Okay, I don’t take many blog freebies but I couldn’t resist this one since it’s a house-y luxury I would have loved to buy but couldn’t afford when we were doing up the kitchen. The Virgin Pure is a new worktop ‘water bar’ that purifies your tap water and provides instant boiling or cool water on tap – as it were. The machine connects into your mains water supply so it never runs out or needs refilling – installation is quick and tidy.
The machine’s got some nifty features: you can set a daily wake-up timer, fix your glass and mug size to dispense just the right amount, and set your preferred hot and cold water temperatures. It has a built-in replaceable filter plus bacteria-killing UV lamp to make the water it dispenses super pure and tasty. Plus it looks kind of pretty too: it comes in loads of colours. I picked silver to blend into our grey tiles.
Virgin’s aim with this product is to get people drinking more pure water at home without having to buy bottled. This machine really does make tap water taste better, and I love that it’s perfectly chilled without needing ice, especially in this lovely late summer weather. The hot water function makes a lovely cuppa without any scum or limescale flakes, and makes boiling water for cooking super quick. Plus the homebrewing boyfriend is looking forward to trying to make a beer with filtered water becuse apparently it makes a superior brew *shrug*.
My only initial concern is its energy usage, but it does have standby and shut-down modes to save power, and only takes a few minutes to re-heat and cool when turned back on. I’ll update in a month or so with whether I’m drinking more water (and/or spending more on energy bills) as a result, but I love the Pure so far. Would you buy one?
Not much has changed around here since my last About the house, but since I keep snapping little shots to try out my new camera I thought I’d share.
Always rearranging the mantelpiece
Picked up this sweet little dresser from a new vintage shop in Stoke Newington. It was only £125 and fits in great. The bedroom is the last room to be ‘done’ since I’m looking out for the perfect vintage bedside table and we need some shelves building. But it’s slowly coming together now.
I got these gorgeous things from Spitalfields market. They’re original pencil drawings by lettering artists at the Linotype factory in Manchester. The drawings would form the basis for hot metal type letters to be cast and used to print books. Nice piece of history! Not sure where to hang them though – is above the bed too cheesy?
Our new new bathroom is done! This is kind of the second renovation that this tiny room has seen. Here’s the very-before, during, and before:
We redid the room in a bit of a rush when we first moved in because it was so grim, and I still like the simple modern suite, slate floor and subway wall tiles that we picked. But the wall colour wasn’t a winner – too dark for a tiny, windowless space yet too light be an interesting dramatic statement – and the lighting was far too weak.
Post second-renovation it now looks like this:
This biggest change was replacing the lights from a dull central unit to six bright LED spotlights. This immediately brightened up the whole room, making it feel more hotel-luxe and less dank cave. I painted the bath panel to match the floor and gave the walls a coat of duck-egg blue, which I think works much better in the space. (Part of me still thinks it would’ve been cool to go nuts and paint it black though.)
The only other new thing is the cute storage unit by the sink, which fits in nicely with the vintage-y and wooden accessories we already owned. Lila clearly likes it too: we can’t keep her out of the bath and sink!
Now I want to take baths all the time and enjoy it as a real room!
Suite: Aston Matthews
Storage unit: BHS
Paint: Sanderson Spectrum Ocean Spray (walls) Farrow & Ball Down Pipe (bath)
Towels and bathmat: H&M home
Shelves: Made from worktop offcuts
Picture frames: John Lewis
Medicine cabinet and spotlights: Wickes
Ooh – really excited to see some snaps of my home in the latest edition of gorgeous e-magazine Dashing. They did a lovely job with the spread and somehow managed to make the house look much nicer than it really is (especially at the moment, since it’s depressingly half-buried under cat fur and dirty dishes). Pop over to dashingmag.com to read the feature – I’m on page 54 but the whole thing is a great read, which I will do with a cup of tea later. Thank you Charley for including me!
A gorgeous sunny Saturday, I love it! We took some beers to the park and had the garden designer round to start planning our new outdoor space – just in time for the warm weather. Our garden – more of a yard, really – is pretty tiny but just the right space for some seating and a little veg patch. Here’s my rough sketch of what we’re planning:
I gave my little home study-come-craft room a much-needed tidy up and rearrange recently. The space works so much better now!
I ditched my old desk (it found a new home thanks to Gumtree) which was much too big for the room, and instead made my own with an Unto This Last custom-cut top and Ikea base unit and legs. I also got some rather sleek Ikea plan-chest type drawers to store all my prints for my shop.
My big wall o’ kitsch has expanded somewhat. I finally splurged on some String shelves (they’re on sale at Haus) to house my little camera collection. I was pleased to find that this DIY newb was able to install them quite easily in less than an hour. They’re even straight (thanks iPhone spirit level app), and feel pretty solid – good investment.
In the future I might replace the day bed with a more space-efficient one – it holds a ton of stuff in the drawers underneath but it’s really bulky. Having said that, now that the room is organised better I love just hanging out in here with the cat watching TV on my iMac. It’s also the warmest room in the house right now!
The crochet blanket is one of Yoni’s favourite nap spots
The next house jobs/purchases include replacing some light sockets, repainting the bathroom, a new bed and bedside tables, and getting the garden sorted out in time for warm weather. We’re doing a skill swap with a garden designer – website in exchange for garden design – and I’m really excited to have a lovely outdoor space for this summer. Is anyone else doing any new year home improvements?
We’ve been really lazy with doing house stuff the last few months. Apart from converting the spare cloakroom into a storage/laundry room we haven’t really done much at all. But very soon we’re about to get huge fitted sliding-door wardrobes installed in the bedroom, which means we can finally sort that room out and get a new bed too (we’ve got our eye on this one from Muji). In the meantime I’ve been doing little bits and bobs, getting some pictures framed and shuffling things around for a change of scenery.
A new print from Roddy & Ginger to match my cushion. Picframes.co.uk did a great job framing all our artwork that’s been sadly sitting in tubes for ages.
Another new print from Telegramme featuring a who’s-who of East London institutions.
I picked up this lovely little woven ikat-style cloth from Spitalfields market for a fiver. I’m not really sure what it’s supposed to be – a tiny tablecloth or wall hanging? Floor mat? – but I think it looks cute slung on the chair back. Or on the side table? I can’t quite decide.
I strung a crochet flower garland bought from Etsy onto the picture ledge shelves in my study. This is the pleasing view from where I work above my desk.
Hopefully I’ll have more exciting changes in the form of a newly finished bedroom to share soon!
A pretty new teapot and vase for the kitchen, found in The Ark, a little gem of a homeware/gift shop on an unlikely stretch of Kingsland Road. It stocks Orla Kiely, Rob Ryan, Joseph Joseph.. a proprietor with good taste. Plus these were both under £10! Oh, and the table runner is from H&M Home.