Melisa's Blog

How we renovated our tiny downstairs loo during lockdown?

 

2020 has proven to be a challenging year for everybody. While key and the front line workers had their own type of challenges, like saving lives, sacrificing massively for us and day to day struggles to survive the pandemic, more regular people like us had totally different and unimportant challenges like boredom and restlessness while we wait in the comfort of our homes for this to "go away".

We all spent the first month of lockdown either excessively exercising or eating (and drinking), or learning how to bake various fancy breads and cakes. After the novelty wore off, we then moved on to DIY and home renovations. 

Like everyone else we also got the DIY bug and thought it would be fun (!) to do a little makeover of own. Having very little DIY experience, my husband and I thought we would do the smallest room in the house, which is our downstairs loo. It is a 2 x 1 metre room after all. It is also the plainest and most boring room but at the end of the day it is the loo and it really doesn't matter if it is perfect. 

I initially thought we would just change the tiles because I really disliked the yellowish stones on the walls. We selected the mixed Casablanca and metro tiles from Porcelain Superstore. (TIP - if you are going to lay metro tiles yourself, it is a good idea to measure everything precisely on paper before you start :) ) After much deliberation, we decided to go with the darker grey grout as I thought lighter grey would look too light with the white metro tiles. I wanted the tiles to be visible and that is another reason to measure properly and always use a leveller.

I absolutely love the new mixed tiles on the floor. Everybody in the family contributed in deciding which pattern should go to where. In fact, we all picked our favourite tile and wrote our names on the back (it is another activity while you sitting on the loo you can try and find your tile and spot the others and that is of course if you are not looking at your phone)!!!

 

After we laid the tiles, the next decision was the wall colour. If you are cruising on Pinterest a lot, you should recognise the colour Hague Blue from Farrow & Ball. It was always going to be one of the Farrow & Ball blues. At the end, I wanted to create a contrast between the white tiles and walls, so I selected the dark deep Hague Blue. The colour is so rich and the paint is thick so it covers every single spot on the wall. We chose to paint the fuse box too (it is not visible on the pictures) and also the wooden window sill to get a more unified look.

Everything in the old loo was in chrome finish including the radiator. I wanted to have the old style brass fixtures and heated towel rail but soon figured out that they are not only very hard to find but also extremely expensive. At the end, I was unsuccessful in finding a brushed brass / gold radiator that would not actually cost more than the bathroom itself. So change of plans on the radiator. I had read on a blog that someone actually painted a chrome radiator with using metal primer first and it came out ok. So I just did that. Used the same Farrow & Ball Hague Blue paint followed after Metal Primer & Undercoat - Dark Shades. I don't know how it will work when the heat is on, time will show. 

 

I got the wood wash stand / basin unit custom made by Simply Rustic Furniture. I also got two matching shelves from them, one of which is hanging above the window. I also got the dark grey concrete basin custom made as I had a very limited space.

Brushed brass fixtures like the tap, towel hook and toilet paper handle is all from Drench Britton range.

 

The other accessories like Meraki concrete tray, towels, diffisuer and soaps are all from my own shop mylittlewish.com. The two wall lights are from Amazon. The round brass mirror is from MaisonsDuMonde but I have to say it took months (!) to get this delivered from the company so if you are looking to get something quicker, try alternative shops like Wayfair or John Lewis, they have similar mirrors.

This DIY experience was fun and we are proud we actually achieved something during the lockdown but we know it is not perfect. There are corners that is not quite straight, or the tiles are not perfectly aligned. We still love it as it is and happy with the results.

If you are planning your own  bathroom makeover, I would recommend the following

- Get a professional tiler because a) he will do it much much quicker and b) he has all the tools so you don't need to buy them yourself. 

- Although they may cost a little more, get your basin and cabinet custom made for your space. It is so worth it! Or buy a second hand cabinet and transform it and make it your own.

- Second hand brass bathroom fixtures can be found on Ebay but you might need to wait until you collect all you need.

- You can find similar wall paint in fact the same colour mixed for you if you don't want to spend too much on the paint.

 

 

Please leave a comment below if you have any questions,

Macrame DIY Kits

I have always been mesmerised by the beauty and bohemian feel of the macrame. I grew up in a house full of macrame so i was instantly drawn into them when they became popular again few years ago.

However, only recently when we were in total lockdown, it occurred to me that many people would want to learn macrame but it somehow seems very complicated to an "outsider". This was at the same time when I was running out of ideas of entertaining my kids :) so I came up with a DIY macrame feather box to keep my kids busy.

Macrame feather

Macrame feathers are not only easy to make but also super fun to do with kids too. My second DIY box was a macrame keyring which was slightly more difficult but the finished product was so cute and makes a perfect gift to give to anyone who would love to learn more complicated macrame knots.

As these DIY boxes were getting more and more popular I started expanding the range and made boxes for macrame plant hangers, macrame earrings, macrame coasters and so on. The possibilities were endless. As anyone who is into macrame knows, once you start macrame, you want to do more and it's almost an addiction. :)

All our DIY macrame craft boxes made from sustainable materials like the wood from our local forest, our yarn is 100% recycled cotton. We use 100% recycled packaging which are widely recyclable.

You can find my DIY Macrame Boxes in the below link. They each come with a step by step instruction leaflet as well as a video link for those who want to watch it being done,

https://www.mylittlewish.com/collections/giftbox

Here are some of the finished products that you can find on my website.

 If you have any questions about macrame or this article please type your comment below or email me at melisa@mylittlewish.com.

Macrame CoasterMacrame Book mark

 

 

Macrame Wall Hanging

If you grew up in the 70s/ 80s, you probably had one or two macrame pieces at home. My mother was obsessed with house plants (like they are popular now) back then, we literally had a plant in every corner and they were hanging from beautiful macrame hangers.

 

We also had macrame covers for jars and even shelves made out of them. So when I discovered they were becoming popular again, I instantly warmed up to the idea of decorating homes with macrame as it reminded me of my childhood. 

As the current decor trends continuously shift toward bohemia, I think they will be around for a long time. Whether you go treasure hunting for some antique pieces from your parents garage or jump into the DIY macrame train, I hope you find some inspiration from these pieces that I made over time. Feel free to ask away any questions you may have down below,

 

 You can find most of these pieces in our online shop.

https://www.mylittlewish.com/collections/wall-hanging/products/boho-wall-hanging-xxl?variant=28706453192809

https://www.mylittlewish.com/collections/wall-hanging/products/boho-macrame-wall-hanging-xl?variant=28706073968745

How to clean Glerups slippers?

So many of you have been asking me how to wash your Glerups slippers so I created this video to help you out. 

Glerups are made of 100% pure wool and wool is self-cleaning. However, if periodic cleaning is required, your Glerups can be washed in the washing machine on the "wool", "hand wash" or "delicate" program (max 30 degrees Celsius).

It helps to vacuum your shoes clean of dust before washing. After a spin-dry put your feet into the wet shoes. Pat your Glerups into shape, remove, and leave to air dry. Your Glerups love fresh air.

Don't tumble dry and don't put them near the radiators.

I hope you find the video useful. Please feel free to leave me a comment here or email (info@mylittlewish.com) me if you have any questions,

Melisa

DIY Christmas gifts video 1 - Scented Stones

You can make perfect handmade Christmas gifts with scented stones. Not only they are dead easy to make, but they also look beautiful and scents last about 3-4 weeks making them perfect for a house gift or to take with you when you visit friends and family for Christmas.

Here in this video I am making scented stones for Christmas. I got very cute Christmasy silicon moulds that I got from the internet and I use essential oils to make them smell extra festive. You can also use colourings to make them in different colours, simply add the colours at the same time as the essential oil.

To make scented stones, you need:

1- Plaster of paris or equivalent for modelling. You can find this on the internet or hobby shops. I use 2:1 ratio when I make my stones but this is depending on the powder you get. It is sometimes required a little less or more water. 

2- Silicon moulds: There are various shape and types available on the internet.

3 - Essential Oils - I use Christmas Spice mixed with Sweet Orange. You can create your own scent by experimenting with the oils. Cinnamon, Clove, Bay and Rosemary are my other favourites for Christmas.

4 - Ribbons/ Ties to decorate. 

Scented Stones

 

 I hope you enjoy this video. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Melisa

 

Blanket Edition

When choosing a blanket, what do you look for? Comfort & practicality? Compact yet large enough to envelop you?
Blanket
Let me introduce the cotton blanket- machine washable, allergy proof, environmentally friendly & the softest blanket imaginable.
BlanketBlanket
It erases all itchy, confining feelings & replaces them with comfort. The kind of comfort you would want to bring on a picnic, but also keep for movie nights.
Leftover fuzz or pile is no longer an issue! Instead you save time & money on unnecessary dry cleaning , when you simply take it to your very own washing machine. 
Finally the day has come when you can have everything you need in one fold away blanket.
Blanket

Why you need to own a diamond scarf?

Ever needed an item of clothing for all four seasons? This multipurpose diamond scarf will come to your rescue for all your needs in and around the house.
From needing a luxury winter scarf to wrap yourself up in to a cool summers wrap; keeping the odd blow of wind from ruining that warm summers evening. 
The adaptable scarf can function in any form to suit all your needs. Even through travelling; the scarf offers a light comfortable journey with it's ability to save space easily.
 
It can also be used to keep that newborn baby smell lasting longer as a baby blanket, and can be wrapped tightly for more warmth on chilly days.
It is a great item to keep in your carrier bag or under the buggy all the time. Because of its generous size, it can be used to cover the buggy from the sun/ wind or can be used as a picnic blanket to lay your baby on whenever you need. The best part is its machine washable so it is washed and cleaned in no time.
With all its many purposes, the scarf can be used in whatever way you need or want it in, making it a perfect birthday or Christmas gift.
I must say there is only one problem with this scarf and that is to decide which colour to buy. :)

5 ways to create 'hygge' at home

 Here is a fact: According to the 2016 happiness report, Denmark has been declared the happiest, most contented country on earth. Being married to a Dane myself, I think I know why.

It is what I call the “hygge factor”. It is the philosophy or the mind set of doing absolutely everything in life in a hygge way. Unfortunately, there isn’t a single word to explain what hygge or hyggelig is but here is what the dictionary says:

 

hygge [n.]  [hoo-ga]

A complete absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming; taking pleasure from the presence of gentle, soothing things.

 

For me the perfect hygge is Sunday morning breakfast with family: pancakes are sizzling, my favourite jam and the smell of cinnamon, feeling of cashmere socks and cosiness of my linen robe, the smell of the beautiful flowers and my favourite candles flickering gently on the table, the radio is on in the background and the giggles of my daughter and chatting goes on until late in the morning.

 

Hygge is feeling cosy, but in every sense: for body, mind and soul. Who wouldn’t be happy?

 

Given that 90% of the hygge feeling happens at home, here is 5 ways to create instant hygge.  But don’t forget, hygge is not only about the furniture. What makes it so special is the good company of family and friends and relaxed, stress free life style that it comes with it.

 

  1. Create a hygge corner

This can be anywhere at home but it has to be snug and comfy. Somewhere you can relax, read your book and have a cup of tea, perhaps by the window where you can see the leaves falling from the trees outside or squirrels playing or simply people passing by.

Checklist: A comfy chair, a table lamp, a cozy blanket, a sheep skin rug, a scented candle, a plant.



  1. Candles

Did you know that an average Dane (including my husband) lights one candle at least 5 times a week? That means putting the candles on almost every night while you are watching TV, at breakfast table or while having your bath. There is nothing more relaxing and soothing than a few flickering candles in the room.

Checklist: Tea lights (lots of them), dinner candles, one big scented candle (I love the St Eval’s Rosemary and Bay)

 

  1. Bring nature inside

This seems a bit strange but Danes love to bring nature inside their homes. Flowers and spring blossoms in the spring, washed out beach wood, shells and stones from the beach trip in the summer, leaves, twigs, nuts and all kinds of woody stuff in autumn. Last year, we collected pine cones from a forest trip at Christmas time and displayed them in glass jars with some fairy lights at home. Nu er det hyggeligt (Now, that's cozy!)

Checklist: Leaves, stones, twigs, branches, flowers, cones, chestnuts.

 

  1. Blankets

Who wouldn’t like the feeling of a nice warm and soft blanket to snuggle up with on the sofa. Stack of different blankets, maybe a wool or a cotton one, also a sheepskin on the chairs or as a rug on the floor to create different textures, just warms up the room instantly without changing the temperatures.

Checklist: A warm wool blanket, a cotton blanket/ throw, a sheep skin or faux fur throw.

 

  1. Lights

The room has to be lit just enough to see around but without any single light overpowering the others. The institutional establishment look is a no-no in a hygge concept. Denmark is famous for their lamp designs, so if you can afford it, it is definitely worth investing in a beautiful Danish lamp.  

Checklist: A lamp shade, a floor lamp, fairy lights, dimmable lights.

 

Decorating with Suzani

Suzani fabrics have grown from being an ancient tradition and type of textile in Central Asia (mainly Uzbekistan) dating back hundreds of years to be a focal point in modern interiors. It is not surprising to see pictures of suzanis decorating beautiful homes on the covers of magazines nowadays. But what are these suzanis and why has the world gone crazy about them?

History of the “Needle” 

The name suzani comes from the Persian word ‘suzan’ or ‘needle’. Suzani usually has a cotton or silk base for its cotton or silk embroidery, and its most common embroidery technique is the chain stitch.

Suzani Cushion Cover

In central Asia, suzanis are given to the groom as a bride’s dowry. Due to the intricate work involved in making them, it is common for the suzani maker (usually the mother of the bride) to sketch the design on to the fabric (this is why we sometimes see pencil marks on the fabric) and divide it among many women in the village or family who helps embroidered them separately. Once complete, it is sewn back together to create one large, decorative piece.

How to decorate your home with suzani?

Suzan Bed Cover

With its bright, colourful flowery motifs, these magical fabrics are hardly subtle and that is what makes them so special and unique.

Using a suzani pillow or cushion covers is the quickest and most beautiful way to add a touch of colour to any room in the house.

For example, use them to liven up a dull sofa, scatter them on a window seat or place them on dining room chairs.

If you are lucky enough to own a bigger suzani piece, why not throw it over a bed with some matching cushions. I promise it will change the whole room instantly.

Scared of mixing patterns? 

I get it. It is not easy when it comes to buying such a bold, colourful decorative item for your house because you are afraid that it won't match with the rest of the furnishing.

So here is a tip: when it comes to mixing colours and patterns, the most important thing to keep in mind is the balance and harmony.

For example, if you are using a very bold pattern, consider using smaller patterns but similar colours to match on the other side of the room. With that said, avoid using too many different patterns all together. Don’t use a very bold wall paper or a colourful rug, if you have lots of other items in the room with strong presence. At the same time, just because you have a bold cushion on the sofa, doesn’t mean that everything else in the room has to be solid and boring.

Suzani chair

Whether you are ready to join the suzani craze yet or not, having just looked through the autumn issues of some of the big home decoration magazines, it looks like these magical fabrics will continue to be used by many interior designers as decorative elements as the years come.

 

Melisa

 

Selection of suzani cushion covers from my little wish- starting from £40.