After: The Bathroom

From this

to this:

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We’ve always known that we would knock down the walls between the toilet and the rest of the bathroom. But the real win came when Grimbil realized we could change the configuration of the stairs and turn some hallway space into more bathroom space. We also got rid of the bathtub and went for just a walk-in shower. And frankly, when you have a lovely rainhead shower, who needs a tub? Even Otto has gotten the hang of it (probably due to all the treats I’ve used to lure him into the shower).

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Before the only storage we had in the bathroom was a tiny medicine cabinet, the windowsill, and a couple of baskets we stacked under the sink. Now we have nice deep drawers under the sink, a large cabinet (that lights up with the wave of a hand), and shelves above the toilet and in the shower. And a big windowsill. Hey, let’s buy more stuff to store!

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Massive storage in the drawers and medicine cabinet…

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…and above the toilet…

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…even in the shower!

We also went from absolutely no heating in the bathroom (what the what?) to having a heated towel rack and underfloor heating. Result!

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Hot towels!

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Hot dog in the shower

After: The Stairs

From this…

to this:

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In order to maximize our space upstairs, we changed the staircase to wind at the top. This also gave us a great excuse to completely re-do the stairs.

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It’s amazing what a difference a nice staircase can make! And Otto has his own little Harry Potter-esque cupboard under the stairs. We can’t claim credit for the design, since we basically copied a picture from Houzz.com but we love the profile of the wood against the white.

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Our new couch

Out with the old…

…in with the new!

Our new couch arrived yesterday! We love it. It’s comfortable and stylish, and low enough to the ground that Otto doesn’t need stairs. Let’s face it, it’s hard to incorporate pet stairs into your decor.

Our old couch, which came with the house when we bought it, is being eBayed, so if you know any0ne in London looking for a Beetlejuis-esque sofa, have them check out auction 170700654996.

Of course, the lovely new couch is now making the rest of the furniture that came with the house look even shabbier than it already did. Case in point, the coffee table in the foreground of the second pic.  So looks like we have some more decorating to do!

After: the backyard



Gardening via container

When we bought our house we were excited to have an actual (though small) backyard. We were less excited about how said backyard looked. For a while we debated upgrading the bathroom vs yard and as you have probably guessed, the yard won. After all we spend a lot more time looking at our garden then our bathroom.

The original plan:

Replace the “crazy paving” with grass, replace the fences and the gate with something attractive AND doxie-proof, plant some nice stuff along the back wall and maybe along the sides.

A year later, the plan was still a good one.  We thought about doing it ourselves, giving Grimbil a chance to put his woodworking to good use, but then we decided we wanted to be able to enjoy the yard this summer. So we hired Grey to Green.


Otto helps with the digging

I highly recommend GtoG, and we’ll definitely be giving them a call when we get around to doing the front yard.  Jack, the project manager, and Georgia, the owner, were very good about contacting us for decisions, making good suggestions, and accommodating changes as the project progressed. Great attention to detail,  easy to work with, and a gorgeous finished product, all in a little over a week.


Otto inspects our new garden

The actual remodel:

  • no more crazy paving
  • hardwood deck out the back of the house, which feels like an extension of the living room when we have the bifold doors open
  • planters made of railway sleepers along both sides
  • grass everywhere else
  • new fence topped with lattice (higher around the deck for better privacy, at GtoG’s suggestion)


The fence w/o lattice on top is our neighbor’s, that’s why it’s not as nice as the one GtoG built


This fence is GtoG’s handiwork

We’ll be adding a water butt and Grimbil is talking about solar lights as well, but in the meantime we are really happy with the results and can’t wait to show it off to our friends! We also have a few more plants to buy, so more on what we are growing in a different post.