Sunday, 11 March 2012

Cox & Kings Blogger Challenge. The Big Reveal....

As you may know Cox & Kings set myself and five other bloggers a makeover challenge. We were each given a budget of £250 to spend and create a room with an Indian theme to it. I have to say it was not a theme I would ordinarily use within my home, and I did almost toy with the idea of spending the money to buy pretty Cath Kidston esque items. However the more I researched the wonderful interiors and colours Indian themes have to offer, the more I realised I wanted to go all out and create that wonderful Indian inspired room. I chose the upstairs dormer bathroom and quickly realised I would have to get cracking to achieve my goal. If you haven't already, you can see my before photographs on this post but here is another little peek....

Pretty bland huh, though a great canvas to work with, and actually the fact that it is a small room I thought I could maybe get away with doing a strong theme in there as such. I appreciated that time may not be on my side as I wanted to do alot some DIY in the bathroom too, and found myself quite stressed as the big reveal date loomed and I had not finished by a long way. I certainly got my hands dirty, although I drafted the husband in with wood cutting, I found myself doing a little grouting, laying flooring, painting and hanging wallpaper as well as all the sourcing of items and working out where the pretty things would go in the room. I am a vibrant person and I certainly wanted my bathroom makeover to be as true a reflection of my personality as possible. Anyway the time has come, and here is my new and hopefully Indian inspired bathroom....

The Buddah ( from home bargains for only £2.49 ) was originally black but as I had a paintbrush in my hand anyway, I gave it a little makeover and I think the left over tiles work so well as pretty jewelled coasters....

 Star was indeed right in her thinking that there would probably be a little ( hot ) pink in there, and I was so inspired by these images when doing my research....


When I first started the process for sourcing items for the bathroom, I have to admit I think I spent far too long trying to search out items that were very *me*. As I have mentioned, this particular theme would probably not be a chosen one for my home, and then I thought I would just go for it. I would let the lovely bright colours of India lead me and they would be my inspiration. Being a small bathroom, I was of course quite limited to what I could purchase but once I realised colour would lead my choices, I relaxed alot more. Part of the rules were, you were not allowed to go over budget, or use *given* items however you could use items you already owned or had previously purchased. I was amazed actually how many indian inspired items I had such as these bargain BHS coloured plastic glasses that I used to display face cloths....

As the bathroom was already awaiting some form of DIY makeover, we had already purchased wood for the panelling, basic primer, paint for the woodwork, and grouting/glues etc. It really was a long process doing the DIY part of the challenge and I literally only sorted out doing the pretty things a night or so before the big reveal. Luckily I had many one or two Indian inspired gold chocolate coins to keep me going....

Once the main DIY had been done, I couldn't wait to put those little trinkets I had searched out in place. I think one of my favourite items is this cute pink Lotus ( flower of India ) soap, with a little baby fairy sleeping in the middle. It smells just gorgeous, and yes surrounded by more chocolate coins....

On March 8th thousands of people across India celebrated Holi, the festival of colour and Holi was my inspiration for the little spice jars with tiny coloured decorative stones in them, a little like the colourful powders that are thrown at one another on Holi day. I also love the bargain  pink charity shop tealight holder ( two for a £1 )

Using some letters from some East Of India block letter's we have around our home and that spell out different words, I was able to display INDIA. Perfect....

Although her name now looks a little peculiar in her room ;) The Mirela wallpaper is a Harlequin design and fits in just perfectly I think, with its gold shimmer and pink tones.  It reminds me very much of a paper doily design and I think very Indian-esque. The lovely display glass bottles ( from Store Twenty One)  were one of my first purchases and I spent ages wondering what to display in them. As it is, I think they look just beautiful as they are, simple and elegant....

I also had a little go at grouting, which yes is a little wobbly but very characterful....

The wooden shelf unit in the corner was originally pink and a bargain from the car boot a while ago, and as I had a paintbrush in my hand....

I adapted one of the bargain Ebay cushion covers  to cover a little storage unit we already had, and keeps all those bathroom essentials in, I just love the pretty colours....

I decided to paint the two end walls in a complimentary pink, and if like me you have only a small space to paint, I would suggest getting a very generous tester tin from the Dulux mixing machine. I took a sample of my wallpaper in and they were able to find me a pretty much exact colour to the pink background, and all for only £2.98 for a 250ml tin. So I purchased 2 tins, and did both small walls, 2 coats, for only £5.36, bargain.

Another of my bargains was this beautiful mini chest of drawers that was made in India. On the label it says "This item is inspired by both traditional and modern sensibilities and handcrafted by artisans in India. Its simplicity and elegance will enhance any space" The drawers are ceramic and handpainted in the most beautiful and vibrant colours. I just adore it....

And I love gazing at it at the end of my bath, all I need to decide is what special trinkets to put in the pretty drawers. A bargain in my eyes at £16.99 from TKMaxx....

It is infact at night when this Indian inspired bathroom truly shines....

And just look at these beautiful Lotus floating lanterns I found, ADORE....

I wanted to purchase items that made a difference in India itself and this little handmade coin purse with a pretty pink tram on it is just the sweetest thing to display on my shelf and hopefully my buying it has perhaps made a little difference....

For me this challenge, which yes has actually been a little stressful, mostly due to one thing or another finding myself playing catch up throughout the process, has also been a journey that I have actually found out what I like, what makes me tick. I didn't want to just give off an Indian-esque feel to the room, I wanted every person who steps in this room, ( however small it is ) to go on their own little journey, a passage to India, to experience and take in the colours, the wonderful scents, the textures around them. Even Mr. P who really isn't into themed rooms quite likes his *reflection time* in there. You can almost shut the door and imagine you are in a whole new world, and that is what I wanted to achieve, fingers crossed I hope you think so too. I searched and found an old ( but in perfect condition ) issue of a trendy Interiors/Fashion/Lifestyle magazine called Wallpaper and its Indian edition, called Reborn In India, where for the best part of a month Wallpaper shifted HQ and set up in Mumbai with one goal. And that goal in Wallpaper's own words was 'to produce as true a portrait as possible of the most eye-popping, synapse-snapping, pulse-pushing place on the planet' I have found so much inspiration for this project within this magazine and it is always to hand near the bath alongside the Indian paisley designed notebook and pencils.... 

And inside the magazine the pages just popped out at me, with images courtesy of Wallpaper ....

I was very inspired also by the beautiful photographs over at An Indian Summer and am hoping its author may take a little peek at my bathroom makeover. It would be so flattering if she thinks I may have indeed captured the essence of an Indian style interior. When it came to the ceiling for my bathroom, I was inspired by these images....

And came up with my own version, with some fabric panels bought from Ikea....

I liked that there were similar textures in the items I used, the little knobbly tea light holders were already mine and loved how they tied in with the Buddha canvas and pink bath mat....   

The floor tiles were from B&Q's value range, at only £3.98 for a pack of six a real bargain, and even more so, as if you bought 3 packs you got one pack free. We needed 24 tiles so was perfect....

I love the Indian mirror and I think is a great compliment to the makeover, along with the pretty B&M bargain rose lights....

I also found a couple of peacock ( the national bird of India ) inspired necklaces that look very pretty draped on the mirror....

So, hopefully I have given you a little taster of my new bathroom and I hope you can sense that I put my heart and soul into this challenge, and although I have have enjoyed doing it, I am quite tired and would love to take the husband away with me, on our first trip abroad, just the two of us, since before we were married. You may already know, but there shall be three of my photographs here along with the other 5 bloggers photographs of their transformed rooms, and voting shall be taking place between 12th-25th March. The blogger's room with the most *likes* shall be deemed the winner and get to go on that lovely weekend break away. So, there we are, feel free to *like* my photographs and hope you enjoyed sharing my little journey with me. I am aware that the room has good decent bones in the sense that if I do feel like I want to change the look in there, with it having a simple classic white suite, white woodwork and ceiling I could easily adapt the look. Receipts have had to be sent off and checked but I have also included a little list of items purchased with my £250 budget if you would like a little read....

1. Tesco ( face cloths, notebook, pencils, handwash ) £11.37
2. B&M ( rose lights, crystals, pink toilet brush/holder, 3x bottles of decorative stones ) £11.35
3. House Decor ( wallpaper ) £34.94
4. B&Q ( pink paint, value floor tiles ) £17.30
5. Ponden Mill ( Buddha canvas ) £8.00 
6. Ebay Items  £54.92 
7. TKmaxx ( mini chest of drawers) £16.99
8. Ikea ( tealight holders, toilet paper holder, towel rail, fabric panels, candle, ) £31.33
9. Charity Shop ( coloured stick, tealight holders ) £2.00
10.Matalan ( pink bath mat, bath sign, spa set ) £15.00
11. Store Twenty One ( 3x rose bottles ) £ 8.97
12. Home Bargains ( Spa brush, puff, back scrub, sitting buddah, mitt ) £6.14  
13. Topps Tiles ( mosaic tiles ) £13.99
14. Argos ( duck board,) £ 12.99       
15. And of course Thorntons for the chocolate coins ( offer for 5 bags ) £3 
( All other items are my own and used as decoration )

Total spend: £248.29



  1. Mary -
    Its uttterly lovely & the attention to detail & thoughts behind it all fabulous. Well done on stepping out of your normal comfort zone & taking up the challange, it still looks very you!
    Bestist of luck

    1. Ah thank you so much lovely, yes, I certainly stepped out of my normal interior likes, but it is definitely growing on me and hey I had to have my pink ;))

      Big Hugs, M xxxx

  2. Beautiful - I love it! What an amazing result!
    Maria x

    1. Thanks Dinki Dots, was an enjoyable if tiring process. Think I deserve a little holiday don't you ;)) Thanks again xx

  3. Didnt you do well!! What a transformation especially as it is so different to your "norm". Although the overall look isn't my normal taste, a lot of the individual bits and pieces are beautiful. It is brilliant the way you have put it all together to get that look. Fingers crossed for you!

    1. Thanks so much for your lovely comment. Yes, not my normal cup of tea but I have to admit I have rather fallen in love with the charm and vibrant colours. All of it together is very va va voom, though like you say the little details on their own are very sweet and pretty :) x

  4. Wow, it looks brilliant, well done! Love the wallpaper.

    1. Thank you, like wise your room looks super! Thanks for commenting and good luck :)

  5. Its absolutely gorgeous! I love it. You have chosen such pretty things. Good luck. I hope you win. Remind me on Twitter to vote for you next week. x

    1. Ah thank you :)I feel I may be in bed sleeping for the next two weeks and forget about the actual competition, has been lovely but again very tiring. I shall try to remind myself to remind you ;)) Hugs xx

  6. Seriously impressive Mrs Poppins! Wonderful! I hope you win! Is there any other way to vote for you other than Facebook which I don't have!

    1. Why thanks Kezzie, impressive comments! Hmmmm think is only via their Facebook page, maybe you could get a friend to vote on your behalf? Only suggestion I can come up with if you really wanted to vote. Thanks so much, it means alot to me that you like it already on here :) xxx

  7. Seriously astounding! So beautiful - you really should be an interior designer!! x

    1. Hello oh talented photographer lady :) Wow, now there's a thought, I wonder if I really could....?? Would secretly love to, especially if I would get to shop for lots of beautiful items ;) Hey I could then rope you in to do the photography, hows about it? Ha Ha.... xx

  8. Mary it looks stunning, when can you come and transform mine?

    1. Ah thanks Claire :) Am a little knackered to be honest, but if I was lucky enough to win that break away those sleepless, late nights may just have all been be worth it ;))x

  9. This is so beautiful :) you've got a real gift for finishing with lots of accessories, i'm inspired! I've liked and commented on all of your entry photo's, i think you've got this in the bag! :) xxx

  10. Ah thank you so much Hapi-ness :) Tbh am getting very touched by the lovely comments I have had about it, makes all those late nights so, so worth it. Thank you for liking xxxx

  11. What a fantastic transformation! Looks absolutely gorgeous!

  12. Fantastic effort and result - it looks brilliant! Have liked the facebook pix and hope you get your well-deserved break.

  13. You have surpassed yourself with this delightful bathroom Mary. The pink theme, coupled with India is a very clever choice and it really works. It is not overdone, but very tasteful, warm and welcoming. I can imagine lying in the bath, feeling warm and comfortable and dreaming about a warmer part of the world. AND you kept in budget.
    Marvelous stuff.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. X