Bathroom skirting board update

Sometimes it takes me a long time to pluck up enough courage to ask a question. Last April [ahem, April 2013], our landlord visited our apartment as he hadn’t seen it since he moved out 8 years ago. He was very happy with how we were keeping it, but had mentioned some areas of the apartment had aged and talked about getting someone in to repaint the discoloured skirting boards. And then a year and a half happened. 

I FINALLY emailed our landlord last week proposing I paint the skirting boards [after all, I don’t want strangers in our apartment + I do find painting relaxing]. He had no problem whatsoever and even went as far as to say if there was anything else I thought needed updating, he would cover the cost. !!!!!!! Trust me when I say I screamed a little at my desk. More on that another time! 
Apologies in advance. My camera has been acting up, so I had to take most of these photos on my phone. 

The skirting boards and doors throughout our apartment were, I’m assuming, originally painted white. But aged quite terribly and were so ugly and yellow that my eyes were in a constant state of almost bleeding. The discolouring of the paint is most noticeable in our bathroom. Unfortunately, the colour of the skirting boards and the door made not only the grey walls look blue, but the grey floor tiles too. It was EMBARRASSING. Whenever we had guests over I had to emotionally detach myself from the situation whenever they used our toilet. As far as I was concerned, they were going in there and closing their eyes, right?

After I got the go-ahead from our landlord last week, I hurried to B&Q and bought a 2.5L tub of Dulux Stay White Satinwood and got painting. As advised by the paint expert in B&Q, I first cleaned the existing discoloured paint with turpentine on a rag, sanded the paint [as the original paint had a high gloss finish], wiped any dust off and started painting. 

Since I’ll be updating all the skirting boards and doors slowly, one room at a time, I wanted to do a legit job. I removed all the door hardware, cleaned it and added them back after the paint had dried. Above was my panic moment when I thought oh dear lord, what have I gotten myself into? 

Okay, I might be going a bit over the top with the before and after pictures, but I’m so pleased with how much better our bathroom looks now that it less resembles an abandoned veterinary clinic. I promise I won’t be inundating my blog with before and after pictures of every room once it’s repainted. Our bathroom was by far the most obviously-discoloured. 

There are two aspects of our bathroom that need further updating – 

THE MAIN MIRROR – [as seen above the toilet. It spans almost the width of the room] it’s really worn and just way too much mirror. Nobody needs to see that much of themselves. 
THE FLOOR GROUTING – I don’t think the previous tenants cleaned the floor. Ever. So unfortunately the grout in the bathroom as well as the kitchen is really discoloured. At least now that I’ve repainted the skirting boards and door it’s a bit less obvious, but I still want to see if I can dye the grout a darker colour. I’ve tried lightening / lemon-vinegaring / bleaching the grout, and nothing. Chemical warfare is my only option.
But for now, I’m very happy with our clean, white bathroom. xx A

DIY Friday – rescue kit for the unexpected guest

It has happened on occasion where a friend or family member would come over for dinner, wine would happen, we’d chat about all sorts of rubbish into the wee hours, then husband and I would offer our guests to stay in our spare bedroom if they’d like. Since they didn’t bring anything with them with the intention of staying over, on most occasions they’ve had to head home. So in preparation for next time, I came up with a little emergency guest kit to keep in our spare bedroom, should we have some unexpected {but not unwelcome} guests. 

I should say that I didn’t buy anything especially for this kit. I didn’t even buy a new box – I just painted one we already had. Since husband and I do a fair amount of travelling, we usually come home with travel sized stuff {pretty hotel shampoo and shower caps we’ll never use, amirite?}, so it just made sense to put my hoard of tiny hotel stuff to good use … 

What’s in our rescue kit for the unexpected guest:

– a facecloth {or two}
– mini shampoo
– mini conditioner
– mini dry shampoo {god bless dry shampoo. Just sayin’}
– moisturiser
– travel pack of tissues
– a lady item {we’re all grown ups here. Yes. Things happen to ladies.}
– shower cap
– toothbrush and teeny tube of toothpaste {in the long white box}
– nail file
– a small pair of scissors {you never know}

This is just a rough guideline of what to include in an unexpected guest kit. Again, most of the items are things we picked up while travelling. The black and white boxes are from the hotel we stayed on our honeymoon in St. Petersburg. It’s nice to know they’re finally being put to good use. Or at least they’re ready to be, should the time come. 
So this weekend invite your friends around for a couple of drinks, and tell them you’re prepared. Just in case. 😉 xx A

p.s. That bedside table is getting it and soon. I’ve been meaning to give it a makeover for about 4 years now. Its time has come. 

DIY Friday – stuff I stole from Pinterest

For this weeks DIY Friday I compiled a short list of uber simple DIY’s inspired by none other than Pinterest. It’s so easy to become a serial pinner without actually putting your favourite pins into action, so I wanted to share three of the easiest pins I’ve found and used. I wish I could claim the below ideas as my own, but unfortunately, my conscience will not allow. On to the good stuff –

I have a thirsting passion for all things decanted so when I spotted this pin, l just had to add it to our bathroom. Do you like rich mahogany and the smell of leather bound books? If so, this pin may be just the thing for you. Ditch your ugly mouthwash bottle and proudly display it all classy in a decanter in your bathroom. Because you’re so sophisticated.

This is a great pin and caught my eye as a quick way to add a bit of glam to an otherwise boring sink – adding a cute cake plate to display your washing up side kicks. Because let’s face it, who actually likes standing at their sink? Speaking as someone who hasn’t had a dishwasher in 9 years {except husband, of course}, I will honestly say I am not one of those people. 

Lastly, it makes me feel old to learn that cassette tapes are now being referred to as ‘retro’ pieces, but at least their cases are making a mini come back. This pin showed that this otherwise discarded item can be flipped to hold your phone or as I’ve done here because I’m a nerd, to hold business cards. Since this cassette case was scratched and a bit haggard, I spray painted it to disguise the ugly.
And as for me, as of this afternoon I am so incredibly excited to say I had my very first photo shoot styling gig for House & Home. Mind = blown. I feel so lucky to have been asked to do it and what an incredible title to be able to add to my ammunition. At long last my OCD is coming in handy …

With that, happy Friday homies and I hope wherever you are you have a super weekend. We might have a mini BBQ celebration for dinner me thinks {any excuse really}. I hope your weekend is chalk full of grill. xx A