National Tile Week 2017

National Tile Week 2017

April is a pretty big month for anyone who is embarking on any home upgrade projects. The entire month of April is Home Improvement Month so it’s the perfect time to set yourself the challenge of updating at least one room in your home. We will finally be finishing off our kitchen makeover that we started last April. It was put on hold for various reasons but we are finally in a position to get that finished. Perfect timing too as it is also National Tile Week in April. Let me tell you more about it. Read More…

My Small Bathroom Makeover Update

Design Sheppard bathroom Makeover

So I thought it was about time that I posted an update on my small bathroom makeover for you guys. It’s come on really great and I’m so excited to show you our progress. (Apologies for the poor quality photos and the mess). It’s not quite finished yet so you’ll have to wait a little while longer for the final reveal I’m afraid. We’ve had the plumber in to remove all our old sanitaryware and fit the new stuff and the tiler has been round to tile the walls and floor, so we’re getting there. We just need to fit the bath panel, the extractor fan, a mirror and put up some shelves now and then we’ll be able to fully appreciate our spanking new bathroom…I can’t wait! Read More…

Home Improvements : My Bathroom Makeover

British Ceramic Tiles Form and Function Hex Black Matt Tiles

Form and Function Hex Black Matt Tiles by British Ceramic Tile.
(We intend to use the matt white version in our bathroom makeover)

I hope you all had a lovely long Easter weekend. I know many people take this opportunity to get stuck in with the DIY and home improvement jobs so if that was what you spent your weekend doing I hope it all went well. I didn’t actually do any DIY myself but we do have a couple of really big jobs in the pipeline which I wrote about in my New Year’s resolutions post here. I put them at the bottom of the list as I couldn’t actually see us getting around to them any time soon but I was so determined to start a kitchen and a bathroom makeover this year that I’ve moved it to the top of the priority list. So with April being National Home Improvement Month, I thought this would be the ideal time to really get started and I tell you now, I just cannot wait to rip out our bathroom and replace it with something that doesn’t make us cringe when we walk into the room.

But I also want to let you into a little secret…I am petrified! We’ve only been homeowners for just over two years and when we were renting I dreamed of one day owning our home so that we could do it up as we wanted. But now this is a reality I am really, really scared. Both a kitchen and a bathroom makeover is such a massive job and really expensive and despite what people might think, I’m really not that confident when it comes to putting together a whole interior scheme. I just don’t have the vision. And as I spend so much time reading the blogs and following the Instagram accounts of Interior Designers and Stylists I feel this immense pressure to create something as wonderful as they can. But the problem is I’m not an Interior Designer and I’m not a Stylist. However, I really do need to give myself a break and stop worrying that my makeovers won’t be Instagram-worthy enough. I’d love to get an interior designer in to handle everything for me, but sadly my tiny budget just won’t stretch to this. Read More…

Tiling Trends 2016

Bespoke Patchwork Encaustic Tiles from Alhambra Tiles used on the floor to zone the living area.

Bespoke patchwork encaustic tiles from Alhambra Home & Garden

It’s official, I am obsessed with tiles! Wall tiles and floor tiles have been on my mind for months now. Admittedly, I’ve always been pretty obsessed but since thinking about renovating my own kitchen and bathroom the situation has become far more serious. I am so indecisive when it comes to my own home and being an ardent researcher certainly does not help matters. But in my pursuit of the perfect tiles I have come across a couple of tiling trends that are sure to be big this year and I wanted to share them with you guys. So here goes… Read More…

Updating Ruth’s Kitchen with New Tiles


Ruths Kitchen Before Renovations

Ruth moved into her new home as a first time buyer a little under a year ago. And as many of you will no doubt realise this is a big deal in today’s housing market where young people are increasingly being priced out of the market altogether. However, being able to get on the ladder is just the first step and doesn’t necessarily mean that you can afford a place you are totally happy with. In most cases you have to make a lot of compromises. Under normal circumstances, Ruth’s flat would be a perfect starter home for young professionals. It’s a relative new build (only about 8 years old) and was a decorated neutrally throughout in magnolia, so it was a pretty blank canvas that many people would be happy with. But being the design conscious homeowner that Ruth is she immediately wanted to make changes to bring the place up to her exacting standards and make it her own. Out with the magnolia for starters!! And once all the decorating was done Ruth decided to embark on some more adventurous projects. New flooring was laid throughout and extra storage was built in to the second bedroom to make use of an awkward space (we may do a post on this later!). But Ruth being Ruth, (she’s very spontaneous, loves a challenge and won’t take no for an answer) wasn’t satisfied and turned her attention to the kitchen which you can see above. Read More…

Edgy Tiles by Patrycja Domanska & Tanja Lightfoot

Edgy Tiles from Kaza Concrete

I absolutely love a good wall tile and the crazier the better as far as I’m concerned. Tiles don’t need to be simply functional they can also make a bold design statement. And that is exactly what these gorgeous tiles that I’m featuring today do.Edgy tiles are designed by Austrian-based designers Patrycja Domanska and Tanja Lightfoot for KAZA concrete. The collection features two types of tile: one is three dimensional, the other is two and half dimensional.  I really like the asymmetry of the tiles and it is easy to see how their shape enables the designer to create a multitude of patterns, allowing flexibility and individuality. The tiles can be used for all manner of purposes from decorative surfaces to guidance systems or even the integration into corporate identities. They can help to give structure to smooth walls in both the public and private sectors. They can also be applied to interior or exterior surfaces, covering walls partially or entirely. I’m going to stop there as I think you’ll agree that the pictures speak for themselves. Stunning work! Read More…

Tips & Tricks for Designing a Small Bathroom

As I have mentioned here many times before, I am a relatively new home owner having taken our first step onto the property ladder in October 2013. As first-time buyers, we obviously had to start off rather modestly and our little flat is far from the dream home that we long for. It needs a lot of work, mostly cosmetic, to bring it up to my exacting standards but I am pretty sure that in the next few years, as and when we have the budget, we will be able to transform it into a lovely little home for the next set of first-time buyers once we move on. The only problem is that we are very limited in what we can do as it is quite a small flat so there isn’t really any scope for drastic changes in layout. Nevertheless, working with what we have shouldn’t be too difficult, we just need to be particularly clever with the space that we do have.

One of the most challenging projects I will have to take on is the refurbishment of our bathroom. Now apparently the average size of a bathroom is the UK is 6ft by 8ft so whilst I thought I had a ridiculously small bathroom it would appear that it is in fact pretty average. However, we do have an unnecessarily large window on one wall which does restrict what we can do with the space, but I’m considering taking this out and replacing it with a smaller one. I ‘m also hoping to switch the position of the basin and the toilet as the basin is currently below the window meaning that we cannot have a mirror there, which is really quite annoying. Storage is also non existent in the bathroom as it is at the moment so I’m toying with the idea of replacing the bath with a much smaller one which will free up some much needed space that we can use to create some built-in storage. At the moment, I’m busy pinning all sorts of small bathroom ideas on Pinterest and I’ve created an Idea Book especially for this on Houzz. Both are great resources for keeping your inspiration all together in one handy place.

I’m not an interior designer myself and sadly I can’t afford to pay an interior designer to redesign my home. But thanks to my work I sure do have access to some of the best experts in the industry and luckily they are willing to share some of their knowledge with me. So whilst I’m busy trying to work out what to do with my own home I will be sure to pass on any advice and tips that I receive with you, as I am sure that many of you are in a similar situation. For my small bathroom dilemma I have enlisted the help of one of the UK’s leading bathroom retailers. Ripples has been creating award-winning, top-quality bathrooms for 25 years and employs over 20 highly talented bathroom designers each individually hand drawing their bathroom designs. David Smith is a Senior Designer at Ripples and he has agreed to offer his top tips and advice for designing a small bathroom and hopefully he will be able to will open our eyes to the hidden potential of small bathrooms. Read More…

Updating Tiles with Coloured Grout

British Ceramic Tile Metro Tiles and Coloured Grout I dream of the day when I can afford to redo my bathroom and my kitchen. The guy who owned our flat before us clearly believed that he was qualified to renovate the place…oh how wrong he was. I’ve never seen such poor quality workmanship and being the design addict that I am makes this a pretty bitter pill to swallow. The kitchen and bathroom are two of the most important rooms in the house, and unfortunately these are also the worst rooms in our house. And being the most expensive to change, I’m afraid we’re stuck with ours for a while to come. But when that day does come, I intend to make sure that we make a statement. Our bathroom is really tiny so we’ll probably have to go with white tiles to maximise the feeling of space and light but I want to avoid it looking too clinical. Then yesterday I received an email from British Ceramic Tile all about using coloured grout.

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2014 Tiling Trends from Topps Tiles

Cream metro brick tiles from Topps Tiles

Since we moved into our new home, all I can think about is re-doing our kitchen and bathroom. These are two of the most important rooms in a house in my opinion. But they are also two of the most expensive to do up and unfortunately we can’t afford any redecorating at the moment. To make things worse the person who previously owned our home “renovated” it to the most appalling standard, which is a bitter pill to swallow for someone as passionate about interior design as myself.

Until I can afford to do these two rooms up all I can do is dream and for now I’m keeping an eye out for inspiration so that I know what I’d like to do when the time comes. Tiles can be a huge part of any kitchen or bathroom decor scheme and can have a huge effect on the overall look of the room. There are some absolutely great tiles out there right now which are not only creatively adventurous but also aesthetically very courageous. I approached tiling specialists Topps Tiles to find out what the major tiling trends are for 2014 and these are the trends to look out for. Read More…

Supersized Metro Brick Tiles

Topps Tiles Supersized Metro Brick Tiles

If I was going to describe my dream kitchen, these metro brick tiles would be somewhere near the top of the list.  I absolutely love the way that they combine elegant simplicity with a touch of retro style. Now I know these tiles have been around for quite some time and many people may think that they have been somewhat overdone, but that doesn’t stop me really appreciating the versatility of this urban style. It bridges modern and classic design to complement any traditional or contemporary setting from rural country cottage to city chic. I think it is an absolutely great way to add a pop of colour to a room or to provide a neutral backdrop against which you can display colourful accessories. They are just perfect for use in kitchens, bathrooms and hallways. These particular tiles are from Topps Tiles and measure  10 x 30cm, however smaller versions are available in 15 x 7.5cm or 10 x 20cm. What do you guys reckon? Do you loves metro brick tiles as much as me?

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