Rachel Lovie was the winner of our before and after competition. Whilst interviewing her about the stunning bathroom project below, I asked her for her top tips for decorating a home. Here they are…
1. Plan and purchase well in advance and try to cover all your bases by considering everything in detail. I’m not a big fan of lists, but with design projects they are essential. List absolutely everything that will be needed and revisit your list regularly – it’s amazing how many little things you don’t think of at first. With bathrooms especially, plumbing can be tricky. For example, we tried to help our plumber by planning in the platform to make the waste pipe runs easier to manage, and so we could buy a standard 40mm shower tray and sink it in to the floor to achieve a more expensive looking slimline finish. The boxed in shelf run along the back wall, as well as being practical, made it easier to conceal the copper piping and fit the wall mounted taps and shower controls.
2. Don’t underestimate the time needed for sourcing materials, an important consideration if budgeting is a factor. We spent a lot of time trawling the internet for quality bargains, sourcing items from Walls and Floors, Ebay, Ikea, and in flash sales from online bathroom suppliers. The whole project cost us £8k, but could easily have set us back 20k if we hadn’t been so diligent with our research.
3. Order early if you have room to store things, otherwise unexpected supply issues can interfere with your scheduled works, and most reputable builders, plumbers and fitters will have other jobs lined up. Delays can prove costly. Also, if there are any quality issues with products, allow time for these to be rectified by suppliers well before your work is due to commence as it can take a week or two to get faulty items replaced.
4. Get lots of samples if possible, so you can match textures and colours in situ. It’s amazing how things look in different light conditions, so being able to view stuff where you’re thinking of installing it can be important. Keep the overall design in mind when making individual choices. We loved certain textured and coloured flooring and worktops but in the end, decided on simpler finishes for them so as not to overdo it. You can always add extra splashes of colour and texture later with accessories.
5. The finishing touches are important, so pay attention to the detailing. It doesn’t matter how good the rest of the work is, if the finish is shoddy it can let the whole project down. If you have someone doing part or all of the work for you, tell them up front the standard of finish that you’re expecting. If the end result doesn’t match, make a snagging list of what needs doing and insist it’s completed before paying the final invoice. Give yourself a few days to test everything and make sure you’re happy first.
Some fantastic tips from Rachel! Make sure you check out the interview about her bathroom project… Rachel’s Reclaimed Wooden Bathroom.
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