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!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wardrobe Style to Steal......

spied it here

and this quirky walk-in here
(love your boots too Susanne!)

spotted here

Perfectly simple solution
found it here

cute and colourful storage solution
spotted here

Saving the best til last
My favourite and my best...
A quirky & clever hidden wardrobe from the very talented Elaine Prunty more pics and a "step by step" as to how she did it here

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Never say never...

Utility Sink

Just had a mini change of plan in the utility room (and I thought I had everything sorted..ha ha!) Anyway, saw this gorgeous brushed steel beast of a sink, hours after I blogged about my inspiration for the utility room (so in my book that's fate telling me it's meant to be). 

And yes you guessed it...I spotted it on ebay, where else do I shop these days! I certainly couldn't have laid my hands on something like this locally in Limerick.  
I've been reliably informed that it's a sink produced for the US market, that was only on sale in the UK for a short period of time, or so the sales pitch went when I enquired.  

I was given the make and model number by a very helpful Gavin & Andy from the CPSltdonline Ebay Store, it's an Astracast AP20XXUSUM.  Armed with this info I googled away to find that indeed it was available for sale still in the US and with a whopping great price tag to boot!  

So after another few emails back and forth between me and the lads to negotiate on price, then a couple to the lovely Margaret Holmes, who's organising my kitchen cabinetry to make sure it would fit, I decided to go for it and it became mine this morning!

So my utility will be something along the lines of this, I have similar floor but cabinetry will be white and sink brushed steel...can't wait!  

OMG the thrill of the chase and bagging a bargain...I am becoming so additcted - I haven't even mentioned yet that I bought the Castello bath and managed to get a matching basin thrown in for £50 - if you google that for price, then you will understand my feelings of elation!!

the new bath

the matching basin

Hoping the man from the bank who comes to value at the end will appreciate all the swanky stuff and that ultimately these bargain buys and a great finish add value!!
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Troubling Tiles

It's on going....tiles just seem to pop up at random....even with the best adhesives we can lay hands on and with tiles and floor both thoroughly primed!  Nightmare!

It all started off ok yesterday 

Looking good

Then, see clearly here one tile just lifts immediately...the one next door stuck fast...????

This tile had to be lifted....at this point I left, couldn't take any more stress...especially with kids in tow!

I love these tiles so much....thought I'd paid my dues with the window saga...don't think I can take much more stress...

my beautiful kitchen is due to be fitted in a week....oh the pressure is mounting

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Utility Inspiration

I have done my very best to steal the style of this gorgeous utility area, I have spec'd the folding doors and copied the cabinetry, sadly that amazing sink eludes and will be missing from mine!

Maybe it's a blessing that I just haven't been able to find one, as can only imagine the cost ($$$$$) so would only be torturing myself - sure it's one thing justifying a bit of a splurge on your main bath....quite another spending mega bucks on a utility room sink...no matter how fabulous!!
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Funky Bunk

Decided to go for this funky bunk bed for Eve's bedroom.  She is now one very excited little girl and is already planning what she is going to decorate those shelves with!! 

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Thursday, June 10, 2010


"Verbier in a field in Limerick"
Castello Royal Bath & Dornbrach bath mixer 
as seen in Richard Bransons "The Lodge" in Verbier, Switzerland!

Dithering at the moment (nothing new there then) as an opportunity has arisen to purchase this fantastic Castello Bath for our master bathroom...(it's a fantastic deal and I'm a sucker for a bargain...oh the dilemma, almost wish I'd never clapped eyes on it...I did say almost!)

I've already ebayed my way to ownership the very same Dornbracht bath/shower mixer as seen in the Verbier bathroom for a steal. Mr C is egging me on, but someone has to wear the sensible hat around here and for once that seems to be me (dangerous territory!)....oh just can't decide Heart says "love it, want it, buy it"  Head replies "good deal but you already have a bath Mrs" and "overstretched budget fit to snap no matter how good the deal"

bath shown here in the latest edition of KBB Magazine

Ok, the blue wall papered background is so not me, but if we do go ahead with this bath we will have to mount the bath on a plinth, in a very similar fashion to the image above. The said plinth would be a necessity, as we would need somewhere to hide the waste trap as drilling down into the concrete (and recently tiled floor) at this stage isn't an option!

Need to go figure the cost implications of "the plinth" as well as the bath splurge and it's impact on the budget....

however in true Craggy Island style I'm so tempted to just feck the budget and have my own Verbier in my field in Limerick....well if they can have Las Vegas in the hills of Donegal...

Goats Don't Shave - early 1990's performance on The Late Late Show

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Brick bone Mosaic Shower part 2

Used some of the good old pebble tiles on the base of the shower.  The pebbles mould particularly well to the slight gradient in the shower floor, which is needed for drainage.

The pebbles also provide a great non-slip surface

still can't quite comprehend it's only a few weeks to go til the house will be ready


even more scary perhaps is the fact that my 3 kids finish school for the summer tomorrow at noon, so much to do with kids in tow!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I've been ebaying again 
(what would I do with out it??)

This morning from the comfort of my living room in Limerick, I bought two of these retro sofas from a lovely lady in London

They are destined for the kids games/play room.  I just couldn't bare to put anything brand spanking new in there and to be precious about them taking a serious bashing from my kids and their friends. 

I've always found black leather most forgiving (baby sick and most other kiddie gunk wipes off a treat!) and as a bonus with this pair, I really love the funky design, perfect for a games room (well I think anyway!

So, I'm feeling very pleased with myself (read smug) to have got the two of them for a grand total of £300, which is way less than the cost of one of the sofas we were considering yesterday in Ikea.


These sofas won't be perfect, I know that...but they'll have bags of character and I'll love them anyway....just like my kids!!


Friday, June 4, 2010

It's been a while

....since my last blog post and if I'm being honest I finding it difficult to know know where to start...good or bad first????

900 x 600 Brazilian Black Slate

The bad I think....we are currently having "issues" with the large format slate flooring not sticking (yes, sad but true....never been heard of before in the tiling world until "The Conlon House" but that damn slate just won't stick!) 

the variation in colour isn't as pronounced as in this pic,the tiles were wet, 
the lighter shade of grey is the true colour

Several brands of fixative have now been tested all with the same result - tiles don't stick!  

We are thinking that it's due to the heat coming in through the huge south facing windows and sky lights.....sounds implausible to be fair, this is Ireland after all, but it can't be ruled out!!  

Today's experiments are, 1) priming the back or each individual tile with a bonding agent and 2) laying a couple of tiles in the darkest, coolest area of the kitchen as a further "test" to see if sun/heat is really the cause of the problem.  Will check on the progress tomorrow evening....keep your fingers crossed they've stuck!!

It's not all bad I suppose, I really like the tiles and am happy with my decision to use them extensively on the ground floor....now if they would just stick...is that too much to ask?!!