bathroom, bedroom, budget decorating, budget design, dining room, DIY, hall, kitchen, living room, my projects, presentations, property development

New flat, old flat and other changes / Nowe, stare i inne zmiany

I don’t think I should even start apologizing for not being here for ages… so let us pretend those two months never happened 🙂

That would be difficult, though, as since the last post:

  • we finished and rented out our Polish flat within a week of posting the ad (which is a really good time in our market!),
  • both me and my husband started working at different companies (still within one corporation),
  • we moved offices to outside of London,
  • we moved houses in London to be closer to new offices
  • … and yesterday we have become owners of yet another flat in Poland :).

So this is a very exciting time for me and there is really lots going on. I am obviously going to share with you the ideas for the new flat, and can tell you straight away this is going to be tricky, as we want to finish the flat mostly remotely, and as of today there are only bare walls and windows there.

But! First things first, let me show you what we managed to do to our first flat around Christmas; we wanted to make it livable, so that it rents out quickly, on a budget of ca. £250:

  • bathroom

I guess you’ve seen some of our bathroom, especially the cupboard hand-made by my husband; to our great anger and despair, the glass maker did not manage to do the doors on time so our shelves are still open, but the rest was good to go:

Bathroom - view from entrance
Bathroom - view from entrance
The old trick - big mirror visually increases the size of this bathroom
The old trick - big mirror visually increases the size of this bathroom
  • bedroom

The bedroom, with the furniture set we got for free from a friend, a super-old retro ceiling lamp, and bits and pieces of decorating from my mum, with the only new element of the baroque-inspired white wallpaper to add just a teeny bit of glamour:

White bedroom with white glamour wallpaper
White bedroom with white glamour wallpaper
Detailed view of the wallpaper
Detailed view of the wallpaper

To complement the wallpaper, we have used a spare piece as wall art and put it in behind glass, all placed on an old shelf which I finished in a quasi-shabby-chic look. The throw also works the same theme as the wallpaper.

  • living room

Now, the living room, and to be completely honest this is the most haphazardly finished room ever 🙂 One feature wall covered in beautiful black wallpaper… though since it was our first time ever wallpapering, the results are far from perfect! Good tip – when working with a dark wallpaper, it’s much easier if you dab the areas on the wall, where wallpaper pieces will meet, in paint the colour of the wallpaper; this way even if your work isn’t perfect, the gaps between stripes will not be as visible as on our wall.

Living room - feature wall with black floral wallpaper
Living room - feature wall with black floral wallpaper
Living room - view towards the ornamental blinds
Living room - view towards the ornamental blinds

The rest of the room is my parents’ old sofabed under a new throw, a red ceiling light which was supposed to be comlemented with red wall art though we never put it up (don’t ask), my teenage bedroom set, a good old piano, a spare single bed that can be put away depending on the needs of the tenants and an Ikea Lack table 🙂 Plus the really pretty blinds which unfortunately do not show too well in this light – basically when it’s light outside, they seem very pale and creamy grey, but when it’s dark, additional silver elements show as well.

  • kitchen-diner

Finally, the kitchen-diner, with the infamous kitchen units which never got properly fitted together (so that the worktop still floats independently of the units, there is no steel strip at the bottom and a millon other sins we committed with it and haven’t tried to make up for yet). Nonetheless we like the kitchen and maybe, some time, in the distant future, we will finally put it together once and for all 🙂 There is also an extra loveseat and armchair in the other part of the room.

Light and dark wood kitchen with green walls
Light and dark wood kitchen with green walls
Retro kitchen oilcloth
Retro kitchen oilcloth
  • Hall

…and our hall, unfortunately I have a photo only from the time when this ugly carpet was there (with the dog’s bone and toys prominently on display) so try not to notice them 🙂

Open hall with spotlights
Open hall with spotlights

So to sum up, this is certainly not the best example of interior design, but we tried to make the place nicer for the tenants than the usual offering but on a minimal budget, and the result was that we rented it out just a few days after we advertised it!

———
Chyba nawet nie ma co zaczynac przepraszac za to ze mnie tu tak dlugo nie bylo, wiec moze zapomnijmy o tych dwoch miesiacach 🙂

Z drugiej strony byloby to trudne, gdyz od ostatniego postu:

  • wykonczylismy i wynajelismy nasze mieszkanie w PL w ciagu tygodnia od dania ogloszenia
  • zaczelismy z mezem prace w nowej firmie
  • zmienilismy biura
  • przeprowadzilismy sie w Londynie by latwiej dojezdzac
  • …i od wczoraj jestesmy wlascicielami nowego mieszkania w PL – a raczej wygralismy przetarg i teraz staramy sie jak najszybciej mieszkanie ‘przejac’ 🙂

Takze ten czas jest bardzo ekscytujacy i na pewno bede dzielic sie tu pomyslami na wykonczenie nowego mieszkania; juz teraz wiem ze nie bedzie to proste gdyz duzo chcemy wykonac lub zlecic ‘zdalnie’ z Londynu, a w tej chwili w mieszkaniu nie ma nic – stan deweloperski.

No ale! Zaczynac wypada od poczatku 🙂 wiec kilka slow o naszym pierwszym mieszkaniu. W okolicy Swiat Bozego Narodzenia postanowilismy zrobic ile mozemy w mieszkaniu by przygotowac je na wynajecie. Niestety czasu bylo malo a budzet juz zupelnie ograniczony (troche ponad 1tys. zl) wiec spedzilismy troche czasu wymyslajac co mozna zrobic by we w miare przyzwoitym stanie mieszkanie wynajac.

Zdjecia powyzej pokazuja rezultaty naszej walki z nieterminowymi sprzedawcami (czytaj: brak szklanych drzwi do szafek w lazience) i bardzo ograniczonym budzetem (czytaj: wykorzystanie naszych starych mebli, mebli ktore dostalismy od znajomych, odmalowanie kilku rzeczy, samodzielne kladzenie tapety ze skutkiem mieszanym – hej! robilismy to po raz pierwszy ok?? – i kilkoma drobnymi nowymi zakupami). Kilka rzeczy dalej nieskonczonych, typu kuchnia (caly czas nieprzykrecony blat i brak cokolow, nieoslonieta sciana i inne takie), te nieszczesne szafki w lazience (szklo to jedyne czego moj maz sam w tej lazience zrobic nie moze, i cholera tak nawalili 😦 ), oraz totalny misz-masz stylow i kolorow w duzym pokoju.

Zdecydowanie nie jest to przyklad swietnego designu ale biorac pod uwage ograniczenia czasowe i finansowe jestem w miare zadowolona z efektu, i obecni najemcy mam nadzieje tez.

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bathroom, budget decorating, budget design, DIY, furniture, my projects, presentations, property development

Bathroom DIY / Lazienkowe ‘zrob to sam’

And finally, here they are – photos of what we’ve managed to do in our bathroom back home a month ago.

As you know / don’t know, we live in London in a rented flat, but our hearts – and our own flat – are still in Poland. We have never managed to finish it to the standard we wanted because we moved to the UK having just bought it and being able to do only the basics. Now every time we come back to visit our family, we try to add to it.

The next visit over Christmas will be even more important as we’re thinking about renting it out, and for that we need to finish at least the projects we’ve started, if not the whole place!

Our orange-cream-brown bathroom is actually the only room in the flat that more or less started coming together and is almost finished – it really is missing a few minor details (though my husband wouldn’t call it details…)

Below is what we’ve managed to complete last time – some embellishment around the mirror, and a tall cupboard for the much needed storage. I’m not going to show the whole bathroom yet – I’ll do that when we finally finish it off, but I can proudly say that the bathroom design and most of manual work have been done by my husband with a tiny bit of help from me.

Mosaic mirror frame

Actually, this decor has never been planned. We thought we’re going to have just an extension shelf over the mirror, on the same level as the top of the cupboard next to it. But then it turned out that we have some remnants of the panelling which we could use for the shelf. The only problem was that it was some milimeters shorter than the cupboard, which would result in the front of the shelf being a bit recessed in comparison to the cupboard, so the idea of having it at the same level for a sleek look would be lost. So we thought and thought… and then I came up with an idea of adding something decorative to the front of the shelf to disguise the difference in level, and we settled for some mosaic.

Obviously, there are many types of mosaic, and originally I thought we’d get the traditional glass mosaic. We also needed to make sure that the size of single tile (or two / three etc) is more or less the same height as the front of the shelf.

But after some strolling around the decorating shops, I saw this decor and I loved it! The original version was vertical (the size of the usual tile decor) so I broke it up into pieces, got rid of the supporting (and irritatingly difficult to remove) plastic frame beneath which normally holds the mosaics together for easy mounting on the wall, and used each separate tile as I wanted, making sure I don’t repeat the pattern much.

I mounted it onto the shelf using a standard all-purpose strong glue, and it worked very fast and was much easier to work with than the tile glue. Of course, be careful with this – you don’t want your fingers stuck together forever 🙂

…and after a moment of drying up, we were able to hang the shelf up!

DIY in bathroom - mosaic mirror frame
DIY in bathroom - mosaic mirror frame
DIY in bathroom - mosaic mirror frame close-up
DIY in bathroom - mosaic mirror frame close-up

Tall cupboard

This is another example of recycling what was already in the house. My parents have bought a set of furniture to my teenage bedroom ages ago; one cupboard had glass door. We thought we saw some stain on it, so we asked for replacement. The manufacturer duly resent the door, but never took the faulty one. In the meantime we decided the fault is almost unnoticeable, so haven’t even replaced the door. And so it lay for ages in the basement, which my husband noticed some time ago and had his plans for it 🙂

Even though I know how good a DIY-er he is, I was still surprised by what he managed to do in half a day (with some finishing touches the next day) – he has actually measured up, had the panels cut, finished the edges, and built a proper cupboard for our cupboard, nicely employing all colours from our bathroom’s scheme.

Even so, I can hardly survive having something so big in my house without me adding the teeniest bit to it… so I’ve decided to  use the spare mosaic tiles to finish the door handles 🙂

DIY in bathroom - my hubby's cupboard
DIY in bathroom - my hubby's cupboard
DIY in bathroom - cupboard door handles
DIY in bathroom - cupboard door handles

So, that’s it for now. Going back now to choosing textiles for Christmas… hmmm maybe that’s a topic for my next post 🙂

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articles, color, education, hall, inspiration, living room, my projects

Color scheme in interior design / Schematy kolorystyczne a projektowanie wnetrz

Oh my goodness… you cannot imagine how busy I was over the recent weeks – both at work and at home; then I was away; but most importantly, with my new school – the assignments are so extensive, I am basically spending every single free minute on them; at some point a few days ago I just could not look at my inspiration boards anymore, I saw them and edited them and reworked them so many times! I finally have submitted them though…

Anyway, one part of the assignment was to prepare color schemes and find inspirational images that work with the schemes. I was to prepare one board for each of the classic sets: monochromatic, harmonious and complementary, bearing in mind that one of them was to use a historical color palette.

So here are the results, and a bit of color theory you can use with your interiors:

  • Monochromatic color scheme – blues:
Monochromatic color scheme - blues
Monochromatic color scheme - blues

This monochromatic scheme was created using the family of blue tints, tones and shades; my foremost inspiration came from nurseries which I think look lovely in blue (generally bedrooms look pretty in monochromatic schemes too). Contrary to popular belief, monochromatic does not mean black&white, but simply of one (any) colour. In interior decorating and design, this is extended to mean all the tones, not just the pure hue.
Such a scheme is very safe, and can be pretty boring or even overwhelming (e.g. all-red room). To ensure the space is still interesting, one should use contrasting tones – if big surfaces are soft or pastel (even tinted white), it is worthwhile making the accents (cushions, throws, rugs, accessories) darker. Also, remember that color reception varies with texture – therefore use different materials, tactile fluffy or porous fabrics and employ luminosity of paint or objects, by contrasting matte and shine, transparent and opaque, and finally with design…

  • Harmonious color scheme, using a 19th period color palette:
Harmonious color scheme - 19th color palette
Harmonious color scheme - 19th color palette

Harmonious color schemes are probably the most popular. Easy to achieve with fool-proof rules, they provide more interest than the monochromatic scheme. However, because of its popularity, the scheme can now seem bland if applied without thought, and actually some neighboring colors get on better together than others (e.g. reds and violets is a pretty tricky combination…) and if you’re going as far as mixing colours from both sides of one main hue (like red purples and red oranges), you really should include that main hue (red) to make them work together!

This particular scheme was even trickier than the others as it required using a historical color palette. It’s good to know that there are companies which still manufacture paint, fabrics and wallpaper employing authentic historical techniques, materials and designs. It’s important not only to give the room an authentic feel; rather such materials work best when restoring old houses as they blend better and work properly with older surfaces (crucial for paint). They also often have visibly different finishes (you can order free samples to see for yourself) which add to the quality and authenticity of the restoration project. Just remember – such materials are never cheap, nevertheless worth their price.

The scheme on the board concentrates around a beautifully ornamental Lotus BP 2048 wallpaper from Farrow & Ball (a great company for authentic materials), drawn from 19th century French archives and influenced by the Arts & Crafts Movement . I complemented it with muted tones and shades of paint such as Ball green 75, Green smoke 47 and Parma gray 27 in traditional finishes: limewash, dead flat oil, and eggshell (depending on location – interior or exterior, and surface – walls, woodwork, metal).

Put together, this scheme is very sophisticated and elegant, and adaptable to rooms of any function, as you can see on the inspiration photos (halls, living rooms, bathrooms). Interestingly, the scheme not only works well in period interiors, but also in modern ones, especially minimalist (see the bottom-right bathroom).

  • Complementary color scheme using purples and yellows:
Complementary color scheme - yellow and purple
Complementary color scheme - yellow and purple

The most dramatic choice, the complementary scheme marries colours lying opposite each other on the colour wheel. While a risky choice and demanding a lot of careful analysis and design, this scheme can be very rewarding through creation of outstanding statement interiors.

Yellow and purple, as used on this board, have actually made their way into many interiors nowadays (I love this match!), but the general rule is to carefully balance colours and tones, choosing one as a basis and the other solely in accessories. Also, for a more subtle and glamorous version, you could replace yellow with gold and shimmers. The strongest version (i.e. with both colours on big surfaces) will work well in halls, waiting rooms and guest bathrooms – but if you like it, use it anywhere you want – after all, rules are there to be broken :).

I will show you the inspiration boards later on…but in the meantime welcome comments both on these particular schemes, and also on your opinion on schemes and rules in color – do you follow them? How?

———-

Powyzej prezentuje jedno z zadan ktore w koncu ukonczylam i dostarczylam w piatek… zajmowaly mi doslownie kazda wolna minute w ciagu ostatnich paru tygodni! Celem zadania bylo stworzenie trzech tablic przedstawiajacych podstawowe schematy kolorystyczne – monochromatyczny (oparty na jednej rodzinie odcieni, np. fiolety), harmonizujacy (laczacy kolory lezace obok siebie na kole barw, np. zolcie, pomarancze i czerwienie) i dopelniajacy / kontrastujacy (wykorzystujacy kolory przeciwlegle, np. zielony i czerwony), a do jednego z nich miala zostac uzyta historyczna paleta kolorystyczna z wybranej epoki. Wyniki zobaczyc mozna zobaczyc powyzej, a paleta historyczna ktora ‘wystapila’ na tablicy to XIX-wieczna Francja z wplywami Arts & Crafts movement (ruch ktory glosil sztuke uzytkowa bedaca jednak absolutnie piekna, czescia tego ruchu byli prerafaelici).

Pierwsza tablica pokazuje niebieskosci ktore tak bardzo pasuja do sypialni dzieci, ale takze doroslych – takie schematy sa delikatne, ale pojawia sie ryzyko nudy ktoremu nalezy przeciwdzialac poprzec uzycie roznorakich odcieni, materialow, powierzchni, wzorow oraz matu i polysku. Kolory harmonizujace przestawione sa jako matowe zielenie i zolcie, mocno przytlumione dodatkiem szarego (podstawa do tego schematu byla przepiekna tapeta Farrow & Ball ) – te historyczne kolory dodadza kazdemu pomieszczeniu ponadczasowej elegancji, a pasuja nawet do nowoczesniejszych, zwlaszcza minimalistycznych wnetrz (patrz lazienka w prawym dolnym rogu). Ostatnia tablica pokazuje najbardziej dramatyczne i ryzykowne, ale jak wspaniale kontrastowe polaczenie zolci z fioletami, ktore polecam zwlaszcza do mniej uczeszczanych pomieszczen typu hol, poczekalnia, moze goscinna lazienka (acz to oczywiscie zalezne od preferencji).

Niedlugo pokaze rowniez tablice inspiracyjne ktore stworzylam do innego zadania, a w miedzyczasie zapraszam do komentowania moich schematow, ale tez schematow ogolnie – czy dalej je stosujecie? Ktore lubicie? Jak wykorzystujecie tradycyjna teorie koloru?


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