Friday, 29 September 2017

turning an old dresser into a bathroom vanity

dresser to bathroom vanity

The en-suite has been plodding on at the speed of a stoned turtle with a gammy leg, but amazingly, finally, I actually have some progress to report! Actually, if I could just get my arse in gear and finish off the last few fiddly bits the bloody thing would actually be finished and I could move on with my life!

But anyway, I really wanted more storage in here. As I talked about in my original post about my plans for this space, the room is a decent size but an awkward shape and there isn't anywhere for free standing storage to fit.  I had originally planned to make Gavin build me a full length, slim cabinet with a mirror on it onto the one small section of clear wall we have, but it didn't happen. I think it just seemed like a lot of work and he wasn't confident about how he would do it,so he wasn't enthusiastic about it, and to be honest it wasn't worth giving up hours of precious free time trying to make something that might not even work.

But then I had another idea, a BETTER idea! There was all the empty space under the sink, surely we could use that? 

And can I just stick a little disclaimer about the photography in this post right here? Gavin did this all on a dark evening after the kids were in bed and I was busy with Cora, and to my amazement he actually thought to take a few pictures with his phone while he worked. So they're dark, and they're grainy, but they're helpful!

dresser to bathroom vanity
Hi Gavin! And old, ugly, in the way storage unit.

So I tried to find a flat pack unit that would fit the space, but they were all butt ugly, and did't offer all that much storage anyway.

And then....Aldi had some lovely storage that I thought would be great in Em's room. She had recently started dressing herself but couldn't pull out the heavy drawers on the old dresser she had in there, and I realised that that was the answer! She got a lovely new unit for her room, I got her old dresser to hack up and put in my bathroom! It was solid wood and had a shape that I liked, so I thought it was worth trying to do something with it. 

I measured it up and it fit perfectly, so I went on Ebay and found a lovely table top sink for €60 delivered and a €30 modern looking mixer tap. Both arrived in a week and in the meantime I painted the dresser with a tin of Farrow and Ball "Off Black" mixed in Fleetwood paint that I had lying around. After two coats of paint and three of matt water based varnish to protect it we added cup pulls that I had sprayed gold with Rustoleum metallic finish. The colour isn't perfect, it's got kind of a bluey-green undertone to it that I'm not a fan of, but it's not very noticable and I definitely wasn't going to buy more paint and re-do it so it's staying.

Once it was painted Gavin got to work hacking it up! One evening, when the grandparents had whisked the older two away for a night so we were just left with the smallest, easiest child, he went outside for a couple of hours with a beer and a jigsaw (the tool, not the toy) and afterwards presented me with drawers that had notches cut out to fit the pipework of the sink, saving as much storage space as possible while making it possible to fit the whole thing together.

I didn't do it, but he explained it to me and sent me pictures so obviously I know what I'm talking about.

First he measured the opening he needed to fit the sink fittings on top, then he drilled a hole in each corner of the shape and finished cutting it out with the jigsaw.

dresser to bathroom vanity
See what I mean about the green tinge to the paint? It's way more noticeable in photo's though, in person it's much more of a flat black.

dresser to bathroom vanity

Then he took the drawers, measured and marked the area of each drawer that he would have to remove and then he cut pieces of wood to fit and screwed them into place....

dresser to bathroom vanity

dresser to bathroom vanity

...before then cutting away the section of the drawer that wasn't needed. 

dresser to bathroom vanity

Doing it this way meant that the drawer was braced and didn't fall apart when he made the cuts, and it also leaves the most amount of usable storage space possible. He says the first one was by far the most difficult, as he was still figuring out what he was doing. After that it went quickly and he had the whole thing done in a few hours.

Handy as a small pot is my husband.

When the dresser was all ready Gavin turned off the water to that part of the house and then removed the old sink and taps, leaving this....

dresser to bathroom vanity
It was stinky, and it was filthy.

He then put the dresser in place, sat the sink on top and then threaded the new tap through and fitted it to the water pipes. He also had to fit a new length of pipe to the drain as the old one wasn't long enough.

I'm telling you, give that man a few beers and a wikihow page and he can do just about anything. Just thinking about how much he saved us in plumbers fees makes me all hot and bothered.....but then a child will demand I wipe it's bum or spew on my chest and I'm fine again. 

dresser to bathroom vanity

dresser to bathroom vanity
That's the new plug on the left, it was €10 on Ebay and it's one you push to open and close. 

And there it is! With the new mirror and lighting it looks amazing and it's storing all our day to day toiletries. 

dresser to bathroom vanity

I love it! I was afraid the table top sink wouldn't be deep enough but it's perfect. I wanted a square one so it would contrast with the round mirror and I love the finished effect. I did toy with the idea of a gold tap, but they were waaaayyyy too expensive in any kind of a modern design, and I figured there's a lot of mixed metal going on in here anyway so the stainless steel is fine.

dresser to bathroom vanity

So there you have it! It was actually much simpler than I thought it would be (say's I, who didn't do any of the hard work!) and I think it's going a really long way to making this room feel more individual and luxurious. And it gives so much storage that I can pack everything away out of sight, making the room much less cluttered and easier to clean, yay!!!

dresser to bathroom vanity
This is a much better representation of what the colour looks like in person.
What do you think? Would you ever try something like this? I'd love to see pictures if you did! And if you have any other suggestions for creative storage in a cramped bathroom I'd love to hear it, this one may be nearly finished but I still have the kids bathroom to tackle!

And if you've been following my instagram you'll have seen me working on that pretty amazing (if I do say so myself) stencilled floor you can get a peek of in these photos. I'll be sharing all about that next week so be sure to check back, or even better, subscribe to my email list so you never have to miss a post!

Oh, and if anyone has any tips for taking photos of mirrors without getting your rumpled, sweaty self in them, I'm all ears......

dresser to bathroom vanity
I thought the mirror was clean. It was not.

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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

profane scrabble art

I love my kids, but good god they get in the way of DIY! Hopefully someday they will actually be able to help rather than hinder, but for now trying to do anything without them when they're awake is pretty much just pissing into the wind so things are moving at a glacial pace when it comes to actually finishing anything. It's fine. After three kids I know that time to do the things I want is not something that comes easy, or often, and to be honest I've realised that the time I do have is usually better spent looking after myself or spending time with my husband unless I really WANT to do some painting or whatever. It's a work in progress, but I'm getting better at suppressing my control freak tendencies and not letting the to-do list haunt me. 

Thursday, 31 August 2017

updating to add value

This post is sponsored by Velux Windows

I love my house. After living in tiny apartments all my adult life my heavily pregnant self thought the four bedrooms and a garden this house offered was just about the height of luxury when we moved in. But as happy as I was with it then (and still am now!) it was never intended to be our forever house. I would love to be able to build our own house eventually, somewhere with a bit more privacy. As great as where we live is for the kids with all the other children around here I don't enjoy knowing my neighbours can probably hear me screeching like a lunatic every time we try to leave the house, and some day I'm going to totally lose my shit with the boys who constantly batter our pathetic fledgling hedge with their ball and then we'll HAVE to move. You know how it is.

Thursday, 24 August 2017's it going?

becoming a stay at home mom update

It's been well over a year since I packed in my full-time job in order to be able to be home with the kids a lot more, and I thought it was time for an update.

Actually, a friend of mine recently said "you know people at my work regularly ask me how you're getting on, and I tell them you sell vibrators now", and that very random yet accurate description of my current situation made me think that maybe you guys would be interested in what's going on around here at the moment...and what vibrators have to do with it.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

She's here!

Yes, finally. After what seemed like the longest pregnancy in the history of the world Cora Olivia made her entrance at 7.02 on the 18th of July, five days early.

I don't know if any of you are as interested in birth stories as I am, but I'm going to share this one anyway so feel free to jump to the end if discussing dilation and stitches doesn't float your boat!

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

pallet wood shelves

Way back when, somewhere in the mists of time, you may remember that I started making over our en-suite bathroom. Yes, that was almost a year ago and it is still far from finished. I blame the fact that no-one but us sees it so it's easier to forget. Embarrassment is a great motivator I find. But I had a short list of things I wanted to get finished before the baby arrives and getting this space finished was way up there.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

fancy-fied plant pots

I feel a little bogged down lately guys. It seems like quite a bit is getting done around here diy-wise (di-yise?) but actually getting things finished, photographed on the odd day when there's decent light and I have the energy to clean up and then actually blogged about is a lot of hard work. And I'm like, large and slow at the moment. Plus, it seems like all I want to write about right now is the kids, or being pregnant, and while the odd post like that is probably interesting for you guys, it's not what most of you come here for right?

Friday, 9 June 2017

I totally missed my second blog-iversary!

  Related image

Time flies when you're desperately trying to get through the day without collapsing in a sweaty heap on the floor and refusing to do anything else until someone removes the life sucking human you're gestating from you....and consequently I just realised that I totally missed my second blog-iversary!

This time last year I had had 60,000 visits to my little blog, and I was hugely proud of that. In the last year I have had 330,000!!!!!!! That's growth of like 550%* people!!!

*Please don't check my maths.

I hadn't actually realised things were going that well, and I'm so happy about it. On top of that I've recently been nominated for an Irish Beauty Blog Award (I know, weird, but it turns out they have a "design blog" category) and I ended up coming second in my category at the Blog Awards last September. It's really nice to get little pats on the back like that. Sometimes I wonder if I'm wasting time I should be spending elsewhere on this blog, but seeing things like that make me feel like I'm justified!

I'd totally keep doing it no matter what, but it's nice to feel like maybe I'm actually ok at this.

And wary as I am of seeming like I'm blowing my own trumpet here, I always love to know actual figures when it comes to blogs I follow, so I though some of you might be interested too. Plus, it's not like I make any money from this, so horn-tooting is all I have!

So what's the plan for the future of my little corner of the old interwebs? Well, I'm hoping that as soon as the little soul-sucker exits my body I'll get my mojo back and find myself able to do more of an evening than lie in a darkened room scarfing biscuits and binge watching Parks and Rec. There are many, many things that I could improve on here (starting with my blogging schedule!) if I just had a couple of hours a week to sit down and dedicate to it, and seeing as Em is starting school in September and Max will be in Montessori every morning then I'm hoping that the next year will be a LOT more productive than the last has been, blog-wise. Sure I'll have a newborn, but I've long since mastered the art of typing while breastfeeding, so I'm hoping it won't be a problem ;) 

So thank you guys for reading, and if you feel like saying hi leave a comment every now and again, I really do love hearing from you. Blogging can be weird and lonely, and it's hard to believe there's anyone paying attention sometimes.


Saturday, 27 May 2017

I've been nominated! And it's weird!

Image result for beauty blog awards 2017 tickets

Ehm, so this is a bit weird but....I've been longlisted for the Irish Beauty Blog Awards?

Yeah, I don't know how that happened either. I'm lucky if I shower every second day and my idea of the perfect lipstick is one that hasn't been dropped down the toilet by my kids at some point, beauty blogger I am not!

I'm in the "Best Design Blog" category, which I don't even know if it refers to the actual design of my blog or the fact that I talk about design. But hey, it's really lovely to be included! Every time something like this happens it just makes me feel a little bit more justified in spending so much of my time dicking about on the internet! I'm quite proud of my little blog, and to get this kind of positive feedback is amazing.

So, if you'd like to vote for me that'd be awesome, and you can do so here.

And whoever nominated me, thanks. It's a bit weird, but I really appreciate it :)

Saturday, 20 May 2017

plans for a super cheap garden makeover

Our garden is pretty crap. Yes, we're delighted to have it and it's a decent size, but our whole estate is built on a flood plain, and on top of that our soil is full of the usual builders detritus that seems to get dumped in the gardens of all estate houses, so our drainage is non-existent and the soil we do have is almost clay it's so wet and clumpy. 

So, it's not easy to have a pretty garden here. For most of the year our grass is completely waterlogged and even normal rain results in flooding at the bottom. So, I think in an effort to combat this and create some areas that were immune to this waterlogging, the previous owners put in slightly raised beds at the bottom and left hand side of the garden, and an area of concrete covered in gravel on the right.

We've stolen lots of plants from my MIL's garden and bought many more and the beds are finally starting to fill in a bit and there's a bit of colour out there now, but the gravel area is a problem. Sure, it looks nice and it's tidy, but practically it's pretty pointless. The problem is that the gravel is pretty deep, and while this is great for playing diggers, it's not so great for walking on. Also, and I'm only sharing this because I believe in showing you guys the reality and I feel like this is a safe place......the right hand side of our garden currently looks like this.....

*screams internally*

Yep, that's a giant pile of rubbish that not only hasn't been shifted since we got the kitchen tiles done but has actually grown as we clear stuff out of the house and throw them out there waiting to go to the recycling centre. You also have a large collection of plastic vehicles that Max likes to line up and wash here, various dead plants in pots plus some pallets I've been meaning to find a use for for over a year and a new fence panel that sticks out like a sore thumb. Pretty, isn't it?

So, what to do? It's been pretty much unused since we moved in nearly three years ago, and I suppose we were thinking that eventually we'd install some sort of paving or decking over it and make a usable seating area (and also somewhere where the kids could play outside when the grass was a swamp) but that's not going to happen this year. So we leave it until then I guess? But then, we actually had a week of beautiful weather recently, and as I sat at my tiny bistro set by the back door, perched on an uncomfortable chair trying to enjoy my coffee in the sunshine I thought "ENOUGH"! I have all this space available, why not just make it usable as cheaply as possible for now, and worry about doing a permanent job later?

So that's what I'm doing. I want a comfy seating area where we can all hang out in the unlikely event that we actually get a nice summer. I'm thinking pallets, cheap plastic furniture and fairy lights. Magical! The budget for this is non-existant so I'll be using things I have already and sourcing stuff from euro stores and second hand shops. I'm actually excited by the challenge! We'll be getting going clearing the rubbish this weekend, and I've already picked up a few bits and pieces to prettify the area, so watch this space!

And yes, I did try to get better pictures of everything out here, but I was foiled by a small naked entymologist who managed to get himself into nearly every photo asking me what I was doing and trying to show me the very interesting woodlice he had just captured. I don't know why he was naked, but it's not unusual around here.


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