Posts Categorised: DIY/Projects

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.

Tutorial on Upholstering a Bench or Chair Seat

I’ve written a little tutorial on upholstering a bench or chair seat with also a Youtube video at the end so you can use one or both if you are wanting to do some at some point too. As always when doing a DIY job there are a few things to consider before you start so hopefully this will be helpful.

The thing, I think that puts most people off doing a bit of upholstering is that it seems like it might be a tad fiddly and time consuming but you know what ? It is actually really simple and easy – and can save money by doing the job yourself. I don’t mean sofas or armchairs although there are lots of local courses teaching this too but if you’re looking to cover an old stool, dining chair seat or in my case a bench seat, then it is well worth putting aside a few hours and giving it a go. I promise !

What you will need.

Fabric of choice. Ideally thicker upholstery fabric to stand the test of time.

Fine sandpaper, primer and your chosen paint colour.

Staple gun, tape measure, pins, scissors, newspaper, pencil / fabric marker, screwdriver.

Things to consider.

You don’t alway have to have co-ordinating colours. You may want to of course. But I have chosen a paint and a fabric that are not an obvious choice together but actually work as a great contrast. The fabric is called Tropicana in Navy from the Tango range by Linwood. I love it and am a big fan of this collection, it’s  really vivid and striking. There are four colourways to choose from. They also have velvets and wallpaper. I’ve been a bit obsessed with using it on something for a while so this is quite an exciting project.

One thing to really consider is the width and length of the piece/s you are upholstering. If you are using a plain solid colour then all you need to think about is the width and whether it is wide enough to cover along with the seams needed. You will be able to use it width ways to length ways. If it has a pattern then does it work visually both ways or will it only work one way ? For example if it has animals or houses as a print, you won’t want them going sideways. They can only be upholstered facing upwards.

With this print here it works either way so as the bench is longer than one width of the fabric I am using it sideways and it works. You will see my do this in my Youtube video to clarify. I had some material left over so I made a few scatter cushions ( a tutorial for another day maybe ? )

Please do check whether your fabric of choice is fire retardant. Very important if it is for indoors.

Getting started.

Remove the seat from the base it is on. In this case it’s attached by hinges so I unscrewed them and then marked where they were so it made putting it back together again easier. If it’s a chair then you might be able to remove it without any tools.

With a tape measure work out the width and length of the seat ( always check twice ) and then you will also need at least 5 cm for extra on all sides for stapling under. Lay the fabric on the seat to make sure you have the pattern as you want it to be seen bearing in mind the seams on each end. It would be a shame to have a feature of the print left out or disappearing off to one side. Equally if you can get the print to look balanced then it will look better and not bother you for years on ( or maybe that’s just me being pedantic ! ) Cut out the amount required and save.

I may be stating the total obvious here but I will say it anyway as I have made the mistake myself in the past. Make sure you cover the floor area where you are working for the painting part. If you are using an oil based paint especially as it is near impossible to completely remove it if spilt. I have sheets but lots of newspaper is just as good.

For the bench it will need rubbing down with sandpaper and then some primer. Although you may decide not to prime over the original paint and just go straight in with your new colour, I do think it helps to use primer as the new paint sticks better, giving an overall better finish.

Once you’ve sanded the area and primed you can paint – maybe two coats if needed. Leave it to dry and set to work on the upholstering of the padded seat.

When you’ve measured out the fabric needed with a tape measure and marker or pencil you can cut it – remembering the 5 cm seams on every side. This means 2 folds of 2.5 cm to give a neat finish underneath and to avoid any fraying.

I’d recommend either asking someone to help you with this next bit as you will need to pull the fabric tightly before stapling it on – or as you will see in my tutorial you can do it all yourself with pins. It just takes a bit of smoothing out all over before pinning all around to hold it in place before you turn the seat over and staple. When it comes to all the corners there will be excess fabric in a ‘ V ‘ shape that you will need to cut away to enable you to fold the corners over before stapling. I recommend having a look at the video to see how I cut it. If you don’t remove them there will be too much bulk and the seat won’t sit properly on it’s base ? So once you’ve fastened each side down and the corners too you are done.

As mentioned earlier I also made a little Youtube for you to refer to. Any upholstering questions then leave me a comment and I will get back to you.

If you’d like to have a little look at all of Linwood’s lovely fabrics you can do so here.

Also, come and say hi on instagram.

The fabric was a gift. All opinions as ever are my own.

Win a bespoke Mood Board and Home Guide

Interior Online Service moose boards United kingdom help with designing room

I’m really pleased now to be able to share my online service, offering anyone anywhere searching for interior design inspiration, a bespoke interior design mood board, also help with room and home planning.

Maybe you’re not sure about which colour palette to use ? Or you just can’t quite figure a layout in the room that will work ?

To celebrate the start of this not only I am offering 10% off this July, I’m also offering a reader one of my services. If you’d like a mood board made for you; maybe you’re thinking about redesigning a room or want to tweak a space with a different colour scheme –  then I’d love to create something for you that’ll guide and inspire you for your project.

I currently offer two packages and the winner will receive Option 1 which is a Bespoke Digital Mood Board and a curated Home Inspiration Guide which includes lots of places to find the right pieces for you including my go to stores for the best finds. You could say it’s my ‘ little black book ‘. This is usually £90 per room as you’ll see on my online service page along with Option 2.

This will be emailed you once compete within 7 days and if you would like a copy in the post then no problem – consider it done.

Once the giveaway ends I will be in touch via email where we can have a consultation chat via email to establish what you’re looking for and go from there.

So if you fancy a bit of insight and help from an interior designer then maybe this could be the opportunity to get going ?

I’ve set up a Rafflecopter below for you to enter if you’d like to take part and the terms and conditions also.

Really looking forward to hopefully working with you on something lovely for your home. It’s so good to be able to reach you wherever you live in the world.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions. 

Winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter.

This giveaway is open to entrants worldwide. If you are under 16 please ask a parent or guardian to enter on your behalf !

I will be attempt to get in touch with the winner via email within 24 hours of this giveaway ending and ask for a response within 48 hours or a new entrant will be chosen.

No cash or alternative prize alternative offered.

I am more than happy to make one alteration to your final mood board. Please beat this in mind when entering. Once your mood board is emailed and posted to this service will have been completed on my part and no further designs will be created.

As you will be entering via Rafflecopter which will be acting as a third party, I have added their privacy policy here.

GOOD LUCK!

If you’re looking for extra inspiration in the meantime, then have a look at my Pinterest boards.