Let me know if you found these instructions helpful 🙂

6 Steps for fitting your own shower basket

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My first time visit to the Ideal Home Show 2017

Just thought I would write something small about my recent visit to the Ideal Home Show 2017, Olympia London, as this was the first time I’d ever been to an interiors event.  It’s only now I’ve started blogging I feel the need to attend these things, and this seemed like a toe in the water dip event where I could just mooch about.  It also gave me an excuse to go down to London for the weekend (great beer and curry at the Warwick Arms), although it was a busy few days of mainly sitting on the train.

Anyway back to the point, what did I think of the Show?  Well they have obviously done this before 🙄, minimal queuing and plenty to see, eat and drink. There was a big food event going on at the same time, which the ticket also gave access to, so if you’re a foodie too there’s even more to look at, the aromas were heavenly.

The Show itself was a bit like going around a very big department store, with unlimited spending opportunities, including furniture and gadgets.  There were numerous celebrities on small stages around the venue giving their take on various aspects of food and design plus providing demonstrations, these were a welcome opportunity to have a sit down.

So was it worth it?  It was a good day out, and as my advance ticket was only £15 not expensive for an all day event.  It was also the first time I’d been to Olympia, which is an impressive building flooded with natural light. So worth a visit if you’ve not been before especially if you don’t have far to travel or have just moved into a new place and looking for interior ideas, as it’s all in one place.

I will be exploring other events and of course sharing them with you. Next weekend I’m off to the Cheltenham Wine Festival for a family meet up – not entirely clear what design inspiration I will get but I’m sure I’ll find something amongst the bottles.

In the meantime here are some of my pics from the Show.

This garden pod  from Ornate Garden was one of my favourite things at the show, I could see this sitting very neatly in my garden (if I could afford it – maybe Mr husband could build one?). You can see more about my thoughts on garden furniture on a previous blog
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I liked the lighting from this exhibitor Culinary Concepts London, a refined industrial look

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And there were a number of well laid out simple garden design ideas.

As I said the venue is a great space and worth a look in itself

So if you’ve got some spare time the Show runs until April 9th 😍

A plea to leave your garden furniture outside

I was talking to my parents the other day about how they were getting on in their new home. They are in their late seventies and early eighties, I won’t say who the older is as my mum would never forgive me – oops given that one away sorry mum 😁.  Anyway the person they had bought the house from left a garden table and chairs in the garage. A standard hardwood set you can buy in most DIY stores (it’s a bit like the one in the picture below), and it looked as though it had hardly been used, I wonder why 🤔, please read on.

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Great I thought garden furniture, as one of the things I found annoying when visiting the parents for the weekend was the complete lack of garden seating.  So if the sun was out there was nowhere to escape for a cuppa and a bit of vitamin D boost for the bones.  But as the conversation developed it turned out not to be so great as it appears they are planning to keep this OUTSIDE furniture INSIDE the garage and just get it out if they have a BBQ. WHY???

As you may know from a previous blog I like being outside, especially sitting in the warm. My ideal day is where it is warm enough to sit in the shade, bliss – I don’t like trying to get a tan, the object of the exercise for me is just warming the bones and listening to the birds. Bearing in mind I live in the UK (Buxton) we’re not able to take for granted the sun make an appearance, things are very changeable.  So I see it as my duty to be prepared and have a seating opportunity in every part of the garden where the sun is likely to shine.  I grab a cushion from the living room on the way out and brush the rain water from the seat, and I’m enjoy the sun in an instant. This just cannot be done if you have to think of getting garden furniture out of the shed, assemble it and position it, as by the time you’re done the tea has gone cold and the sun has disappeared. Ten sunny minutes wasted fumbling about in the shed.

I’ve found some of the best evenings have started with an impromptu gathering of friends or family in the garden, you just pop out for the last 5 minutes before the sun goes down and before you know it wine and snacks have been consumed and blankets and stars have appeared. Who needs an invitation to a BBQ.

So a plea to my dear Dad: wood looks far better for a bit of weathering, so please leave the garden furniture outside for the summer, you will enjoy it much more I promise ❤️❤️

In case you are looking for new garden furniture, I saw this utterly clever garden pod at my recent trip to the Ideal Home Show 2017 from Ornate Garden, so check out their website if you like the look, is around £7-8000 (wow) but they were doing some show discounts so get yourself down to Olympia, it could avoid you having to build that conservatory.  I really need one in my garden to protect me from the wind.

Here are a few more affordable traditional garden sets I like that will withstand the elements and have the minimal cushions to store on a rainy day.  Outside is definitely better than inside, don’t you agree??

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A Bistro Table is ideal for an early morning coffee or early evening cocktail best positioned in the spot that gets the first or last sun of the day. Saw this online at Jacks Garden Store

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A bit of rustic charm and you can see how the wood only improves with weathering. Great for a little lunch with friends. Saw this online at Garden Furniture Land

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You would be dining in style and the minimal cushions can easily be stored indoors ready for action. This is from John Lewis

Wouldn’t in be fab to be able to afford (I can’t) and have room in the garden (I don’t) for all these seating options 😊.  But I hope it’s given you some ideas for enjoying summer.

Hiding our ugly essentials with DIY shelves

Thought I’d share with you how I managed to hide an ugly spot in my small hall, a big old radiator with a fuse box and fire alarm above.  All essential things, so no option to get rid and too expensive to move. However as this was the ‘view’ when moving from the kitchen into the rest of the flat, I needed to think of a cost-effective solution of how to disguise.

What were the options??

  • I could have replaced the radiator with one more appealing, there are  a lot of fine looking radiators about but they can be expensive and it wouldn’t address the fuse box.
  • I could just box the whole thing in, but how would the heat get out?

A solution?

I thought I would make a dresser like feature where I could keep glasses etc, a bit of extension of the kitchen, as it was so close. Although as ever I didn’t want to spend too much money.

The process

I used an off-the-shelf radiator cover as the base of the dresser and fixed some shelves above, topping off with a removable panel to hide the fuse box.  The shelves and panel were fixed to the wall in their own right, so not supported by the radiator cover; that would have been far too wobbly.  Also this means if needed the radiator panel can be removed without taking down the shelves. As I had materials over I went a bit further and built shelves around the office door, well it would have been rude to waste them 😉

Here’s a little photo story of how I did it. Of course, when I say ‘I’ I mean I had help from my DIY man about the house-husband 😍

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Picture 1. View from the kitchen door, you can see the radiator and the fuse box and the big red fire alarm!  At this stage I’ve added the wallpaper that will form the backing for the shelves.

Picture 2. The radiator cover in its raw MDF state, and after it had been painted Picture 3

This pic below gives you an idea of the assembly process and the location of the over the door shelves. The dresser would be positioned on the wall where you see the stools. Everything was painted before the final assembly, which made it a lot easier.

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work in progress

And this is how it looks today.

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The shelves outside the office door are great. They take up no room, but are home for all of life’s odds and ends. Against the busy wallpaper nothing really stands out, which is perfect as these aren’t things of beauty in their own right. I have however fallen out of love a bit with the paint colour of the pseudo dresser, so will soon be repainting, maybe green?

The cost of the project was around £120 with the most expensive item being the radiator cover. The MDF sheet for the shelves was £18 from my local building suppliers who even cut it to the required sizes at no extra cost. The rest of the spend was for paint, wallpaper and fixings, including the magnets to hold the removable fuse box cover in place.

A few more details……

Wallpaper Fine Decor Birch Tree Natural Wallpaper  £12.99, Homebase

Paint Annie Sloan Emile Chalk Paint £18.95 (more than enough)

Radiator cover Cambridge Medium Radiator Cover B&Q £58

Would be good to know your thoughts and how you have solved similar problems around your home 🙂

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5 Mother’s Day gift ideas for under £30

Mother’s Day is coming up soon and my expectations are always kept low to avoid disappointment.  Last year I was very surprised as my grown-up son and daughter teamed up to buy me this lovely concrete bowl from Moth, Manchester.  It really surprised me they had both communicated and organised it together (sorry children I should have more faith in you both).

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However, they have now raised the bar very high for themselves, so here are some ideas for them… I mean you 😉

💝 Scented Hand Soap Trio £15. Had a really good experience of L’Occitane soap recently, so this or any of their soaps would be perfect in my books.

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💝 I love studio pottery and have bought a few pieces from an artist Karin Findell who sells at my local tourist information centre in Buxton.  You can order online via her Esty shop. Pieces are earthy and very tactile, many have a lovely heart motif, absolutely appropriate for Mother’s Day.  You will get a sizeable piece for under £30, well worth a look.

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💝 Enamel Vase Trio, aqua (other colours available) £28  okla.co.uk, there are more  lovely items in this price range on their site too. They have a shop in Manchester’s Northern Quarter but you can also buy online. These vases are ethically made in India.

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💝Annie Sloan Mini Project Paint Pack £29.95. If your mum has never tried a bit or furniture restoration this would be a fun gift.

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💝 I’m not someone who likes things being made girly and pink just to appeal to women but this little V&A Hammer and Screwdriver Tool Set caught my eye as it was sooo practical and pretty.  I can see it in my desk tidy for whenever I need an emergency hammer. Would it be classed as an offensive weapon if I carried it in my handbag 🤔.  I saw it in a local shop (again in Buxton, Atticusboo) but can be purchased from a number of Amazon or Ebay sellers. £10

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Hopefully I’ve given you some ideas 😘

 

 

Bringing The Outside In

Spring has arrived and plants are budding up, so soon I’ll be drawn into the garden at every available minute. I love being outside, so it’s no surprise to see there is an unconscious but consistent nature inspired theme building in my home.

It seems bringing the outside in is a strong interior trend for the summer with increasing indoor infiltration of floral prints and green hues, and I’m not going to complain about that. Even a white minimalist look can be improved with a splash of nature.  And on that note I thought I would take a you on a mini tour of my nature grounded bits and pieces. Here we go……

 

The silver birch inspired wallpaper (Fine Decor Birch Tree Natural Wallpaper), is slightly reflective so catches the light between the branches.  I have it hanging behind shelves in my hall, where there is minimal natural light so it makes the most of every drop. I’ll soon be writing a blog about how we made the shelves.

Moving to the butterflies, this is a big pottery platter, which I think is meant for hanging in the garden but I have it on the kitchen wall.  I bought it at a National Trust gift shop and used it at my daughter’s wedding as it was the only plate big enough for her cheese wedding cake, you can just see it peeping out in the picture below.

The second pic of wallpaper (Arthouse Opera, Provence Pink) lives in my kitchen, birds and dragonflies in pink, how can you go wrong! I picked this as it says Victorian rather than French to me – I’m thinking Darwin, so it fits in with the age of the house.

The only really cutesy thing I have in the house is my owl cushion. I used to talk to her, but we haven’t spoken for a while 😀

The leaf inspired tablecloth from John Lewis, gives a bit of a 1950’s look.

….and finally is the metal tea caddy and mug with simplistic stylised birds.  These were picked up from a local Fair-trade shop, and I use them every day .

I think there’s still space for a little more greenery around the home but its a start, and it all keeps me going during the winter.

 

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A Subtle Moorish Look

I’m dreaming this morning about the holiday I’ve got planned to Cadiz in the summer. The sun, the seafood, the narrow streets and deep blue sky.  I’m also looking forward to seeing the Moorish influences in the town, and the small hotel where I’m staying has been picked based on its Moorish style rather than the Trip Adviser ratings of good service. I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.

However back in reality now, my trip is a little way away so I’ve been having a hunt around the latest offerings from some high street and online favourite stores to pick out pieces currently available that could bring a modern Moorish look  into the living room. I’ve taken inspiration from pictures found on National Geographic  encapsulating the colours and symmetry I associate with Moorish design.  I’m thinking vibrant tones, rich woods, golden hues and bold geometric design.

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This is my montage below.  The look can be further emphasised with soft furnishings and vibrant wall colours,  although I think it would look equally good against plain white or grey walls for a more subtle feel.

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….and here are the details of the above items

Sofa: John Lewis Duresta Vaughan Large 3 Seater Sofa, Umber Leg, Harrow Velvet Teal Green £2899. The deep colour, lavish velvety texture and structural splayed arms characterises Moorish design for me.  The sofa is also available in Navy Blue and Mustard both of which would fit the bill. Expensive I know, but I do like it – the classic design is very adaptable for longevity.

Coffee Table: John Lewis West Elm Marble Coffee Tale with brass metal base finish £599. This is a substantial statement table (78cm diameter) where the marble and brass deliver typical Moorish style.

Rug: Debenhams Blue Wool ‘Fresco Lattice’ Rug 100% wool, hand woven and tie-dyed finish styled with Moroccan motifs (120cm x 170cm) at a currently reduced price of £147.

Sideboard: House of Fraser Cleo Large 3 Door Sideboard, made from solid Mango wood with antique brass hardware, available at a currently reduced price of £570. The deep coloured wood brings warmth to complement vibrant Moorish colours, with the geometric design bringing modern simplicity.

Mirror: Wayfair UK, Herne Bay Mirror £87.99. Large metal mirror with piercing detail evoking the Moorish feel.

Floor lamp: John Lewis Joanna Floor Lamp in Mango wood £250, a table version is also available £95.  I love the tactile elegance of the curves in the rich wood.

Pouffe: Wayfair UK Souilac Pouffe by Castleton Home £107.99.  I choose this as the multitude of colours could easily fit into many decors.

Ceiling light: Marks and Spencer Tribe Pendant Ceiling Light £75 combing the wood and metal theme.

Use accessories to bring as much or as little colour variation to enhance the theme

Vases: Marks and Spencer, Lincoln Vase (blue) £29.50; Haywood Vase (green) £17.50

Cushion: Debenhams Echo Multicoloured ‘Jaipur’ Cushion £25

Throw:  Wayfair UK Grace Throw by Riva Home £28.99

There were far more pieces I liked than I could fit in the montage so I’ve added them to a Pinterest board.

Let me know what you think of my collection 🙂