Decor, Renovation

Ready. Steady. Go!

And we’re off! The first week back to work at Number 18 has started with lightening speed! But first I’ll rewind a little as I’ve missed out some progress that was made before Christmas. All of which was intended for far more detailed individual posts, so please forgive me.


The plumber returned to fit the boiler and hung the radiators upstairs. We are having a system boiler setup and the plumber will be returning again shortly to install the stand alone tank. We also chose the last lot of tiles which will be going on our kitchen and utility floor. We managed to get a bargain at £11 per square metre, so they didn’t break the bank!


Even with Dan working so carefully trying to hack off around the corbels and arch, it all came crashing down around him – not a good day at Number 18. For a split second pushing him off the ladder crossed my mind, I won’t lie. So after the plastering was completed Kayvic, a local plaster work manufacturer, fitted new corbels. We also attached a moulding to the arch to try and recreate what was there before.


At the same time, Kayvic repaired the cornicing in our lounge, dining room and a small section in the hall. Above is a picture of the cornicing before the repairs. It now requires a bead adding to it and once that’s been done I’ll share some more snaps. The cornicing isn’t the same in all of the rooms. The most ornate is in the lounge, and it’s this cornicing that we had a moulding taken of so that we could replicate it throughout the house.


Ok. So now I’ve brought you up to speed (I hope there isn’t anything I’ve left out), I’ll share what progress has been made over the last week. We’ve had both the tiler start and Kayvic back to put cornicing up on the ceilings in our kitchen, utility and hall landing. We will eventually put the cornicing up in all of the bedrooms upstairs. However, it’s not the cheapest and currently the savings pot won’t allow for bedrooms as well.


Now. On to the tiling, which is actually progressing really well. The tiler has been at the Casa for three days this week. So far he’s done a fantastic job and I’m looking forward to seeing the downstairs shower room finished. I know I say how exciting all of this is alot, but it really is. I love to see my home taking shape just how I’ve always dreamt it.



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.