This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.
When you have a home there are always jobs, maintenance, decorating, refreshing or refurbishing and not forgetting gardening if there is one. So when Lockdown arrived abruptly in early Spring there was plenty for us to do. As retired Baby Boomers, a lucky generation, we were able to consider and prioritise some projects. These escalated at dizzying speed as the need for satisfaction and purpose to the day became important during the awful times engulfing the country.
Dipping our toes and testing the water we started with the little guest bedroom. Located at the top of the stairs it offers a pretty vista across the garden, and probably destined to be a bedroom for visiting grandchildren, it deserved to be a cheery room. Lots of scraping, filling and oiling of beams later, paint was found and the mission completed.
Throughout the barn I have used the same wall colour, Priory from Crown’s Period range. On the Crown website enter in your main colour and they recommend related colours to co-ordinate, woodwork etc – genius!
Spurred on, my most burning target came onto the radar, the downstairs loo.
We had left over floor tiles from our master ensuite project plus some other tiles previously bought in an over enthusiastic moment in the tile shop. Luckily they went well together. Yippee! By now, April, it was nigh on impossible to get any DIY products but a previous trip to Costco, just before Lockdown, secured the toilet and the rest was sourced on the internet.
For such a small room I couldn’t believe there was so much to do. The developers who had converted the barn seemed to love boxing things in, pipes being the favourite. Managing to drill through the solid wall we partially buried the basin plumbing for a more streamlined look. The rest of the boxing made tiling a challenge but edged in chrome it began to take on a more polished and professional finish.
The electric meter cupboard was sanded and painted in Soft Steel outside in that glorious sunshine of early Spring and I have to tell you this little cupboard had been fitted with a door knob from the kitchen units, I guess there was a spare one left over at the time.
The floor tiles went down easily enough despite the room being lopsided and skew-whiff, at times you just had to disobey the spirit level, like a sat nav, and line up as you saw it.
Do you know the difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles? Nope nor did I. 10 clever points if you do. Porcelain tiles, which sound delicate like china, are commonly used for floor tiles because they are more dense and less porous. So we used them for the walls, which is fine, until you want to drill through for fixing hanging basins, radiators, toilet roll holders etc. Allow for a £15 drill bit and a strong steady arm, it takes a while.
I now have a deep appreciation for a downstairs loo, several weeks of trips up and down the stairs in moments of need has made me realise how important the smallest and most overlooked room is. Love your loo!
And now for the family bathroom…
Read Valerie’s previous posts HERE