Interiors

Our forever home – small bathroom planning

We now have the keys to our forever home, although at this stage we do not plan to move in for a couple of months. I’m so excited to start work on the house, our first job is the bathroom.

The current Bathroom

1950's-council-house-bathroom

The current bathroom small, and good 30 years old and is a beige colour with as equally beige tiles and flotex carpets, it’s also the only bathroom in the house. Although there is a downstairs toilet in the outhouse, but as you can imagine it’s freezing cold out there. Hence with two children the importance of getting the bathroom completed before we move in.

For a long time I have had my heart set on having a roll top bath, with duck egg coloured tiles that I had fallen in love with during our hotel stay at Eynsham Hall. However, after a plumber arrived last week to give a a quote for fitting the bathroom, he came up with a few issues for us to have a free standing roll top.

In my head the bath would have a shower over the top, however it just wouldn’t work with height of the walls, the bath sitting that bit higher from the floor and then the water issues from having a shower over the bath, with children and getting the floor wet. Not forgetting that it really is a small space. After a lengthy discussion about all of the possibilities for getting having a roll top, we decided to go for a more traditional bath, then have an exposed shower and shower screen. Which really isn’t what I wanted, but sometimes it’s about being practical rather than just the aesthetics, and believe me I’m all about the aesthetics. To fit in the shower we are going to have a very small stud wall built for all of the shower pipes to sit behind, it will also save cutting into the solid interior walls.

I spent hours online looking for the a bathroom suite, it was really difficult to choose something, because I really wanted to roll top. However we found that Soak had a more traditional looking standard bath, as so many are more modern looking, with either rounded edges or more squared, both of which are perfect if that’ what you are looking for.

Choosing the floor tiles

small-bathroom-planning-tiles

After deciding not to go with a roll top bath, it then changed my thoughts about the decor and the tiles. We had always wanted to have a patterned floor tile. I thought it would be paler shades but when we started to look at floor tiles, it changed my mind. We visited the local floor tile places, then I ordered a few different samples online from a couple of different companies. I will be honest I wasn’t really looking at the prices more at the pattern and the colours. So I of course fell in love with some of the more expensive ones.

When the samples arrived, it was easy for us to choose our favourite, from an online tile company called Porcelain Superstore. We choose the Maison Belle, which is a traditional patterned tile which a navy floral pattern and I love it. It stood out from everything else we had seen. They cost £40.50 per square metre. We decided to go with a white metro tile for the walls also from Porcelain Superstore at £15 per square metre. We did order a few different metro style tiles, in different sizes to make sure we order just what we wanted.

maison-belle-tiles

I just love the navy and white together, all of the walls will be white, with a navy bath panel. I think it will be Hague Blue from Farrow and Ball, but we need to buy some samples to double check. Then I have ordered a heated towel radiator which will have some new navy bath towels on it. Then I’m hoping to find an industrial style light and then add a splash of rose gold and pink, with the accessories and a large round mirror above the radiator. I spotted some lovely bits in dunelm but so far I haven’t found quite the right mirror or a light fitting that I love. So if you have any ideas of where I can get some bits from, please let me know.

So, we have now ordered the bathroom suite, ordered the tiles and we are now waiting for the plumber to get back to us with a quote to fit it. I cannot wait for it all to arrive later this week.

Keep popping back, as I will be posting lots more about our home renovations.

 

*We have paid for the bathroom and tiles*

Protecting Your Plants From Heavy Rain

Your plants need water, but not too much water. Heavy rain can make soil waterlogged and this can affect your plants’ ability to absorb air and minerals in the soil. Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can guard your garden against the rain…

Protecting Your Plants From Heavy Rain

Use raised beds

Raising your beds above ground level can help with water drainage. It’s also a proven strategy against frost damage. Companies like Woodblocx sell raised bed kits to assemble – these are some of the easiest ways to build raised beds.

Create a runoff and drainage system

Another option could be to create a runoff and drainage system in which rainwater is diverted away from your plants. You could achieve this by making your beds sloped and by digging out channels to collect water and redirect it elsewhere. Make sure that you’re diverting the water somewhere appropriate (i.e. not your neighbour’s garden). You could even consider directing this water to your home’s drains.

Grow plants in pots

By growing plants in pots you can take them indoors in the event of heavy rainfall. Some pots may also have holes in the bottom that can provide drainage. You may not want to put all your plants in pots, but it could be a useful precaution when it comes to certain fragile plants.

Grow plants in a greenhouse

Protecting Your Plants From Heavy Rain

A greenhouse shelters your plants from elements including rain, frost and harsh wind. You’ll never have to worry about excessive rainfall again, however you will need to remember to occasionally water your plants manually yourself. There are lots of different types of greenhouse to choose from cheap and small kit greenhouses to expensive and large custom-built greenhouse buildings. These Eden greenhouses are a good middle ground for those that want quality but don’t want to pay too much. Always shop around to find the best prices.

Lay down mulch on your soil

Mulch can often help to soak up rain, which can in turn stop your soil from getting too soggy. Popular types of mulch include wood chippings, grass cuttings and hedge cuttings. Some people even use old newspapers as a form of mulch.

Temporarily cover up plants

If you’ve seen that heavy rainfall is forecasted, you could take the precaution of covering up certain plants that you think could be damaged. This could include using a tarpaulin or a cloche or a burlap bag. Just make sure to uncover these plants after the rain has subsided.

Pest-proof your plants

Rainfall can often bring all the pests out afterwards. Slugs and snails tend to come out after rainfall as a result of the earth being too soggy – these creatures will feast on your plants if you’re not careful. Spraying your plants with pesticide could be a way of deterring these creatures, however a more eco-friendly option could be to use household ingredients like garlic and rosemary to deter these bugs.

 

Finding our forever home

So we have done it, we have finally put an offer in on a house and it’s been accepted. I cannot begin to tell you how happy we are.

The house is in the village that we spend a lot of time in, the children go to school there and my Hubby spent a lot of time there as a children staying at it Grandparents house. It is his Grandparents house that we are buying from the family. Unfortunately we lost my Hubby’s beloved Grandmother at Christmas, and we miss her so much.

finding our forever home

The family knew that we wanted to move to the village, so they gave us the opportunity to buy the house from them before putting it on the market with an estate agent. It’s not always easy to negotiate with family, we had to make sure it was within our buying budget but also that they get a fair price for it.

In the end we settled on a fee and we are so happy to be moving forward with buying the house. We have dreamed about living in the village for a long time, and now it’s our time to live the village life dream.

Saving up the deposit

We saved up the 10% deposit that most mortgage lenders want, although there is a few out there now that will accept a 5% deposit. The different in monthly payments from having 5% – 10% really is quite a lot. When I was first looking it was around £250 per month, which is a lot of money to any family. Our main priority over the last few months has been saving up enough money to have that 10% deposit.

I then started to look at the costs of conveyancing, I thought it would be around £500 plus stamp duty costs, however I was fairly shocked to see it comes to nearer £1000 with all of the little costs for searching, bankruptcy checks and various other little bits and the VAT. Then the stamp duty is on top of that. Which means we need to find just over £2000 to cover the conveyancing and stamp duty costs. Luckily we have been saving hard so we have everything we need.

We have spoken to an online mortgage consultant, from a company called London and Country. I actually found them one Saturday afternoon while I was wondering who it was best to use for our Mortgage, and how much we could borrow. It was so easy you just pop all of your details in, wages, out goings, information about the children. Lots of different things so they can access your suitability for a mortgage and how much someone will lend you. I popped all of the details in and then I was rang back by a lovely lady called Sophie who went through some of the details with me and we discussed fixed mortgage options.

Choosing a mortgage

To start with we thought it might be an idea to go with a 3 year fixed mortgage, however after some discussion and the fact that we are looking to stay in the house forever. We have decided to go with a 5 year fixed mortgage, plus with Brexit looming we don’t know what is going to happen with interest rates and the housing market. So why not.

Sophie gave us a couple of different mortgage options, one with a slightly lower interest rate, however it came with a £999 fee, which was just not worth it. As over the 5 years we wouldn’t save that amount of money, and the monthly go outgoings were not that much different.

The HSBC mortgage is at 2.35% fixed over 5 years with a 10% deposit. Sophie explained the rest of the process. When we are ready to go ahead and make the application, we would only be waiting for 13 days to have an answer back from HSBC which lasts for 6 months. Plus it included the basic survey for the house, which is great as I think some mortgage companies charge for this as well.

Within 7 days we had our mortgage offer arrive, with no issues, no concerns on the property and no conditions on the mortgage. We couldn’t be happier that now we are now just a few weeks away to moving into our forever home.

Now to start planning the interior and to celebrate.