Sunday, June 24, 2012

M. Culat takes a bath - at Emily's!

Thanks for all your interesting suggestions regarding my bathroom issues, I think that Emily's neighbour, M. Culat may have come up with a solution.  He is trying out the brass bathtub and he seems to quite like it.  I suspect he's going to try to talk Emily into letting him move it into his place next door, not a bad idea as it would allow Emily to choose a new bathtub that would perhaps suit her (and the shower unit)  better.  I think M. Culat would be quite happy with a very simple tap system, he's not really a shower type of guy preferring a leisurely soak in the tub.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Beginning the bathroom (and seeking your opinions)

Firstly thanks so much for your encouraging and interesting comments on the previous post about the kitchen, I appreciate every single one of them.

As I mentioned I've started on the bathroom, still lots to do but at last I can see how the brass bathtub looks.   It's actually a soap dish, to my great delight I found it on eBay - Susanne @ Miniature Dreams used to have one on her blog header and I always admired it so I was excited to find one of my own. I thought it would be perfect for the old French bathroom and I'm happy to see that it looks right at home.

The bathroom is at the back of the house, above the kitchen.  Part of the bedroom will be in front of it with a doorway for 'ensuite' access.  (The door that you can see below is the hallway/bathroom door.)

When the dividing wall between the bedroom and bathroom goes in the bathroom will be visible only through that doorway and the side window.  There will also be a mirror on the wall opposite the vanity so that it, and the accessories on it, can be seen (perhaps 'glimpsed' is a better word) from the front.

I couldn't find an old fashioned toilet so I made one.  

I started out with this modern unit...

I microwaved it on full power for about 3 seconds to soften up the glue holding the two parts together so that I could pull the cistern away from the base.  About half of the back of the base was cut off so it fits closer to the wall.

I made the cistern from a small block of balsa adding some trim and a lid, also the flush lever, chain and downpipe.  The downpipe is a black plastic drinking straw painted silver,  it has a bend at the bottom just like a real one where it connects to the toilet pan.  I don't remember where I got the straw, I've had it for ages in my 'found things' stash just waiting to be turned into a toilet cistern downpipe :)

At the moment it looks like it would be impossible to flush this toilet because the lever is sitting on the top of the window blind but that's because both the wall and the cistern are temporarily held in place with blu-tac which is pushing them both forward a little.  Once everything is fixed in properly the lever should fit behind the window frame. 

I'm going to repaint the cistern (it's too dirty compared to the rest of the bathroom) possibly in a creamy colour to set it off against the white wall, but it might even go black!

I have a dilemma that I'd like your opinion on...

I'm thinking of spray painting the shower unit to dull it down a bit. It's a bit hard to tell from the photo but  it looks totally shiny and new compared to the bathtub, and the bathroom in general - I bit too shiny and new I think.  On the other hand it does match the toilet chain and the taps on the vanity, but they too may yet get an ageing treatment. 

The two paint options are a more aged gold/brass look or matt black.  The third option is to leave it alone, it does add a nice little bit of luxury to an other wise very practical home and I quite like having some contrasting features. 

Please feel free to share your opinion - (a) paint to look more aged gold/brass (b) paint matt black (c) leave it alone (d) some other option I haven't thought of.  

I'd appreciate knowing what you think!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Plumbing and Paint

I love my "goose neck" tap set in the French kitchen - but it created a frustrating problem I hadn't anticipated. 

As you can see (below) there isn't enough clearance between the bottom of the window frame and the tap lever.  I confess I said several rude words when I discovered my mistake! 

I considered a few different options to solve the problem but decided on the easiest fix and out came the sandpaper.  The bottom of the window frame is no longer a tight fit on the window sill but at least it clears the taps.  The gap isn't noticeable from the inside.  I added an extra strip to the exterior framing to cover the gap that certainly was visible from the outside but it's not really necessary in the long run because a window box will be added  later.   However, in the meantime it'll keep Emily safe from cold draughts when she's washing the dishes ;)

Also I've overcoated the green on the cabinet with a coat of chalky pale grey as I decided the original colour was too strong in such a tiny kitchen, especially when there was no other similar green to link it to.  I think this new colour sits much more happily with the surrounding grey shades.  

Since taking these photos I've also added a touch of off white to the sink to diminish the pristine look of it. 

The last couple of days I've been busy fitting out the bathroom - more plumbing, but at least no troublesome taps - photos to come soon.

The kitchen tap set was purchased from - click here to go directly to the set on their web site.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

'Miniature Supermarket' giveaway

Ann at The Miniature Supermarket (and bookstore!) has generously provided a 1:12 scale giveaway prize package of a pack of groceries (modern or vintage) and a vintage book (children's or cookbook).  

The winner can choose from 

this pack of modern groceries


this pack of 50s/60s groceries


either this vintage children's book 


this vintage cookbook

The giveaway is open to Australian and international readers but please note the groceries are Australian brands. 

If you are an international reader don't let that stop you entering the draw - this is your chance to add something a little 'exotic' to your pantry.    

To enter just leave a comment on this post - you don't have to be a follower of this blog to enter, and it's not a requirement that you post the giveaway on your blog but of course that would be appreciated. 

If you don't have a blog please be sure to add your email address to your comment. 

Closes 30 June!!