Dispatches from France

Contributor post by Karine Candice Kong of BODIE and FOU

Hello everyone, today I want to tell you how I styled up our loos in France...OK not the more enticing subject but bear with me on this :-)

I'm currently in our home in France and one thing that I usually find relaxing when I'm down there - providing it's hot outside, I can get a tan without getting bored on a beach towel and I can listen to French radio - is doing DIY. Clearly February is not the appropriate season to dig out my bikini and paint brushes but while I'm there, I thought I would share with you a little DIY project in our toilet I did a couple of years ago on a budget and which still looks good.

Loos in Kong, a bar restaurant designed by Philippe Stark

I'm attracted to beautiful things and get 'a bit' stressed out when things don't look their best in my home. The loos we have in one of the homes we rent to other families during the Summer, were seriously doing my head in. Even if we hardly stay there, I still wanted to do something nice with them for the people who did. So here are the culprits....

ugly 60's style tiles, sad looking plastic bin, fake flowers hanging...

My inspiration came from a photoshoot styled by Sweet Paul for Country Living (see below) where Paul covered a wall with pages from a book. I just love how simple and calming it looked.

Sweet Paul

When I say 'nice book', it is really about the layout of the pages, the whiteness of the pages and the width of the margins rather than the content or the author of the book.
Then I just put some wallpaper glue on the pages and positioned them onto the wall...

So it's hardly as striking as the toilets designed by Philippe Stark but given the time and cost (you can get great books from junk shops for almost nothing + cost of the glue), I'm very happy with the results.

Here are a few tips...
- Select a book with a good layout. Lots of books nowadays have the title of the book on each page which won't look good on the wall so go for a book with a nice, airy layout.
- Measure the area to wallpaper and the size of your page to work out the number of pages you will need. If you need 100 pages, go for a book which has 200+ pages (pages are counted on recto & verso but you will only be able to use one side. Pretty obvious but wasn't to me at the time until my smart mum enlightened me.....
- Get a varnish that doesn't turn yellow over the years and spray your wall once finished to protect the pages from water projections.
And then of course you can do this with pages from comic strips or from The Times etc or even pages with gorgeous women from glossy mags but I wanted to create a relax feel to it and it just worked out perfectly.

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