How are you team? How wonderful is it to have some sunshine again? I've been totally loving it and drinking Pimms in the sunshine (and sometime shade because i'm whiter than a sheet of paper and burn oh so easily..) This weeks blog is a biggun for me. It's one I've been building up to and hoping I took enough pictures on the way... it is of course, the Kitchen Revamp!
We moved into our new-build home last Feb and have been slowly slowly getting round the rooms to make them feel a little more 'us'. It's not our 'forever home' so we don't want to make any huge investment changes, just some spruces. The kitchen was just that...
Getting to it
When it comes to DIY around the house I'm a real 'do-er' (unlike the cleaning and the washing which I'll put off for weeks) I'm impatient to see the difference immediately and so there's no stopping me once I have the idea in my head. Just like with the decking last year my husband Alex mentioned off hand that he thought this would be a nice idea and a week later I'd borrowed/bought the tools (and in this case tiles) and was off*.
*read 'Off' as addictively watching you tube videos and calling my dad for advice.
So we decided to tile the kitchen (because frankly those little up stands at the back of the worktop just don't cut it when you have as many 'full englishes' as we do! I wanted something inoffensive but not boring, never boring.
We umm'd and ahh'd for a few days about the tiles before settling on the Crackle Glazed Artisan beauty from the Winchester Tile Company in the amazingly calm colour Lavernham. I wanted them Herringbone rather than straight as I think it's more fun and rather than going for 'the brick' sized tile (which is more rectangular - longer and thinner) we opted for the half tile. I sent many a picture to the wonderful Lisa Dawson as I was desperate for her seal of approval, we both agreed that a bolder tile would look good but as I really wanted to keep it neutral we thought this one would work as long as I chose the grout carefully (oh you KNOW there's a story there...)
We were going to get someone in to do the tiling but because I'm so impatient and had a weekend free and a friend-for-life round on the pretence of tea, cake and a catch up - I decided to just give it a bash! (what's the worst that can happen?!) It probably doesn't compare to a professional job but it works for us. It really was quite simple just time consuming. I don't want to bore you with too many details but basically we watched a few you tube videos and just made it up as we went along. As long as you keep the tiles at a 45 degree angle you're set. We used paper templates to mark out around the plugs and and other shaping that needed doing. Marking on the paper, cutting it to size to double check and then tracing that onto the tiles before cutting them...it worked a treat! Here's a gallery to show you the in's and out's in case it's of interest (if not, feel free to just skip ahead to 'gold grout')
(titles don't get more interesting than that)
I was chatting to gorgeous Liv from Lust Living one evening and she suggested gold plugs which was, of course, a genius idea. I wanted them brushed rather than shiny and found some I liked on Wayfair, HOWEVER, an hour and a lot of googling later revealed the exact same plugs for a fraction of the price from my new favourite store, yep you guessed it, UK electrical supplies. Getting them from UK electrical supplies saved me £17 per plug (and I needed 4 so that was quite considerable!) So once they were in it was time.....
the gold grout
(now THAT'S a title!)
You know what's coming... I searched high and low, across the land and across google to find a solution to my gold grout dilemma (the dilemma being that no where sells gold grout!!!) There's a number of brands that offer a 'gold glitter grout' and if you're after a shine then that seems to be the one but personally I didn't want it to be glittery. So I turned to Instagram, and of course Instagram came through for me! There were a number of suggestions, including mixing a gold pigment into normal grout and a gold acrylic paint. I tried a paint pen from B&Q but found it hard to use vertically. A few people on Instagram suggested Gold Rub 'n Buff and in the end that was the winner for me (plus, it's called Rub 'n Buff - how could it not be a winner?!) We grouted with a normal grout (we used Mapei 'Golden dust' in the hopes it might work but alas, it wasn't even close) and then I used the Antique Gold Rub 'n Buff (sourced from Amazon) over the top.
Now it's time for my first ever vlog, it's only a short 5 minute number with some chatting, some fabulously jazzy music and a random text *ding* when I forgot to put my phone on silent but it also explains exactly what I did and how I did it for anyone who'd like to make their grouting golden. I hope you enjoy it (and if you do, please feel free to subscribe as I'm hoping to do some more Vlogs should anyone be interested....hopefully on more varied subjects than grouting)
Once the tiles were on and the grout was sparkling (YAS GOLD!) it needed a few finishing touches to make it pop, the original cupboard handles just weren't cutting it, it looked all a bit BLAH so I went on the hunt to find some more, however we needed 22 of the buggers so I wasn't about to splash out on fancy ones for £20 a pop (it's my quiet season and I need some money to put food inside those cupboards!) I ordered a few cheap ones from trusty B&Q and ended up settling on the simple gold T-Bar design. When they arrived I worried they looked a touch cheap but once they were on we LOVED them! (to replace your cupboard handles simple measure the distance between the screws on the inside - most of them are a standard size) and at £3 each they were easily affordable and made a huge difference to the kitchen. We slowly replaced them and although we left the integrated fridge, freezer and dishwasher to the end for fear of them being tricky it was actually really simple, just a case of undoing a few screws here and there.
The final touch was a bright print, I knew it needed something really bright to really make it pop and was searching high and low (I've actually ordered about 3 but they weren't right, luckily they can go on the gallery wall up the stairs when I get round to it!) Then one morning we were wondering around in Topsham (a wee town we live close to just outside Exeter) and found ourselves in the magical Rhombus & Pineapple oggling at all colourful delights they had to offer, and I found this beauty of a screen print! (it was between 'Look after yo self' or 'Art School wants you back' but I though that this was a nice message to read every morning as I make my cup of tea.
So we're finally done
(With both the kitchen and the blog)
Other than the expense of the tiles which were around £250 total everything else was pretty much on a budget costing less that £100. It's spruced up our kitchen, yet hopefully not overwhelmed it (always thinking of resale!) Also, it's just nice to have a change every now and then isn't it?
So I hope you like it and that you enjoyed the blog, I hope if you're thinking of tiling it's given you faith to know that YOU CAN DO IT! and if you're wondering how the bloody hell to get golden grout and is it worth the effort, now you know (either way!)
Thanks as always for stoping by you guys <3
Thank you so much for the amazing orders following last weeks posts! I'm so pleased you like the cushion kits!!! I cannot wait to see your finished knits and OMG so many amazing colour combo's have gone out!