Talking Bathrooms with Bassetts

Now that we have (finally!) got moving again on our self-build I am obsessing over interiors and dreaming of what our future home will look like. From bold bathrooms to quaint kitchens my mind is swamped thinking of what I want (and a little bit of what will be easiest to clean). With that being said, I was over the moon when Bassetts invited me down to check out some of their new bathroom pieces in their Boucher Road showroom.

Coming from a family of plumbers, Bassetts was a name that I grew up hearing a lot – if they could satisfy grumpy plumbers searching for bathroom pieces, surely they had to be good (disclaimer: I presume not all plumbers are grumpy, it could be just the plumbers in my childhood home?)

Here are my top three reasons why you should check out your local Bassetts showroom:

Great Customer Service

Klaire and Giles in Bassetts Boucher Rd showroom kindly showed me and Annie around when we called down and not only was I impressed with the range of bathroom suites on offer but they were very accommodating and kind to Annie and I. It isn’t easy taking a 17 month old around showrooms but they made it easy for me to have a good look around.

Something for Everyone

I was surprised to find there was something for everyone. From pastels to metallics, statement pieces to smaller pieces I loved that I could find something for all three bathrooms in our self build. Bassetts also regularly update their displays and a few of the displays I seen had only been recently placed in the showroom.

Wealth of Knowledge & Experience

From the outset, Claire took an interest in our self-build and helping us in our bathroom decisions. We chatted about how our ensuite is much smaller than we had first expected but she quickly showed me some displays and explained how we could maximise the space and have a beautiful bathroom. It was obvious she knew her stuff and was able to recommend pieces for each individual customer which I loved.

Self-building is no easy task but coming across people who want to help you make the best, informed decisions is fantastic. I really appreciated the team taking the time to talk over our bathroom dilemmas and help advise on possible solutions. Thankfully, I have a better idea on the style of bathrooms I want throughout the house now – a big benefit from having seen a wide range of styles and options today.

If you are on the hunt for a bathroom, Bassetts have showrooms in Portadown, Bangor, Belfast, Clady, Coleraine, Downpatrick, Dungannon, Enniskillen, Lisburn, L’derry, Mallusk, Newry or Omagh.

*A huge thank you to the team in Bassetts for inviting me down to check out their showroom. Although this was a paid post all opinions are my own and I am already planning another trip.


Building Our Dream Home: Part Three

Happy Sunday everyone!

I hope you have all had a lovely weekend. This weekend has just flown by…why can’t weekdays go as quickly! (*sigh!) This weekend I spent the majority of my time flicking through Pinterest, Instagram and blog pages trying to make decisions for our self build so I thought I would also update you all on our progress so far.

Our final set of plans (hopefully!) were submitted in the Summer. Three sets of plans and 18 months later, we thought we had what would suit us as first time self builders but would also suit the planners – it was not an easy task.

Note: I have quickly learnt that in this process, when someone tells you they are going to do something by a date, they may not always stick to it. If I can give you any piece of advice thus far it is to take matters into your own hands and follow up with all involved in the process regularly! We could have easily saved 3-4 months if I had of known this which is disappointing but hopefully we can stop others falling into the same trap.

After a follow up call with the planner and architect two weeks ago, they explained that our plans had been recommended for approval and were now being sent to the Senior Planner therefore we should have them (hopefully approved) in around 5 days…… that was 2 weeks ago!! I have followed up and followed up but still nothing – I don’t think these people realise how impatient I am.

Behind the scenes, it had really given me the boost to start decision making and planning further using NI companies. This week I have been to see kitchens and bathrooms and honestly what I thought I wanted has been totally thrown out. Originally we wanted a traditional Shaker kitchen but after seeing more modern kitchen styles in Richardson Cardy’s in Lisburn I think we may jump ship. Similarly, after visiting Soaks Bathrooms we were originally going for a mix of a traditional ensuite with modern main bathroom but now we have switched these or may even ditch the traditional.

Note: I cannot recommend these two showrooms enough for their help, ideas and assistance. We are dealing with Ian in Soaks and Andy in Cardys and both men are fantastic and very patient.

If you haven’t guessed by now decision making is not my strong point. I think I know what I want but then I get distracted and confused (nightmare!). Although I love the traditional style, I know my current kitchen is a nightmare to clean with all the nooks and crannies in the cupboards but on the flip side, a modern kitchen ages far more quickly.

In short, we are three steps forward and possibly two steps back but I’m not complaining – I’m just glad we are finally moving in the right direction again. Please let me know if you have any recommendations for showrooms or advice on the traditional vs modern…. it could take me another 6 months to decide which to go for.

My Country Cottage Hallway Inspo

Recently I told you that we have submitted hopefully our last set of plans to build our dream home! Since submitting them I have been pinning away over on Pinterest and have become homeware obsessed all over again!

I thought I would share some of my hallway inspiration with you today but hopefully you can give me something in return… Who are your favourite interior designers? Where do you love shopping for homeware? Who are your favourite interior bloggers?

I need inspiration to keep me going!


So the last time I blogged about building our dream home in Northern Ireland was June 2016! 19 months ago! Time really does fly in but honestly not a lot has happened since then. They do say self-building is a long process.

Shortly after we received word that our outline planning had been passed, things went on hold as I found out I was expecting Annie. We knew building was a stressful process and so was having a baby, so we didn’t want to add more pressure and stress into the pot! However, after passing the 3 month mark I got excited about the prospect of building our dream home for Baby Hill so we hit the ground running again!

In late March 2017, we submitted our second set of plans (our first set was for our outlining planning and our second then was what we actually wanted to build – the fun part!) We had no idea were to begin designing our home and spent many, many months creeping on houses on Property Pal and nosing around show homes. It took around 4 months before we designed, what we thought, was our dream home.

We knew we wanted 3 or 4 bedrooms, an open kitchen-dining-living room, a good room etc but beyond that we really didn’t have a clue so we needed help, and a lot of it! Thankfully my mum and dad have built two homes and they really became our guiding light in the entire process. Dad and my brother also work in the building trade so they were amazing in giving us ideas and inspiration on what might work and what might not.

Now they say the line of a self-build home never goes straight and boy are they right. Shortly before Christmas we found out that it is pretty unlikely we will have our plans passed. WHAT?! All that hard work and months of planning was down the pan! Somehow though, we weren’t disappointed. Yes, I know that may sound crazy, but after having Annie Carl and I quickly learnt what was our dream home as a single couple was definitely not our dream home as a family and we really wished we could have changed our plans.

Low and behold, this weekend we have finally settled on our ideas and designs for plans number 3. Can it really be third time lucky?! I will keep you posted!

My Country Kitchen Inspiration

We are still no where near being able to start building our dream home (what on earth takes planning so long anyway?!) so this week I have been curbing my inability to be patient by looking up our dream kitchen. I really couldn’t decide if I wanted to continue the dream country theme throughout the house or to tackle an ultra modern theme but I think I have finally decided on the first. There is just something so home-y about a country cottage style home.

Here are some of my favourite country kitchens I have been stalking on Pinterest. Have a browse while I go phone planning and try and bribe them with Gin & Mulled Wine (it should work… right?)

Building our dream home: Part One

Ok, so let’s go right back to the beginning. I always new I would build my “dream home” when I was younger and my dad and I had always planned it and talked about it. However, I don’t think I realised then how un-idyllic the whole process actually is.

When we first got engaged we never even thought about starting the process. We were lucky enough to already have a home to live in rent free so we wanted to make the most of it as well as that I was completing a Masters at the time so there was definitely enough going on. Hats of to anyone building & planning their wedding at the minute. Seriously, planning a wedding isn’t nearly as stressful as building.

 Carl & I decided to start the whole process around a year ago and to just take it slow but we are still no further on, so if you are just starting to think or consider building my big tip is to definitely have patience (I have none of it).

The first big thing was to choose where exactly we were going to have our site. Depending on what your basis is for building you may have choice but you may not. I researched lots of different architects but decided to go with 2020 Architects. I had followed them on Pinterest and Facebook for a while and after seeing Michael on Grand Designs building his dream home I thought “yeah he gets it” so we decided to go with them.

Richie came out initially for a free consultation. Carl, Dad and I showed him the site and he was immediately able to tell me where I could & couldn’t build. We discussed lane ways and all the little bits (or so I thought they were little) that we had never even thought of.

We submitted our outline planning after only a couple of weeks talking with Richie at the beginning of November. I loved their no-nonsense attitude, they really just get the job done.

I kept checking the online planning portal and checking in with Dorothy from 2020 Architects, on how planning was going. I knew it was a lengthy process but I think I was always afraid it would get rejected so I tortured her for any changes (sorry Dorothy!). We finally got word our outline planning had been passed in April and of course I was buzzing!

Next stop was designing our dream home so I will get writing and fill you all in next week. I’d love to hear all about your own building experiences so please feel free to like & share.