Downing tools for Christmas

This is just a super quick post, last one for 2014 – where has the year gone? As usual I’m very unorganised and I need to start wrapping presents pronto, but I just had to share! Dan has been to collect the two lots of mosaics that will be adorning the walls of our shower room and bathroom. I am so flipping excited I could scream!! The wine coloured mosaics will be covering the back wall of the shower in the downstairs shower room. The stone and gold mosaics will be used in the wall boxes and as a border in the upstairs bathroom. Feast your eyes on these beauties….


imageI am delighted with the tiles we’ve chosen, which won’t be in their boxes for much longer as the tiler is starting in the New Year! 2015 is going to be a very busy year for us in Number 18 and I’m raring to go! That’s after having a nice relaxing break over Christmas of course. I’m thoroughly looking forward to starting the day tomorrow with our family tradition of eggs royale, courtesy of my lovely sister, washed down with a glass of prosecco or two!

I hope all of my readers have a very merry Christmas.

Nadine x


The hunt continues

In the last few years my parents have built a new house and used polished travertine in all of the bathrooms, on the floors and on the walls. I love the bathrooms in my parents home and knew that I also wanted to use travertine in our bathrooms in Number 18. I just love the spa-like feel of natural stone and even though it’s quite modern, I can’t ever really see it going out of style. Marble would have been delightful, but my budget cannot stretch that far. That being said, at one point I resigned myself to the fact we were not going to be able to afford travertine either.

We searched everywhere for the travertine, but it was just too expensive wherever we went. One tile shop even told us that there was no such thing as polished travertine and that the shine came from the sealant you used. Hmmm. We were advised in another tile shop to use a porcelain tile lookalike. Even the price of porcelain tiles ranged from more than what I wanted to pay for a lookalike tile, to outright crazy!

It seemed we weren’t going to get the travertine tile for a price we could afford, except Dan is the champ of sniffing out the best deal. After a bit of searching online he came across Natural Stone and Timber, who more than halved the price of what we could find polished travertine tiles for locally. I must be honest, I was sceptical. The sample arrived and looked the same as my parents. sceptical I remained. The sample was so small, I worried that the quality of a full sized tile wouldn’t be up to much. Make sure it’s grade 1 dad kept telling us. Grade 1 it apparently was.

I wanted to see a full sized tile before committing to purchasing over 70 square metres and I forget how much the delivery was, but it was cheaper for us to make the trek and travel to the shop in Portsmouth to collect the tiles ourselves. We spent a delightful 7 hours on the road in total, there and back in one day. Always thinking of others, I kept Dan entertained by singing along to the radio – using the empty orange juice bottle from our Maccys breakfast as my mic, of course.

I had reservations about getting to the showroom only to see travertine tiles that weren’t grade 1 and was concerned the tiles may have large holes that had been filled. I hoped it wasn’t going to be a wasted trip. Turns out it wasn’t. I was so pleased to see there were no large expanses of fill and the tiles looked great! Winner! The van was loaded and we were away to go.

The singing continued throughout the return journey and then abruptly stopped when we got home. Unpacking the van wasn’t so much fun. Whilst Dan could carry four tiles at a time (each measuring 600 x 400 mm), I could manage one. And even then I was terrified I was going to drop one. I was so relieved to see my dad, and then our neighbours who very kindly offered to help carry the nearly three hundred tiles into the casa. I was then relegated to unpacking in the back of the van, removing tiles from the crate and making piles of tiles in readiness for the boys!

I’m completely thrilled that we managed to get the tiles we wanted for a great price and that we also avoided a porcelain imposter. The tiles are currently propped against the walls waiting for the tiler to start. I cannot wait to see them being laid.




Bargain Hunt

I told you in a previous post that me and Dan have started looking for tiles for Number 18. We’ve spent a lot of time wandering around all of our local tile shops and some a bit further afield, hunting for tiles to go on the floor in the kitchen and utility, wall and floor tiles for both bathrooms and wall tiles to go above the units in the utility.

We are still in the process of getting all of the tiles, but we’ve made decisions on what we want. Ok, I tell a lie – I’ve decided what I want. I’m lucky that Dan, in the main, leaves the interior design part up to me.

For the utility wall tiles, I decided I wanted something relatively plain and also fairly cheap. I then saw a picture of metro tiles and realised they were the exact thing I was going for. What I didn’t like was the average £40 a metre price tag they seemed to attract everywhere we looked. The utility is an area I planned to save money, not go mad. As you can imagine the savings pot is rapidly depleting, so every penny counts!

A few weekends ago whilst out searching for reasonably priced tiles, I stumbled across a clearance section. We had a mooch around, not really holding out much hope to find anything, but we were in luck. For £8.50 a square metre, there were the metro tiles I’d been hunting for! Two metres squared of tiles was enough to do the job, and have spare for breakages. At 17 bucks it was decision made. Don’t you just love a good bargain!?