Lamp revamp

Those that follow my mish-mashed Instagram account, may have seen my impulse buy at the Abbotsford Convent markets waaay back in Feb 2013. Some of you also commented on my lovely bedside table lamps from our real estate shots, home open and move. I've put together a quick summary of my DIY lamp update, but scoot down the page further for a bit more detail. Enjoy!

Nickel-plated lamp base with Washi-tape shade. #DIY Lamp revamp on the blog.


Do you Adore?

Sorry for the mega delay in posts! I have finally painted my laundry-slash-office and my computer was hidden under dust and splatter sheets. The room was in desperate need of a mini makeover, covering up the patchwork walls and ceiling, and brightening from a dull yellowed cream to the now beautiful and bright white (FYI Dulux Lexicon Half on walls and Vivid White to ceiling).

For some insane reason, I forgot to take ‘before’ shots, so had to trawl through my databases for some random shots of the ‘back room’ aka Laundry aka office aka crap-dumping-space. Unfortunately the only before pics I could find show just how much crap normally surrounded me in the office space, but fortunately the tidy-up pre- and post-painting make the overhaul look like much more than it was.

Before and After | Home office update on the RSD Blog | #renovation #diy #home #office
{Office before and after}

I had a bit of fun with Washi tape (and more since) after deciding against painting a decorative element and not being able to find a decal I liked. The basic tutorial for the washi tape jewel idea on the door was from Objects & Use. I’m waiting for more washi colours and patterns from etsy to go even crazier.


Bathroom... After

Hello lucky readers! The bathroom transformation has occurred much faster for you than for us - a day rather than two weeks. The only thing we are waiting on is the frameless shower screen so we can make full use of the yummy new shower head, but I didn’t want to keep you waiting. I’ll give you a quick run down on the work, then get into the good stuff - the before and after photos!

Work started early on a Monday morning. Dad, hubby and I got stuck into ripping off the wall tiles. As with most old houses (with the added bonus of previous owners who have attempted DIY renovations themselves) the wall structure was no longer (if ever) level or square. There was also the unhelpful surprise of most of the wall sheeting coming off with the tiles. The flooring didn’t fare any better - also ripping half up with the tiles. Previous work scraps had been tossed in the wall cavity - I like to think for reuse as insulation - and a few little creatures had been making there nests around the bath supports. On Tuesday the plumber started his work relocating the bath, shower and vanity fixtures and putting in the pipes for the new toilet (yay!). Once that was completed, we could start on sheeting and patching up the walls, floor and front of bath. Waterproofing was painted over all surfaces and allowed to dry (time for a well deserved bevie break). The rest of the week was spent cutting, tiling, painting and cleaning out dust and debris, in time for the plumber to finish up and fit off the following week. For a more visual step by step of the process, you can check out my
Instagram page. You can also read more about the bathroom ‘Before’ the renovation here.

Drum roll…. the finished product! What do you think? We are very happy with it, of course, and I catch myself walking past the door quite slowly now just to admire the view. In fact on seeing this post, hubby commented that he can’t even remember the bathroom before, even though it was only two weeks ago. Purged.

#Bathroom #Renovation Before and After - See more before and afters on the RSD Blog
{The Sandon Bathroom - Before and After}

#Bathroom #Renovation Before and After - See more before and afters on the RSD Blog
{Bathroom Vanity and Toilet - Before and After}

Here’s a summary of a few of the changes and features we have in the new and improved Sandon House Bathroom.

The vanity was moved closer to the bath to allow for the toilet, but still enough room for the much larger bath (we went from a 600mm to a 820mm wide - much more user-friendly). If we had an OH&S inspector in-house, they would definitely approve. You can read more about the troubles I’ve had with the narrow old bath in the previous post. The bath is not only wider, but taller. It took a few goes to get used to stepping over it, but it’s very handy with keeping small children from toppling over and into it. Plus during one of my habitual, long relaxing soaks, I don’t have to have the water full to the brim to actually be covered and stay warm.

#Bathroom after the #Renovation - See more before and afters on the RSD Blog
{The finished product}

Our second toilet - hooray! On plan it looked like a bit of a tight squeeze, but we have since found that there is more than enough room and it is quite a comfortable space. It’s still quite precious and we are not used to having the second option, but I’m sure that will end soon. The seat is soft-closing (the slowest we have ever seen actually - almost ridiculously so), which helps prevent slamming noises becoming a child wake-up-call in the middle of the night.

#Bathroom after the #Renovation - See more before and afters on the RSD Blog
{New Mizu Vanity and Toilet from Reece}

We added a tile shelf high enough to keep expensive shampoos from becoming very expensive bubble bath, as well as far enough away from the shower head to be a pool collector. I find them a great idea when you don’t have the building room to put in alcoves or set-in shelving. As long as you keep it simple, it allows the featured items to stand out without becoming a feature itself. We added an extra towel rail from before and made them double. Not necessarily for two towels, more for the aid in drying. My husband finally gets a towel rail of his own, as opposed to the hook on the back of the door where it never really dries. At the moment the kids towels hang on the back of the door, but we allowed space for another towel rail to be added if and when we need it (big enough to hang bath sheets because once you go up from towels to sheets, you can’t go back!)

#Bathroom after the #Renovation - See more before and afters on the RSD Blog
{New huge bath and surrounds}

I chose white wall tiles and a white vanity for brightness, simplicity and longevity. Even though we haven’t changed the skylight, the white reflects the light much more and creates a connection with the outside that belies its central location. The concrete-style grey porcelain floor tiles also give the space a neutrality that is much easier to style and change with soft furnishings and accessories. I had chosen a sleek minimal bath spout, but on further thought, we swapped it for a gooseneck swivel style so that we can run the bath and get it out of the way when the kids are in there, avoiding bumped heads. The Shower diverter mixer was placed far enough left that you can easily turn the water on without getting sprayed, and high enough that the kids shouldn’t be able to play with it for a little while longer. You may notice that I haven’t chosen very ‘designer-y’ fixtures. This bathroom for us is a family bathroom, and with two growing boys that will undoubtedly test the strength and endurance of the fixtures, we went to the budget end of the market. Fixtures are items that are easy enough to replace in a few years, so our money was directed more towards the items that are more difficult to change, such as the bath and tiles.

#Bathroom after the #Renovation - See more before and afters on the RSD Blog
{Bright white large-format tiles allow us to play with colour}

Having said that, after years of low pressure and uncomfortable showers, the selection of the shower head was quite important. My husband wanted a good soaking while I wanted to make sure that it was still water-efficient. We found our compromise in the Halo shower head from Reece and so far soooooo good.

Halo Showerhead from Reece. #Bathroom after the #Renovation - See more before and afters on the RSD Blog
{Halo shower head from Reece}

If you would like me to post the plans, let me know - but photos are more fun, right? If there is anything that you want to ask about the project or specific products please do. I am more than happy to have conversations about it in the comments section below or over email.

FYI - Some of the items pictured and their sources:

NB: Everything was chosen by me for personal reasons (i.e. budget, aesthetics, efficiency, etc) and not gifted by the supplier. I am not endorsing or advertising these products, simply using them in my own home.

I hope you enjoyed this exciting little project with me. Time to plan the next one! (Sorry honey)

xo Romona

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Bathroom Before…

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First up, I would like to justify why we wanted to do this. It's not a cheap exercise and I think updating a bathroom for aesthetic sake alone can be costly, time-consuming and if not done correctly won’t give you the value-add you were expecting. 

If you are going to rip it all out, take the time to assess what works and what doesn't.
What features you like and what you detest? What do the occupants need? Is your situation changing - will you need to accommodate growing children, elderly or disabled access? How easy it is to move around, do you bump into anything, are the towel racks too low, too high or too few? Do you need to update your fixtures and fitting to more sustainable, water-saving options? If you are thinking of selling in the future, what would appeal to the largest audience?

Obviously, the aesthetic update is always a big motivator. I love blue, but not this blue and not this pattern and not in this quantity, all over the floors and walls. Yes, of course, I have seen much worse in my travels, and if there were not other issues with the bathroom we could have easily put up with it for a few more years or until we moved on elsewhere. So here are a few of the glaring issues that we have had in our years with this bathroom. 

Problem One - The Bath
The existing bath was just that. A Bath. Not a shower bath. Definitely not something that any person (let alone an occasionally pregnant person) should be standing up in. The narrow 600mm wide rounded-bottom bath has always been a bit of a nightmare to shower in. Elbows knocking into glass panes, tiles and fixtures, knees knocking while attempting to stay upright with splayed feet on a narrow curving base. Nothing to hang on to that wouldn't go down for the count with you. I learnt the hard way that you should back out rather than turn around to get out while heavily pregnant - hint - you get stuck… really stuck! An embarrassing few minutes can be spent deciding whether to soap or scream your way out of it. 

Problem Two - The Vanity
While admittedly the rest of the house isn't level either (a problem made even more apparent while dad cursed his way through a lot of the refurb), the vanity was especially tilted. Angling towards the back wall to create the perfect ecosystem for a rainbow collection of mould and nasties. Although we wiped it down often, it wouldn't take long to fight its way back and I definitely would not have wanted to see a swab of that cultivated and rising out of a petrie dish. The chipboard doors were also moisture damaged, splitting from their nasty cream laminate.

Problem Three - The Toilet (or lack there of)
A husband, two rapidly growing boys (one starting potty training), friends with numerous young, interstate family and guests that stay with us, and an inexplicable need to all go to the toilet at once meant that our single sad little toilet was not meeting expectations. A second toilet - never thought that would be a major player on my wish list. No longer having to hold it while others day dream or read or check emails or whatever it is that some seem to do on the toilet for so long. The privacy. The convenience. Oh, could it possibly ever be true?!

Originally there was also the problem of icky dirty beige-cream walls, ceilings, doors, frames, everywhere (throughout the house not just the bathroom) but this has been slowly rectified. Vivid White is over all doors and frames, and a soft grey (Nippon Nighthawk) covers most walls (except wet area, which have moisture resistant Vivid White paint on all surfaces). I must admit that the simple few coats of white paint over the walls and ceiling in the bathroom made it much more tolerable and bought us some time to save.

Here are a few before pictures to visualise what we were dealing with.

#Bathroom #Before #Renovation - See the After results soon on the RSD Blog
{Before: The bright blue mottled tiles on the walls and floor, too-narrow bath and far-from-level vanity.}

#Bathroom #Before #Renovation - See the After results soon on the RSD Blog
{Before: The falling apart vanity and flatpack cupboard taking up valuable floor space}

I realise that it doesn’t look that bad from a distance. It was the details and the functionality that really cemented the idea of renovating. Some of you may have noticed, if you follow me on
Instagram or Twitter, that we have nearly finished the transition from old and shabby to sleek and modern. Although Dad and Hubby did their parts super quick, and the plumber has been very obliging with his time, we still have a few things that we are waiting on (shower screen and a few finishing touches). I’ll pop some pics and deets of the finished results up very soon. Stay tuned…

xo Romona

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