Wednesday, 19 June 2013

West Egg Wins Best Interiors Blog Award

Wow wow wow. Some of you may have seen a post on here last week about the Prime Location Blog Awards. West Egg was nominated for the User's Favourite Blog Award which is voted for by the people.  I was frankly amazing that we had been nominated. We didn't win, the award went instead to Rentonomy who fully deserved it with the monster share of the votes. You can see the full list of winners here.

West Egg did however pick up the Best Interiors Blog Award which, again, I didn't even know we had been nominated for. It was amazing! Thank you so much to everyone who voted for us and supported West Egg. It is greatly appreciated and a real motivation boost to keep moving the business forward and progressing on every front. Twitter played a massive part in the support we received, especially from fellow design bloggers like the amazing Stacey Sheppard (twitter handle: @StaceyJSheppard) who blogs over at The Design Sheppard. Stacey tweeted about us every day for a week before the voting cut off - way above and beyond what anyone could have expected. It's so lovely and heart-warming to be part of this interiors community that is so supportive and helpful to each other. I love it.

To think this blog has it's own award makes me so proud of West Egg and myself for everything we've managed to do over the last 2 years. So many amazing opportunities and some of the most fun projects I've worked on have come about because of this blog and I think that is a really positive, inspiring and amazing thing.

Image Credit: Pedan + Munk

Lucinda and I were in the car when I found out via Twitter - cue lots of screaming. We celebrated later on with prosecco and a lovely Mediterranean vegetable lasagne recipe from Mary Berry's cookbook. It was perfect and I was so happy to be able to celebrate it with the person who inspires me so greatly. We're working on some new designs for A/W 2013 and I can't wait to share them with you all. Thank you again to everyone for your support of our business.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Choosing a Bathroom for our Cottage Renovation

As I mentioned in the blog post yesterday, my husband and I have been renovating an old cottage for several months now. It has been a fairly large project in terms of the work that we have had to get done. In short, the cottage was completely gutted and put back together with a steel frame. Gulp! So a slightly bigger job that we thought, but I've seen Grand Designs, I know that's the way it goes....not naive at all, not at all...

We're coming to the latter stages now, and one particular room that has had me stumped is the bathroom. Like pretty much everything else, we had to rip it out and start afresh. Only, once you're left with a basic rectangular room, it suddenly becomes a little daunting. Making these decisions is something I thought I'd relish, but actually it's agonising. I talked about choosing tiles yesterday which if you read it, you probably get a sense of how long it is taking me to make a decision.

In the end, I approached it the same way I approached everything else with this project. I researched online using Google images, Pinterest, decorating and renovation blogs like mad about the house and young house love. I looked back through brochures I had picked up at trade shows and when I was away on BlogTourNYC. And as I started to piece it all together, I picked out the common themes of things I liked. For me, it all starts with the bath. 

In an ideal world, and an ideal bathroom, I'd pick a lovely free-standing bath that inspires a deep sense of relaxation. Having blown most of our budget on mere silly things like steel frames, we're now penny pinching and trying to get more for every purchase at lower costs. I was happily surprised at the choices of baths available at some really good prices at Homebase. They have a fantastic range, and while they were too big for our bathroom space, given half a chance we would have picked one of these freestanding bad boys. 

Although we couldn't fit one in our bathroom this time, I've bookmarked them for any future bathrooms - we need one upstairs in the cottage so I'm hoping that will be big enough to fit one. Choosing from the wide variety of bathroom suites is tricky, and simply researching online is never the same as seeing things in real life. I visited several bathroom retailers in person, and spent time wandering around. It's also useful to visit in person, because then when you completely forget about things like shower screens, you know where to go.

I've taken some really hilarious photographs of the bathroom already (one of which you can see here) which show progress, all I need now are the 100% finished "after" photographs. 

This post was sponsored by Homebase, however, all views and opinions are my own. 
For more information on how I work with sponsors, please click on the Advertising tab above. 

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Metro Tiles for the Bathroom

Did you know I'm renovating a house with my husband? Given half a chance I will merrily wang on about it to anyone who will listen so I'm betting I've mentioned it here before. In fact I know I have. So, now we're all on the same page, renovating blah blah, also on that page is an ever diminishing budget. So when it came to tiling the bathroom, I would have loved nothing more than to employ a highly skilled and knowledgeable tiler (or my Dad, same thing). However, once I'd totted up how much the tiles, adhesive, grout etc would cost, there wasn't much left for the actual tile application. Dad was busy doing other things (like putting the rest of the house together) and I thought, well, I'll have a go. Why not! Why not tile a bathroom when you've never done it before? To prepare for this tiling extravaganza I watched about 25 videos on YouTube of other people tiling, and read a few online guides. Let me share what I learnt with you.

Firstly, tiling is very time-consuming. Anyone who says you can do it in half a day is either lying or an expert tiler. Secondly, it's fiddly, really fiddly, especially behind the taps (try and tile before you put taps in). Thirdly, quick drying adhesive dries really really fast so you need to work quickly which isn't always possible when you're a complete novice and spend huge chunks of time standing in the bath staring blankly at the wall.

In spite of all this, it turned out pretty well. I originally wanted to use the Fired Earth metro tiles because I fell in love with them at the Fired Earth & Aga showroom at Vale Farm last Christmas.

Sadly the Fired Earth tiles were way out of our budget, who saw that coming? I found some really lovely alternatives though at Topps Tiles in Bedford. I didn't have a clue what I was doing and the staff were super helpful, I'd really recommend them especially Tony who gave me a few last minute tips before I started.

I went for the Metro Tile in Blue - after consulting my husband obviously - he was totally involved too :). I did umm and ahhh about going for the cream or white ones because they were so much cheaper, but in the end I thought I'd be brave and go for it. And I'm really so so pleased with the results.

This is before I had properly finished doing the final rub to get the smeary grout bits off. But overall, I'm thrilled all except if you look closely in the corner you can see it goes thicker and then thinner again? That is going to bug me every time I'm in there I think! Corners are really tough.

I'd love to hear from any other DIY tilers out there? I do actually have one last tip I just thought of... I wrapped the taps in cling film so they were protected from the adhesive and grout flying around but I could also work around them. Am I a super genius or does everyone do this? I'll go with genius until I hear otherwise, it's good for my tiler self-esteem.

Anyway, do you want to see what the bathroom was like before? Here you go...

Snazzy shower doors + curtain combo, right?! I'm so happy to have a bath in there now.

Right, I'm off now to my cardboard castle to pack up some west egg orders, will be back tomorrow. Bye!