Monday, 24 April 2017

my new kitchen tiles!!!!

neutral kitchen tile

Yes, finally, the new kitchen tiles are in! They've been in for a few weeks actually but I've been too busy enjoying them to blog about it. That and the fact that it's never been clean enough to take photos #reallife

Anyway, here they are, in all their neutral, easy to clean glory...

neutral kitchen tile

Love them. Love, love, LOVE them! If you've been following me for a while you night remember the horror that was the original tile....

how to paint a tile floor, and what you should think about before you do!

And then I went ahead and painted them! Was it crazy? Probably. Was it better than living with tiles I hated while we saved up to get them re-done? Absolutely.

how to paint a tile floor, and what you should think about before you do!

Eventually though, we had the money put aside to get the whole kitchen and utility room floor re-tiled, and it wasn't a minute too soon as eighteen months after I first did it my paint job had come to the end of it's natural life. So we found our tile, got some quotes for the work, and then went for it. 

It took longer than I expected to get the job done, and it was seriously messy (the dust!!!!) but it was totally worth it. 

neutral kitchen tile

neutral kitchen tile

neutral kitchen tile

You can just tile over tiles, but we wanted to do a proper job, and also we wanted the floor levels between the rooms to be as flush as possible, which of course couldn't be achieved by going over the old tiles so the terracotta monsters had to come out! I'd like to say we considered doing this part ourselves but the truth is we knew it would be an awful job, and when we were quoted just €250 for this part of the work our minds were made up. If you did want to remove tile yourself though (and I totally would in a smaller area, on a backsplash or something) it's basically a matter of a lot of elbow grease, just make sure you get yourself some proper safety equipment, flying chips of tile are no joke! Engelbert Strauss does some great stuff in this line. Also, you'll probably need to rent some proper tools for the job if you don't want it to take forever! 

So, to breakdown the process.....removing the old tile took one very long, messy day, tiling the kitchen and utility took three days overall with the tiler working in three hour bursts (he said he had to let each section set before he could move on?), a day to fix the plasterboard where the old backsplash had been removed, then the new backsplash took two days to tile and grout, and a final two visits to fit new skirting and edging strips where the floors meet and fix a few snags (like a wobbly toilet in the downstairs loo). A lot of these jobs could have definitely overlapped and saved a lot of time, but I guess the guys had other jobs on or something! 

We were originally quoted €900 for the work, but due to us deciding to do the kitchen backsplash as well as the floor, and deciding to get a plumber in the remove and then re-install the toilet and sink in the downstairs loo (they could have tiled around them, but it would have been a much less tidy and thorough job) we ended up paying €1380 all in all. Tiles, grout etc cost us €700 altogether, with the floor costing €550 and the backsplash €150 all in. 

The area we covered was 28 sq mt on the floor and 3 sq mt on the backsplash. We got all the tiles etc in World of Tiles as after extensive research they had far and away the best prices and selection in Limerick. We went with the "Phoenix Gris" (€12.99 a sq yd) tile on the floor with a matching grey grout to try and make it look a bit more seamless, as well as disguising when it eventually starts to get dingy! It's a really light, warm grey in a matte finish with a faint stone-like pattern on it that makes dirt a bit less obvious. Very important!

neutral kitchen tile

We went for a classic bevelled white subway tile (€15.99 a sq yd) on the backsplash, and although I love the look of a high contrast dark grout with a white tile (just look at my shower!) I decided to stick with white in here to avoid it getting a bit "busy". Plus, I've been enjoying a slightly more pared back look recently, so I'm happy for the kitchen to be a clean white backdrop that I can add interest to with accessories.

We used a guy called Joe Furlong to do the work. He had done work for us before that we were really happy with so we went with him again. He organised the tiler and the plumber and managed the whole thing, and by and large we were happy. The work is of really high quality, which we're delighted with. Could it have been done a bit quicker? Probably, but I suppose I'd rather have it done well and take a little bit longer!

neutral kitchen tile

neutral kitchen tile

What do you think? I'm really happy with it! I took so long to actually settle on the flooring in here so I was pretty shocked that my favorite option ended up being the cheapest! It took weeks to really get everything in here clean again after the dust but I'm delighted that I finally have a beautiful, easy to clean floor in here. All I need to do now is give the cupboards a fresh coat of paint in here and I'll have a totally fresh new kitchen!

neutral kitchen tile

This was a sponsored post. As always, all opinions are my own. I only work with companies I love and I think you will love too!

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

amazing lighting for under €150

If you follow me on Instagram (and why wouldn't you? everyone loves pics of things I want to buy interspersed with the occasional "fml" post showing my kids destroying my house right? It's @makedoanddiy by the way) you might have seen the gorgeous new pendant light currently bringing a bit of glamour to my kitchen. 

Gorgeous isn't it?! I'm really in love with it, and get was €52!!!! Yep, that's correct, absolute bargain. 

Where did I find this beauty? In Argos of all places! Yes, Argos, home of bad gold jewellery and household items that are generally much tinier in real life than they appear in the catalogue. So, no, I'm not a regular customer, especially when it comes to decor. If I do pop in it's usually because my kettle broke or I need something terribly exciting, like a very specific type of light bulb, and I'm not willing to travel out to the diy stores to find it. In the past, before I had my interior design awakening, I had picked up the odd furniture item from them but I was usually disappointed, and then of course Ikea landed in Ireland, filling the "affordable, good quality" shaped hole in my heart completely and I never looked back.

But then, I was browsing through the catalog one day (looking for a cheap curtain rod I do believe) and I came across a little selection of lighting that stopped me in my tracks. They looked great, and the price was amazing, so I very apprehensively bought the "Ceres" pendant light (even the name is perfect) and the "Farrah" touch lamp, and I'm delighted with both of them!!! I was honestly expecting the pendant to be absolutely minuscule or something, so I breathed a big sigh of relief when I opened the box and saw how great it was. The only slight disappointment was that the touch lamp didn't come with the cool bulb it's pictured with, but I wasn't surprised, cool bulbs are bloody expensive!

Lighting is usually so expensive, especially when I don't look at it as permanent. As with everything else in my house, I don't expect to be keeping any of these pieces for more than a couple of years, so I'm not willing to spend a fortune on them. And so, I thought I'd do a little round-up of a few great pieces of lighting that I've come across recently, and they're all under €150 so you won't feel obliged to keep them the nest time you make over the room.

Collection Coleridge Antique Copper and Wood Pendant Light.
Collection Coleridge Light €46.99 (Argos)

Collection Ceres Wire Sphere Pendant Light - Gold.
Collection Ceres Pendant Light €40.49 (Argos) Yep, it's on sale at the moment. I'm kind of tempted to buy another one.

Collection Farrah Marble and Brushed Gold Touch Table Lamp.
Collection Farrah Marble and Brushed Gold touch lamp €32.99 (Argos)

Collection Hex Natural Wood Table Lamp.
Collection hex natural wooden table lamp €14.99 (Argos)

Pendant light 'Ritz 10' Modern copper - Suitable for LED / Indoor  - 93849
"Ritz 10" modern copper chandelier €156.00 (Lamp and Yes this is slightly over my hypothetical budget, but look at it!!

Pendant light 'Fatoe' Modern copper - Suitable for LED / Indoor  - 93784
"Fatoe" modern copper pendant light €129.00 (Lamp and

Pendant Lamp Cage 4 Gold - 93327
Cage pendant lamp €150.00 (Lamp and

Pendant light 'Slice 50' Retro gold/aluminium - Suitable for LED / Indoor  - 91092
"Light slice" 50's retro gold pendant €132.00 (Lamp and Love this so very very much!

"Canberra" opaque glass pendant £38.99 (Homebase)

"Darwin" black pendant £54.99 (Homebase)

IKEA RANARP pendant lamp
Ranarp pendant light €20 (Ikea) I own two of these, they reside over my dining table, love them. The gold fittings and black and white fabric wrapped cord really make them look more expensive.

So there you have it, affordable lighting is out there! You just might have to keep your eyes peeled and check places you might not normally think to shop in. Have you found any great affordable lighting recently? I'd love to hear about it!



If you liked this I'll bet you'd like:

The €200, one week kitchen makeover
How to paint a tile floor (and what you should think about before you do)
A quick and easy dishwasher update
Adding interest by blinging up your toe-kicks
My dining room built-ins Ikea hack

Trust me! ;)

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

a fireplace refresh

If you've been following me for a while you might remember how I posted about painting my fireplace last year? Well, I've done it again. Or I did, before Christmas! This baby is sucking the life force right out of me, I swear to god.

So yes, I love having a splash of intense colour in the living room and the fireplace is such a quick and easy thing to paint that it can be done on a whim. And a whim it was! Just before I out up our Christmas decorations I thought "a nice dark green would look great with all the gold that's going to go up in here", so I grabbed the tester pot of I had (that I've already used all over the house, those Valspar testers are value for money!) and I gave it a coat. One coat. It's a bit patchy but I don't think anyone noticed!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

new kitchen's happening

It's happening. The eyeball-assaulting tile is no more.

It's taken two weeks so far. Two weeks of cement dust, having our fridge in the hall and having to put a bloody bra on every day inside my own damn house while we have guys working on it but it will be worth it!

I must admit I'm a bit pissed off at how long it's taking. I thought it'd be a day of removing the old tile, then a day or two to lay the new ones and stick the new skirting on, and in total that is all it will add up to....if the goddamn builders would stick around for more than an hour at a time to finish the damn thing!!! Now, they assure me that it's because they can only do a section at a time as they have to let the adhesive dry before standing on it, but I'm calling bullshit on that. Other jobs is what's stopping them spending a full day here. The boom is on it's way back guys, mark my words!

We currently have a finished floor, but the backsplash is still in bits and the skirting is still missing with no set day for it to be finished so I may kill somebody yet. The guys seem to have realised this as they've switched to calling Gavin. Smart move.

Note to builders: I have zero time for your shit right now. Zero time. And if you keep looking at me like I'm crazy for the things I'm asking for or make one more decision without actually asking me first I'm going to vent my pregnant lady super-rage all over you. 

So it's not exactly the quick makeover I thought I'd get by actually paying someone else to do it, but it is happening, and I know it'll be great when it's finished. It's already a million times better.

So what did we pick? If you read my previous post about choosing flooring for in here you'll know that I really, really wanted a wood floor in here, and I had brought home a lot of samples before settling on a lovely dark-toned matte wood effect laminate. However, this decision was based on the assumption that we would be re-doing the entire ground floor, not just the kitchen and utility. You see, we currently have a solid wood floor in the living room and hall, and while it isn't the colour I would choose that's fix-able, but we were told that the gaps that have opened up between some of the boards weren't. We were basically told that there wasn't anything that could be done with these gaps, and they really bother me because a LOT of dirt gets trapped in them, and some of them are huge!!!! So we thought the whole thing had to go, and we were planning to replace it all with a nice, affordable laminate. Not my dream floor of course, but we don't plan on being in this house forever so we couldn't justify the expense of a better wood floor, even if we could afford it. 

So we were all ready to go, believing our builder, when I thought, "you know what? I'll just quickly google how to diy fix a wood floor". Spoiler alert, it can be done folks, and easily. So obviously we weren't then going to chuck out a great quality floor to replace it with a pretty crappy one, and consequently I couldn't put laminate in the kitchen, cos it wouldn't match. So the decision was effectively made for me, tile it was!

And after many visits to all the tile emporiums Limerick has to offer I realised that they were all very expensive and I am basically poor. Thankfully I finally found "World of Tiles" and they had a really good selection in my price range. (not an ad or anything by the way, just my genuine experience) I chose a nice rectangular, cement-y looking tile called "Phoenix Gris" and got a light grey grout to match. I'm really happy with it, and I can't wait to show you the finished product....if I don't murder the lads installing it before it ever gets to that stage.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

plans for a fixer-upper

Some of you might already know this, but I've been writing for a local paper here in Limerick for the past 9 months. I share my old projects in the home section and I've really loved it! Recently though the editor approached me with a really interesting proposition...would I be interested in viewing a "fixer-upper" house currently for sale and give my opinion on what could be done with it? And as it involved two of my most favourite pastimes (being nosy and telling people what to do) of course I said yes!

So, it's a bit different from my usual style as it was written for a completely different audience, but I thought I'd share it here anyway. If any of you are in the process of looking for your first home it might encourage you to give the ones that need some work a chance!

Friday, 3 February 2017

what a to-do

It's already February and I'm only just getting around to putting together a to-do list for the year, that bodes well!

So, it's a new year, there's a bit more money coming in, and we have an energy-sucking, time-consuming little bundle of hard work arriving in July so our time to get shit done is limited! With that in mind, these are the jobs I would love to get done before that happens....

Friday, 20 January 2017

new years resolutions...and an announcement!

Happy new year people! It may be a bit late, but I put together a list of a few of the resolutions I've made to myself this year.

1- Put a lock on the bathroom door-I'm tired of having to referee fights and answer urgent questions about which shopkin is my favourite while in the middle of doing my business.

2- Spend less time searching for the source of vague, but disgusting smells. (It's usually on me. It's usually poo.)

3- Stop murdering plants! 

4- Spend less time arguing with people who think calling me a "poo head" is a witty retort.

5- Related: Never again resort to using "I know you are, but what am I?" when faced with the aforementioned "poo-head". I'm 33. And I have a degree. In English. 

6- Actually be dressed for montessorri drop off at least 4 days out of 5, my current go-to of zipping a long coat over the leggings and top I slept in is not cutting it.

7- Maybe occasionally finish a project? That might be asking too much though!

8- And mostly, stop letting this guy talk me into lying on the couch all night when there's blogging I promised myself I would do....

Saturday, 3 December 2016

adding a bit of drama to the hall

black gold gallery mirror feature wall

Have you noticed that I've been a little....distant lately? As in, I NEVER FRICKING GET AROUND TO POSTING?!

Yeah, me too. I've lost my mojo a little bit I think, and while there are plenty of things I could blog about, for the last while it's been a bit of a struggle to find the will to actually take the sodding photos and put together the posts. There have been holidays, Christmas is coming up, the kids have an annoying habit of growing out of their clothes and needing new ones several times a year, so money for diy just hasn't been a priority for the last while, and I'm fine with that, but I guess it's hard to get excited about projects when you know you aren't going to be able to finish them anytime soon, ya dig? 

Friday, 18 November 2016

finding art for your home on the cheap

finding art for your home on the cheap

Art can transform a room! What you display in your home can totally change the mood and a simple print can often be the finishing touch that really pulls a room together and makes it "yours". 

I love that I can change the paintings in my dining room and suddenly it feels completely refreshed, and I love finding meaningful little images or quotes that I can stick in a frame to add some fun to my decor. You know what I don't love? Paying good money for something when I don't have to! Yes, I have bought particular prints that I really loved, but in general I've found that when I want to jazz things up a bit there are plenty of very inexpensive ways of getting my grubby mitts on the art I'm after!

Sunday, 23 October 2016

out, damned tile!

replacing kitchen tile with laminate

The time is almost upon us friends, we are almost at the point where we can afford to replace the tiles in the kitchen. My little paint job has served me well, and it's made the tiles so much easier to live with for the past year, but it was always a stop-gap and the end is nigh people, the end is very fricking nigh.