Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bathroom Before and After

We like our towels old and scratchy
(hooks from here, all the colours of the rainbow, and cheap!)

Before I show you a few pics of our new bathroom I want to say that I have never felt more excitement at the beginning of a renovation project - or more disappointment and regret at the end. Strong words, but bear in mind this is our fourth bathroom reno - we've got 'priors' to compare it with, and none of them were as disastrous as this one.

Due to things I've mentioned previously and others I've kept on the qt, these negative feelings have been really hard to shake. I guess that happens when you get super-excited about something that fails to deliver, doesn't it?

While it's relatively easy to replace tiles that weren't laid properly, fix leaks, iron out little kinks in the design, etc, the 'thing' that I find most upsetting/difficult to get my head around and let go of, is that we didn't do anything wrong! In fact we did everything possible to ensure it was a positive experience (for everyone involved) and still it was a complete schmozzle. I have taken this to heart and it (still) hurts. My feelings. 

Having said all that, we begin work on our laundry next week and I'm determined to move on and put all the bad bathroom stuff behind me before then. Once I've written this post and hit publish, you'll hear no more "pissing and moaning, always complaining"* from me.

(on the topic of our bathroom anyway. Ha-ha!) 
Here's some pics to satisfy the sticky-beak in you:

After all the drama you're probably expecting something fancy, but it's just a simple little bathroom, definitely not worthy of all the trouble it caused.



and after.

So there you have it. Blind Freddy could see it looks better, right?! And despite all of the above I can too.

Still some final flourishes to go, but I'm not in the right head-space for decoration d' interieurs quite yet. We are also planning to extend the subway tiles beyond the bath (behind the toilet) and on the wall directly opposite. We were advised that this wouldn't be necessary, but on use we have discovered our walls will be a sodden mess if we leave them as is.  

(the best bits IMO)

These frames are 100+ years old. My Mum rescued them from a skip when she worked at the Art Gallery of W.A. Yep, that's right, back in the 80's treasures like these were chucked in the bin (even by folks that should've known better!)

Anth bought the little vintage cabinet (you can see reflected in the mirror) yonks ago at a garage sale. It has a label inside which says "Metlex Bathroom Furniture Made in England". The industrial lights above the mirrors are from here

The green "Jason" lampshade you can see in the after pic, is also vintage, we have had it forever. It's a bit rusty in places, but we like that.

We made our shower curtain rod from galvanised pipe and plumbing fittings (easy to make, but sourcing the end bits to attach it was a nightmare! They are brass underneath but a few quick squirts of grey Rust-Oleum fixed that). 
Our shower curtain, which I really love is from Ferm Living Australia. Danish design, made in India, sold in Australia, go figure...
I've just noticed that our shower curtain is currently on sale at Urban Outfitters and shipping within Australia is free. Here's the link if you're interested. 
So there you have it, our bathroom very nearly done and dusted. End of story. End of moaning. At the end of the day just being able to do this is what it's all about...

after all, it's only a bathroom...if this is the worst thing life chucks at us we're laughing, right?!

Thanks for reading. I hear people aren't reading blogs anymore, so I really appreciate you reading mine x

* Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, Good Charlotte


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Not All Good In The Hood

It makes me sad that this little gem

has been covered up by this ummm, er,

I'm going with...monstrosity?!
I'm just glad I snapped a quick pic before it was covered up forever - that's assuming it's still there...I hope it is.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Bathroom Deux

A couple of weeks ago Anth and I finally finished our bathroom renovation (we ended up doing a lot of work ourselves. This wasn't part of the plan...this time, for the first time, we expected to be sweating* over invoices, not diy)

*there was blood (Anth's) and tears (mine) too
(there were lots of those)  

If things had gone according to plan I would've written this post months ago - before Christmas in fact (and I would've had a nice new laundry to write about/show you too), but as some of you know already it was not a positive experience - even 'officially' finished it has continued to throw problems at us. More money. More sweat. More tears. (no fresh blood...yet)

Sh**t happens, and as far as bathroom renos go, (sh)it, happened to us.

I am struggling to write this post (actually it's giving me a headache) part of me wants to keep things classy and stay schtum (the old "if you've got nothing nice to say, say nothing at all") and part of me of me wants to spill the beans (in the spirit of keeping it real).

At the end of the day though, I know I've got nothing to gain by putting my ranty-pants on (sorry Julianne). None of the bad stuff, apart from the shoddy work(?)manship (ahem!) of dodgy bros inc (not brothers or a corporation, just a trio of crap at their job, lazy and dishonest tradies!) was intentional. Our new bathroom while not perfect is vastly improved, and we've got two toilets now. That's what we call flash around here!

(even though the new one is like "sh**ting on a dinner plate!". I've pinched this quote from Patsy's post on the "Delicate Topic of Toilets" because I couldn't put it any better myself).

Certain aspects, like this, are even quite lovely.

unexpected slice of sky framed by ventilation gap in our new window
Btw, it used to look like this
I know it had a certain...charm (?), but remember we live in an old corner shop. Our bathroom window fronts the street. You could see right through that clear glass. Scary! (for us and the local Peeping Toms!) 
I just need some time to get over all of the crappy stuff that happened in between. (keep your fingers crossed that no more tiles crack or fall off while I'm working on the bonding process. Seriously.)     

*not in the same bathroom I hasten to add. I mean two toilets en tout. Two toilets in one bathroom?! Now that would be weird. Ewww!)

Thanks for reading.  I'll post some proper pics soon. 

p.s. A tip from me. Don't ever buy one of those toilets with a self-closing lid. Take my advice, I know. Those things are just stupid. They take way too long to close. I want to shut and flush and get outta there pronto. Post-poo drops* or not.

* Make-Mine-Mid-Century put me onto these and they work. Please take the time to read Aesop's blurb. It's quite funny. Doing a poo is referred to as "vigorous activity". I think this is hilarious. You?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Humdingers of the Grid City


(thanks to a tip-off from bloggy friend, and talented N.Z. artist Sally Reynolds)

I was lucky enough to discover the photographic work of Nicholas Burrowes. In particular his Hum Dingers of the Grid City pics, which capture the concrete loveliness and hard edged sculptural beauty, of Christchurch's Modernist commercial buildings simply, elegantly and honestly.

Hum Dingers is a tribute (some of the buildings, sadly long gone) to the Brutalist architecture some of us love (and the rest of us love to hate. Ahem!) And Nicholas doesn't call them hum dingers for nothing! To say they took my breath away when I looked at them would be a huge understatement - they moved me to such an extent that I contacted Nicholas to ask him if I could share them here with you (a big deal for someone shy like me). I'm happy to say Nicholas very kindly agreed "help yourself and post anything you need", so if you've got a soft spot for Brutalist architecture - or even if you haven't (and why not?), you're in for a treat...

171 Main North Road

7 Whiteleigh Avenue
(originally The Wool Exchange, designed by Sir Miles Warren)

O Bridge Street
(racecaller's box at the Pleasant Point Yacht Club. Since demolished. I love this one, it reminds me of a bird house)

55 Sandyford Street

Here's how it could hang at your place

These are just a few of Nicholas's "hum dingers". You won't be disappointed if you take the time to check out the rest of them, and you can, here. You can also have a bit of a sticky-beak at some of Christchurch's residential hum dingers on the fabulous Christchurch Modern (a bit like our own Modernist Australia - which I'm happy to say, is now back online).

One more to end

43 St Martins Road
(St Martins Presbyterian Church, designed by Ernst Plishke)

As always, thanks for reading, and thank-you to Sally and Nicholas for giving me something to write about.

p.s. it would be remiss of me not to mention Thomas Ryan here - Thomas is a Tasmanian photographer whose awesome photography documents Mid-Century, Art Deco and Brutalist buildings in Australia. You've got to check out "Marjoy"