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

Bathroom renovation project in a London Victorian house.

Do you have a room or rooms in your house that you would not reveal on social media?

I’m guessing YES right? Well, I certainly have many rooms in my home that I don’t reveal for various reasons.

First up are my bathrooms. I have 2 main bathrooms in my house and a guest toilet.

My bathrooms have been the thorn in my side for many years, as they have not been updated since we moved into this Victorian house more than 10 years ago.

There is such a pressure nowadays on social media to show how beautiful your home is, and I do admit that I am at times guilty of that too.

So, this time I’ve plucked up the courage to show you my original unmodernised bathroom before it’s gutted out and transformed.

I am excited to be working with Ripples bathrooms on this bathroom renovation project, and I will show you the process of our partnership in another blog post soon. So here it is.

Totally unmodernised and very vanilla brown in colour.

I’ve tried my best to cheer up the room with a few decor touches.

I’ve used my favourite Pappelina plastic rugs on the floor to add colour. I’ve also styled the room with Aesop skincare products.

Can you tell I’m a fan of Aesop products? Here’s the other side of my bathroom.

As you can see, my bathroom is not terribly large.

If you look hard enough, then you will see water stains on the wall and ceiling at the top left hand corner, all from external blocked gutters.

I’m pleased to say that the gutter situation has now been remedied.

Hardly an instagram worthy room right? bathroom renovation This is what the bathroom renovation project looks like now.

As you can see, Samuel Mead, my builder/architect for this project has done the initial ripping out to check the pipework. Tomorrow, he will be removing all the tiles. Samuel has revealed some unsightly protruding pipes that the previous owners had just boxed in.

I’m really hoping that he can bury the pipes back into the wall. A bespoke shelving unit will have to occupy that space soon.

Finally, I’m looking forward to sharing with you this bathroom renovation project over the next few weeks, and I hope you will follow me on this journey.

Have a lovely day.

wood burning stoves Top tips on wood burning stoves to create a cosy and stylish space.

It’s still officially Winter right?

How are you coping with that lingering chill in the air?

I don’t think I’m doing very well with it. 

I’ve just recovered from the Flu.

For days like those, I wished I had a warm cosy spot to huddle at.

Have you, like I, been feeling Instagram envy when seeing all those wood burning stoves in other people’s homes?

When I was asked to peruse Arada’s gorgeous collection of wood and multi fuel stoves, I was more than happy to indulge. I must admit, I was transported to dreamland when I browsed their collection, imagining how I would style each stove in my home.

Obviously, it’s not just the practicality of heat provision and the feeling of cosy that got me hooked.

I was drawn to it for the impact it made as a design statement, and even better, it could add value to my home. There are so many styles to pick from. I love the freestanding ones ( image above).

They look great in an open space, juxtaposed against a statement coloured wall and neutral tone floor.

I think its simple and elegant design enables it to fit into any style of home.

It would look equally good in a pared back Scandi room, as it would in an industrial style loft apartment, or the inglenook fireplace of a more traditional home. I can visualise the stove in a boho theme room too, complete with greenery and textured Moroccan rugs.

Can you visualise it too? If you have an empty hearth at home, then you could inset an Arada stove into that space.

Above is one of their timeless classic collection stoves called Ecoburn Plus.

It has a large viewing glass with a special airwash system that prevents soot from settling, so you get a constant clear view of those dancing flames. That’s a lovely sight to have right? I think many people, including myself, want to, but may feel uncertain about installing wood burning stoves at home.

The common questions raised are : will it be easy to install, will it heat well and does it affect the environment? After sifting through the information provided, I now feel totally at ease. Here are the answers to some of those questions:

1. Will it be easy to install?

You’ll be relieved to know that you don’t need to install it yourself, and probably shouldn’t unless you are a registered installer of wood burning stoves. You can call upon a specialist installer, part of the registered competent person scheme, to safely install the stove. They will be able to educate you on how to use your appliance too.

To keep the stove functioning well, Arada advises getting your chimney swept at least once a year and have your stove regularly serviced.

I’m also reassured by the fact that these stoves have a ‘built to last’ guarantee, some with a lifetime guarantee too.

2. Will it heat well?

I found out that Arada stoves are 3 times more energy efficient than an open fire. That’s great to know, because energy efficiency means reduced fuel costs.

It’s a win-win situation right?

3. Does it affect the environment?

Arada has a choice of wood burning and multi fuel stoves. They offer Ecodesign Ready options with reduced emissions and also stoves that are suitable for UK Smoke Control areas.

Picking the right type of wood is important for energy efficiency. Naturally air dried firewood with a moisture content below 20% is best. As wood is a renewable fuel, it is kinder to the environment. It’s advisable to look for sustainably sourced wood.

There are also cleaner burning smokeless fuels that can be used nowadays with these modern day stoves.

Arada has a patented Flexifuel system too that ensures the wood or solid fuel burns efficiently. Talking about wood and fuel, the storage of wood is a decor feature on its own.

I love how the Arada wood burning stoves come with dedicated log stores and stands for stylish display.

The stove above is part of Arada’s contemporary collection called the i600 Slimline Freestanding. I can’t believe I left my favourite topic “Colour” till last. Arada stoves come in a range of colours to suit all tastes. I believe there are 7 available colours.

This is one of the more popular Arada stove models, called the Farringdon, which also boasts an impressive clean burning credential, exceeding the new 2022 European regulations and meeting the stricter North American EPA low emission levels.

So, what do you think? Would you be investing in a wood burning stove? After writing this post, I’m now seriously tempted to replace my open fire place with a stove.

Finally, wishing you a warm and cosy February.

( This is a paid partnership post with Arada Stoves. Arada provided me with the photography. All opinions stated in this post are my own).

Valentines day gift 5 more days till Valentine’s Day. This “10 cool Valentine’s Day gift ideas that ladies would love” post is for anyone wanting to buy something cool and unique for that special day.

This is also for all the lovely ladies reading, who may want to send a link to their other half.

Everything I have curated here, are things that I absolutely love, and would never give up.

VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT NO. 1 – A GORGEOUS GALLERY WALL OF ART PRINTS. Valentine's day gift Firstly, I’ve curated my new favourite art prints here. Why not surprise your love one with one of these prints?

From top left to right : Rollin by Nanas of Anarchy, Frida Kahlo by Sodacake, Best Day ever by Stitch and Press.

From bottom left to right : Daisy’s flower shop by Milly England, Love Lives here by The Native State, and Penguin by Lucy Begent.

VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT NO. 2 – AESOP HAND BALM. This is my absolute favourite hand cream and it’s from Aesop.

It’s called Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm and is made of Mandarin Rind, Rosemary leaf and Cedar Atlas.

Whenever I put some on, everyone turns around because the scent is amazing and it’s like being in a spa.

It’s wonderful as a moisturiser too, as my hands get very dry with all that hand washing as a doctor.

VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT NO. 3 JO MALONE PERFUME. What lady wouldn’t want a bottle of Jo Malone perfume? This is always a winner.

I’ve recently discovered that you can mix and match the Jo Malone scents to create your own unique signature scent.

My favourite Jo Malone scent is English Pear and Freesia, because it reminds me of Spring, very in line with my personality.

I was so lucky to be gifted this limited edition gold capped, red label bottle of English Pear and Freesia from Jo Malone for Chinese New Year. Why stop at one?

I’ve used the Wild Bluebell scent to partner the English Pear scent, which is delightful.

VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT NO. 4 – A VINTAGE CHRISTIAN DIOR NECKLACE. Here’s something unique, a vintage piece of jewellery.

This necklace is vintage Christian Dior from Hardware Vintage Jewellery.

VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT NO.5 – SAINT LAURENT PURSE. What can I say? I think a big kiss would be in order if any lady receives this beautiful Saint Laurent purse. Ladies am I right?

Men reading this, do take note.

VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT NO.6 – TIFFANY & CO. Tiffany & Co is another instant winner. There is such a huge selection of gifts to pick from.

One can go all out with diamonds or for those with a smaller budget, try one of their beautiful sterling silver jewellery that can also be engraved for a personal touch.

VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT NO.7 – KAY BOJESEN WOODEN DESIGN ICONS. A Kay Bojesen wooden figure is a lovely gift for design lovers. I already own a huge collection of these figures.

This Zebra wooden figure was a gift from my husband, and you can buy one at Skandium.

VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT NO.8 – BELLA FREUD TEASET FOR PLINTH UK. This is a gift for the Feminist in your life.

The pretty pink and white tea set was created as a collaboration between Bella Freud, Gillian Wearing and Plinth.

To mark the 2018 centenary of women’s suffrage in the UK, a statue of Millicent Fawcett, a feminist icon, was created by artist Gillian Wearing in London’s Parliament Square on April 24th 2018.

This tea set was therefore inspired by Fawcett’s message.

VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT NO.9 –  PRETTY SILICONE PLACEMATS FROM BY MAY STOCKHOLM. I had to share these pretty nude polka dot silicone placemats that I spotted at a trade fair last year.

They are from By May Stockholm. This would be a lovely gift to go with the teaset.

VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT NO.10 – THE NEW GOLD APPLE MAC BOOK AIR. The gold Apple mac book air is to die for. This would be a wonderful Valentine’s day gift for a tech loving lady, moreover it is super light, fast and has back lit keys. Cool right? So there you go, I think that there is definitely a Valentine’s day gift here that any lady would love.

In other words, look no further. Click through to buy or send the link to a clueless half. Wishing you a happy Valentine’s day if you are celebrating. (AD – Gifted products within this post but there are NO affiliate links).

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