When I wrote about our kitchen plans, I mentioned I was thinking of putting in a copper splashback. We ummed and aahed about it for a while. But when the Sleek Concrete Caeserstone bench top arrived and then we painted a wall black (in the middle of the night because that's when all the best decisions are made right?) it became clear that the copper really would make the kitchen sing.
So, like all good DIYers, we ordered and collected the splashback, waited until the Destruction Specialist and Lego Engineer were saftely asleep and then we put that puppy in. Oh yes, that's always the best idea isnt it? To instal heavy, tricky, expensive pieces of kitchen in the middle of the night?
It was a convivial exchange between husband and wife. "Back a bit, your side, no your side, back a bit, in, there, yes there..." I think you get the picture. But we got there. After four dry fits, a few trims to one edge, and then a whole bunch of stinky adhesive.
It still has it's protective coating on, but even with that, and a copper trim to go on the black wall under the window, it's looking pretty lush already. It's a bright copper - not aged and sprayed, so we WILL get marking on it. As we go on we'll decide whether that works for us and whether the polishing gets me down, or whether we'll let it go - do it's natural thing. I'll let you know, for now, it's just....pretty.
And while I'm talking pretty, I just thought I'd point out the practical too. Those Blum cupboard openers you can see? Genius. Soft close, don't get stuck too high, but don't drop and hit you on the head when you least expect it. It's the small things in life isn't it? The small, practical, genius things - oh and the pretty swathes of copper.
With Last week it was all about the bath and showers. But none of that works without tapwear and when it came to choosing what would go on the wall of my shower, I wanted something sleek and stylish, but also eco thinking, so that we could be smart with how much water we are using.
For that reason, you’ll spot Aio Aurajet shower heads in both the showers. The Lego Engineer thinks they look “very smart” maybe because he just built a circular halo out of lego and thinks there is some synergy in their design… But it was nice to find someone thinking about both style and substance in an appliance that we’re hoping will last the house it’s lifetime.
Then is the way it performs. Mr BuildingBoxes wasn’t sure he looked as good as the usual shower models, but he did well, don’t you think? Wet hair, enjoying the spray on his back, could have been a shower model…well, let’s not get carried away, he hates having his photo taken. But the reason he looks like he’s enjoying that shower is probably because these things are crazy good. I like to feel like I’m getting wet in a shower, you know what I mean? Not having to dance around to find the water, so when you start talking reducing the water flow in a shower, it makes me nervous.
Happily, it’s all good with these puppies. Mr BuildingBoxes calls it physics, but I call it magical water trickery, because these showers deliver over 20% more spray force than a usual shower, and because of the way the water almost mists out around the edges, it feels like you’re using more water, even though you’re not. The spray stimulates the nerve endings (there have been studies, don’t take my word for it*) And because you have to heat all your shower water (even though we’re doing that super economically with our Econergy Heat Pump), that’s a big saving on your energy bill. Consumer NZ tested water-efficient showerheads in 2010. They found replacing a 12-litre per minute showerhead with one that flows at eight litres can cut your hot water bill by $153 a year while still giving you a comfortable and effective shower.
And then of course, is the sleek and sexy. Taps are something you touch every day. Or they should be. So we wanted ours to be solid. But getting solid and sexy to mesh sometimes is a lot harder than it should be. Happily all our tap and showerwear has a twenty year warranty, and the three styles (Minimalist in the kitchen, Aroha for the downstairs bathroom and Aio for the boy’s bathroom upstairs) are all about as sleek as they come. The new Aio range also comes with Ecobrass® - which is lead and heavy metal free.
With Grand Designs just starting on NZ television, I'm quite glad our finish line is in sight. It'll be great to kick back and watch someone else go through the madness for a change. So that said, I'll be pulling all the bits and piece together over the next wee while. It's been amazing getting so many comments and queries from you all, so if there is anything you have a burning desire that I share, here or on stuff, do let me know. For now, I might go fill that bath...
A family of four: writer, scientist, lego engineer and destruction specialist. Our previous home is featured in New Zealand Interior Style and this new project promises to provide plenty of great, green, smart and maybe madcap solutions to new building in New Zealand.