Bathroom renovation project

As you know, just before the wedding Peter and I bought a little slice of East London to put our stamp on. When I told people it was a 'do-er up-er' I don't think they realised how much of a project it really was. I mean literally every. single. room needs gutting. It's a lot to take on, particularly for someone who has never done anything like this before but I am so excited to be doing it and also to be documenting our progress on here. I will be using the hashtag #StowRenovation so do follow me on Insta and Twitter to see how we are getting on! I will also be sharing everything on here so do pop by and let me know what you think.

SO after lots of conversations with builders, plumbers, electricians, damp proofers, window fitters and several hours spent online doing as much research as possible, we are just about NEARLY ready to go...

The first job is to move the bathroom upstairs into the third bedroom. We will loose a bedroom by doing this, but as it's just the two of us it seems like the right sacrifice, particularly as it means getting a much bigger kitchen. And bathrooms downstairs are just annoying (we have lived there for 4 weeks now and I don't know how people do it). Eventually we would like to go into the loft so hopefully one day we can recoup the extra bedroom.

For anyone else doing a full house refurb, just a note to say we are going to be living on site for the duration of the project so will keep you updated on how that is going and how we are (not) coping.

Obviously as an interiors blogger, the fun bit for me is planning how things are going to look and having the rare opportunity to literally start from scratch. So to kick things off, here are my plans for our bathroom...

For me, there were three things I jotted down as being absolutely essential in my dream bathroom:

  1. Lots of storage (I hate seeing toiletries everywhere and I have far too many...)
  2. I have always dreamed of a freestanding bath so now is the time!
  3. A good sized, walk in shower

Worried that some of these elements might be a little pricey, I did lots of research and actually seeming luxuries (free standing bath anyone) are surprisingly affordable if you shop around. The vanity unit I have picked out is from Ikea, and is about a quarter of the price of others I have seen on the high street.

I was always going to go for a monochrome scheme, as my love of Scandi interiors pre-sets me that way, but also because it gives a good neutral base for you to play with when it comes to textures and I love wickers, linens and woods, all of which I want to bring into the room to warm it up.

To bring some interest, I really want to bring in a strong floor tile and these from Tons of Tiles, are amazing. Such a good price too - £250 to cover a pretty large space. Adding in some hamman towels, succulents in pretty monochrome pots and the obligatory Aesops handcare and we should be good to go. I would also  love to get some black taps for the sink but am struggling to hunt any I like down - recommendations very welcome!

This weekend was the first time we got our hands dirty and as you can see, the bathroom has a long way to come...

It was used as a study by the previous owner, and had about 300 shelves mounted on the walls (slight exaggeration) and huge desks fixed to each of the walls (not an exaggeration). So striping the room was harder, and more time consuming than we had initially thought. There were also two layers of anaglypta wallpaper to contend with, which was a bit of a nightmare. We donned gloves, face masks and goggles and got to work scraping it off. As you can see, the red paint is the layer underneath all the wallpaper, everything else is just very stubborn so we will be getting a steamer to finish off these last bits before the builders come in.

What do you think? A good plan? Would love to see any schemes you have created at home or in your head. Stay tuned for how it all pans out, and for more mood boards for the rest of the house!

H x

Greek Love

As mentioned in my last post, I was lucky enough to shoot off to the Greek islands of Santorini and Mykonos straight after the wedding, on our honeymoon.

I absolutely loved both islands; Santorini was beautiful and peaceful, with the most amazing scenery and sunsets, whereas Mykonos was vibrant and buzzy with gorgeous higgledy piggledy streets.   Both however, were packed full of the gorgeous, white washed, blue shuttered buildings that you see in all the postcards, which I found so inspiring and made me want to try and bring a little of Greece home with me.

Rustic painted blue door

One of my favourite things about the town of Mykonos was these wonderful floors - apparently they're a nightmare to maintain as you can imagine

Soft cottons and linens in stripes were seen all over in cushions, throws and seat covers.

The white buildings change as the light does. The soft blues, mauves and pinks probably create my favourite part of the day

My Greek style guide would look a little like this...

  1. White everywhere. When it comes to interiors as well as fashion, you can't get away from it. White washed walls and floors throughout to create a bright and sun filled feeling
  2. Keep it natural. The abundance of shops selling hand crafted products in natural materials is reflected in all the interiors. Cottons, linen, wicker and leather in soft natural colours are a must to create the easy Greek vibe
  3. Keep it local. One of my favourite purchases in Mykonos was some hand crafted olive wood salad servers and pestle and mortar. Wood from the olive tree is not porous so it is perfect for food as bacteria can't penetrate it, This natural wood is found all over the Greek islands, arriving from Crete, where they grow olive trees. It is used for all kinds of kitchenware and the smell (of olive oil) is totally Greek
  4. Simplicity is key. Once you have focused on just using quality, natural materials there is no need to fuss with other artifacts to clutter the home. Keep things simple and pare it back
  5. Paint it. All of the wood you see in Mykonos is painted different shades of blue, almost without exception. This includes windows, shutters, external stairs... the works. It occurs to me that the blue was chosen as a reflection of the bright colour of the sky. Perhaps here that means we should opt for grey instead... but if you want to bring some of Greece home, go blue
Here is a little selection from me on recreating the look at home...

  1. Market basket, £19 - Bohemia Design
  2. White linen bathrobe, £120 - The Linen Works
  3. Pom Pom blanket in cobalt, £140 - Bohemia Design
  4. Olive wood pestle and mortar, £27 - Just Ingredients
  5. Blue Hamman throw/towel, £23 - Loving Home
  6. Cheap RX
  7. Andalucia range of tiles, from £0.53 - Fired Earth
What do you think? Are you inspired by Greek style?

H x

A quick word on...the wedding

Hello! Firstly a huge apology for my absence over the past few weeks... as you know it has been all go with my house move and wedding being conveniently within a week of each other. Not to mention shooting off on our honeymoon the morning after the wedding and having to organise all the things that going away entails ... to say things have been a little chaotic is an understatement.

But despite the craziness, it has been an amazing few weeks and I am now back up and running. So to kick off today, I thought I would share with you a little about our wedding venue and how we styled it up ... it's also time to reveal the 1000 paper cranes Peter made for the big day. More about that here if you missed it.

Courtesy  of our wonderful photographer Laura McCluskey

The venue we chose was 6 St Chad's Place in King's Cross. I had a very non-wedding vibe which we loved, but was also quite grand and airy with high, beamed ceilings and gorgeous leaded windows. It is where the used to store trains once upon a time and the train mural on the back wall is a nod to that heritage. The bathrooms (which I sadly didn't get a shot of) are actually reclaimed railway carriage toilets with lovely, highly polished wood panelling.

With the beams, we wanted to create something dramatic for a focal point which is where Peter's cranes came in. The looked amazing on the day and were a real talking point. I have to say though, if you are planning on trying this, folding the cranes is only the start and many many hours were taken up stringing them, and finally hanging them on the day.

One of my favourite details on the day, were the mini succulents in little terracotta pots which we used as favours/place holders. They went down so well and were really quite inexpensive. I love how they added to the look of the room when guests arrived too.

I bought all of our flowers from a wholesaler, which ended up saving us about £800 vs the price we were quoted by a local florist. I could not recommend doing this enough! It meant picking exactly the flowers you wanted, and creating the displays was so much fun. They looked lovely on the day and you would never know they weren't done professionally. The wholesaler I used was Dutch Flower Auction and I couldn't recommend them enough.

Finally a shot of me and my new husband for you... this was during the walk from the ceremony to the venue for which we hired a marching band to lead. It was a definite highlight and was so much fun walking through the streets of London with the band blaring out some amazing jazz classics...

My dress was from Sanyukta Shreshtha who specialises in ethically sourced wedding dresses and Peter's suit was from Hardy Amies on Saville Row.

The following day we headed off for 10 days split between Santorini and Mykonos which were two of the most beautiful places I have been bombarded with new interiors inspiration. More to come on that very soon...

H x