Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog
Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog

Following on from my last blog post on tiling my external walkway with Victorian tiles, where you saw it just cement clad and this computer generated image of the tiles, I’m pleased to report that works have started and it’s now looking great.

Before the final reveal, I thought I’d give you a peek and dedicate today’s post to how the tiles were installed.

As the tiles came in small pieces, they were like jigsaw puzzles. Imagine how tricky it would be to place them together and do it well.

The most important part even before the tiles went down, was for the surface to be perfectly flat and levelled.

The floor had to be levelled to create a uniform look and to ensure that there would be no ‘bounce’ left, or the tiles would crack or loosen.

I had real trouble with this, as after the original tiles were removed, the surface was incredibly uneven.

I found a builder who did rendering via one of those trusted tradesmen websites.

He came one gloomy day and placed the cement down quickly, then left. 

To my horror it was done poorly, as it was uneven with bumps and marks.

Now here is a cautionary tale – do not pay until works are done. ( Up till this day, I still have these trust issues).

As it was raining and there was going to be a huge gulf of wet cement between us, I had to pay him first. 

When I rang him to come level it after the tiler said it was not suitable, he refused.

In fact, he said he had left the country to go back to Poland!! – yeah right! So that was money down the drain.

The next person I hired had to try his best to make good of an impossible mess, and thankfully it was better, although not perfect. With every dark cloud comes a rainbow. I’m not even sure the latter is a saying, but that’s how I saw it. ( Just remembered, should be silver lining right? Oh well, rainbow sounds better).

My tiles were being supplied by Olde English tiles, the wholesale company of the Victorian tile company Original Features.

They sent me their best tiler, Brian, from the Classic Victorian Tiling company, to get the job completed. 

Let me tell you this. Brian was amazing and definitely the rainbow after the dark cloud. 

It was nose down to get the job done from day one. He even spent a whole day making the ground more level.

He was professionalism with a capital ‘P’. The whole job took him only one week to complete.

There was no disruption to us at all. He never came in, stayed outdoors and got the work done. 

He protected the tiles at the end of each day with wooden walkways and even had a special sign to tell people where to walk.

Placing Victorian tiles down, is not your average tiling job. It is a truly specialised job of patience and skill.

I watched how Brian painstakingly placed each piece down on the screeded concrete ground to create the desired pattern. Victorian tiles installation Each tile had to be an equal distance of 1 to 2 mm apart to achieve a uniform grout line.

As the Olde English tiles were natural clay products, there were the expected variations in their colours and sizes. So Brian would have had to mix tiles of the same colour from different boxes together to achieve an evenly distributed colour.

Once all the small pieces have been placed, then grouting took place.

Brian finished the job off on a Sunday when we were still indoors, unbeknown to me. He left it looking sparkling clean.

I was so sorry not to get a chance to say thank you to him, so this is a post to say so.

Another last word of advice, if you are thinking of placing tiles in your external walkway, do ensure that all external building works, painting and landscaping are done first.

The worst thing is to have your expensive tiles ruined right?

Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the process. It’s not all plain sailing.

I’m so pleased with how amazing the tiles from Olde English Tiles and Original Features look. The quality is superb ( I’ll be talking more about this in my next post and the final reveal).

Have a wonderful day. x

( Victorian tiles were kindly supplied by Olde English Tiles)

I live in a Victorian house in London. I’ve always loved living in a period property.

As much as I love contemporary design, I have always sought to preserve the period features in my home, such as the fireplaces, stained glass windows and ceiling cornices.

I guess you could say my aesthetic is a combination of old and new but with colour.

One thing we didn’t inherit with our home, was a Victorian tiled external walkway. I have always looked longingly at other people’s beautiful walkways, in hope that I could get one some day too.

My realisation came true when I stumbled upon Original Features website. 

They sell geometric and encaustic patterned clay tiles manufactured in the same way as during the Victorian times. 

I certainly fell down the rabbit hole when I was browsing their website. I just couldn’t stop.

The Victorian tiles came in all sizes, shapes and there’s a collection of 25 stunning colours too.

I felt like a child in a candy store, confronted with so many possibilities.

Original Features don’t just sell the tiles, they can also help with the design.

I definitely wanted a Victorian design, in keeping with my property, but I also wanted  to include my favourite colours of pinks, blues and minty greens.

Imagine how happy I was when Original Features agreed to help me create my dream Victorian exterior walkway.

I spent ages browsing the designs on their website and finally decided on the Windermere pattern.

The next fun part was to pick the colours that would go with that design. I selected them from the tile samples that I was sent.

Original Features ‘ design team then helped me visualise the colourful design via a selection of computer generated images. 

Once the pattern was decided on, I had to pick a border that would frame the design. I decided on a pink and black border. Here is the computer generated image. What do you think?

I absolutely love it and can’t wait for it to be installed. 

I will be updating you on the progress in the next few days.

If you are interested in getting your walkway, hallway or bathroom tiled in Victorian tiles, then do check out the Original Features website and designs. 

You can also see some of the designs from their wholesale site called Olde English tiles.

I can guarantee that you’ll be hooked like I was.

Really excited to show you soon. 

Small living room How to style a small living room.

Following on from my recent post on how to create a flexible Room for Living using John Lewis and Partners furniture, I thought I’d show you how they can be moved around flexibly to needs.

I’ve recently started doing workouts in my small living room, a small but positive step towards getting fit.

To create space for working out, I’ve moved my Design Project by John Lewis coffee table off the carpet. It was handy that the table was light and slim, so fitted perfectly between the rug and fireplace without looking obtrusive.

Talking about the rug, I adore my new Tora rug from John Lewis and partners.

It’s so soft and has made my workout  (especially sit ups) less punishing.

It’s also a great spot for the family to sit whilst playing board games on the weekend. If you recall from my last post, I had a console table where the sofa is now in this small living room.

It’s in my hallway at present, to make room for my Design Project by John Lewis shelf unit. small living room Now back to the shelves.

After work or on weekends , I usually like to unwind by leafing through my collection of hardback books on interiors, travel and food.

I have a huge collection of books ( which incidentally I also use as props for photo shoots). The Design Project by John Lewis shelf is so stylish and elegant. It was the perfect solution for storing and displaying my book collection. Here’s a better view of the shelf. My dining table and chairs are the only pieces that have stayed in their original spot. 

How do you like this new configuration in my small living room?

It’s great that all these pieces of John Lewis and Partners furniture allow for such flexibility in the way we live.

The key to living flexibly in this small space is to buy quality furniture that can have multiple uses, is light enough to move around, and of course looks beautiful too.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the post. Wishing you a wonderful day. x

( All photography and styling are by Little Big Bell. This is a paid partnership post with John Lewis and Partners.)

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