Project Green Tea – Black Accents & Mother Of Pearl

img_0645_2 10.31.54.jpgDown at the Green Tea restaurant, we’re all delighted with the finished washroom! Even though the tiled floor and sanitary wear remain the same,there’s been a complete transformation, I do you agree it’s just a wee bit more stylish?

As in the main restaurant, this tiny space tells the Green Tea North East China story:

  • Charcoal painted panelling & picture rail echoing the linear coal strata in the region
  • The mother of pearl wallpaper and mirror are glamorous reminders of a local pearl legend and help bounce light around the small room
  • Elegant crystal drops of the chandelier reflect BenXi’s famous stalagtites dripping down from local cave ceilings
  • Vibrant colour in the form of some maple leaf photographs I took, and even the hand cream smells of Green Tea!

Looks easy peasy doesn’t it? Just a click of my Moregeous fingers and the room was transformed…. but you *know* it didn’t happen like that, right?

First of all it looked like this and the initial idea was just to strip the wallpaper and redecorate….

But somehow the architraves around the window looked a bit manky and even though they looked fairly solid, they just seemed a bit uneven and I wasn’t happy with them so recommended we fit new ones. Some subconscious niggle of instinct must have kicked in, because when we took off the architraves, this is what we found – large cuboidal cracking all the way up the left hand side of the frame…..

IMG_9790_2A completely rotten window cill and rusty nails…..

IMG_9791Strands and webbing called mycelium (similar to extra thick cobwebs) covering the brick work behind the plaster below the opening….

IMG_9794_2We took out the window to find even more evidence that the frame had been eaten alive by dry rot, serpula lacrymans, and one side of the once solid timber was now a shrivelled, cracked mess 😦

All caused, can you believe, by the most simple thing – blocked guttering outside. Leaves and detritus in the poorly maintained gutter had forced rainwater to pour down the wall below, constantly hitting the external timber window frame (bottom left but in this image we’d already installed the upvc one) and slowly but surely the seals around the window had washed away, allowing water to get inside the building. Dry Rot will only spread when it has a source of moisture and this wasn’t just a source, it was a deluge. Lesson for you – check your gutters and make sure your home is water-tight, you do NOT want to end up with windows like this one!

So all of a sudden a lick of paint turned into a need for more exposure works and chemicals, and we soon had our very own Toxic Box – the name for a contained space where the treatment to eradicate the dry rot is taking place. And yes, there were many jokes made about us girls having a Toxic Box.


The idea for fixing timber cladding to the walls had sprung from the Green Tea girls eventually wanting bench style seating against the walls (cladding helps protect the lower wall areas), so after the dry rot works were done, the new upvc window installed and the walls re-plastered, this cladding was carried though into the washroom and undercoated:

IMG_9932The panelling was knotted, undercoated and painted in Dulux Night Jewel 1 and the walls in Dulux Light and Space Frosted Dawn. The picture rail framed the Akoya mother of pearl wallpaper, the sanitary ware was re-installed, the tiled floor stripped and grout lines cleaned, and the John Lewis Ariella chandelier fitted. All done at the click of a finger 😉2016-02-08_0002.jpg



And if that wasn’t enough, there are plans afoot for some fabulous little Green Tea videos, to be expertly filmed by two of my ex-colleagues from Channel M, Hannah and Michael. We worked together on the Homesmine show and since the channel’s demise, these two talented peeps have  set up their own production company Zemap. We’re hoping to work on some videos of them cooking some delicious Green Tea dishes. May have to volunteer my services as chief taster……

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