#GreatBritishHome Challenge – Are we really Mr and Mrs Glamorous?

#GreatBritishHome ChallengeVictoria Plumb has created a really funky “What’s Your Celebrity Home Style” quiz. There are just a few questions to answer and a lot of interesting facts to read if you want.

Did you know that on average, Britons take 1.3 baths a week and take 4.4 showers? Weird numbers wouldn’t you agree?

Anyhow, I wanted to know the answer to this question – “What’s Your Celebrity Home Style” – so, I took the quiz… apparently we are Mr and Mrs Glamorous 🙂

Mr and Mrs GlamorousDo I agree with this assessment? Partially, to a point I guess…

I do not think that everything about us screams glamour… at times it is far and away from it but we do crave home comforts… but then don’t we all?

When we bought our house six years ago we were not so sure what we wanted it to be like – decor wise. Coming from rented accommodation where we were not allowed to change almost anything it was hard to pick what we like. I think the biggest problem was that we were quite unsure about our own style and preferences… with time, once we lived in our little “doll house” (this is how my Mum refers to our house, as comparing to their house it is so tiny)our vision become much clearer. Six years in and our house is still a “work in progress”.

If you are a regular follower of my blog (and if not…why not?) you will know that just a few weeks ago we did an on suite makeover; one of the bathrooms which has never been unused since we bought the place. We went for natural, calming colours and simple white and silver accessories.
Is it glamorous? Not sure. But what I am sure of is that it is nice and pleasant to be in. It feels home like and I think that is what it should all be about.
We all should try and create spaces we love and feel comfortable in; after all it is Your home, so make it Yours.

Bathroom before and afterbathroom before and afterThese are our two bathrooms makeovers pictures.

Do you think we are Mr and Mrs Glamorous?

Did you take a quiz? What is your celebrity home style according to it?

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* This post is an entry for the #GreatBritishHome Challenge sponsored by Victoria Plumb, a source of quality bathrooms for every type of home. Take its “What’s Your Celebrity Home Style?” quiz to discover what your home says about you.

DIY – Bathroom Makeover on a Budget

Firstly let me explain “on a budget”, as this term will not mean the same to me, you and for sure not to any super rich football star… we will all have a different monetary definition regarding what “on a budget” means… so to make it more clear, the idea was to remake our bathroom using only supermarket own brand products.

This challenge was set by the people at Debt Free Direct in line with their idea of Making Money Go Further.

I bet you are wondering right about now is it possible to create a nice space from supermarket own brand / super value products? Not to worry I was wondering about it as well. I wasn’t sure if I should or shouldn’t except the challenge… until I actually browsed through few websites and had a look at what is out there… then the choice was obvious… yes, I think I can do it!

I was not restricted to picking any particular brand / superstore chain, the only restriction was it must be a supermarket own brand and not one of the perceived “posh” brands, so Harrods was out of the question.

After much deliberation I picked Wilkinson and their Wilko range. I wanted to get all the bits from one place, so if anyone attempts to recreate my steps, they can save on delivery charges or unnecessary multi trips to a variety of stores for collection.

This is what I got…

Ingredients of a transformation
Ingredients of a transformation

My full order come to just £85.45. All that I was missing were some paint brushes, rollers, etc but I already had them so there was no need for getting new ones.

So now that you know what I had to “play” with, let me introduce my “playground”… please do not judge us to harsh…

Guess where we hide stuff
Guess where we hide stuff

Yes, I know that this bathroom is was full of clutter and totally unusable but we really didn’t have any use for it… until now…

Step one was to remove all the items which didn’t actually belong in the bathroom and get it cleaned / de-web and ready for the make-over to come. Once everything was removed, walls hovered, cleaned with soapy water, all holes filled, dried and sanded back down to smooth surfaces, all edges covered in masking tape it was time to get painting.

Let it be white
Let it be white

While making my choice of paint I wanted something washable, this was my “must have” regarding the paint… in addition to this I chose paint which can cover wood and metal as well… how handy is that? In light of this there was no need for any additional wood paint just for the skirting boards and “shelves” around the loo; everything could be painted using my Wilko choice.

As I was covering a blue wall with white paint I knew that one coat would probably not do the trick. My first day on my DIY project stopped after the first coat of paint and room looking like this…

Looking better already
Looking better already

… when I left it to dry I became kind of distracted with other life issues, so there was no coming back to do anymore work on day one.

So on too day two of my DIY project, I started with the second coat of the white walls. The ceiling was perfect after just one coat, so there was no need for any touch ups, the joy of white on white painting. Once my walls were done with the second coat it was time to add some colour.

Let it be green
Let it be green

When picking the paint I wasn’t sure if I wanted our bathroom to be entirely white, I thought it would feel too clinical. Therefore I chose a tin of subtle green paint as well; I wanted something calming and easy for the eye. The green paint covered the walls very nicely. It was quite a thick paint but it spreads very easily and it had good coverage.

My green corner
My green corner

I think it was just after midday when my green corner was done. Lunch break was in order as the paint had to dry out.

After returning to my little bathroom I discovered that in a few places I could still, ever so slightly, see the blue paint showing through from underneath. I had a lot of paint left, so I decided to give it a quick third coat just to be totally sure that all the walls that were supposed to be white, where in fact totally pure brilliant white, just as it said on the tin!

It was yuck... then it looked better... now, it is perfect
It was yuck… then it looked better… now, it is perfect

While yet again waiting for the walls to dry I wanted to get started on adding my accessories but I again became a bit distracted whilst passing by the bathroom door, which had been removed earlier to improve access, and stored in our bedroom… I spotted the horrible dirty door handles 🙁 One quick trip to the garage later I was in possession of some brand new door handles, woot! Unfortunately my happiness didn’t last very long as they didn’t fit – they were the wrong size and there was nothing I could do about it! So, as I had some free time, I decided to check if I could simply clean them… 30 min of scrubbing later and tada…

Not bad, would you not agree?
Not bad, would you not agree?

Yes, I know that they are not perfect but for me they look 100s times better and I didn’t have to spend a penny :-), well maybe a couple for the hot water.

After that everything else went more or less smoothly…

Bathroom Makeover on a Budget The Mirror

The new mirror replaces the old one which just so happens to be the same size and shape, the only difference being the old one was full of rust and really didn’t look very attractive any more.

Bathroom Makeover on a Budget The Towel Hook

New towel hook replaces the old one giving our bathroom a more clean and modern look.

Bathroom Makeover on a Budget The Loo Roll Holder

New loo roll holder replaces… hmm nothing… I think maybe the old owners of the house took it with them when they moved out… unsure on that one… all that was left were the holes in the wall where the holder was once placed some years previously.

Bathroom Makeover on a Budget The Puller

New extractor fan pull cord weight replaces the old one. Its shape and colours is in much better keeping with our other accessories, so it all blends well together.

Bathroom Makeover on a Budget The Over Door Hook

A new addition goes on the back of the door – an over door towel hook. It is actually not a part of the Victoria accessories set but it does look very similar and so I thought it would be a nice addition and it will give us some much needed hanging space for bathrobes.

Bathroom Makeover on a Budget The Blind

A much needed element of the transformation – a venetian blind. No more weird hanging net curtains, I hate them! Now we have a clean and fabulous looking blind which we can open or close depending on our mood. Just perfect!

Bathroom Makeover on a Budget o

So finally I had come to the end game, at this point it was time to “dress up” our new bathroom. The three piece set which I had picked looked perfect, I think. It goes very well with all the other bits I had placed and I think it really helps with bringing the room together.

Bathroom Makeover on a Budget The Light

This is the only part of our make-over which is not finished as yet – is the light 🙁 We attempted to change it but it is not as straightforward as one would think – we are supposed to connect three wires but we have five it turns out. As we lacked confidence in this matter I think we will wait for an electrician with this one!

So here you have it! – A bathroom make-over on a budget.

Loo corner transformation including a new toilet seat
Loo corner transformation including a new toilet seat
Sink area before and after transformation
Sink area before and after transformation
General overview of before and after
General overview of before and after

So, what do you think?

In your opinion did I succeed in my task?

* I received the above items for free in order to attempt a makeover of my chosen room.

My Dream, My House, My Home

All of us… Most of us dream about owning a house in which to make a home. For some this dream might never come true but I would like to think that for most it will.

However rarely does getting a house equal getting our dream house, but once we own the place, we are free to do any necessary changes to make it as close to our ideal house as possible.

We all have different priorities and like different things but most of us would always like to have more space, or at least the illusion of more space.

We belong to this category of people, despite the fact that we are “cave people” (we tend to go out only when we have to and we prefer to organise most of our entertainment with each other be it in front of the TV or with one of our various gaming consoles). That said we do like our cave in an open plan design and houses which open to the outdoors.

We wanted a spacious, well lit house which would give us the feeling of openness and overwhelming freedom, instead we bought a house which had a tiny kitchen and a tiny dining room downstairs…

It was time to get creative!

Behold Mark The Destroyer
Behold Mark The Destroyer

We took down the wall and opened up the downstairs – the change was amazing! No more claustrophobic feelings whilst in the kitchen; the whole kitchen –diner became light and airy… almost perfect.

I say almost, because the next step is to replace our standard double doors leading into the conservatory with some modern sliding doors. The main reason for this is to get rid of the vertical bracing we have at the moment and gain the illusion of more space and even more light. The sliding doors will allow for the use of the space once reserved for the door to open. This is step two in our journey towards our perfect house.

Step three will be doing more or less the same but with the main conservatory doors. We would love to open our house up to the outdoors, create light and the visual illusion that both the indoors and the outdoors are fluidly connected giving us a dream living space. Just because we have a cave doesn’t mean it has to be a dark one!

I think my parents have got it almost right.

Sliding Doors

They have built an outdoor half covered veranda – it has a roof but no walls – it makes a perfect home extension allowing you to enjoy the space come spring and summer. Huge glass sliding doors flood their living room with light and allow you to enjoy a panoramic view without any obstructions.

I hope one day we will be in a position to do the same. We would love to have something like an outdoor living room, where we can spend time during the all to brief warmer months of the year.

For now our limited DIY funds will be going into redecorating one of the bedrooms after the roof leak brought on by our wonderfully wet winter 🙁

How are your DIY plans going in 2014?

Are you also on the quest for more space and light?

On a budget also, share the way you achieved your goal with us all.

* Post written in collaboration with expressbifolds.co.uk.