Welcome to my blog

We moved to Ireland with the notion of building our "dream" home in May 2007 after purchasing the site earlier on that year. Mr C is Irish and originally from Limerick but he remains in the UK during the week, his job is running www.cruise.co.uk and earning the bucks that will hopefully allow us to "live the dream."

It's taken us almost two years but ground will be broken on the site by the end of May 09!! A lot of blood, sweat & loads of tears (all mine!) have gone into this project already, we left a fabulous house behind in Newcastle...and now for my Kevin McLeod bit, "can the new build can live up to my expectations and the old house we left behind"? I'm not sure...keep watching my blog and you'll find out!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Blow the Budget.....

This week definitely goes down as the worst one so far in the great scheme of this house build, so what's a girl to do??  Well if you heed the wise words of Hannah Montana you "BUILD A BRIDGE AND GET OVER IT!"  

Ok, so in an attempt not to dwell on the negative, I'm indulging myself in a little "fantasy house building" today...So actually it's not a bridge I'd like to build Hannah, how about this fab swimming pool for an extension!  A little bit of daydreaming never did any harm did it?

This pool is now officially added to the wish list along side the spiral stair slide and the tree house....cracking house that would be!

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Nothing Lights.....

Still NOTHING to report window wise (how frustrating is that!) so I thought I'd let you see my Artemide NOTHING lights I bought this week.  They were a great ebay bargain; they arrived brand spanking new and fabulously packaged and I'm delighted to say NOTHING like this this earlier ebay purchase here.

"The Nothing collection from Artemide Architectural is a series of recessed downlight with no visible fitting, the light sources appear to float from a void in the ceiling. The surrounds are made using plastering edging trims. Best used on suspended or false ceilings, the final plaster skim can be applied to the very edges of the light creating a sharp edge and a beautifully minimal aesthetic"

you can check them out here

I've got 3 of the single fittings going into the master bathroom and then a double and triple fitting in the dressing room.  I would have loved to have used these fittings all over the house.....again the Big Bad "B" word put at stop to that idea, so as you can imagine I was delighted to nab these 5 fittings when they came up on ebay!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Not a great day.....

  • Really wanted to tell you that my windows are on their way.....but I can't
  • Received final quote for my Aquatherm Eco F34 stove....comes it at nearly £1000 more than I'd budgeted for (I need a special type apparently, which costs more...and I didn't factor in the previously unmentioned but supposedly necessary extras).  Am going to have to have a little re-think about this one...heart is saying  "I love it still" - head is saying "look at the alternatives"  
  • Kitchen quotation came back......not quite as bad as I maybe expected....but still over budget.

Hoping tomorrow is a better day for all and trying to be thankful that whatever happens, it is really only small stuff as long as my family are happy and healthy!!


Monday, January 18, 2010

What no windows.............

It's time to

No windows today folks, I've been told that my windows couldn't be loaded for Ireland on Friday as the truck they had lined up to transport my 'precious cargo' from Austria was not big enough for insurance purposes...or something along those lines.  I have been assured that 'correct sized' truck will be available tomorrow...

ain't counting any chickens yet but am taking the advice to....

there are far worse things happening in the world this week than windows not arriving!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

tiling time is fast approaching........

Need to decide pretty quickly now, just how I'm going to tile out the bathrooms.  Didn't that come around quick! I  met with Johnny my soon to be tiler last week and ran through with him my sketchy ideas of how I'd like things done.....then he gave me the brutal reality of the m2 I would need to cover...ouch that hurt!

I was planning to use oodles of mosaic tiles in the wet rooms and bathrooms.....that was until reality kicked in about the cost, as always am sticking firm to my budget, there's just no room 'Grand Designs' over-runs here!  So since last weeks meeting with Johnny I've been frantically looking round on-line for ideas for something stylish and a little bit different that won't blast the budget into a trillion fragments like the Bisazza tiles I had in mind would have done!!

So this is what I've come up with.....PEBBLE TILES....what do you think?

I really like this "STANDING PEBBLE" tile as pictured above and the price point I've managed to track it down on-line at marble-mosaics.  Have ordered some samples, I'm an avid on-line shopper and ebay queen, but I shall reserve my judgement as to whether "PEBBLE TILES ARE GO" until I have the samples in hand.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Spiral Slide Staircase....my kids would go wild for this!!!

Just saw this amazing spiral staircase at freshome.com, and had one of those child like "it want it" moments!!  This ranks alongside the treehouse on the wish list!  The spiral I have specified (and budgeted for more importantly) is of the industrial style stainless steel variety...not quite as jaw droppingly beautiful or fun.....ahhhh next time eh?!

This picture has left me wanting to know more about this house and the family who live in it.....ooooh I'd really love to go "through the keyhole" at this address.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

In love with this kitchen.............

Have been back to the kitchen showroom today with this picture in my hand!!  It has taken me forever to find a kitchen style that I feel fits us as a family...something a little off beat whilst still  being family friendly.  I'm thinking the grey gives this kitchen quirk factor as well as being a fantastic 'slummy mummy' hide the dirt practical colour!

We are still tweaking away at the final plans and costings....every thing is dictated by the "budget" at the end of the day....still keeping my fingers crossed that this "is the one"

Apologies I forgot to save the "source" of this picture that I'm so in love with.If you know who it does belong to please let me know and I'll credit it!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What every girl loves....shopping for sockets & data points!!

On my never ending list of things to do is to specify the sockets for the house.  Michael my electrician has made up this kind of sample board (see my pic below) which shows my room thermostats for the underfloor heating controls (there is one in EVERY room) and the QBUS switches for my lighting control system, along with a couple of samples of sockets.

The room thermostats and the QBUS switches come in a brushed steel "effect" finish and are both rather similar in appearance, so am searching for sockets with a brushed chrome or stainless steel finish and preferably 'screwless'.

Does anyone else out there think sockets are just damn ugly?  does anyone else even care?.....(note to self  "get out more"! )

Anyway the best of the bunch so far for me are also the most expensive (isn't that always the way?) and are not shown on the sample board, they are from the GET Ultimate Range and have the winning combination of being both screwless & flatplate.


80 X Twin switched socket

12 X Single switched socket

10 X 2 mod tv point

10 X 1 mod rj 45 data point

8 X 2 mod rj 45 data point

5 X 2 gang shaver socket

10 X 4 gang face plate

10 X 4 gang module grid

40 X Rj 45 module insert

19 X 5 amp lamp socket

10 X Switched spur c/w neon ( or not )

3 X 45 amp connection unit

4 X external socket ( c/w timer should client prefer )

5 X speaker connection plate

1 X central speaker community faceplate (1 no. 5 way )

16 X 2 gang faceplate c/w retractable or removable door*

this fixture should allow items such as scart leads to be inserted and removed via a flush trunking.

I've emailed this list off to a few suppliers over the weekend, so hopefully should start to get some quotes back tomorrow (and hopefully within my budget...?!!)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Not sure about the curves....?

Hadn't given the ceiling finish to the upstairs "vaulted" rooms too much thought until yesterday.  Was slightly taken aback by the curved finish to the high ceilings......mmmm not sure....what do you think???

Ollie ...our plasterer....hard at work yesterday in sub zero temperatures.
We are so pleased with his work!

Just not sure about that curved finish to the ceiling though.....
Mr C quite likes it....makes this room have a bit of a Moroccan vibe he thinks!

just looked back over this post....maybe it is growing on me!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bedroom Colour Schemes
(That's not the right colour blue Mum!)

I'm attempting to nail down the general colour schemes for the girls rooms amongst other things at the moment.  I know this may seem premature as my windows don't arrive until 18th January (oh how happy I will be once they are eventually fitted!) and plastering out can't  be completed til windows are in situ.  However Mark my contractor has tiling scheduled to start at the end of the month...yes that's right this month....as in January 2010! 

That therefore brings me right back round to why nailing down the colour scheme is important, as I need to make sure tiles I choose for the girls en-suites fit in with the colour schemes of their bedrooms.....and with 3 very opinionated young ladies to deal with here, this is going to be one of the toughest parts of the build.  

It's only natural I guess that the girls are both excited and exacting about "THEIR ROOMS."  We will have been living in our rented accommodation for over 3 years by June 2010, when we are scheduled be moving in to our new house.  So there has been very little in the way of 'creative freedom' in designing their own space during this time and they have now practically 'out-grown' their old bedroom furniture to boot! 

"Bless This Mess"

It does make me smile when I think that we are building this great big family house, where they will each get their "big own space" that they claim to so crave.  Then I laugh when I remember that they have just spent the whole of their Christmas holidays and every other school holiday during the past year, sleeping together in a rather 'dormitory' style fashion (through their own choice I may add) in my youngest daughters room!  

My 8 year old daughter is the most decisive about what she wants for a colour scheme "Blue - Pink - Red - White = BRIGHT"

image via madebygirl

This is what her room looks like right now...with her in it!

Can't wait to go to town on this room with some bright paint and prints

I'm especially loving PIP Studio at the moment,
see decor8 here and here for low down on this Dutch designer.

Loving this FL/Y pendant light by Kartell too.  The ceiling is very high so the light fitting needs to be larger than life!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Love these........

All the work of Anthony Burrill, you can buy these great wood block posters on-line here.  The "WORK HARD AND BE NICE TO PEOPLE" is on my wish list for the new house, think it will look great in a black frame above my desk.  Ok....just convinced myself to make a purchase decision (I'm not the most decisive of people!!)....off to find my purse right now!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

space saving stairs for the kids lofts

I've spent too long today rooting about on line in the hope of finding some clever design features.....The main focus of todays big googling session was to find suitable access / staircase ideas for the kids loft spaces...these are my favourites so far

Funky take on a spiral

"EeStairs have developed the 1m2® Staircase, a functional, stylish and safe solution designed to fit into openings of just 1m x 1m. Most spiral stairs pivot around a vertical post, and require an opening twice the width of the tread. The designers of this stair put the center post on a tilt, significantly reducing the size of the opening required.They are made of mild steel and can be powder coated in just about any color"
oooooh very clever!!

This set of stairs reminds me a bit of a climbing wall, I'm sure it's easy to climb up, not too sure about getting down? 

Another contender.....simple and practical.  With the addition of some balustrading this could be a winner for me..I'm thinking a contemporary run of safety glass up the side??

Another quirky design found at dwell

Keep watching to see what eventually goes in!!

Happy New Year to all,
Mrs C