Thursday, September 27, 2012

Living Room Decorating Ideas - How We Used Our Bath Panel in the Living Room

Just over 12 years ago we purchased our first family home in the legendary City of Robin Hood Nottingham. As money was tight we had to stretch our budgets and be extremely creative. This included using our old bath panel as part of the d├ęcor in the front room.

Sounds like and interesting challenge doesn't it? Well here is how it all came about.

The home we purchased is in a really leafy suburb of the city. Both my partner and I had stepped up moving to this area and decided to buy the best house we could afford in the best area. I guess we had taken to heart the mantra 'location, location, location'.

As a result we ended up with a real fixer-upper that required massive renovation. In our new home all the floor boards and joists where rotten, the windows needed changing plus we needed new electric, gas and heating services. The garden was somewhat Jurassic looking although it did have some fantastic rose bushes in. All in all we had taken on a massive money draining task.

Not to be discouraged we set about turning our newly acquired project into a home. One of the attractive aspects of the house was all the original 1930's features. This included fantastic internal doors which we got stripped professionally and also some really nice original cast iron fireplaces.

The fireplaces really created a central feature in both the dining and living room areas. However both fireplaces needed some serious work and desperately needed restoring.

We used special chemicals to strip off all the old soot and scorch marks from the fires themselves. Then we removed and replaced the wooden surrounds with new ones which had a rustic feel and maintained the overall look.

The challenge came when we removed the hearth in our living room. Replacing this seemed to be really difficult. Firstly we did not have much money which limited our choice of new tiles. In fact we ended up looking at dozens of tile swatches from the budget ranges which whilst nice did not fit in with the whole theme of the room.

It was then that I had an inspired idea. A couple of days before we ripped out and replaced our old bath from the family bathroom. In fact at this point it was sitting on our driveway waiting to be loaded into a skip and taken down to the dump. My partner had commented about the lovely black marble panel and how it was a shame to dump it. My idea was to take this and get it cut down to be used as our new fire hearth.

Finding a stone mason just took a quick look through a local business directory and a couple of calls. I am glad we found a professional as not only did he cut it to size but also offered us advice on how to care for a new precious fire hearth.

We installed it quickly using cement to hold it in place. I then took a trip to our local discount ceramic tile warehouse and purchased some matching mosaic tiles to go around the edge of the fire itself.

The end result is outstanding and even to this day we find guests to our home commenting on the lovely feature fireplace in our front room. Needless to say they are always amazed when we come clean and explain our resourceful use of our old bath panel.