It’s reeeeeeeeady

So it may have taken 3 weeks and 2 days (and a lot of blood, sweat and tears – ok so only the blood and tears were from me – I cut my arm on the tiles and I’m pretty much always crying about one thing or another – I mean who can function after watching an episode of Hollyoaks?! I’m emotionally drained for hours). Aannnyyway so back to the bathroom!  In this post I’m going to post some progress shots as well as link to everything we chose.

So the current trend is definitely for traditional radiators and Victorian tiles and I loveeee that – Paige, Lucy and Charlotte spring to mind for really heart eyes bathrooms. I wanted to combine traditional – I definitely wanted a vanity sink and neutral tiles – with modern taps and a shower. I wanted something that would hopefully be neutral enough that no-one would think “OH MY CHRIST, WHAT A STATE” because as a first house that is a consideration for any future potential buyers (though the absolute mess that is the housing market might have something to say about that) but also exciting and unique enough for it to feel truly ours. Being addicted to Rightmove I have seen many bathrooms, bland, boring and cold looking and I didn’t want that.

bahtroom

The first place to start was the bath. The whole reason we had the bathroom renovated was because we wanted a separate bath and shower and I wanted a luxurious freestanding one so I could pretend I was in a posh hotel and I so I didn’t feel slightly like I was in a greenhouse, all light being obscured by the dodgy and ridiculously long shower screen. After much deliberation we decided on the this bath. It’s modern, deep, pretty and had good reviews which is frankly all I’m looking for in a bath. I also fancied one of those built in taps (the freestanding ones aren’t for me), I thought this long, modern and sleek tap provided a good contrast to the bath. I’m a big fan of mixer taps after too many times burning my hands or feet in the bath or sink when the hot water came through in full force, aint nobody got time for [dat] running a sink full just to w

trad taps

ash your hands. To follow the theme through we chose the same tap style for the sink. If you after a more traditional look I really like these taps too, good reviews and ona great offer at the mo… though lets face it it’s always offer day at Victorian Plum.

Our old bathroom had room (where a shower now stands) for storage so it had to be a vanity unit but the only problem was I really didn’t like them – boxy, invasive and frankly ugly I never thought i’d be swayed. That was until I saw Elle’s stunner over at Feathering the Empty Nest, a gorgeous shade with a strong, stylish sink. I was sold. Now I couldn’t just buy the same onebecause that would be weird but I knew my room would take one and I felt confident we could pull it off. After much deliberation we went for t

sink

he Bath Co. vanity unit in Camberley White. There unit comes in a range of colours and sizes including cloakroom and they’ve just launched semi-recessed sink which I think looks fab. There’s those pesky taps again, rocking it. The sink and unit we chose also had ample room for the White Company hand wash and hand & nail cream set which was the thing that started this all – we went for Lime & Bay which Lime, Basil and Mandarin Jo Malone fans will dig.

I’m not going to bore you with details of which toilet we chose because lets be honest, it’s a toilet. But it was this one.

The shower was a whole different ball game, I knew exactly what I wanted and I knew it immediately. This is it. Stylish, functional and beautiful. It’s lovely to be able to have an attachment to give the shower a rinse from all of the shampoo that I flick about everywhere  and to wash my feet!

Then the most important and bloody expensive decision to make – the tiles. Originally we were going to go for half tiled, then fully tiled on one wall and half on the others and finally completely tiled. I thought well it we are going to do it we should do it properly and I have always admired a fully-tiled bathroom, plus there’s no chance of me scuffing the wall! After traipsing around the various tile shops of East Anglia (and Cardiff at one point) with the absolute complete conviction that I was looking for big wall tiles we ended up with these tiny things – silver for two walls and ivory for the other two. What’s good about Topps is that you can pick up a number of samples and return the ones you don’t like for a refund. We went for herringbone for the silver and standard brick style for the ivory. This was such a panic, I didn’t know if it would look too much but paired with the calming floor tiles I think we have pulled it off.

I hope you have enjoyed reading through my ramblings, below is a list of the accessories we have in the bathroom and some before, during and after photos – if there’s anything else you’d like to know drop me a DM over on Insta or use the contact form here.

Accessories

Bath mat (The White Company)

Hand wash and hand & nail cream (The White Company)

Bottle arch (The White Company)

Toilet brush (The White Company)

Bath rack (Dunelm)

Bath foam (The White Company)

Shower gel (The White Company)

Candle (The White Company)

Bin (Dunelm)

Why are you getting a new bathroom, isn’t your one new anyway?

This is a question i’ve been asked many times recently. When we bought our house it had been refurbished in the preceding three years (2012-2015) so you’d have thought the bathroom would be fine for a good while yet. I did think this when we first viewed the house in July 2015, and I still thought it when went back for measurements, come to think of it I still thought that in October 2015 when we finally moved in. Here’s a photo of the bathroom as it was when we took possession of it:Bathroom.jpg Looks good right? I mean it’s not everyone’s tastes but I really liked it, I liked the taps, the tiles and the Victorian style radiator that’s out of view.

Well this is it now… Bathroom 2 Admittedly it’s a very dull day today so that adds to the melancholy feel but yeah… Embarrassingly the side panel has been missing for 15 months. You see there was a leak, we could see there was a leak as it was showing through the floor tiles but unfortunately as they’d decided to tile the side in there was no way to fix it other than ripping all the tiles off, so that’s what the plumber did, but at least the leak was fixed.

And when something goes wrong you start to notice all the other problems, the cracked floor tiles, the fact the bathroom suite looks like it may have been nicked from the back of someones skip, the fact the tiling and sealing was clearly not done by a professional, the weird pink stain in the bath and the weird building material stuck to the side of the cistern.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, our door is #doorgoals and the shower is lush – just the perfect level of power. BUT we need a change and change we will have, I’m really excited for the work to start on the bathroom. I love baths but there’s not much joy in taking one in our current cold enamel monstrosity and the freestanding bath of (my) dreams is hopefully going to make up for that. Here’s a couple more pics of the ‘before’ bathroom.

18452660_10155158137051287_919272031_o18472329_10155158135376287_431894952_o18493388_10155158135186287_1016947045_o

20 facts about me

1. I was born and raised in rural north Essex. Contrary to popular Towie-fuelled opinion there are an awful lot of farms in Essex.

2. My favourite food is baked cajun salmon with rice and salad.

3. I have been a massive fan of Ipswich Town since I was 11.

4. I once witnessed Ronnie Vannucci Jr do a dinosaur impression on a ferry back from the Isle of Wight. Ronnie is the drummer for the Killers, my favourite band in the world. I got really bad sunburn on my face that day too and someone on Twitter called me said she recognised me because of the face. The shame.

5. I don’t like tattoos, not necessarily on other people as some people can carry them off but not on me.

6. I’ve been on a plane with Richard Branson, my mum made me get his autograph.

7. I got a first in my degree.

8. My favourite perfume is Sweet Lime and Cedar. Since it’s been discontinued my second favourite is Lime Basil and Mandarin.

9. Mike is one of those annoying people everyone likes, I am certainly not.

10. I casually saw Jeremy Clarkson once at a James Blunt concert.

11. I have never dyed my hair.

12. I enjoy horse racing but I will never bet on the National.

13. I cry at pretty much everything on TV.

14. I have never smoked but for some reason I keep really fancying a cigar?!

15. My village was the Essex Village of the Year 2016.

16. I can name all the counties of England in 8 minutes.

17. I drive a Fiat 500.

18. I have an earlobe shaped like a bum. We call it bum ear. Sometimes other people just call me bum ear.

19. Until we bought our house I’d never had an upstairs bedroom.

20. My favourite season in Summer. It reminds me being little and harvest time.

Bubbas2

Bedroom tour

My bedroom is my little slice of heaven, my little place to escape and relax, to snuggle up with a massive cup of tea, an electric blanket and something brain numbing on the TV.

When we moved first viewed our house my thoughts on the bedroom were that it was a good size with a lot of built in storage but I must admit I wasn’t wowed by it, it was certainly the kitchen that sold me. The previous owners had the bedroom painted red and although I could see it looked nice, it just wasn’t us and didn’t convey that relaxing vibe that is so important in a bedroom.

red bedroom.jpg

The first thing we did in this room was cover that red with something a tad lighter. When I saw we I mean my mother and brother who painted the whole room for us while we were at work! We used Crown’s Sandcastle shade, a nice neutral shade with a bit of warmth. I’m very happy with my decision, still love it!

The next thing we did was make more of the fireplace. I found this lovely oak shelf with cast brackets, the perfect place to store all my crap pretty things. Plus the more shelf space I have, the more Emma Bridgewater I can display. Oh and the Jo Malone candle that I will never light as it’s too pretty. Oh and a random Eiffel Tower figure because it’s the law that you buy one in Paris. To complete the fireplace focal point I added this pheasant print, it’s from Etsy, but we do pheasant prints too over at http://www.mortlockonslow.co.uk if it’s your kind of thang.

I also tried my hand at DIY and followed my lovely friend Charlotte’s tutorial and made my own initial prints… now it’s only the jokes H&M we have to contend with… could be worse.

13768121_582885795217522_1051897297_n

For a long time that was it. We had a lovely shelf and painted walls but a weird mishmash of furniture and a carpet which had clearly been the victim of a GHD attack! It took a trip to the most stunning barn in Norfolk to guilt me into taking action and in one swoop we bought a new bed, bedside tables, bedside lamps, armchair and blanket box. No one can say we do things by halves!

15877160_191110068030785_7245674557804118016_n
my little slice of heaven

IMG_3259

I’d lusted over this arm chair for sooooo long, it is the perfect chair for the bedroom. It’s very firm and certainly not for lounging but it fits our space perfectly and is used by Mike to put his socks on with annoying regularity! The beautiful cushion is from another one of my Insta friends Catherine over at Peonie Cole.

Next I got my DIY on again and stripped the paint from the wardrobes. I loved the painted look but we wanted something a little more rustic and in keeping with the style of the house. This was really hard work, there was a  lot of dust, swearing and burning the carpet (thankfully it was the old one). I managed to the entire Royle Family boxset while I was doing it. We finished the room off with a new carpet and some cushions from Sainsbury’s (mostly the Shore range). I’m a strictly shoes off kinda gal and I love that no one would dare even think about shoes while in my bedroom now!

IMG_1172

 

I really do love this room. I hope you do too!

Why Rightmove and I are ‘consciously uncoupling’

Some people are addicted to cigarettes, others to chocolate or spending. Me? I’m addicted to Rightmove.

I know I’m not the only one. I know lots of people love having a nosy about what’s on the market, if only to keep on top of property prices in their area. I’m not one of those people unfortunately, I cannot just have a quick search and leave it. A few months ago I set up Rightmove alerts, I selected a realistic price range and area and forgot about it, I thought it would save me time given that ‘last 24 hours’ is my jam anyway.

So now I am constantly bombarded with alerts telling me Mavis from two roads away is selling up or the Johnson’s from the other side of town have decided to sack it all in and move to Bora Bora to pursue the natural life.

You might be wondering what the problem is… The problem is I start to compare my home those for sale, thinking how lovely it would be to have off road parking or another bedroom. However, in my years of stalking the property market of South Suffolk and North Essex I have not seen another house which makes me feel the way my home does. We were so lucky to get this place and it still makes me smile every single day. Sure, it has it’s problems (*cough* we have damp…) but it’s home.

So, I’ve made the councious decision to uncouple from Rightmove. I’m turning off the alerts, deleting the app and unbookmarking the website. It’s happening. Let’s be honest, a massive detached farmhouse is not going to turn up in my budget so I won’t be missing anything. We have lots of things to look forward to with the house – not least the new bathroom which is being installed in May – we have decided to make 2017 the year of home improvements. The ghastly metal shed is going, garden furniture is coming in and we are visiting the garden centre on Saturday… This is not a joke but when I suggested the garden centre to Mike earlier this evening he jumped up and down with his hands in the air like a 10 year old that’s been told it’s a happy meal for lunch.

So basically, be happy with what you have – there will be someone out there who would love to be in your position – and stop comparing your home to others. Oh, and when you feel like considering moving, just remember you’d have to deal with estate agents.

Here endeth the proverb.

Pheasant

2016

So from the outside last year was pretty good for me – I got married, Mike and I settled into our first owned home and I could pay all my bills. That’s all true. However, for me it was one of the most difficult years of my life as I struggled against myself (that Hannah, she’s such a knob).

In March 2016 I fell ill with what I thought was a 24-hour bug and there started months of uncertainty, pain and anxiety. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I was in pain 24/7 but in true English fashion, I ignored it. It was like nothing I’ve experienced before, a deep gnawing pain in my abdomen interspersed with terrible sharp pains – one particular day the pain was so bad I was cutting the skin on my stomach with my nails trying to divert the pain… I don’t recommend it – you end up still in pain but with broken nails and girls, a broken nail is just not ok is it?

In early April I was finally forced to make an appointment with the doctor as I had now missed a day of work. I will spare you the details but basically I had all manner of tests (which came back clear), medications (stomach ulcer pills anyone?) and general poking. Ultrasounds are no fun, who wants to drink loads of water and have someone push on your bladder? Shudder. Anyway, to cut a long story short it was decided it was likely a food-related issue sparked by my illness. In May 2016 I made a massive change to my diet (under the direction of a NHS dietician) and finally found some medication which seemed to help. It is a horrible feeling wanting to just enjoy a meal but being scared silly about how much pain you will be in 20 minutes later.

Mike and I had booked a holiday to Florida which we had to cancel – we lost 90% of the total cost of the flights and hotel. Cheers insurance company. We actually booked the barn conversion of dreams (I actually cannot stop with the of dreams) in North Norfolk instead and had an absolutely cracking holiday and by this point I had worked out what the worst triggers were so was able to control my diet and enjoy myself.. though there was one instance of throwing caution to the wind and trying non-alcoholic wine… to be honest it was nothing special but my tummy took particular exception – oh the pain – but at least I was in a lovely barn which I could pretend was all mine.

Skip forward to March 2017 and although I do still have bad days, I feel like I’ve got my life back. My diet is still very restricted but I am adding things all the time and experimenting with more gluten-free baking (shout out to the Kitchen Aid who has been dragged along for the trip).

This blog will be mostly about my home and my love for interiors – is Rightmove addiction a diagnosed condition?! but I thought it would be good to open up with something I’d hazard most of my Instagram followers don’t know about me.

I’d like to end with a massive thank you to my darling Insta friend Becca who has been there to listen to my rubbish when I was feeling at my darkest.

I’ve heard Norfolk is basically the Florida of Britain anyway…

Baconsthropecastle.jpg