Posts Categorised: DIY/Projects

How to choose the right radiator for your home

Vintager Style radiator classic panel in white
Disclosure: These radiators were gifted to me by Soak.com in return for this post. 

When we were recently thinking about heating for the kitchen, I realised there’s more to it than just liking a certain style or colour of radiator. So am writing this post on how to choose the right one for your home.

It seems like a good time to do this too, what with the darker evenings and mornings being longer and a lot of us wanting to keep cosy and warm as much as we can.

Our radiators are from Soak.com and are from their Traditional Colesseum range.

Panels.

I found a BTU (British Thermal Units) calculator on Soak’s website and it was invaluable in working just how much output would be needed. You add in the dimensions, the room type and windows plus whether they are single or double glazed, then it pretty much does the work for you. Having said this, it doesn’t hurt to speak to your plumber to gage some extra advice if you’re still not sure. You’ll need more panels if the room is larger and with more windows. As for this kitchen – it naturally will be heated by the cooker and oven so I decided that two panels would be sufficient on each one. If it were the living room or something like a conservatory or bathroom you might want to go higher. It does have to be just right for you and worth giving some thought.

radiator classic vintage whiteclassic vintage style radiator in white advice on heating and roomsvintage classic old style white radiator in kitchen advice iideas

Vertical or Horizontal ?

If you’re looking to put a radiator in to a small space. Maybe there’s limited room because of doors and windows, it’s much more cost effective to buy a vertical radiator ( tall ) than start moving doors etc – and as they’re so good looking these days it works as a feature. There are varying sizes to fit many spaces and also colours. They take up very little space so you can heat your room just as efficiently.

Ours are horizontal in shape as we had areas that they would fit perfectly in. We went for low in size so they could fit under the window and allow us to put wall mounted book shelves above. Then the small radiator near the utility room which couldn’t have fitted better which is classed as horizontal.

Classic vintage style radiator in white grey floor blue kitchen

Traditional or contemporary and which colour ?

So many choices these days. So where do you start ? Homes on the whole seem a little more eclectic in style so mixing a traditional looking radiator with a more modern home works wonders. Or contemporary in an old home too. It’s very much personal taste. The contemporary radiators at Soak, to me, are like a blend of old and new with flat or rounded panels but with a play on classic. You can see them here.

For a bathroom you might instead opt for a heated towel ladder especially if short on space. I love Soak’s copper ones which would be really effective against a dark wall.

As for colours, there are options these days as opposed to just your standard white. So, this saves painting them, which is possibly the past thing you will feel like doing with a brand new radiator. Over at Soak there are greys, whites, sage green and then chrome and mirrored.

Vintage style radiator classic white style

Floor standing or wall mounted ? 

This can depend on whether you are starting from scratch as the amount of work fitting these varies and it’s best to put the radiators in before tiling and other forms are flooring are put in. Wall mounted is where (usually) the radiator is attached to the wall with brackets where as floor standing; they have feet. Both normally have pipes that go in the ground but in flats you may find they go in to the wall instead.

One more thing to not forget is the kits such as brackets, valves, legs etc. Some come with them and other need to be ordered separately. So good to check this first. You need to also decide if you want angled or straight valves which as you’d expect from the name, go straight up from the floor.

classic white radiator vintage style white walls blue kitchen ideas advice on heating

Hope you’ve found this useful. I know there are certain things here that I have learned recently so might be of some use.

Which style would you ideally go for?

Do leave me a comment under this post if you have any questions or comments – as always great to hear from you.

Five Ideas for Finding the Ideal Dining Table Rug

Kitchen Table Rug to add Style and Texture under table

Like everything else in a kitchen or dining room, when you are refurbishing or changing things up a bit, it takes time to find the ideal furnishings and that includes a rug if you are considering adding one, maybe under the table.

It took me absolutely ages to be honest to find the right style, colour and fit so thought it would definitely be a good idea to write a post in case anyone’s ever in the same boat.

I knew I wanted something with a Moroccan or Turkish kind of vibe and it needed some reds and warner tones to balance with the blue units. Also, I had a favourite company in mind who I have worked with before and both Andy and I really champion their rugs. But, would this vision in my head all come together in reality ?

kitchen rug table louis de poortere

Oh, yeah ! It certainly wasn’t the last thing to choose on my mind when it came to the kitchen, but because I hadn’t chosen a table it had to wait to make sure it fitted etc.

rug moriccan style louis de porter kitchen table

You may remember some time ago, I wrote about Finding the Ideal Rug which included our Jacob’s Creak rug from Louis De Poortere’s Mad Men range. Well, I found another beauty on their website amongst their Antiquarian Ushak Collection  could not have worked better and leads me to my first tip which is:

Continuity.

I’m always going on about creating a cohesive environment but only because I really recommend it. In our home you can see the kitchen from the living room and vice versa. So, very much I’d recommend thinking of the flow of throughout your rooms to keep it all easy on the eyes aesthetically . With these two rugs they have a similar style being flat-woven and a subtle and vintage looking pattern which I think Louis De Poortere do so brilliantly. So, from one room to the next it gives a sense of continuity.

Vintage Style Rug by Louis De Poortere for Under Kitchen Table to add Style and Texture with Painted Grey Chair

Flatweave or Pile ?

Well, I’d say this depends on several things. But a fluffy rug is a no no really. Not only because food can be dropped and lost ( unless you have a dog that hoovers anything and everything ) but pulling chairs back and forth could potentially cause some trip ups which you won’t.. A flatweave will be nice and much more low maintenance.

Also if you can get one with an anti slip backing like this rug then that’s good otherewise you might need to add that on yourself.

Shape and Size.

The rug will need to be substantially bigger than the table because bearing in mind the chairs or stools too plus you want ideally for them to still be sitting on it comfortably when pulled out. So aim for around 60 cm longer and wider each side, than the table set.

The shape of the rug tends to work best when you emulate the room. So rectangular = rectangular and so on. This isn’t something set in stone so you can play around with it but I’ve found it suits me.

Rug Louis De Poortere Colours Inspiration Dining Room Table

Colour.

You might have bought the rug first in which case it will be your inspiration for the rest of your colour palette, but if the other way around, then pick out a strong colour in the rug, even if it’s a small amount,  that will match your chosen main hue. You can see here there are elements of teal that match the cabinet.

Equally as I was saying earlier, I also required some more autumnal tones so this rug was just right in every way.

Obviously, something that can disguise the odd mark is essential. A light shade won’t stand the test of time like a darker or patterned one.

Moroccan Vintage Style Rug by Louis De Poortere

Material.

An easy clean rug is obviously the best option but it depends on who is using the dining area and how often. If there will be young children using the area and potentially throwing their spag bol around or you have pets frequenting then it’s definitely your best option. However, if this isn’t an issue then you have a bit more scope.

Morrican Rug for kitchen Table with Teal and Reds vintage style under table

With our Louis De Poortere rug, I hoover it regularly and they recommend ‘ James Water ‘ if it ever needs a slightly deeper clean.

Hope you like our new rug too ? The name Ushak derives from the Turkish tribe of the same name who used their designs in mosques and churches generally. Louis De Poortere have gone for a similar faded look which I love.

If you’d like to check out their huge collection of great rugs then you can find them here.

This is a collaboration with Louis De Poortere. As always all opinions are my own.

Five things to consider before choosing floor tiles

Grey tiles kitchen large cement look

Today I’m showing you around the kitchen, looking at the new flooring and discussing five things to consider before choosing floor tiles.

When I was in the primary stages of coming up with kitchen ideas, the tile aspect was a really important factor. We wanted something easy to maintain and contemporary but also classic enough to ensure we never tired of it. As our home isn’t old, although has been built to look it, I really had to weigh up what would work both aesthetically and practically. The original ones laid were quite petite and I felt did nothing to accentuate the size of the kitchen. They were swallowed up – plus I really didn’t like the colour as it dominated too much. It just wasn’t me.

After much deliberation and searching and samples I chose the one … *fanfare*… Urban Grey by Stone Tile Company. They are ceramic and created using HD inkjet printing technology creating a cement look.

floor tiles grey large kitchen style cement Grey cement tiles large

Price.

This is maybe going to be your first thing to weigh up. What is your budget ? Although it’s great looking for inspiration all over the internet, it’s worth being completely realistic about what you have to spend. The chances are you will find something if you look hard enough. I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with Stone Tile Company on this refurb but I definitely would’ve purchased the Urban grey tiles anyway – £13 per square metre which is a very, very reasonable price and exactly what I wanted. Couldn’t believe it to be honest when I spotted them.

Grey floor tiles kitchen large slabs grey floor tiles kitchen large stylish

Colour and Style.

Grey sits with other hues so well and because I had been looking, as I say,  for a cement style these were absolutely spot on. Because I knew I would be painting the units a teal colour and adding gold accents, I made up a mood board and felt it would be the most cohesive blend along with the oak pieces. When you’re thinking of laying a new floor, it is generally a long term thing and you need to be sure it’ll go with current and possible future cosmetic changes.

If pattern is an option you might consider then look at your potential colour scheme and bear in mind that the floor will be the lovely feature.

Going with the age and style of our home along with the palette intended; Urban Grey was ideal especially with the new french doors that throw extra light on to them and make the grain stand out even more. I wanted a nice and bright kitchen.

Grey large floor tiles kitchen style teal

Size.

This will depend on the size and shape of the room in question – and what kind of format you want the tiles to be laid. If you have a large space then you can more than get away with bigger tiles and I find that it brings everything in to proportion and this applies to a more compact room – smaller tiles tend to suit a smaller room.

grey tiles large urban blue kitchen

Durability, Suitability and Texture.

Things to think about here are who is using the room and what is it’s purpose ? For a kitchen it’ll involve all sorts of activity. Cooking, socialising, pets wandering around on it etc so you might go for a non slip textured surface that’s hardwearing, which is good for a hallway too or modern living room. Ceramic is a very popular choice. Slate or limestone are also hard wearing and have a riven top. Quartz has a shiny look that sparkles beautifully in a bathroom or equally a sleek kitchen. It has a honed more shiny finish . A natural stone mosaic is an idea if you’re wanting a seamless join between the in and outdoors. For instance from the garden through to a kitchen or conservatory. Porcelain is similar to Ceramic but slightly less porous. Both great for many rooms in the home. Slate is brushed on it’s surface and therefore nice on your feet.

If you want under floor heating always check the suitability of the tiling beforehand.

stone tile flooring grey cement style kitchen floor

Fitting.

Of course, it also depends on who is putting the floor down and on this point – does it need levelling before forging ahead with the tile laying ? If you are wanting to do it yourself you might want to choose something that you know you will be fine working with  – or if like us you are using a tiler then make sure they work out the exact amounts plus around 10 % extra for any breakage and spare. Talking of which I have to give a big thank you to our tiler Harry Constantine who is absolutely brilliant. A total perfectionist and I really recommend him if you are in the East. Lovely guy too.

So, what do you think of our new flooring ? I hope you like it too. If you’d like to know more about Stone Tile Company do pop on over. They have a vast range of Mosaic, Indoor and Outdoor floor and wall tiles in varying colours and designs. A lot to check out.

You will also see more pics of the kitchen over on my instagram if you fancy having a look.

This is a collaboration with Stone Tile Company. All opinions as ever are my own.

How to choose the right sink for your Kitchen

Gold Sink by Alveus Kitchen Shiny Warm Undermount

As promised, I am going to show you around my new kitchen over the next few weeks and what better place to start than our new sink and tap ? I’m also adding some tips for choosing the right type should you ever be looking for advice yourself.

When working out a colour scheme, I realised that gold was totally the right way to go with the blue and to be honest, I’d had my heart set on having a sink and tap like this for ages. I’d been looking longingly at the Olif website.

Our old one had been here since the house was built and did it us well but definitely was at the end of it’s rather long life.

gold sink kitchen inspiration alveus ideas undermount

Luckily Olif were happy to work with me on this and have provided me with their Alveus Monarch Quadrix Sink and Leo Tap. You can buy it alone or mix and match with other options if looking for both but this combination was perfect for my requirements. It’s made of premium 18/10 stainless steel with a gold finish. Olif are leaders in trend setting and exclusive sinks and taps and I have been a fan for some time.

Gold Sink Undermount Shiny Warm Kitchen Inspiration

We just wanted a single bowl look and to fit in an Undermount style meaning it sits below the counter slightly in this case with a small overhang of the surface surrounding it ( will be writing about the worktop soon ). Mainly because I especially like that look. But this Alveus in particular can also be bought as Flush / Slim which means where the countertop flows in to the sink with no visible edging.

There is actually a bit to think about when looking at purchasing a sink and I learned a lot from this process. If you’re looking for the sink edges to sit on top of the surface then you would need to go for an ‘ Overmount ‘ sink. Some have drainers for your washing up with them and some just come up over the surface, which you might want if you have a built in surface drainer already. You may have heard of  ‘Sit on ‘ sinks and the occupy the full depth of  the surface.

Then there’s thinking about left hand or right bowls ( the smaller sink if going for double ) and this will depend on personal preference. You can also choose which side you want a drainer with an Overmount sink and it’s a good idea to take in to consideration where the dishwasher is if you have one and place it above that.

Gold Tap Kitchen Inspiration

Will you want your tap to be placed on the sink itself or on the worktop and is there to do that ? All worth taking in to account before making a final decision on it. If you are using a fitter it’s maybe an idea to talk it over with them first.

I’m not going to stop there because I’ve not even started on the materials. Olif have a very lovely selection including Composite Granite, sinks and drainers made with toughened bespoke coloured glass, stainless steel with not only gold but copper, bronze, matte black or anthracite finishes. Brushed steel and chrome are available too. As do the taps along side the choice of Mixers, Pull Outs, Boiling or Filtered Water. I also noticed some really cool kitchen taps with ‘ Coloured Stone Mixer handles ‘.

gold sink tap olif kitchen inspiration ideas advice

I’m literally over the moon with our sink and tap and have had lots of compliments even from all the tradespeople and I’ll happily take that ! It has given the kitchen a really unique feel and added some nice warmth. Plus it’s really pretty and shiny and I love shiny things.

gold sink teal kitchen little greene air force blue mistral surface

More posts to come on other aspects of the room and I hope you’ve enjoyed this one. Do comment if you have any questions or just want to say hi and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

If you’d like to have a look over on the Olif site then there’s lots to see along with lots more information.

The Sink and tap were gifted. All opinions as ever are may own.

Kitchen Renovation Inspiration and Plans

floor plan kitchen renovation interior design teal blue gold grey

There’s a reason why I’ve very rarely show my kitchen on the blog. It’s because it’s really not looked how I’ve ideally wanted it to look. Though behind the scenes it has been a project that I’ve been working on and we are so close now to it being completed. Here above is a floor plan to give you an idea of it on completion.

It’s taken a long time to get to renovating. Ten years actually. My kitchen has been perfectly liveable in up until now so I couldn’t complain too much –  and with a family to look after, other things have naturally taken priority. But you know what its like when you become a bit frustrated with how your home looks ? Especially in my case, given my profession. It has bothered me that bit more. As they say though ‘ a plumbers tap always drips ‘ and while I’ve been creating ideas for clients, this poor old room had been rather neglected.

Fortunately, I’m also working with some great companies on this and it’s has all coming together well now. It always takes longer than you think with the preparation and that’s why I very much recommend making up a mood board to make pull together colours and clarify ideas – and booking people for work early. It saves spending out also on products that toy decide you don’t love after all and any last minute panics.

mood board kitchen renovation ideas inspiration blue gold swatches interior design gold sink
1. Ercol chair – Hunter Furnishing 2. Alveus Monarch Quadrix Sink and Leo Tap – Olif  3. Teal Planter – Twig Plants 4. Shelving – String Furniture 5. wood inspiration  image taken from google 6. AEG induction hob – ao.com 7. Gold Handle – Amazon 8. Blue Paint – Little Greene 9. Mistral Surface – Karonia Surfaces 10. Radiator – Soak 11. Rug – Woven 12. Urban Grey Floor Tile – Stone Tile Floor Company.

I want to show you what I’ve decided on in terms of  inspiration and some of the actual products. Although I am as you may well know,  not shy of new colours, I have worked with the hues already here in our home to make sure it flows throughout so it is very much in line with my colour palette if you know my blog already. If not, you’ll soon see !

Now, I’ve been lusting over this gold Alveus sink and Leo Tap from Olif for ages and am turns out I am now collaborating with them – talk about divine intervention. It is in place already and I will be showing you next week how it’s looking.

In fact over the coming weeks I will be writing about all the individual elements of the new kitchen including the Mistral surfaces from Karonia (unbelievably tactile ) the Urban Grey Tiles from Stone Tile Company that I think are one of the best finds in terms of price and their aesthetic. Also how I chose vintage style radiators from Soak and of course will enjoy posting all about my colour journey to picking the right paint for the cabinets and which handles I went for.

The shelving, I am hoping to put up some from String Furniture. To be confirmed.

paint swatches kitchen blue inspiration ideas

These are just a few of the many shades I looked at. We decided to keep the cabinets as they were bespoke sizes and I can’t see the point of changing some for more that are similar especially as the positioning of them is staying the same. Would be a bit wasteful and of course extra cost to replace them. I am also making a Youtube on DIY’ing your kitchen cabinets which I will share along the way.

For the new Island, we have bought a Shaker style one and will definitely be letting you know about the company that I bought it from as they work closely with Karonia Surfaces and helped me find a fitter who put in the Mistral. Their help was second to none and I love supporting family businesses. A post coming up about this soon.

old kitchen terracotta tiles

In the meantime, here is the kitchen pre – renovation. It’s tired and mismatched. This is because we have known for some time that it would be changing so haven’t really put much effort in to it  – it’s clean and tidyish but that’s about it !

To be honest, I’ve always slightly felt like I am in someone else’s kitchen because it’s not my style at all. It was put in when the house was built about 18 years ago so we have been pretty lucky to have had all the appliances working, well, up until recently but. ao.com have come to the rescue for our new look and I am taking part in their renovation series which I will tell you more about soon – you may have already seen details on my instagram stories and some of their filming.

3D kitchen renovation plan teal blue gold ideas inspiration

Here is a 3D angle I put together of the new one. There are french doors to the garden which will allow much more light as the space isn’t naturally bright. It will also enable us to get outdoors much more quickly which will be lovely in the warmer months. In terms of utilising the room, it made much more sense to have more than just a table and chairs in the middle. It will feel much more like a family hub and this is where we tend to gravitate to for family gatherings and meal times.

We have also decided to do up the utility room but I’ll save that for anther day. I am tiling the wall myself and really looking forward to it. Wish me luck :)

So many DIY’s to edit and add to my Youtube channel. Hope you manage to stop by and catch some of them.

Are there any rooms in your home that you’re looking to change ? Where do you look for inspiration for your research ? Do leave me a comment or if you have any questions. Will get back as soon as I can.

I am collaborating with certain brands on elements of my kitchen including ao.com, Olif, Karonia Surfaces, Little Greene Paint Company and Soak.com. All opinions are my own as ever.