Hello and welcome to my first blog.
I have been meaning to start writing a regular blog for quite some time now, but just haven't managed to get round to it. However, it is now mid January, we are in the middle of a National lock down so, if there was ever a good time to start, this is it.
Why have I decided to start writing a blog and what value can I add to the thousands of blogs that are already out there? Over the last 5 years, I have built up my little business from nothing, completed numerous interior design projects for clients and, last year, we renovated our first ever house as an investment. I feel that I have gained a wealth of knowledge over the last 5 years and often get asked for advice about growing a business on social media, interior design and DIY projects. I am by no means an expert in any of these things but pride myself in being hard working, honest and creative.
I am also extremely passionate about supporting small businesses after being self employed for over 12 years and previously owning 2 small shops. 2020 was an extremely tough year, especially for small businesses and I believe now, more than ever, that we need to support them in order for them to survive. Running a small business is really hard work and their owners put their heart and soul into creating them. If we can all do our bit to support them then we are rewarded by being able to access and experience amazing ideas and products.
So, I will be writing about interior projects that I have carried out, DIY on a budget, and spotlight on small businesses with whom I have had the pleasure of dealing with over the last few years and in upcoming projects.
London Basin Company
At the beginning of 2020, I was asked by a client to transform her small shower room. I had previously completed a few interior projects for her including bedrooms, living room and an outside teenage hangout hut.
The shower room was pretty basic and she wanted it completely ripping out and everything replacing. We had numerous meetings to establish what kind of look was wanted and we decided upon a high end, luxury feel.
The original shower room
Designing a shower room was a first for me. We completed our own bathroom around 12 years ago. You will never see it on any social media pages as it is a} sooooo small b) not anything like what I would have now if we did it again. Unfortunately, we don't currently have any budget to redo it so having the opportunity to design someone else's was the next best thing. I was really excited to be able to design something from scratch and see it become a reality.
After a few discussions with my client, I developed some mood boards and we finally decided on the following scheme.
The final mood board for the shower room
I wanted to include some stand out pieces in the shower room that would give the high end feel we wanted. I always believe that, when working to a budget, you need to invest in a few statement pieces that will give the room the wow factor. The statement pieces in this room were to be the basin and the wall tiles.
After browsing on Instagram and Pinterest (my two go to places when planning a room) I discovered London Basin Company. Their Instagram page really stood out with beautiful product images.
The beautiful Instagram page of London Basin Company
London Basin Company supply a stunning range of decorative handmade basins, vanity units and accessories. Each basin is a work of art in its own right. I knew that one of these basins would be the item to add impact and interest to the shower room, but just needed to decide on the right one - they are all so beautiful and I wish I had a house full of bathrooms just so that I could have one of each!
I had chosen some stunning metallic tiles from Otto Tiles and found the OPHELIA basin which would complement them. This basin has a high gloss black porcelain finish and is decorated with Chinese scenes of maroons, greens and blues. It would really make a statement against the metallic tiles and the deep maroon walls of the shower room.
The Ophelia Basin from The London Basin Company
London Basin Company were extremely helpful when I contacted them to find out more about the basin. They gave advice on stock levels, waiting time for deliveries and kept ,me updated while waiting for the basin to arrive.
I had found a vanity unit from Tikamoon which I loved but, unfortunately, it was too big for the space. My alternative was to build one from scratch based on the design. My very clever husband then made it from MDF with inlays, hairpin legs and a granite tile worktop. It was then painted black to match the dark tones of the bathroom and then given a couple of coats of varnish to make it durable.
The basin arrived and it was even more beautiful in real life, with intricate detail. We placed it on top of the newly made cabinet with the tiles from Otto Tiles behind it and a vanity mirror from Drench above it.
Choosing the best position for the tap....
The beautiful Ophelia Basin
Ophelia Basin in situ on the handmade vanity unit.
The shower room was completed with Oriental themed accessories, a black shower enclosure and paint from Farrow and Ball.
The completed shower room
A Little Bit More About London Basin Company
I had a chat with the owners, Anna and Nathalie, to find out a little bit more about their small business including how it all began and their greatest achievements and any obstacles they have had to face throughout their time as a business.
The company was founded in 2015 by Anna Callis and her daughter Nathalie.
Anna was an interior designer before she started London Basin Company and she was looking for colourful, patterned bathroom basins for a project she was working on. She couldn’t find what she wanted, so she designed the basin herself and had it hand-painted by an artist. The result was beautiful, and she decided that there was a real opportunity to start up a successful business. She shared the idea her daughter, who was equally excited about it. With Anna’s experience as an interior and product designer and Nathalie’s background in marketing, they felt they were in the perfect position to set up London Basin Company.
They have just launched two new basin designs and a new tap collection. In terms of the future, their emphasis will always be on the core basin offering, but they will continue to diversify the collection, offering more designs for the bathroom.
In their own words...
“Our greatest achievement has to be the development of the company – we started on a really small scale, with just a few basins and now we have a full collection as well as complimentary vanity units and accessories, which we ship worldwide. It’s been such a fantastic journey.
I think our biggest struggle has been trying to do too much. We were initially responsible for everything, from design and product development to marketing, sales, customer services etc. It was difficult to give every aspect the attention it needed. We’re getting better now at delegating and using skilled people!”
My Favourite Products.
These are a few of my favourite products from their current collection and I hope that one day, when we get a budget for our bathroom, I can be the proud owner of one of their beautiful basins!
"Inspired by a love of Bali, this hand finished porcelain basin is a strikingly simple, modern basin. The delicate white scalloped pattern against the glossy black of the porcelain creates depth and texture, achieving a rich, masculine tone."
I love the boldness of this basin and think it would look equally as striking against a light or dark background.
"Shaped like a flower, this hand finished porcelain basin features the delicate pale green colour and crackle glaze finish, often seen in traditional Chinese celadon ware. It’s a great way to introduce a simple, pretty, decorative element to bathrooms or cloakrooms and works equally well with modern or traditional brassware."
The shape of this basin is what makes it so unusual, but it still retains a simple charm. I would use some colourful tiles behind it to really make it pop, or place it against a concrete finished wall for a rustic look.
This hand-finished porcelain basin is inspired by the clean and simple styling associated with Nordic design. The asymmetric basin encompasses the 3 key elements of Scandinavian style-functionality, simplicity and beauty - with a hand finished dimpled white exterior setting off a bright high gloss green interior.
This is my husband's favourite design...no prizes for guessing why!
If you would like more information about The London Basin Company, please visit their website at:
For more photos and videos of the completed shower room, please visit my Instagram Post at:
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and I hope you enjoyed my first blog post.