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 πŸ™‚

…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 πŸ™‚

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 toΒ  use the spare mosaic tiles to finish the door handles πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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The Finds / Znaleziska

I can’t believe how many great products and designs I’ve seen on my last trip to Poland. The interior design market is changing there rapidly, and there aren’t that many new trends that you can’t find there now; even better – most of them are available at high street retailers, making great design available for many!

But before we go into the New, first let us talk about the Old. First, a find stil bought in the UK, but which I envisage to place in the yellow bedroom I was describing some time ago. For now to keep you in suspense – still in packaging, you will see the final effect when all is ready! This vintage glamour / shabby chic mirror frame cost peanuts and is absolutely amazing; I found it on iBootSale and picked up the next day. As it turned out, it was too big even for my mutant-huge suitcase, so had to ship with DHL. But it was worth it, the new owners are thrilled to have it!

Vintage glamour / shabby chic ornamental mirror frame
Vintage glamour / shabby chic ornamental mirror frame

As we’re with vintage, when we visited my in-laws, I was in heaven. Here are some more finds. First, the sideboards, etc that my husband’s grandfather hand made some years ago (he was even taking carpenter order for those for local people, and funnily enough I saw a very similar one in some other garage when cycling through the village):

I’m planning to sand it, paint in a delicate pastel colour, add a few embellishments and generally keep it shabby chic / country. Whether for me or someone else – I don’t know yet!

Handmade vintage sideboard by my husband's grandfather
Handmade vintage sideboard by my husband's grandfather

This is another beauty, with more bite to it and gorgeous handles… there is also a sideboard top in another shed but in much worse condition – still there is a chance πŸ™‚

Handmade vintage sideboard by my husband's grandfather
Handmade vintage sideboard by my husband's grandfather

Loads of those around as well… I’ve seen some very nice decors of country kitchens with stove door as a decoration on the wall:

Vintage stove door
Vintage stove door

…and finally our finds from a nearby house that is being refurbished – a vintage double shelf and an old radio which I am thinking about converting into a night stand. They were just being thrown away so hopefully they will get a second chance πŸ™‚

Vintage find - old double shelf
Vintage find - old double shelf
Vintage find - old radio frame
Vintage find - old radio frame

And now last truly vintage items. Not obviously planning to do that, and with ideas ranging from ghost chairs to mismatched vintage, we bought 8 chairs πŸ™‚ When we first got into this antique shop, we just came in to browse, and then we came across the two beauties:

…the raspberry-peach louis-style chairs,Β  eight

Raspberry Louis style glamour chair
Raspberry Louis style glamour chair

…and the black and golden stylized chairs (19th c. Art Noveau style),Β  six

Black and golden 19th/20th century style chairs
Black and golden 19th century Art Noveau style chairs

I couldn’t decide which ones are better. The raspberry ones worked well with my idea, and I even considered such chairs (with different upholstery); they are also much easier to fit with many styles; glamour, eclectic, shabby chic, etc. The black ones, though, were absolutely original and different to what you normally find, but would not suit our space as they would really require it to be much more upscale than we planned for.

But we couldn’t decide, as both sets were gorgeous. We also had to think through whether they really will work well, how much they will influence other design elements in the house, even what are we going to do with this number of chairs πŸ™‚ At some point we wanted to get both sets, as the black ones were dirt cheap. Having slept over the night dreaming about them, we took a decision – we go again and we buy one set that will work best.

Raspberry Louis style glamour chair
Raspberry Louis style glamour chair

At closer inspection, it turned out that the black chairs were very uncomfortable – what looked as well-formed foam was in fact a nicely shaped plank, or some other piece of wood, and the seats were darn hard. Also, the paint was peeling off at the teeniest touch, and someone actually painted (probably withΒ  spray) over part of the fabric at the back. There were a few other elements we didn’t like either.

Generally unhappy about the quality, we turned to the raspberry set. Gosh, that was comfortable πŸ™‚ Very soft, stable, and sturdy in construction; after being told the shop can pressure-clean them, and having got a super-discount, decision was taken and they are OURS! Of course they need re-upholstering and a new coat of finish (and maybe crystal buttons?), but after cleaning they can even serve as they are for the time-being (meaning: when they are in the shed waiting until we move back to Poland, but no one knows when!).

Raspberry Louis style glamour chair
Raspberry Louis style glamour chair

Their versatility will allow me also to use one for a work desk, and another two can work very well with some retro or modern couch.

My mother-in-law even suggested some fabrics for upholstery from her own collection:

Golden and cream upholstery for the chairs
Golden and cream upholstery for the chairs

OK! Enough of vintage, I will show you what I found in shops next time πŸ™‚

—————–

Az mi trudno uwierzyc ile przepieknych i oryginalnych produktow i projektow znalazlam w czasie mojego ostatniego pobytu w polsce. Rynek wnetrzarski i projektowania wnetrz naprawde jest teraz ciekawy, i niewiele zostalo jeszcze designow ktorych w Polsce nie mozna teraz znalezc. Co lepszeΒ  – dostepne sa w zwyklych sklepach,Β  nie u drogich importerow, dzieki czemu dostep do nich ma w koncu wiele osob.

Ale zanim o nowosciach, troche o starociach.Β  Najpierw przepiekna stara rama, na skrzyzowaniu glamour i shabby chic, ktora planuje powiesic w zoltej sypialni o ktorej kiedys pisalam. Znalazlam ja za grosze na iBootSale i odebralam nastepnego dnia. Niestety okazala sie za duza nawet na moja gigantycznie zmutowana walize, wiec poleciala do Polski DHLem. Ale bylo warto – rama bardzo spodobala sie nowym wlascicielom!

Juz w Polsce najpierw odwiedzilismy tesciow. Moja radocha nie miala konca gdy zajrzalam do stodoly, obory, i innych skrytek. Znalazlam na przyklad dwa przepiekne kredensy / komody zrobione wlasnorecznie przez dziadka mojego meza (robil je tak dobrze ze nawet przyjmowal zamowienia od okolicznych mieszkancow, i faktycznie – rowerujac sobie przez wioske znalazlam w innym garazu bardzo podobny kredens!).

Z kremowa lub pastelowa farba i krysztalowymi galkami beda przepiekne πŸ™‚ (choc ta mniejsza komoda sama z siebie ma piekne raczki wiec moze zostana). Jeszcze nie wiem czy znajda miejsce u mnie (w koncu 59m2 ma swoj limit!) czy jednak u kogos innego…

Mnostwo jest takze drzwiczek od starych piecow kaflowych, ktore pieknie moznaby wkomponowac w kuchnie wiejska.

…a na spacerze kilka domow dalej trwal remont, gdzie wsrod wyrzuconych smieci znalazlam piekna podwojna polke i rame starego radia (ktora byc moze stanie sie stolikiem nocnym). Cuda nad cudami πŸ™‚

No i w koncu – ‘niechcacy’ kupilismy krzesla πŸ™‚ no nie moglismy sie oprzec. Zastanawialismy sie nad dwoma zestawami – malinowo- brzoskwiniowymi Ludwikami, oraz czarno-zlotymi z przelomu XIX/XX wieku, w stylu secesyjnym. Przyznaje ze bardziej za serce w pierwszym momencie chwycily secesyjne, choc od razu wywietrzylam problem. Te krzesla mocno narzucaja swoj styl, ktory jest duzo bardziej elegancki niz planowalismy. Z kolei ludwiki jak to ludwiki – pasuja do wielu wnetrz (eklektyczne, glamour, shabby chic, i inne), wygladaja dobrze nawet z nowoczesnymi (szklo, plastik itd)…

…przespalismy sie z problemem, w pewnym momencie nawet uznajac ze moze kupimy oba zestawy. No ale przy drugim obejrzeniu okazalo sie ze jakosciowo te czarne nie sa najlepsze… i mocno niewygodne. Oczywiscie byloby to do zmiany ale juz nas tak nie zachwycaly jak dzien wczesniej. Malinowe (choc siedzenia bardziej w brzoskwinke wpadaja) ludwiczki za to jak najbardziej wygodne, i nawet sprzedawca dorzucil profesjonalne pranie zeby troche ich jeszcze pouzywac tak jak sa. No i je wzielismy πŸ™‚

I tak przyda im sie nowa tapicerka z pelniejszym wypelnieniem, krysztalowe guziczki (moze) i nowy lakier, ale poniewaz na razie i tak stoja w schowku czekajac na lepsze czasy czyli nasz powrot do PL (kiedy? kiedy??…) to moga byc πŸ™‚ Planuje jednego uzyc do biurka, i sa odpowiednio ozdobne by pasowac tez przy retro czy nowoczesnej kanapie. Kochana tesciowka odlozyla juz nawet material ktorego moglabym uzyc na obicie i inne dodatki, ale to juz zalezne bedzie od ostatecznej koncepcji. Juz sie nie moge doczekac!


No! To tyle tego vintage. W nastepnym poscie przechodzimy do nowosci jakie znalazlam πŸ™‚

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