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!

If you liked this you might also like:

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! ;)