26 October 2011

New tiles in the hallway!

Gosh! A lot has been going on in our little house in the past week. I know I said last week that I would post a picture of our newly tiled hallway (and then didn't), well here it is!

What do you think? I love the fact that I can stand in the living room, look into the kitchen and the hall and see the same tiles - it makes the whole ground floor flow so much better as the tiles are the same in the bathroom too. We are going to redecorate this space - you can probably see how scuffed the walls are, and that the woodwork needs a lick of paint, but that's definitely a job for next year. You can see my plans by taking a peek at my to-do lists.

David said yesterday that with the new bannisters and tiles, our house is beginning to feel like a proper space, and it really is!

My mum's been a star - she came up on Thursday, stayed until Saturday and worked tirelessly painting the woodwork in our living room and landing. She's done such a great job. I felt so useless just sitting chatting to her and watching her work. She wouldn't let me do anything though, and I guess to tell the truth, the paint fumes did start getting to me after a while. It all looks great though - thanks so much mum!

We did even more over the weekend - we chose and bought a carpet for our stairs and landing. I had initially chosen a natural look carpet that was meant to look like sisal but was actually made from polypropelene, but when I told the salesman that I wanted it for our stairs and landing, he shook his head and said he wouldn't sell it to me as it was completely unsuitable. I pointed out that it said on the back of the sample that it was suitable for stairs, but he again shook his head and said that it was really dangerous. Apparently, if you spill a tiny bit of water onto that type of carpet, it becomes an ice-rink! He apologised for spoiling my day, but I assured him that he hadn't and I was glad that he had pointed out the danger. He also lost money as we ended up choosing a cheaper carpet, so I have no doubt that what he told me was out of genuine concern.

In the end we chose a 100% wool carpet that is called Stone Rib. I can't find a picture of it anywhere online, so you're going to have to wait until it's fitted (hopefully on Saturday) before you see it. It's probably better that way anyway I guess. I can't wait to have it fitted, it's going to make our whole house feel warmer, and at last will stop the stairs from creaking so much!

19 October 2011

A light with Michelin-like curves

I hinted here that I had got David a birthday present that I was very excited about. I gave you some clues - mentioned that it was from The Conran Shop though it didn't bear their label; said it was cream, chrome and red, and that it had won quite a few design awards this year. As his birthday has now passed, I can share with you what the gift was . . .

It got him the Hector Bibendum lamp Terence Conran has designed for Original BTC. If you haven't heard of it already, you can read about its design history here. Basically, Original BTC commissioned Terence Conran to design a new version of the Hector lamp in order to celebrate the 21st anniversary of their partnership. The new lamp also celebrates the centenary of Michelin House, London (hence the white curves reminiscent of the Michelin man) which Terence Conran restored in 1985. Here is the little beauty sitting on the console table in our living room:

I also said that I really hoped David would like it as much as I did, and luckily he did! He likes classic and good design and this lamp will hopefully have a space in our home for a very long time! It's such a well-made piece - it feels very substantial in your hand, and the red cable is a fun twist on the classic design of the Hector lamp. What do you think? Do you like it?

A little part of me felt a bit bad that I was also benefitting from buying this lamp for him (in the sense that I now have a lovely designer lamp in my living room), but I guess it can't be helped as I do live here too! David does have an input into what goes into our house and I always run decorating ideas by him before I do anything, but I guess I'm really the one with the interest in interiors. The first time I saw a picture of this lamp, I thought it was really cool, but there was no way I would have bought it for him unless I thought that he would love it for himself. He gets to use a lamp that he really loves in order to paint his Warhammer miniatures and I get to sit on our sofa and appreciate the lamp from across the room too! Do you ever have this issue? Would you consider buying something for your partner that was going to sit in your home even if you absolutely hated it, just because they loved it? 

I other news, the tiler who came to give us a quote for changing the tiles in our hallway came back this week and did the work - we're really pleased with the way they look. They've totally transformed the hallway - I'll post some pictures as soon as I've had a chance (or maybe after David's had a chance) to give them a really good clean.

13 October 2011

A busy week!

So far this week has really flown by. It's been a jumble of potty training, general tidying and lots of organising. 

The potty training is going well, still some accidents - ended up pouring wee out of one of Torin's wellies tonight (!), but he's really very good now.

I do seem to spend a large proportion of my life putting things back at the moment. By this I mean trying to put items away in our house - Torin's favourite thing at the moment is to empty things - cupboards, drawers, plastic containers etc. and always in their entirety! This really is fine, and just part of general day to day play, but it's quite hard for me now as I'm getting more and more tired (35 weeks now!). The other problem is that there just always seems to be a lot of stuff everywhere in our house. In our quest to sort out and blitz before our new arrival, we do seem to end up with piles of things everywhere, and it is these that Torin likes to pull apart and re-arrange, and it these that catch my eye and irritate me as I walk into or through a room!

On a more positive note though, things are moving along nicely with our hallway and landing. I've got a man coming round in the morning to give us a quote for changing these tiles in our hallway:

It's not really an essential job, although I can never seem to get them completely clean, and they were laid really badly before we moved in. However, I felt that as we were having so much work done in this area anyway, that we may as well change the tiles to something a little better. 

We have these tiles in our kitchen and bathroom, so the plan is for the cream tiles to be replaced with the same slate-effect ones that we have in those two rooms.

Sorry, I know this really isn't a great picture of them, but you can see that they are dark.

Lastly, it's David's birthday on Sunday and his birthday present arrived yesterday. I can't tell you what it is yet as he will probably read this, but I can give you these clues - it's from The Conran Shop although it doesn't bear their label; it's a little bit cream, a little bit chrome, a little bit red and has won loads of awards this year; it's based on a design classic and is set to become a future classic in its own right. Any ideas - can you guess what it is? I'm very excited about it, I just really hope that he'll love it. I'll show you what it is on Monday!

4 October 2011

Flower power in the living room.

On Saturday, Wales became the first country in the UK to introduce a mandatory charge for plastic bags in shops. From now on it's going to cost shoppers a minimum of 5p per plastic bag used. I think I'll be fine in the supermarket - I really try and make sure I have plenty of bags for life with me when I'm doing the weekly shop. It's going to be when I'm in town and in individual shops that I may quite often find myself bagless. For example, we bought Torin his winter shoes this weekend - we got him these, and realised that even though it was the first day of the new charge, we hadn't brought bags with us! Luckily his shoes fitted into our baby-change bag, so we were spared the fine! It's a change I wholeheartedly endorse, I guess it's just going to take a bit of getting used to.

Making the change easier for me is going to be this latest beauty from the Orla Kiely / Tesco / CLIC Sargent / Royal College of Art collaboration:

I was thinking about these bags the other day, because I remembered that there were meant to be several designs released throughout this year. I did an internet search and found that I'd missed out on some of them already - I only have this one - the first one. So, I was really happy when I happened to be in Tesco the other day and found myself looking at a whole end of aisle display full of this new design. I may actually have to get myself another one because mine is currently underneath the console table in our living room and I'm using it to store all of Torin's musical instruments. It looks rather good there as it is exactly the right colour - the olive green, brown and red match our room exactly - it may have to be stay there for a while!

Do any of you have one of these bags? Which is your favourite design?
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