Starting work on the basement and other bits and bobs

We have finally started work on our rather depressing basement. The bathroom in what we refer to as the outhouse is the main initial focus. We are trying to sort out the entrance to the room from what will be a living room.

The plan for the basement is that it will be a semi-separate flat that we can choose to rent out (and cover some of the renovation costs) or take back as use a guest space should we need it. It has its own front door underneath the main front door and it needs a lot of work, more than anywhere else in the house. But we are starting with the bathroom and I think you can see why….

I kind of wish we could keep this wallpaper.



It’s only a small space and so we’re struggling with how the layout in there will work. We have a lot of planning and decision-making to do downstairs and that will probably slow our progress as we find it easier to do a bit, take a look, think it over and then press on. But we will get there in the end.

Oh and we had to buy a shed to put all the DIY stuff we have been storing in the basement in. We’re going to paint it to look a bit like a beach hut.

Inside more wallpaper stripping has taken place in the trickier to reach areas around the top landing. This is in preparation for plastering the worst sections which we have already done on the first and ground floor. Soon we’ll need to agree on colours and flooring for the hall and stairs. But not just yet.

In the main bathroom, which is currently my favourite room in the house, I am still trying to decide on whether we should have wallpaper or leave it plain. If we do have wallpaper it will be just on one wall.

I got my selection of samples out and had a look at them in the space.

We quite like this one. But it’s not really right for a bathroom I think although it’s quite fun. It is by Lewis and Wood.

The we have this paper which I have talked about loads already on here. It’s by Timorous Beasties. I have decided against however as it is on a cream background and I want to keep the rest of the walls white now (final decision) and I think that will look ill-considered. But I will try to use it elsewhere in the house because it is cool.

I like this one too but it’s also a no for the same reasons as above. It’s from Zoffany.

And so that leaves this as my current favourite. It’s a bit lurid, but I like it and it’s from wallpaper direct and pleasingly is one of the cheaper one.

Oh and because the bathroom is the most finished I am able t do nice things like buy flowers to go in there without it being pointless and lost amongst rubble as they would be elsewhere.


More quirky wallpaper

The August issue of Living Etc has some wallpaper that has caught my eye and is a bit similar to some designs I have posted here already. 

It seems a bit of a trend to have wallpaper that creates the illusion you have objects against the wall. I quite like it although I’m not sure how it works when you want to add shelves with real objects on them. Could get a bit messy. This paper is from Catkin Collection

Also from Catkin Collection is this bird house wallpaper. I think I actually prefer this one.

We’re not really at the wallpaper stage yet but these certainly go onto the list of possibilities.

Adding to the wish list

I’ve been doing a bit of research into interesting wallpapers as I’d like to some in this house and ideally something a bit quirky or unusual.

I’d seen designs by Timorous Beasties before and decided to pay their shop in London a visit (they are originally a design duo from Glasgow). I’m a big fan of their Toile Collection and if I could have only one thing from them it would be this.

And this design a close second.

They look familiar but on closer inspection the designs are quite unexpected. But at £100 a roll it’s only ever going to be on a small space.

They also do extra wide format printing which allows them to have a larger design.

Then another company that was recommended to me is Deborah Bowness. These are my favourites.

With the books being top of my list.


While we have been removing wall paper etc (and frankly even without bothering) we’ve found some startling pattern choices. We’ve also found some that have almost come back into fashion.  

Here’s a selection of some of my favourites.

hallway carpet

wallpaper on first floor landing

wallpaper from one of our basement / dungeon rooms

fireplace surround - not a favourite

found behind a kitchen cupboard in the now defunct upstairs kitchen


bathroom tiles, popular in the 70s I think

a vibrant choice for the outside bathroom

 The outside bathroom walls are my favourite. I imagine that made a bath feel a bit warmer on a chilly January night.

And one more that I forgot to add before, the carpet on the upper stairs. Did Jackson Pollock ever do a range of carpets? It would seem so…..

What the papers say

We move on Friday this week and so Klaus went out this morning to buy a Sunday Times, to read and then immediately recycle as we spend the day packing. 

A few things in the home section caught my eye. In a feature about bold decorative statements in the smallest room (something I am all in favour of) a few interesting sites were mentioned. 

First up (from my re-jigged list) is Beware the Moon. A high-end wallpaper manufacturer I particularly like the Ostrich range. I like the idea of the She range but they are somehow too sparse for my taste. 

Next and already a recurring theme is patterned tiles this time from Welbeck. These are I admit a long way along the road to chintzville but what the hell. Then lastly I really like these quirky lights from originalbtc.

I’d say a bit weird for a bathroom but a very charming idea. 

Right we’re off for a walk in the park then down to some serious packing.