How to refresh your bathroom on a budget

The other day a friend of mine sent me a few pictures of her bathroom. She wanted to brighten it up and asked what colours I thought she should go for.  Her bathroom is tiled floor to ceiling with beige tiles, which she cannot afford to remove. The bathroom suite is a little dated, cream with worn gold trim, which again she cannot afford to replace. The flooring is darker beige and you guessed it she cannot afford to replace.  So, as you will see from the pictures below a bit of a challenge.

I can hear you thinking a bit of a tidy up would be a good start – I didn’t say that.  Top tip NEVER send me pictures of your home 😉

I recently discovered she enjoys relaxing in the bath and that she is really the only person who uses this bathroom, which is great as she just needs to please herself.  I thought lets go for something a bit grown up with a relaxing feel.

Easily distracted, I was straight online to pick out a few pieces from the virtual high street, and I’ve brought them together on this mood board to share with you.

A bathroom moodboard

My colour scheme revolves around grey, green and black tones.  For me bright doesn’t have to be light colours.  I think you can brighten a space equally well with dark bold contrasting colours.  These colours I’ve selected should sit well against the beige background, which we cannot do anything about, sometimes you just have to go with what you’ve got.

Here’s the detail to accompany in the montage above.

The paint, Wilko’s paint selection, we have Storm Cloud & English Sage (£10 for 2.5L). The darkest greens are Farrow and Ball’s Card Room Green and Studio Green a bit more expensive than the Wilko paint, but it’s your budget to manage.  I think the green would enhance the gold taps and handles already in the bathroom. For me there’s something I like about gold and green.

For this bathroom the shower curtain would be one of the main ways to introduce colour into the room.  I’ve gone bold with the floral. Take a look around there’s a great selection on the internet as everyone is loving flora at the moment.  The green leaf design is from Urban Outfitters £35 the more botanical shower curtain is sold on a number of online sites, if you search ‘flora shower curtain’ you will see a wide selection – take your pick.

As there’s already a bit of gold in the bathroom, let go with it and add a bit more. I’ve picked this cheeky hook but it could equally be some pots. If you shop around you can get something for less than £10. Stick to your budget but embrace the gold, it’s back in vogue.  I would also get some gold knobs for that bathroom cabinet – after I’d painted it of course.

A mirror is a simple and generally inexpensive way of adding a bit of interest or maybe, as in this case distracting the eye from the beige tiles. You could get a few, rather than one big statement mirror.  The mirror in the picture is from Dunelm £17.00

I’ve added a bit of texture with a basket, handy for all those toilet rolls, let’s face it we all need them, La Redoute £51 . I love this basket, however less expensive similar products are out there.

The texture continues with the bold patterned black and white rug, which catches the eye helping the flooring stay well in the background. The bathroom mat I’ve gone for is from H&M £17.99

So what happened to the bathroom in the end…..well early the next day before I was able to share my well considered thoughts, the same said friend sent me a picture of a half painted bath panel…….duck egg blue. As you now know from my mood board duck egg blue wouldn’t have been my first choice. However, I saw the finished bathroom on the weekend and it looked sooo much better than before. I think she had fun doing the makeover, which is always a bonus.  She can now recline in the bath with a glass of wine and admire her handy-work. Perfect.

Hope this gives you some inspiration if you’re looking to refresh your bathroom 🙂

 

Bathroom mood board on decorlasting.com

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How Long Does It Take To Decorate A House? Part 2, The Compromise

I’m feeling back to full fitness after my decorating escapade the other week, see Part 1 of the blog, so here’s the second part of the story.

If you remember I left you with pictures of what needed tackling in the 7 days before a new family moved into my daughter’s rental house. Make no mistake all my skills of prioritisation came into play. We’d reluctantly come to the realisation, try as we might we were not going to get everything done in the available time, especially to the desired standard, all a bit depressing.

But chin up! first thing was clear the rubbish and stop water leaking out from places it wasn’t supposed to.  Oh and we had to clean sufficient floor space for us to set up camp – did I mention we were sleeping on airbeds in the house! Time was soon slipping by as this took the best part of the first day.

Next we started to tackle the woodwork. Ideally I would have repainted everything but we didn’t have the time (are you picking up on this theme?) so Compromise 1 was to only repaint the doors and wood in the hall and up to the first stair landing, plus the skirting board of both rooms on the first floor, they being the living room and master bedroom. The rest we just cleaned, touching up any big chips.  It was actually surprising how much better the woodwork looked after a good clean. It’s always good to clean 🙂

Decorlasting hall stairs after

It was day 3 before we were able to start putting any emulsion on walls.  We decided to paint everything white, why wouldn’t you and it would be less of a worry about the interface between the ceiling and the skirting, remember we’re not professionals and speed was important. However, the son-in-law wanted colour in some of the rooms. “Trade Magnolia” he suggested??  I pleaded “No, please don’t make me paint Magnolia” So Compromise 2, I pointed him in the direction of trade sized tubs of  grey paint, therefore no increase in cost. Trade grey – does that make grey a classic or just the new Magnolia? Something to think about.

All ceilings were painted thanks to Mr Husband who appears to love painting ceilings, something I may have left. The pictures below gives you the finished look of the two rooms painted in grey (Wickes Contract Classic Grey, Silk); the living room and the master bedroom.

At the weekend when we were at our full complement of four we split into couples, the hall and stairs for one and the two remaining bedrooms for the other; what a choice. Somewhere in between, I lose track, the bathroom and kitchen where painted white, the rotten trim replaced in the bathroom, the grass cut, the windows cleaned, the bathroom descaled (yuk) and while the carpet was being laid on the final day, the kitchen de-greased; we then took a breath. We were unable to box in the ugly boiler pipes, only managing to patch up the gaping hole behind the boiler, paint some pipes and give it all good clean: all that added up to Compromise 3.

Decorlasting kitchen after

I think that just about covers it. All good character building stuff.  There were a few tense exchanges of words, usually when all very tired and hungry. But we also managed some smiles especially while having lunch from the conveniently parked burger van. Not my usual first choice but they certainly kept us going.

It would’ve been great to have a ‘DRESSING THE ROOM’ moment however, we were all too keen to get back to our own beds. Sleeping on an airbed for seven days is not so good when you get to a certain age.

So how long does it take to re-decorate a house?  Well in this case it took all the time we had, 7 days.  I would say another 2 weeks and we would have got it looking much better 😉 How do you think we did?

Next time I want some mother and daughter bonding perhaps I will suggest a spa weekend ❤

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