Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Shower curtains

Shower curtains are somewhat of a 'necessary evil' in my opinion.  I know we need them, but I hate feeling them touch on me as I shower, don't generally love the pattern options you can find them in, and am not wild about their plastic nature.  In general, not my fav decor item!  But sometimes you just cannot avoid them, and in such cases, a bit of time behind the sewing machine can always turn an eyesore into, well, almost a swan!

Before:



After:



Before:

hhhmmmm…. not looking too good, right?

After:



Much better, right?
I bought plain white shower curtains with metal grommets, and sewed these to the back of a pretty fabric that suited each bathroom.  You could also use oil cloth, or laminate the wrong side of the fabric, but then you would have to add your own grommets, and I was being a bit lazy!

I simply cut a circular opening for the shower controls, and used a lighter to seal the edges of this - the upside of working with a completely synthetic material.  I also shortened the bought shower curtains so that they no longer wallows in the soap suds, but are just longer than the sides of the tub, while the fabric is slightly longer.  The shortened plastic lining means less chance of the curtain touching on you as you lather up as it is no longer pulling into the space by the slope and weight of the plastic.  It also means the bottom of the curtain no longer sits in the water, causing discoloration and allows quicker drying time, avoiding mildew growth.  I did not attach the lining to the fabric at the side seams so that the lining can sit inside the tub, while the fabric hangs on the outside.

Such a quick, simple fix, that doesn't cost a fortune, and takes no time at all, but seriously refreshes the bathrooms. 




Wednesday, 11 June 2014

A bit of DIY

We have moved!  Moved continent, moved country, moved!

A move always involves a shuffle of one's possessions to fit the new space, it means clearing out, passing on, throwing away, and general de-cluttering.  Especially if you are moving from a large, spacious, Berlin apartment to a lovely, but small, English Victorian home!  Space is limited.

With the beauty of old English homes, often comes the need to update, refresh and roll up your sleeves for a bit of DIYing.

Take for example our guest bathroom floor...

This is the before pic:

Not so great, right?  Not sure I would like to step onto that after a nice bath in that awesome tub.

The solution?

I hired an edge sander, got all that old, worn, uneven stain off, closed the gaps between the boards with a compound made of PVA and the sawdust (reducing draughts and dust), and sealed the floor leaving its natural colour.  The step into the room is not wood, but rather particle board, so the same treatment was not an option.  Instead I sanded it down and painted it with non slip bathroom/ kitchen floor paint to match the side of the tub.

After three days of great-workout, manual labour, here it is…







While I have done A LOAD of sanding over the years, I have never sanded down an entire floor.  But, once again, it is astounding what you can learn to do watching YouTube videos!  I discovered which equipment would be the best for the job at hand, how to use said equipment, and how to avoid pitfalls.  The tips and tricks I learned in this way saved me from making all the rookie mistakes, and left me with a floor I am very proud of.  An edge sander is my new equipment-crush!  I hired two edge sanders to get the job done as a second sanding was needed after the gap filling process.  The edge sander I hired from Jewsons was in perfect running order, was clearly well maintained and ran like a dream.  The second I hired from HomeBase tool hire.  The same can not be said of this one!  It bounced like a maniac, requiring me to hover it over the surface instead of simply running it over the floor, leaving my arms rather well-toned, but making it a much harder task!  I read online that the cause of this bouncing is a worn rubber disc and lack of weight-balancing being done as part of the machine's maintenance.  I will be sticking to Jewsons from now on!

I have ordered a very narrow console table to cover the unsightly cement block (laid to cover the fireplace that had to be removed when the extra level was added to the house).  I found a reasonably priced furniture maker online who makes bespoke pieces.  He is making me a single drawer console with a towel rod under the drawer.  A practical dual purpose piece!  In the interim the rug will suffice.

Now I am off to lounge in that lovely aqua water with my book and a glass of red wine, I figure I have worked hard enough today :)

Happy DIYing!!!