Category Archives: Bathroom

Master bedroom makeover: Wall prep

We are in the middle of a week of plastering and sanding, and I’m too scared to open the door to the bedroom for fear of a dust explosion happening through the rest of the house. I put up with a mess of dust through the living room once, and I don’t want to do it again!

Last time we talked about this room reno we had demolished the wardrobe and were starting on removing the wallpaper. But it wasn’t going well remember?



And then we remembered there was this great invention called a wallpaper steamer! For less than $25 for a days hire I convinced Andre we should at least try it.

I’m not sure what was going through his head but he was all for carrying on with our spray and chip method for the next three months.

Buuuuuttt… look who took over. Power tool – it’s only natural. And a few hours later I had to forcibly remove the steamer head from his hand because it was way past bedtime.0605_1167 0605_1168

Once again, I was on clean up duties. But I was content to lean on my broom and watch that wallpaper coming off in strips, not chips!

And the next day we were done with a couple of hours still to spare before we had to return the steamer soooo… the bathroom got dealt with too. This wallpaper is of the nineties trying to be twenties era. It had to go.0605_1173

This was possibly/probably a paper especially for use in a bathroom as it seemed to have quite a “plasticky” top layer, which I ended up pulling off before Andre used the steamer to remove the backing. It all came off really easily, and of course it helped that we only had the top half of a small room to do.0605_1178 0605_1181 0605_1182

But apart from cleaning up that mess, the bathroom has had no more attention for now.

So back to the bedroom. I mentioned last time there was icky stuff to be found under the paper in certain areas. This is the dampest and darkest of all the rooms in the house, and with drafty timber windows and no insulation until recently I wasn’t surprised, but I was still well and truly disgusted.

So after a bit of research and pulling on some latex gloves with a satisfying snap I held my breath and got rid of it as best I could. I started by spraying it with a water/vinegar/tea tree oil solution. I did this two or three times over a couple of days. Apparently that’s all you usually need to do to treat it (slash kill it, although how do you tell when it’s dead?!) and wiping it is maybe not good because it can cause the spores to spread. But of course we need to paint these walls and I’m not painting over dead mould, no matter how dead it is.

So I compromised and did my best to kill it before I then cleaned it up with rags doused in the same solution. Those rags got binned immediately – nasty things.

For luck I went back for a third step and sprayed again to ensure any leftovers were well dead.

In the meantime we spent an evening doing some wardrobe visualising with the doors and shelves of the old wardrobe. We are trying to decide whether to use woodgrain on the sides of the wardrobe, or on the doors. Or not at all.0605_1204

All other spare time in the last couple of weeks has been put into sugar soaping. I started out with this job thinking sugar soap was some miracle cleaner that would disappear all gluey mess as soon as I touched my cloth to the wall. Not so my friends, not so.

I scrubbed, and scrubbed, and scrubbed until my arms ached and my fingers were raw.


You can see below the difference it makes though – the left side is sugar soaped, the right is still waiting…0605_1207But I’m done, and now it’s Andre’s job to plaster and patch up and then finally sand smooth these four dodgy walls!
0605_1269And I don’t envy him one bit. I’ll take sugar soaping every time!


Pursuits of perfection

I was cleaning the bathroom this morning (right on schedule…) and pondering how we’ll go about sprucing it up when we get around to it. Right now, it’s pretty functional and while it doesn’t excite me in any way, it also doesn’t disgust me as long as I squint. There are other things that do, even when I squint. Like our back yard, so that’s next in line to get the dynamite. I think the bathroom might well be last. 1206_3130

I began with grand visions of shifting the bath, toilet and shower, oh and the basin. So yes, all fixtures were to be shifted (and all but the bath replaced with something new)… “It’s such a terrible layout – we can’t work with that!”. But work with it we have, and it’s not so bad. Plus, we’ve spent enough.

Decisions now are based on the “how can we make that great without spending much?!” question rather than the “what’s our ideal?” one.


There will be a makeover… it just won’t require shifting any fixtures.

And that doesn’t hurt now like it might have done two years ago. Buying this house we I had so many visions of a perfect little home and how we’d make it superbly awesome and wow everyone who set foot past the gate post. Now after two years of slow-going renovation my highest standard is “comfortable and stamped with our personality“. No more pursuits of perfection – they’re expensively fruitless. Lesson learned at age 30.

The Block NZ: My Bathroom & Laundry

Oooh this is fun! Our bathroom is pretty good really for such a small space and functions really well but for the lack of storage. Kind of a biggie but we’re living with it (obviously).

So I’ve had a lovely half hour dreaming of my future bathroom which will be a zen-like haven of peaceful Japanese-ness, yet still function well as a family bathroom and have a touch of our signature vintage style. I’ve got it sorted:

Let me paint a word picture to go with the above.

Start at the top right (logical… no, but just do as I say) and imagine this shrunk to dimensions of 2.6 x 1.75m. A fully tiled shower in one corner with frameless glass door and wall, alongside which is a wooden Japanese bath, just the right size for sitting up in. On the other side (just an arms length away, which is fine – the Japanese live a compact life) is a crisp white toilet (toilets should never be any other colour) in one corner and a concrete topped vanity in the other. With baskets on the shelves please – I’m not as tidy as that dream bathroom picture makes out.

Since a couple of weeks spent in Japan way back in 2009 I’ve had a thing for the Japanese way of bathing (I even braved an onsen all by myself due to being the only female in our group) and would dearly love to have the potential for such relaxation in the comfort of my own home. Hence the Japanese bath (or ofuro, via here from My Scandinavian Home) included in my moodboard. There is a company in Oz which might oblige by shipping one to me?! Or we could look into knocking one up ourselves… if we had more than a week of course.

Now, heading anti-clockwise we have a natural colour scheme of soft grey walls blended with white subway tile and darker concrete and timber textures with blushing accessories – girls hang out in bathrooms, boys don’t even notice them.

Because you look up while washing shampoo out of your hair, you have to have something to look at up there. Hence the pretty light (via here) which adds another layer of texture and will look oh so pretty reflected in the gallery wall of vintage mirrors above the vanity and toilet.

Jumping over the Japanese bath (we’ve already covered that well and truly) you get to that sweet little doll – this is a family bathroom remember, and small members like toys in their baths. I also like these boats.

And wouldn’t that blushful bathmat from Urban Outfitters feel nice on freshly bathed toes?

Boring but necessary, the obligatory toilet. This one from here but it could well be substituted by any number of similar ones from here, there and everywhere.

Now, budget you say? This is where I pull my trump card: The Block NZ residents get two bathrooms, we only have one, so it’s only fair I get to spend two lots of bathroom budget on one. Yes. So let me have that ofuro shipped from Australia thanks. Thanks!

Well done Ginny and Rhys – so pleased you won as you are the sweetest couple. Richard and Sarah – boo, but nice bathroom and good effort on the concrete benchtop.

Laundry… sorry my little Miss E is awake and calling, but we’ve done our laundry already anyway. Too fast. And it’s not good practise to look back and say “what if we’d done this instead?” Just makes one miserable.