Serenity in our Salle de bain.

Hey guys!

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Long drooling linen creates a softer space.

When buying this apartment, we knew we’d have our work (mental planning) cut out for us in the bathroom which was full of pink tile, a dingy tub and a bidet not making practical sense for the space. With an idea in mind, we knew we wanted to keep the bathroom light and airy and most importantly free from clutter collecting cabinets.

Originally our Architect and friend, Aurelie-Anne offered some original ideas of changing the placement of the sink to rest along the long side of the room and placing a modern faucet on top of wall to wall quartz slab that I insisted on having to match the kitchen. Well as it turned out, the move for the pipes deemed very challenging and so we agreed not to change anything at all by keeping the original pedestal sink as is. You’d have to agree that it does fit perfectly along that narrow wall and by leaving it there, we didn’t have to sacrifice any open space. I’m very happy that it worked out in the way that it did because the free-standing sink rests neat and topped free from toiletries and makeup. Having a countertop can easily make a bathroom look very messy, at least for me that is and since moving in, I’ve only had a jar of soap and a wash cloth resting on it.

Originally I thought wainscotting would feel a little “too country” for my more modern-nordic taste but honestly I’ve grown to like it. Every wooden board was cut right in our living room! Can you imagine the saw dust residue left along the walls? Oh my poor collection of white rags and sore arms. Anyways, this non-prefabricated look offers a more natural look to the bathroom and I’ve even grown fond of noticing some of the sap seeping. HaHaHa.

As this building is over 100 years old, bringing in some historical touches into this space such as the vintage looking faucets in brushed brass was a good choice. Aurelie-Anne found the ones for the tub while I hunted out Amazon for the sink. She also found the gold-plated mirror by LaRedoute in France while we picked out the Acorn pendants from VITA lighting from Copenhagen. Mixing an old look with the new really helps balance out the age and original features such as the doors, their handles and our water heater radiators.

The large window was such a bonus here and I love how much light we receive in the corners of two streets. Originally I didn’t want to hang up curtains but after a few months, I had realized that for daytime baths, drawing a curtain over the window was much better than closing the shades and blocking out the natural light. I choose white linen fabric from Ikea and have kept the long length for more of a dramatic wispy-like draping on top of the octagon tiled floor. Aurelie-Anne found the Italian enamel porcelain stoneware tiles from Leroy Merlin’s and because they were out of stock of the dark anthracite, we settled on using only the eggshell and grey cement so that our move in date wouldn’t have to be postponed for an additional 2 weeks. This was another fortunate design planning set-back because I feel that by having those dark splotches of tile mixed in would of have been too harsh for this space.

I told our friend that I really wanted a “tub for two” and she was able to find us the biggest one and such a reasonable price! This one, an acrylic tub, very light weight and easy to clean was also bought from Leroy Merlin. Since there’s an absence of cabinetry, I keep all our bathroom essentials, towels and laundry in baskets thus keeping things minimal and tidy at the same time. In case you are wondering, shower essentials are tucked away behind/next to the bathtub!

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Lost nearly a foot of space due to the boards but I like it that we can rest things on top.

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Baskets help keep towels and laundry in order.

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The ever changing light makes us very happy!

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The brightest room in the apartment and great for a sun-bathing dog.

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Little frog to help mask an ugly hole.

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Not ready to cut the Acorn lighting cords and still adjusting to the unrefined look.

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The octagon tiles keeping Laffy cool.

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I painted the walls myself with color ‘gris ciment’ from Dulux.

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White make-over to the ladder which was originally bamboo.

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Laffy’s a bit too big for the sink!

Special thanks to Aurelie-Anne! If any readers from Paris would like a recommendation from her for planning or myself for styling, you know how to get in touch!

Bisous,

Jeni

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Vintage to Lux, Bar Cart Re-Do

Hello Everyone! After a long over due space upgrade on my blog, I’m able to get back to posting again. Although it won’t always be as often as I did a couple of years ago…but probably just enough to keep up-to-date my digital diary. Admittedly I’ve been obsessing over Instagram and sometimes posting up to four photos a day. YIKES! Have you been following my obsession and took note of the name change? Anyways, if you haven’t you can check it out here.

Today, I would like to share my bar cart update! The brass was looking a little outdated with my current tastes. Where the style around our flat was void of anything resembling gold or having been adorned with gold accents.

I began looking at that lifeless bar cart as a dull piece of furniture which lacked the cohesiveness I’ve been trying to settle comfortably with. Eventually I became so fed with it that I ended up storing it away in our buildings cave, en francais. Out of sight and out of mind right? Wrong! Although this bar cart was out of sight, it was never far from the back of my mind. I love the functionality and the overall look in which it presented, just not entirely in its originality. All this piece needed was a minor update that would harmonise a modern and glamorised look to our flat.

Using two bottles of basic black matt spray paint with primer all ready mixed in, this DIY project can be a simple task for anyone. If you decide to try it, I hope you’ll love the black matt look as much I do!

Before in Brassiness

Before in brass.

For smooth surface, be sure to strip away dirt&debris

For a smoother surface, be sure to strip away dirt&debris.

Be sure to overlap the tape overlap so that paint can't won't reach the glass.

Be sure to overlap the tape overlap so that paint can’t won’t reach the glass.

Using flexible painters tape, I covered up the black glass.

Using flexible painters tape, I covered up the black glass.

My 1st coat. I intended to tape the wheels but I found that even though I was using flexible painters tape, keeping the round edges in line was too difficult.

My 1st coat. I intended to tape the wheels but I found that even though I was using flexible painters tape, keeping the round edges in line was too difficult.

I've worked every angle..

Spraying at every angle.

Second coat of paint and not regretting the to paint the rubber wheels.

Second coat of paint and not regretting the to paint the rubber wheels.

Time for a dry! I let the cart air-dry for about 2 hours before bringing it inside.

Time for a dry! I let the cart air-dry for about 2 hours before bringing it inside.

All finished! I displayed a modest collection of alcohol for this photo. it looks nothing like that today!

All finished! I displayed a modest collection of alcohol for this photo. it looks nothing like that today!

 

 

DIY Doggy Stool Step

After reading a few PETA articles about crate-training, I decided not to train Lafayette like I did previously with my other dog, Murphy the Pug. Sure, Murphy didn’t develop the significant behavioural problems you may come across in textbooks for canine neurosis, but its only that he hated his crate and his reluctance to welcome himself back into one after he’d grown out of his puppy phase made for traveling with him a complete nightmare. Even with a beautiful hand-crafted and spacious dog house gifted from my previous Father-in-Law, Murphy never learned to rest in his house comfortably. I explicitly followed all of the instructions for a successful crate-train in hopes that he’d learn enjoy his crate as his “special place” but maybe all those recommended hours of crating that little guy to help him wasn’t such a good idea for a Pug with a mind not suitable for crate training. Who knows? All-in-all he was successfully potty-trained and that was good enough for a couple living on carpeted floors.

French Bulldog on dog step

DONT CRATE ME!

After some debate, weighing in the pros and cons of crate-training, I’ve decided against it. Instead we will keep Lafayette in his Trolly (LINK) only when no one is home to supervise his every move or when needing to travel: visiting the Veterinarian, shopping, riding the metro, etc. Living without a dedicated crate means that we partition a small area at night next to our bed so that I’m able to hear when he wakes up and, believe me, we have every night! This means making sure we take him out every time he goes sniffing about after he’s finished playing, 1/2 hour after eating or drinking, or when waking up from a nap. So far, this little guys shouts out I-N-T-E-L-L-I-G-E-N-T! Admittedly, he’s had a few accidents on our hardwood floors but its expected as he’s a puppy whose only been with us for 11 days and sometimes we missed the obvious tell-tale signs of a dog getting ready to relieve themselves. Overall he’s a quite the fast learner and this makes us both happy to know we are providing adequate training.

Since I’ve been focusing on teaching Lafayette to “make” or “faire” on training pads on one corner of the terrace, I knew eventually he’d need to learn how to get himself to his spot when he didn’t relieve himself during our walks. Which by the way, he hasn’t mastered yet. There’s a lot of apprehension on his part and we’ve been taking it easy with him by gradually introducing him to the outdoors by upping the distance of our walks each time. When he doesn’t want to go any further, he starts crawling. It’s the cutest thing! He’s just a little guy whose getting used to the world around him.

Our terrace is situated about a foot above our living space ( who knows what reasons why these floors were designed the way they were) and he is unable to hop over the door rails until he reaches his full height. During most of the year, we’ve left our sliding glass doors open enough to allow fresh circulating air and this allows Lafaytte to easily let himself out if need be. In hopes he’ll be able to demonstrate free-will to let himself outdoors, he’ll need a step to help him for now.

What’s more creative and less inexpensive than buying a step for a pet you’ll probably be using temporarily anyways? YOUR OWN DIY STEP! Just google images for dog steps, however, you may find that you may want something more original than what’s displayed in the images. I wanted something really simple and easy to construct. Justin and I headed down to the Castorama and checked out some materials that could easily used to build a doggy step. Here’s what we found and how we did it…

DYI Step Materials

We bought this 1″ thick piece of ply wood for just 3 euros and these 6″ table legs (usually used for propping up box springs for beds) for 12 euros. I was unable to find wood thick enough for the length of the table legs so we opted for plywood. Keep in mind that plywood isn’t as durable and much harder to paint than solid wood but I think that this material will serve its temporary purpose.

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I made sure that the edges of the table leg would match up to the edge of the plywood by using two coloured pencils; one to mark the distance (a little over an inch) of where I planned to drill a hole and then using the marked pencil again to place at each corner to use as my guide.

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First, I used a screw bit to drill a small home. This purpose was to gradual break through the plywood so not to crack to the delicate edges. I was told this step wasn’t necessary and allowed Justin to drill the remaining 3 holes using just he drill bit tool.

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Using the drill bit make your hole almost until you’ve reached the other side of the plywood.

DYI Dog Step

Since your working with plywood, screw in table leg slowly to prevent splitting. Slight splitting and/or cracking  can be expected depending how close you are to the edges of your step stool. If I had a do-over I would have marked the drill space and inch or two deeper in from the corner which would still be close enough to prevent the step from toppling over.

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I had to turn the table on its side to make sure the legs were rotating evenly. I have one leg turned in a bit and when its made its first setting, its done! If you try re-screwing it straight you can expect some cracking like we did.  Oh well! Just a small cosmetic issue really…

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Ready to paint! I used the left over paint from my last DIYproject I completed here. (LINK)

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I set 3 even coats of white interior/exterior paint and set the plywood to dry overnight.

Lafayette on dog step stool

This simple and finished product is already by the sliding glass door and Lafayette is ready for training time! Who knows maybe later I might add some more material or add an embellished decor  to his doggy step, but only if I’m feeling doggy step crafty again. Maybe a wood panel to glue around the edges???  HMMM then again, only if I decide to turn his step into a low side table when he no longer needs it.

Have a great day!