Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Fashion Hero - Annika Graalfs

I'm feeling rather sheepish about having been away from my blog for sooooo long, but here I am again.

I wanted to share some photos and tell you about my friend Annika Graalfs who I've been working with in the last few weeks.

And here she is! And today's the day that she's gonna be on TV appearing in Fashion Hero, tonight at 20.15 on ProSieben (Germany only!). One of the mentors is Claudia Schiffer, who knows a bit about fashion. There are 21 of Germany's best young designers who've been selected and each week they are given a brief and a very short amount of time to design, source and produce it (they do get some assistance too). They are each assigned a mentor. Three of the big fashion sellers bid for the designs, to be produced and sold in their shops (Karstadt, S. Oliver & ASOS). A great opportunity for the designers to make contacts, network, see and be seen. Should be fun, fashion and with a bit of drama thrown in for good measure, no doubt. Get the snacks in and settle down on the sofa.

Fashion designer Annika Graalfs Photo: © Francesca Bondy 

Annika's style is rockabilly with lots of fifties influences ... like this 'cheetah dress'.

Cheetah dress © Annika Graalfs (Photo: © Francesca Bondy)

She hasn't put all her eggs in one basket....she's also a musician and singer with a voice that comes from the very bottom of her cowboy boots.

Multi-talent Annika aka Annie Atomic also plays  and sings in a band - belting out 'toons' to
wake you right up and get you movin' (Photo: © Francesca Bondy)

 Nice arse! Available in various's or women's, black, blue, 'pure' etc. Heavy denim - and have left legs undamaged even after a motorbike accident (don't try this at home folks!)

Annika's famous ACE jeans by Dress-O-Rama sold in 8 countries © Annika Graalfs (Photo: © Francesca Bondy)

Dress © Annika Graalfs (Photo: © Francesca Bondy)

Sailor top and trousers © Annika Graalfs
(Photo: © Francesca Bondy)

So, after the shameless plug.... tune in tonight if you have time, and check it and her out. Should be full of fun, beautiful clothes and interesting people.... I can't wait.

Fashion Hero. ProSieben. 20.15 from 9. October.
Annika's new website and online shop should be ready today (but it isn't quite ready yet!) thanks to Eileen Fruehauf and Lars and Alex from Ghostarmy.

More photos on my flickr page.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

A rose is a rose is a rose

As Gertrude Stein famously said.

I'm back from a fantastic week of birthdays, parties and celebrations and seeing loads of friends and family in London and left the dreaded flat situation in the capable hands of the new builder.... 'M'!! He's been working really hard on it with his band of merry men, and now he won't let me in!!! And he's not a man you argue with. I can tell you. He keeps telling me that the floors are being oiled (day after day) and yesterday he put a big cross on the door (like they did in the Plague) to prevent me going in... but I'd already sneaked in earlier, and taken a few pictures.... but you will have to wait, just like me. I am getting it back on Tuesday, and then I'll take some photos.

However, I can show you my new ceiling rose.... god, the excitement must be killing everyone.....NOT!!!

A rose is a rose is a rose
I've kept the photos in black and white, cos that's how the flat feels at the moment.... no colour....meeeeeee....with no colour. Unheard of. I've just bought 2.5 litres of the brightest orange you can imagine, and that's going to go in the hallway to give everyone a wake-up call when they come in. But that's for later. For now - just black and white

The bathroom is nearly finished... new tiles on the floor, bath is working, sink is in, and yes, I even have a toilet now. It hasn't been painted yet (the walls that is, not the toilet). but I hope it will no longer /look feel like a small toilet in a state-run museum when it's got some colour.... what colour? I'll show you later. It's still in black and white at the moment:

After: 'bog' standard....but see below for how awful it was before looks a bit like a hotel too, but better than before, I think you'll agree:

Before: This is exactly the spot where the bath is now

Makes me feel better to see this and how much things have changed. The horrible heating system has been ripped out (along with the water tank below it) and the rickety shower cubicle has been replaced by probably one of the smallest baths in the western world, but I am only short, and I prefer a bath to a shower, so it will suit me just fine, thank you very much for asking (courtesy of French and Saunders!).

The rest will have to wait until I'm allowed back into my own flat....but it's definite that I'll be able to move in.... so gotta get on with the packing.

Just 'recycled' my sofa to my downstairs neighbours... Facebook is a wonderful thing - sometimes - one post and two minutes later, it's going to a good home!

So, some colour going up next week, then some more photos.

Have a good weekend, one and all. Next time I write, I expect I will be covered in orange paint. I am a mucky pup when it comes to things like that. Other people have hardly a hair out of place, whereas I am covered in paint from head to foot within seconds. Oh well.... leopards probably aren't going to change their spots at this ripe old age.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Chimney sweep power!

Rubbing the chimney sweep's arm and shaking his hand seems to have done the trick and I can stay in my flat for an extra two weeks, so I hope that'll be enough time to get the other flat ready.

The new guys seem to be moving fast (and definitely faster than the sloths that were there before!). It's not that there's soooo much to do, but they have other work on too, so crossing fingers, toes and paws here that it'll all get done in time.

Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Meeting with the builders - and perhaps a change of luck!

8am - Baubesprechung / Meeting with the builders

Slept very badly indeed again last night, despite Valerian tea and a couple of episodes of Grey's Anatomy! Woke up at 2am, so managed to get to the meeting with the (new) builders in very good time. 8am is usually a time when I would be IN bed, getting out of bed, or in the bath!.

All went fine, although there were some understandable anxieties on my part, which I won't go into here.  The new builder thought I was gonna call him up yesterday to 'help me sack the old builders', but luckily it wasn't necessary, and I had Johann there. I'd also dreamed or daydreamed (is there such a thing as nightdreamed, i.e. it's night-time, but one is wide awake?) that the new builders had a flood in my flat and the water seeped downstairs, and I was hit with a law suit, just to make my day complete, but all seems fine. Two people are starting work today, which is great. The floor layer and the tiler, I think!

Back at home at 8.30 am to pick up Nico from the dogsitter, and off for a nice relaxing walk in the park. To friends for chats, laughs, tea, coffee and playing around with eggs! (you know who you are!).

On my way home, I bumped into my sexy chimney sweep who normally comes to my flat every January to check the heating and chimneys are all in order, but he hasn't been commissioned yet this year. In Germany, chimney sweeps are very important people, and also bring lots of luck. You need to rub their ..... arm .... I had a nice long chat with him in the street, shook his hand, and rubbed his arm for luck. I am taking this as a good omen. It's helped once before, when I got caught by the police with my dog off the lead, but they just let me off instead of fining me....that was on a day I had rubbed my chimney sweep's arm.

So, here's a photo - and I'm sending virtual chimney sweep luck to all of you, though I think actual body contact is necessary.

I certainly need some luck now, but as N says, 'It's not life and death'. I will keep perspective on this 'thang' and adjust my normally practical brain into superstitious mode, and believe in the power of the chimney sweep to help me along on the rather bumpy ride I'm on.

It's my lucky day....chimney sweep arm duly rubbed, as tradition dictates

Anyone who's seen Mary Poppins, will know this song:

Chim chim-in-ey, chim chim-in-ey
Chim chim cher-ee!
A sweep is as lucky, as lucky can be
Chim chim-in-ey, chim chim-in-ey
Chim chim cher-oo!
Good luck will rub off when I shakes 'ands with you.

And if you fancy a bit of Dick van Dyke, here's a link (though it only works in the UK, I think, so I can't see it myself):

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

The cowboys have ridden off...

... not into the sunset, exactly, but they're gone. I'd already told them last week that I was shocked at how many hours they'd clocked up for so little progress, and that someone else was coming to look at the job, so they knew I was, erm, a little fed up, to put it mildly.

Got there this morning at 9am, with the support of the wonderful Johann, and they had actually done a little work. But, as soon as I said I needed to talk to them, and that it couldn't go on like this, they knew their moments were numbered. And in low digits. Luckily, I didn't have to go through my extensive list of problems and issues with them, and they agreed to pack their stuff and go. Johann and I went for a coffee (I'd already hidden loads of stuff that I'd already paid for, in case they pinched it!), and they moved probably faster than they'd ever done before, packed their stuff and left. We shook hands, and they didn't even ask me for any more part one of my list of stressful things to deal with is done.

Now I just have to wait and see how if I can stay in my current flat a little longer, work with 'M' (not the kitchen guy M), and try to get some darn sleep!

I've been on Valerian tea for the last two days (courtesy of Amanda, thank you!), and that's helped a bit!

New gang starts tomorrow.... so new stories to follow, no doubt.

But, the beginning of the week was much better than anticipated.

Ikea again today....and this is what I saw:

Bit naughty, and no offence, but it made me grin!

And here's a photo of Nico... who along with my friends, is keeping me sane!

Wishing everyone a good week.

Til the next time x

Friday, 29 March 2013

Pfuscher - Botch job! It's all going horribly wrong

I am more miserable than Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe combined.

The (lovely, but totally useless, it now transpires) cowboy builders (Pfuscher!) have left me in the very deepest of doo-doo!

They didn't turn up at all last week, except for about an hour, as far as I can see. Got into a complete panic when I got there on Wednesday to meet them, as arranged, and nobody there.... decided that I have to try and get someone else in if I have any chance of moving in on time.

Long story short. They have messed up lots of things they've already done (the living room floor as mentioned earlier being just one of many things that have to be done again!). The freshly painted kitchen now has a crack in the wall. And the ceiling. Almost the only two things they had to renew, rather than just badly skim over.... oh the list goes on and on.

Got someone else round (through contacts) on Thursday, luckily, before everyone is off for the Easter break. All I'll say is that he's a bit scary, but comes highly recommended. Why can't the nice ones be good too? He, let's call him 'M', says that there's no way he can get it done by the time I have to move out of here, as not only a lot of fiddly things to fix (which he doesn't really want to do, but will), they're already pretty booked up for April and there are a couple of really big things to do - redo the floor, and redo the bathroom and then get on with the things that really need doing there.

Sleep is now a thing of distant memory. I am exhausted. Next Tuesday I have to sack the current workers, get my keys back and get them to get their stuff out. I am scared about that too.

Now, I am starting to pack. Friends have offered places to store my stuff, and sofas to sleep on, bless their cotton socks. The bill is rising every minute. Have asked Estate Agent (not answering phone - left message and a long text) if I could possibly stay here in my old flat a little longer, but haven't heard back yet. However, the new tenants have already signed a contract to move in here on 1 May, so likely that their place is also rented out from that date too....will have to wait until Tuesday to hear back if there's any chance at all to stay here longer.

Good Friday! Good Friday! Not much good about it if you ask me (why on earth IS it called Good Friday anyways? Ok, I did google it, probably comes from God Friday - google it.

No photo today.

Have a good long weekend, everyone. Think of me. I'll be awake.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Kitchen happy!

It's not 100% finished yet...ran out of time on Saturday, and no drilling allowed on Sundays here, so the fantastic M is coming back during the week to put the cabinets up.

It looks very bare, obviously, cos nothing in it yet... (and washing machine and fridge not coming til later) that will soon change when I move in, but as I've been doing an annoying countdown on the blog, I thought I should share a picture of it (very nearly) finished.

I was very unsure if the 'island' thing would work in reality, though I knew I wanted it and hoped it would look and feel okay once it was actually in, and I thought it was a clever use of space. And I really like it. The kitchen, as you can see, is tiny (yet enormously tall... should have turned it on its side, perhaps?), but I am really happy with it.

Yippee... almost finished, just the wall cabinets to go, and then all my 'stuff' to be added to make it look lived in

Whaddya think?

Oh and here's before:

Just a few dozen more things to do, but now, finally, feeling positive that I can move in and be happy here.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Wallpaper up....sneak kitchen preview

Yay...things could only get better! Went over on Friday night to see if the kitchen really would be ready for installation on Saturday at 8am! And, woo-hoo! The wallpaper is up, and it looks fantastic (I think so anyway).

Wallpaper by Catalina Estrada

I love it. It's called Daisy Red, by Catalina Estrada, a Colombian artist, and I got it for half the price by getting it imported from Spain rather than buying it in Germany. Just one little roll! Check out Bloom Papers. It's so hard to imagine what things will really look like when they happen, but this is one decision I'm really happy with.

The kitchen is very nearly finished....just a few things for M to do today, and then he's coming back later in the week to hang the last cabinets on the wall (it's not allowed to drill here on a Sunday, and as he said, I don't want to irk or upset my neighbours any more before I even move in!).

More photos to follow.

So once again....YAY!!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Movement in the kitchen

Kitchen is being installed tomorrow! M, my lovely rockabilly kitchen man, came round this afternoon with all his tools, and it's NEARLY ready for him to get started, but not quite.

I hadn't been round for a few days, and now the kitchen has tiles for the splashback. I toyed with the idea of glass, Moroccan-style tiles - all sorts of things, but in the end, the budget, and not being able to source / find what I wanted (and wasn't even sure what that was, exactly), means that I went for...yes, yawn, white tiles! But big ones. And once the wallpaper is up on that back wall, and my vintage-y cabinets are up, I'm hoping it will look a whole lot better. Now, it certainly looks bigger....but also slightly (or maybe more than slightly) like a public lav. Don't you think?

Getting there.... I've just noticed how amazing tall this room is,seeing G standing there like a lego piece

I think it will look much smaller (realistically so) again once the cabinets and dishwasher etc have been crammed in, but wait and see. More news soon.

Have a good weekend, one and all.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Floor and more... a story of exasperation and hope

Forgive the stream of consciousness writing - markedly visible here! It's been a bit of a stressful week... the floor laying problems are a bit clearer now...and doh!!! The person who was brought in by my guys (let's not shame him publicly, but his name is the same as an actor with the surname of Redford), did everything wrong that could be done wrong, I think. Most importantly, not only did he use completely the wrong screws (too short, too thin!!!), but yes, oh yes, he screwed into the wrong part of the wood... the floors are (or should be) beautiful, solid wood (pine, admittedly but high quality pine, with very few knots, and taken from the middle of the tree where it's older and lovelier, and more expensive - Maerkische Kiefer for those of you in Germany!). The boards are fitted together with a kind of tongue and groove, and you SHOULD screw the CORRECT screws into the tongue and not the groove...because it's much thicker and gives the proper fixing. Anyway, if any of you are still awake... the beautiful floor now has had to be screwed from the top in order to fix it properly, and then the screw holes will be filled with wooden pieces, sanded and then waxed with some waxy kind of oil. With all these extra marks on top, it ain't gonna look anywhere near as nice as it should have done. Grrrrrrrr.

The floor in the other room, where there's a big step (well, c 3cm) between the kitchen and the living room exactly where my breakfast bar stool should go, will have to be completely taken up and done again properly!!! Oje (pron: oh-yay) as they say here when things are going wrong and one is exasperated. This time they should use the right screws and screw from the correct side!!!

Stupid step between kitchen and living room which shouldn't be there

So...what came to test me and my patience next? Arrived yesterday to wait in for the kitchen and oven to be delivered, because the workmen were snowed in, in Brandenburg (I thought they might never come back, but they did today!). Well, the electrician had been there on Monday and put in the sockets...but not the right ones! In fact I didn't and don't care. Contacted his boss yesterday afternoon, and he'd forgotten to tell the electrician that I'd ordered different ones (very rashly...I can't get worked up over them, as I'm anyone that's still awake and reading can fully understand). I told him that these were absolutely fine, and could stay...but I don't think he got my message, as when I got there today, the electrician had started to take all these out (although I was quite happy with them) and put in the ones I'd originally, rashly, ordered....anyway. Life's. Too. Short!

The wrong sockets, and they're not straight, I just realised - but life is too short and I really don't care any more
Oh, and then what did I notice.... the wrong plasterboard had been used in the bathroom

This should all be the green plasterboard for use in wet spaces

Wet spaces should use this green plasterboard...but EU regulations say it has to be much thicker....long and short of another boring building story.... Will let this go, and use water-resistant paint before I put my own coloured paint on. On the verge of giving up the fight / throwing in the towel, whatever....but no, I am made of sterner stuff. And. I. Don't. Care. That. Much. It. Will. Do.

Still, other things are happening, so back to a bit more upbeat... the oven and hob have arrived

To you they look like boxes, right? To me, they symbolise hope! Hope that there will be a kitchen one day and I might even be able to cook in it!

Yes, a smeg oven, hob and cooker hood. It's amazing how cheaply you can buy things on the internet....this little lot was definitely cheaper than Ikea...and I like a wee bit of 'designer' in my life...not too much, but just a tad in my mini-kitchen. I can't wait to have a gas cooker again. Not common here in Germany, but I love gas. Cook, cook, cookability, that's the beauty of gas!, as the old advert used to say! Does anyone remember the British Gas advert? Or did it say something else? (Thanks it right now!)

Later, the kitchen itself arrived.

More boxes. More symbols of hope!

The workmen continue to be lovely, and were a little embarrassed about the whole floor well they should be!!!

They promise me everything will be ready for the lovely Markus to install the kitchen at the I hope there won't be more snow, and any more ***k-ups! We live in hope!

More soon.... and hopefully one day soon I can get down to nicer things like interiors, and not building works.

Bye for now! 

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Things aren't exactly going swimmingly....

St Patrick's Day should be a time for drinking and celebrating with friends; to get the shillelagh out, to unpack the shamrock and have a rollicking good time.

I however, am not celebrating, but rather slightly worrying about what's happening in my flat.

It's 5 days til kitchen installation, and this is what it looks like now:

Kitchen - Friday 16 March 2013

Eek! Slightly worse than last week! And there are other problems, discovered last night.

My lovely, yet usually somewhat slow workers, moved on apace this week, and put the floor down in the bedroom in a few hours....and also in the living room, which adjoins the kitchen.

It looked good to me....I was really happy, the sun was shining in...

Floor in the bedroom....looking good...
...until my friend Carsten came round last night! He often lays floors and was surprised at how quickly it had been done... about 4 or 5 hours (for the bedroom) and probably the same for the living room. But he examined it with an expert's view and discovered that the screws that had been used were too short and thin, and it now needs to be screwed from the top too, meaning drilling two holes every 80 cm across EACH board, or it will be squeaking within months, and will probably bow, he says.... oh sh*t!

Not only that.... we also discovered that there was a small 'step' between the kitchen and the living room, which should not have been there. The workman told me that they would eliminate this, but they haven't!!! So they are gonna have to take it all up again (in the living room) and rectify it. They are not going to be happy, and I hate complaining about things unless I have to (which I will then absolutely do!), but this is really crucial, as my soon-to-be installed tiny breakfast bar nearly reaches the living room area, and I am planning to put a stool there, and as it stands at the moment, the stool will wobble all over the shop if it isn't fixed....gonna be lots more work taking it up and doing it again properly, and more delays, but it has to be done!!! Oh no!!!

The ceiling in the living room also looks pretty terrible, and has to be either renewed or given about 3 layers of plaster.

New tenants have been found for my current rented flat, and I have to be out of here by the end of April.... hope dies last....there's plenty of time, actually, but the builders have about 5 other jobs on, so I'm more than a little anxious. Tell me it'll be okay, someone?????

Happy St Patrick's Day one and all. Update to follow!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

We have floor!!!! And wall!

Big news! (for me anyway)....finally, after months, several months, I have the new floor tiles in the kitchen (okay, there's no grout, yet)... but, I have floor! And I have a whole wall on the right hand side, where there has been none for ages.

So...just a very quick post...including a photo of my mini-kitchen. I'm quite excited that I'll be able to cook with gas again soon....just need to remember to switch it off when I've finished cooking.

By the way, has anyone else experienced the way that rooms look (even) smaller with nothing in them? Strange, but true... I think so anyway.

Can't imagine that in a couple of weeks, this room will have cabinets, and a cooker, dishwasher, sink, and all that jazz.

Kitchen with floor, wall and possible wall only

And below is a close-up of the wallpaper. Just thinking of doing the back wall. There'll be white cabinets below, some white tiles above that, and some vintage-y cabinets - one of them is this one. I love the paper, but not sure if it's too much....but don't want just a white kitchen, and think this one is quite me (I've bought it already...just one roll, which will be just enough for the back wall).

So, this is the wallpaper (by Caterine Estrada)
Any comments welcome.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Lovely lads! Up the workers!

It's just like posts for ages, then two come along at the same time!

Here are the heroes of my building site! I definitely had a few problems finding the right people (I decided AGAINST the totally unprofessional electrician...who turned out to work for a (rehabilitated, admittedly) murderer... One of the plumbers knew him from elsewhere when he came to give me a quote... he said he would have left the site if I had employed him, but I knew almost immediately that he was a no-go, without anyone telling me anything at all. Electrics are so important, and all these things have to be safe. And I have to be able to work with the people and communicate well with them. My German vocabulary has improved massively since I started this project. I can now tell you all sorts of building terms and I know all sorts of stuff that I never even knew existed about the bones of a building.

But let's return to my heroes!

First of all, below, we have D & G. G has a VERY strong Brandenburg accent, and I try as hard as I can never to ring him. We understand each other much better face to face. G is a bricklayer by profession, but he can turn his hand to anything and has taught me a LOT already. He is always cheerful (as long as there's coffee always on the go!) and has an absolute 'can do' attitude, which I treasure. D is a jolly and kind man. A tad shy if I bring friends round; an absolute sweetie. In Germany, workers like to wear their 'uniforms' (a photo project in the planning), and these two are no exception. Here they are stripping the walls. They take on everything I throw at them with good humour and they are both as strong as oxes. "What....we don't need the lift to carry all those boxes of tiles up the stairs". They've hoisted massive, solid wood flooring over the balcony. Nothing is ever too much trouble for them. Love 'em.

D & G (really!!) - they can do almost anything. Really lovely. A tad slow!

Here's Herr H. The plumber. Also good-humoured and totally reliable. He's been here so often....various 'issues' arose with the installation of the heating, but he too, took everything in his stride, though he did admit that he'd never experienced such difficulties before and normally installation and new radiators would normally be a two day job. Let's just say that the chimney wasn't okay, and I had to have loads of extra things done in order to get the heating system installed and 'agreed' by the local 'chimney sweep' - a very powerful man (really a heating engineer extraordinaire, I think!) in Germany (and until 2013 a monopoly....only one man was allowed to tell the plumbers what was allowed, and what had to be changed, and when he was sick, we weren't even allowed by the Guild to contact anyone else until he'd been sick for three weeks). Then came Christmas. Then came new year. Snow. Ice. Difficulties going on the roof....oh you name it. I had the problem with it. But now it's all done and the heating system is safely installed in the kitchen.

Herr H - the lovely plumber

This is the plumber's mate... another cheerful chappie. I don't know his name, but he's another diamond geezer!

The plumber's mate

And this here is the "Schornsteinbauer" who had to fix aforementioned chimney problem. New metal 'thing' had to be installed because the 'sucking power' of the chimney wasn't sufficient for the new heating system, as it needed more Kw of power....or something like was much more complicated at the time, but all sorted now, so apart from the extra unexpected costs, it's becoming a distant memory.

"Schornsteinbauer" (chimney builder!) - this isn't it, by the way!
So that's it for now. More soon, as things are happening fast...must just remember to take my proper camera, as these were made on my iPhone. Not great. Sorry about that.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Baustelle - Building Site

Feb 2013!!!

I'm back... with a short post....loads of things happening in the flat....but VERY darn slowly....these photos were taken back in November or December, I think, and it looks slightly different now, but just wanted to post the inbetweenie stage. Sorry about photo quality....keep forgetting to take my camera, cos always got about a zillion other things on my mind to deal with.

So.... quick update.... all the nasty woodchip paper has been removed.

Mini-hallway...stripped.... bathroom on the left, front door straight ahead
 Decided to knock down the wall between the living room and kitchen....I like the way the two windows are the same (and quite nice, apart from being.... oh thing I'm not prepared, and can't afford to change). I am however changing almost everything else. New heating, new kitchen, new bathroom, no more nasty woodchip paper, new floors and hopefully a couple of new doors....eventually. It really is a major project...and as always, many unforeseen problems (I should say 'challenges') like to raise their ugly heads, but despite all that, I'm really enjoying getting on with it.
Knocked down the wall to the kitchen - so I did decide on open plan!!!

This is the tiny bathroom... there was a very stupid heating system with a large water tank and gas heater here, and rickety old shower in the corner (see previous post - here).... this now has a (small) bath.... and will soon(ish) have a new loo (wall hung) and I bought a really nice Duravit sink for 45 Euros, so that's going in some stage... did my back in putting it in the car, though!). I'm not going for tiles again....only behind the bath and sink (and on the wall behind the loo....not my idea, but in Germany, they love their tiles (but not these ones, surely to goodness!). The rest of the bathroom will be covered over with special plasterboard for wet-spaces (9mm EU rules!) and with darkish brown wood optic tiles on the floor and I want to paint the walls with a duck-egg blue. This option also means I can change the colour if / when I get bored and feel in need of a new look / update!

Mini-bathroom - nasty heating system removed - not a lot else happening here.

A good look at the (tiny) kitchen. I've finally worked out the layout and ordered it...installation date is 23 March, before my lovely Tischler (carpenter and kitchen installer) extraordinaire, Markus goes on holiday to New Zealand for 3 weeks. He's helped me so much. It's a really complicated thing to do.... so many things to think about... This shows all the pipes and electric cables etc... it's going to be, erm, cosy!!! With loads of help from Markus, I've ordered it all, and it's already there, but can't be delivered yet.... bought floor tiles today... they're called wood they look like wooden planks, but are actually ceramic. I toyed with the idea of beautiful concrete tiles from Spain but the cost and the installation complications, not to mention that they are so thick that the floors wouldn't be even into the living room without LOADS of extra work and costs, I decided on going much cheaper. It's always a compromise between money, time and decision-making. So, now I've decided, and at the end of the day, the layout and the size of the kitchen didn't seem worth the enormous cost. Enjoyed looking though....
Mini-kitchen....still looks pretty much the same - installation date 23 March!!! Eek
 And here we have the bedroom / study. This is now plastered and mainly painted. I'm going to paint one wall (the one on the right) in some kind of neutral colour... I like to keep the walls neutral in my bedroom, and keep pattern to a minimum, as I want to bring a bit of life (and regular change) in with my lovely Orla Kiely bedding!

There is now a wall radiator next to the window. There had been a tiny one in the corner on the left, which meant I couldn't use that wall, as well as it not being big enough to heat this room properly, and there weren't many other options. I'm not crazy about those wall mounted radiators, but it really was the best choice for practicality of space, and warmth.
Bedroom - stripped

So, that's my little update. More soon, as it's really coming together now.....slowly but surely.