Interiors

We’ve so much work going on in our house that I’m starting to go a little stir crazy. Yep, having no bathroom or flushing toilet isn’t really much fun. I know there is light at the end of the tunnel but the tunnel seems really, really long long right now and I’m joining the kids in the chorus of “Are we nearly there yet?”

The truth is with work going on in every corner of the house, we really are getting there in terms of the renovation project. One project we are yet to start on however is the kitchen but oh my, do I love fantasising about my dream kitchen. 

Today’s guest post includes 5 tips on planning your dream cooking space. Speaking from experience having no workspace is just horrendous and will be top of our list of ‘things to change’.

Especially if your kitchen’s the hub of your home, you’ll want to get the design of this room spot on. Luckily, by following some simple tips, you can achieve truly stunning results in this part of your property. For some interior design inspiration, take a look at the following five suggestions.

  1. Include a variety of storage solutions

A lack of storage space is a recipe for disaster in any kitchen. To ensure you have plenty of room for all your cooking essentials, from food items to your favourite gadgets, it’s essential that you have plenty of units. Don’t be afraid to mix up your storage solutions too. For example, as well as floor and wall cabinets, why not include some attractive floating shelves? Available in a variety of styles, from rustic oak, walnut and beech to contemporary black or white, these shelves can give your cooking area a homely, authentic look and feel. You could also fit hooks and rods on your walls to hang anything with handles, including mugs, utensils and pans.

  1. Get the best appliances within your budget

Cooking should be a breeze in your dream kitchen, so it pays to go for the best appliances you can within your budget. For example, if you’ve got the space, perhaps a luxurious double oven would make a great addition to this part of your home. A responsive hob is also a good investment. Gas is often the preferred choice of keen cooks, but if you can’t have a gas hob or you’d prefer not to, consider an induction model rather than a traditional electric design. These appliances are highly responsive and, as an added bonus, they have a range of safety features. As a general rule, when you’re choosing anything from your dishwasher to your fridge, make sure you scour the market to find the best versions within your spending limit, and read plenty of user reviews before you make a purchase.

Image: Lazenby

  1. Give yourself plenty of workspace

It’s difficult to cook up a storm if you’re lacking in surface space, so make sure you have enough worktops in your kitchen. If your cooking area is large enough, you might want to add an island unit. These features offer a simple way to increase your worktop space and they can make an attractive focal point. Alternatively, if you’re short of square footage, a space-saving alternative is to add a fold-down section to your worktops that tucks neatly out of the way when it’s not being used.

 

  1. Ensure your lighting’s spot on

Effective task lighting is a must in any cooking area. For example, to ensure you can see what you’re doing when you’re preparing meals, it’s important to have under-cabinet lights in place to illuminate your countertops. You might also want to consider fitting low-hanging pendant lights above an island unit if you have one. Aside from practical solutions like these, it’s a good idea to have some attractive ambient lighting in place. You could fit dimmer switches on your main ceiling lights to give you more control over brightness levels, and for some added theatre, why not fit spot lights at the base of your floor units? This creates pools of light on your flooring and gives your kitchen a stylish, contemporary look.

Image: Amber interiors

  1. Perfect your décor

No cooking area is complete without the perfect décor. If you have a bijou kitchen, it’s generally best to stick to fairly light, neutral colours for your walls to give the area a more open, spacious feel. However, you can liven up your design scheme by including some vibrant wall art, window dressings and cushions, and even bold and bright appliances such your kettle and toaster. In a larger kitchen, you can afford to be more adventurous in your choice of wall colour. Whatever sort of décor you go for, make sure you carry the theme through to every last detail. This will give the room a chic, polished finish.

For more design inspiration, it’s worth browsing interior design websites, and you can also get some great ideas on Pinterest.

 

Image: Cast Iron Bath Co

This week the bathroom renovations have begun. We’ve currently an empty plastered shell waiting for floor tiles, panelling and the bathroom suite to be fitted. The rolltop bath still hasn’t arrived as we are having a few issues with the supplier, which will hopefully be sorted soon!

It seems very appropriate that today’s guest post is actually all about what to consider when choosing your new bathtub when it’s been the source of rather a lot of stress for us the past three weeks. Let’s hope we’ve made the right choice when it finally arrives.

Considering the extensive selection of bathtubs on the market today, it may seem a simple task identifying one that is perfect for your bathroom space. But the worst mistake you could make is to rush into the purchase of your new tub, as buying and installing the wrong bath can have a hugely negative effect on your bathroom remodel. There are many crucial factors to consider before choosing your new bathtub, and by putting in the effort to research ahead of buying, you can ensure that your bathroom renovation is super instead of stupid.

Image: Home deco

How to select the right Bathtub

Initially, the first thing you need to think about is functionality. Consider exactly what the tub will be used for – an area in which to relax and ease the aches, pains and stresses away, or a mere collecting bin for excess shower water? If the former option best describes your overall usage, perhaps a whirlpool tub is an appropriate choice. Featuring soothing massage jets and in-built steps and seats, they can transform a regular bath into a luxurious spa environment.

Secondly, the size of your bathroom has to be taken account of. It is likely that your bathtub will take up the biggest amount of space in the entire room, so it is imperative that you select a tub that fits the space well, and maximizes the potential of what you have to play with. This is especially vital where compact bathrooms are concerned, but is also an important aspect of a large bathroom update too. Looked at from the perspective of an interior designer, positioning a small bathtub in a large bathroom can compromise the flow of space, so it is absolutely essential to choose a tub that matches the scale of its surroundings.

And the next element to consider is the design and color of the bathtub. Of course, before making your choice, you’ll need to know what color the bathroom walls will be, and be aware of the kind of geometric layout the room will have. There are so many different shaped bathtubs on the market, from rectangular to oval, cornered and plenty of other styles, you should search far and wide before settling on a decision. You might even come to the conclusion that a weird and wonderful bathtub shape is preferable; love hearts and shoe shapes are particularly popular.

Image: Coco Kelley

You also need to think about which type of material you prefer for your bathtub, with many modern designs constructed out of the likes of marble, acrylic, cast iron and even wood. Given that they are subjected to water exposure, as well as mildews, soaps and harsh chemicals on a daily basis, you should choose your materials based on their practicality and ability to withstand such use. If, for instance, your bathtub will be used regularly by a full household, it may be a good idea to opt for acrylic or cast iron to make the most of their strong, durable properties.

Finally, whilst a standard bathtub is ideal for regular bathing, there are plenty of people who enjoy nothing more than a good long soak in the tub. For such consumers, a soaking bathtub is a perfect choice, with these types designed to allow for full body submersion, and to cradle the body far better than an ordinary bathtub could.

Choose a Bathtub to suit you

Ultimately, choose a bathtub to suit you and your specific needs. Practicality, looks and cost are the three main elements you must consider – be sure to browse a wide selection of modern bathtubs before settling on your final decision.


Like many people across the world, our lives are centred around our home. It’s where we laugh and love together as a family. Our safe haven, where we can relax and be truly ourselves.

And yet contrary to this, buying a house is one of the most stressful things you can do in your life. Just the words stamp duty, conveyancing fees and searches are sure to bring a wave of dread to the most hardened house buyer.

Mid thirties, I currently have a handful of friends that are house hunting for their dream family home. The list of requirements is normally long and finding a house that actually ticks all the boxes for both partners is pretty much like finding a needle in a haystack. The house has to work for the entire family, pleasing everyone and ultimately most people end up compromising on a few points. House hunting can take months, even years sometimes.

I thought I’d share with you the story of when we bought our dream house, what we were looking for and where we, ultimately had to compromise.

Buying our house

Rewinding the clock 2 years, we lived in my partners modern 4 bedroom house. It was a lovely house but personally I never quite felt at home there. I didn’t like the lack of character and feeling of space. On paper, we had enough space, everyone had a place to sleep, but the house proportions felt small, and the estate crammed. We started talking about moving to a house that was closer to our idea of our dream home. I don’t think at that point we actually thought we would find our dream house but rather “a stepping stone house”, on the way to “the one”.

I had a fixed list of wants, things that were non negotiable for me. The house needed 4 bedrooms, a big garden for the children to play in and enough space for us as a family. As a lover of architecture and design, it needed to work with my idea of an aesthetically pleasing house. I’d always loved period homes so ideally it would be an older house with some lovely period features. My other half had a different list of necessities he needed fulfilling. He needed a location that was practical for work and also the children’s schools as they grew. Preferring modern houses to period, he wanted minimal work and upkeep. He also required a garage to store his motorbike. (You can see our personalities right here can’t you, I’m all about the pretty and he’s about the practical).

We viewed a few houses, one the garden was too small and one didn’t have a garage. Both points were non negotiable on our lists, so we continued looking.

One day my partner sent me the details through of a house. It was old, beautiful but in a state of disrepair. I text him back confused “Babe, it’s old? And needs a ton of work? That sounds like your idea of hell surely?” He suggested we go and take a look anyway. I agreed, super excited to take a look at the property but fully prepared there was no way he would sign up for a renovation project.

As we were viewing the property I kept very quiet, as did my partner. Neither of us knew what the other one was thinking. Gazing around at the proportions of the house, there was a fabulous feeling of space both inside and outside. A tick. It had all the lovely period features I adored, high ceilings, fireplaces, old doors, stained glass, even a hidden tiled floor which we later discovered. Again a tick…

In fact the house ended up ticking all the boxes, it was spacious, had a large garden, 4 bedrooms, a garage. It was conveniently located for school and future high schools, for access to town and the journey to my partner’s work.

But, and it was a big but, there was no denying that the house was in a pretty bad state. It hadn’t been touched for more than 50 years. The garden was terribly overgrown, the house was dirty and the decor was extremely dated. Yet somehow we could see past all of that at the shining gem of a house. It just needed bringing back to life.

Renovating a large period house was a big job, one we perhaps, looking back now, even underestimated. Were we willing to compromise and take on the work required to make it our dream home?

Having kept quiet the whole viewing neither of us knew how the other one felt. Turning towards him as we pulled away from the house I said “So, what do you think?”. He threw it back to me ,”Well, what do you think?”. A huge smile crept across my face. I think it’s my dream home… and he smiled and said, I know, lovingly.

That was it. We had fallen in love with a house.

Luckily for us, the negotiations went pretty smoothly as a sale had just fallen through, so they sellers were keen to proceed quickly. Our offer of £20,000 less than the asking price was accepted immediately and we started the process of making the house our own.

Fast forward 2 years. We started with cleaning, lots of cleaning. Then there was stripping of carpets and curtains to reveal the bare carcass of the house which we could call our home. Since then we’ve rewired, re-rendered, replastered, ripped out, sanded floors, painted. We aren’t finished but we are well on our way.

I remember the first couple of mornings, waking up in the new house and being filled with joy and an indescribable feeling of being home. I can still conjure up that feeling, as I admire the blossom trees in our garden or get captivated by the light streaming through the stain glass on our front door. I’m home and it’s perfect. Tick.

This post is in collaboration with Slater Gordon, thank you for supporting Lish Concepts.

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