Look no wires! Qmotion Automated blinds.

April 2, 2017

I first saw the Qmotion blinds at Decorex and went WOW! I need. I want. I love them! If you’re into nets and curtains you won’t get it but if you like the streamlined look of a sheer blind in the day or a blackout blind at night, you’re going to get why these are great.


c) QMotion


I’m 5 foot nothing much and can’t reach the “acorn” on the sprung roller blinds behind the sink in the kitchen. I wobble around bedroom furniture to get to the strings on the side of the IKEA blind. I love the idea of an automated blind system to solve these problems for me.

Qmotion blinds break the mould in automated blinds and shades. These are motorised blinds that are controlled wirelessly and don’t need to be 240v hard wired in for their power.

The Qmotion System

They’re battery powered and designed to be quieter, smoother, more efficient and sleeker than any other automated blinds out there. The inventor Willis Mullet worked in the top end of the automated American garage door industry for years so he knows a thing about smooth mechanics…if it works for all of those little red Corvettes out there it works for me.

This is what he came up with: D cell batteries, mechanism, springs and counterbalances all located in the actual roller part of the blind. Not much fatter than an average roller blind. Quiet, smooth mechanism. Point a remote control or even your iphone at the blind and it smoothly and quietly rolls up and down.

Qmotion demo at Decorex

Qmotion is perfect for me and perfect for anyone who wants easy to use blinds and doesn’t want the hassle and cost of getting an electrician to wire the electrics and then a decorator to tidy up the walls. This is a huge plus for anyone with reduced mobility who doesn’t want the upheaval of a building project just to have some blinds that make their life a bit easier.

Once installed, the batteries powering the blind should last 5 years with average use. The roller has been designed so that once you need to change the batteries you don’t have to remove the roller from the bracket. And if you want to get your hands on the blind there is a manual over ride so you can tug at the blind and it smoothly snaps back to its previous position.

Qmotion automated blinds

Qmotion battery enclosure, the batteries and controls are all inside the roller behind a clip off cover.

So you don’t worry about the mechanism or the installation. You can spend all of your efforts on selecting fabric and colours to match your room, your taste and your lifestyle. On the website there are nearly 600 fabrics to choose from and you can order free swatches either from your supplier or from Qmotion directly.

Some of the fabric choices from Qmotion

My instagram is full of colours go to and get inspired!

Go to Pinterest for lots of blinds and shades inspiration and links

buildmumahouse, build mum a house, qmotion shades, qmotion blinds, john lewis blinds, john lewis shades, roller blind, motorised roller blind, automatic roller blind, taupe interior




How we transformed our 1930’s fireplace in 2 days

March 31, 2017
buildmumahouse, build mum a house, jolapiesakowska, jola piesakowska stove, blog

It’s been an exciting week. It’s only taken two years of decision making… but we’ve done it. On Friday we had a modern multifuel stove installed into our original fireplace. It’s transformed our living room and looks fantastic.

Our fireplace still has the original 1930’s ceramic tiled surround and lovely Art Deco details, like the wavy lines decorating the mantle. We love the look and have even picked up a mantle clock with the same details. Since we have lived here we’ve have been using the ‘original’ ugly gas guzzling fire on high days and holidays or just for drying off the dogs after a walk in the rain We thought that a real fire would turn the fireplace into a cozy focal point for our living room.


We started researching by talking to friends and family, digging around Pinterest and found that most people go for ripping out the old fire surround to make a large modern space for an amazing freestanding stove.

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The Walk In Shower Solution That Helps You Keep your Independence in Style.

March 26, 2017
walk in shower, buildmumahouse, jola piesakowska, bathroom aging in placeaging in place,

Where can you find a non- slip, walk in shower that can be fitted quickly, in awkward spaces, without major disruption and LOOKS FANTASTIC? Have a look at the Fiora Elax shower trays that will surprise you as they aren’t actually a tray as we know it!

I recently discovered this Spanish shower room manufacturer – Fiora. I love their modern classic styling and high quality production and their company goal that sums up everything I look for in a bathroom product

“all our work must not lose sight of its main goal, which is that its use must improve the everyday life of people”

and I think that they follow through their belief that their range of bathroom products are designed to offer

“…multiple and diverse solutions.”

That’s exactly what I’m looking for in a walk in shower, good design, style, high quality and a product that is age proof and can be suitable for anyone with reduced mobility.

The Fiora Elax range looks fantastic, the styling is high end and very urban. It’s a shame that the catalogues emphasis glass walls and are focused only on the able bodied, there’s no reference to the installation of a shower seat or that they actually do cater for the needs of aging or arthritic joints.

It’s Not a Walk In Shower Tray – it’s a Mat!

I think that the Fiora Elax walk-in shower system is a solution worth considering for anyone looking for a shower tray that is non-slip, has a ‘give’ underfoot, warm to touch, and soft to stand on.


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copyright Fiora Elax


The shower tray is made of a flexible material that has a “give” making standing less tiring and it is warm to the touch – ideal for arthritic feet





bathroom makeover, walk in shower, aging in place, shower, adapting bathroom

Copyright Fiora Elax



The surface is rated at group 2 non-slip which means that it is a surface that is non-profiled (sleek) and has an even surface with a gritty texture.


Copyright Fiora Elax




and all of this is made possible because this tray arrives as a rolled up mat!



The shower tray mat comes in a range of tasteful colours which can be selected to contrast or blend in with the bathroom floor. Because this tray can be fitted level with the floor, which helps mobility issues, you can combine texture, warmth and a contrasting colour to help users with impaired vision.


The Perfect Solution for an En Suite Walk In Shower.

One of the problems about installing a walk in shower as an en suite without tearing the whole house apart, is that the shower needs to fit in with what space already exists. This is often a very big issue when you are installing a shower for someone who doesn’t want their home disrupted, and who isn’t feeling up to be part of a major building project.

This shower tray can fit practically anywhere. The material can be easily cut to size and shape using a knife. If you are planning to fit a shower seat you still need to look for a suitable wall to attach it to… but Fiora Elax shower tray mat can be cut and trimmed to size and shape that’s how it can fit most places.

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Copyright Fiora Elax

Easy Access Shower Replacing a Bath?

It’s worth mentioning at this point that Fiora also make a range of matching and complimentary wall panels that take out some of the headache of ripping out the bath and installing a walk in shower.

Remove the old bath. Position the panels horizontally to cover the area where the untiled walls from behind the bath are exposed. Fit the shower drainage system and and lay the Fiora Elax mat to cover the footprint of the old bath.

Horizontal PANELS replacing a bath with an easy access shower

The Fiora Elax shower tray mat works like any other walk in shower tray, there are a range of stainless steel drainage grates and there are a lot of installation guides on their website. For more looks from Fiora have a look at my Instagram page buildmumahouse.

I would love to hear your comments, tips or your experiences of installing walk in showers, its such a popular thing to do these days and there are loads of people looking to share their experiences, do post them here on the Buildmumahouse blog.




My review of Vivienne Talsmat’s Rejuva Bar: The Snack Bar that’s raising the bar on nutrition

October 26, 2016
Rejuva burn Rejuva bars Vivienne Talsmat Rejuva Detox Rejuva WArrior

Have you actually read what’s in a ‘healthy’ snack bar? I have recently become a label reader and I’m flabbergasted when I read the small print of some of them. I’m looking for a vegan, no sugar, gluten free, Craving Blasting Bar to fill the snack gap and I don’t want to spoil all of the progress that I have recently made to getting my health and energy levels back.

rejuva-bar-rejuva-burn-at-work-vivienne-talsmat-jola-piesakowska-at-work slimming diet lose weight smoothie bar complate meal replacement

No panic! I’ve started keeping Rejuva Burn smoothie bars in my handbag Rejuva Smoothie on the go.

For the past two months I’ve been detoxing and fat burning with the help of Vivienne Talsmat and I’ve been using her Rejuva smoothies along with her eating plan. I’ve lost over 2 stone and loads of inches. I’m rejuvenated: hot flushes have calmed right down, my jangly nerves have subsided, my energy levels are up, I’ve got loads more vim and vigour. I feel at least ten years younger. I’m not just coping I’m thriving.

I don’t want to lose this feeling so I’ve become super diligent about eating the right thing at the right time of day….but sometimes I can’t fit a healthy meal in my day and I just need to unwrap a snack bar. If I don’t have a healthy snack that satisfies I’ll only get super hungry and eat a whole load of nonsense.

Before I tried Rejuva Bars, I used to rummage around supermarkets and health food shops to find a snack bar that tasted good and ticks all the boxes that suit my new healthy food regime. My plan is to have a snack bar in my handbag or in my car glove compartment on stand by for when I’m taking my mum out to the shops on a Saturday, out and about or when I’m working and can’t get away from my desk …or that petrol station kiosk moment.

I was over the moon when Vivienne Talsmat asked me to try her new Rejuva Bars. Knowing that Vivienne is a complete nutrition expert, is passionate about sourcing quality organic ingredients and cares about the taste factor in her smoothies range, I was keen to get my teeth into these bars.

Rejuva Bars Range

Rejuva Burn Bars

On the road test I focused on the Rejuva Burn bars. I’ve been using the Rejuva Burn smoothies for a couple of weeks with great fat burning  results.

At first look, love the packaging, clean and bright and simple. However, when I read the label – bit confusing… there doesn’t seem to be anything in it – just a load of fruit and Rejuva smoothie powder. Exactly…that’s the difference – Rejuva Bars are a new concept in healthy food as you go, Vivienne Talsmat has designed and formulated these to be as filling and as nutritious as her Rejuva Burn smoothies.

Same size as a snack bar but the Rejuva bar feels nice and heavy and when you take your first bite it’s a lot denser and creamier than a snack bar or the usual nutrition bar. These bars are delicious, not too sweet and a good mix of interesting flavours and textures in each bite. The Rejuva detox adds to the mix of textures so that I found myself spending time enjoying each mouthful, eating slowly and surprising myself that I didn’t just wolf it down. Vivienne explains the flavour combinations are more than just based on taste:

Apricot is low on calories and high on fiber content which improves your metabolic rate … it also maintains optimum fluid balance keeping you hydrated. This high soluble fibre content also stimulates gastric juices to break down fatty acids in food and makes the absorption of nutrients.

Reservatrol in mulberries is a naturally occurring antioxidant that has been shown to have anti-ageing properties as well as weight loss effects through its ability to improve physical endurance and provide increased energy levels.

and the benefit of adding her Rejuva Burn smoothie mix:

The inclusion of the Rejuva Burn powder provides the bars with a unique combination of green tea, baobab, Maca and alpha-lipoic acid which together have a powerful fat burning advantage. This is reinforced by the inclusion of bio-assimilable proteins that are scientifically proven to have fat-burning outcomes. A mix of proteins – brown rice, split pea, barley grass and hemp – also provide a complete amino acid profile.

My Verdict on Rejuva Burn Bars:

One bar does make me feel full, satisfied and with a feeling that I just ate something as clean and nutritious and as tasty as one of Vivienne’s smoothies! (I have heard that some people can’t manage a whole bar, not sure what that says about me…)

My favourite flavour? It’s got to be apricot… but I love apricots and I was delighted to find has got a good mix with the other fruits and tastes right. Yum.

I wasn’t sure about mulberries at first glance, more from ignorance really. However, Vivienne’s knack for interesting flavour combinations has made me a convert. Yes I love that one too.

Rejuva Sport Bars


Since I started on Vivienne Talsmat’s detox and fat burn regime I have so much more energy, combined with the novelty of my ‘activity tracker device’ I’m happily hitting my walking targets every day. Next week, I’m ready to start running for the first time, ever, and I plan to start exercising regularly again. I’ve been to the shops and bought some fancy patterned running pants, I have had a sneak taste of the cherry and vanilla Rejuva Sport bar, and it’s delicious. I’m all set to go!

If you would like to read more about the Rejuva System, click here.

In a couple of weeks I will report back on how I get on with running and fitting it into my life, work, family and caring commitments and how the Rejuva Sport bars fit into my new fitness and fat burning regime.

Pop over to Buildmumahouse Instagram and Twitter @Buildmumahouse1 and follow me!


Mobility issues and LIDL- #LIDLSURPRISES

September 19, 2016
wheelchair-checkout-and-trolley-lidl-suprises-buildmumahouse jola piesakowska

Is Lidl the only UK supermarket that has useful stuff for the elderly, disabled and anyone with reduced mobility? Are they tackling mobility issues head on?

Today, Sunday 18th September 2016, I would definitely say YES!


We’re all queuing up at Lidl checkout, today.

Doing my Sunday shop today, I came across a whole range of mobility aids that are really well priced and really useful. It is fantastic to find these products on the High Street and also to find a supermarket that addresses the needs of its customers. From items that help to open a jam jar, to low mobility exercise kit, these are basic items that are hard to track down and being sold at very pocket friendly price.




Right in the middle of the shop – no hiding of ‘disabled items’ in a corner, Lidl’s shower stool is proudly displayed.

This Shower Stool is not great for my mum’s needs – she really does need arm rests and back support, but for a basic Shower Stool, this is definitely Lidl addressing mobility issues – yes its true, #lidlsurprises. The shower seat height is adjustable, it has non-slip feet and would allow anyone who needs a bit of support the chance to enjoy their shower, and even give their feet a good scrub without fear of falling or slipping. When I was recovering from a broken leg, this stool would have been ideal.

Arm and Leg Trainer

The next item that caught my eye was the Lidl Arm and Leg trainer. This is such a good exercise item. From a seated position you can exercise your legs or arms and help yourself keep moving.

  • 2-in-1 effective training device for targeted strengthening of arm and leg muscles
  • Can be used whilst seated
  • Built-in computer with 7 functions and large,
  • easy-to-read LCD display – shows workout duration, speed, distance and calories burnt
  • Adjustable resistance for a range of strength levels
  • Size approx. (cm): W42 x H31 x D38
  • Max. 100kg


Kitchen Aids

My favourite items are the kitchen aids. A bargain at £2.49 and so useful.


#lidlsurprises: My Top Three Lidl Kitchen Aids

Grip Impaired Power Bottle Opener


Didn’t know such a thing existed but this exactly what I need to open screw top bottles of fizzy water. The Power Bottle Opener is ideal if you have a  weakened grip, the extra turning power you get from this gadget makes a huge difference. Also a must for carers.

Grip Impaired Lid Opener

lidl-lid-opener-buildmumahouse lidlsurprises

Did you know a tool like this opens vacuum-sealed jars? For years I have followed the advice of a friend’s granny and I bash the edge of the jam jar lid on my worktop marble slab until I dent it so much the vacuum seal is broken. Well, no more! I now have the Lidl Lid Opener: #lidsurprises again!

The Nail Saver: Ring-Pull Can Opener


What can I say other than no more broken nails and no more bent tea spoon handles. Yes, I bought the Lidl Ring-Pull Can Opener. I also bought one for my mum so that she doesn’t do a Yuri Geller and bend all of her spoons either.

I Didn’t Buy These but I’m Sure Someone Will:

Lidl Key Turning Aid


I bought my mum one of these from an online supplier a couple of years ago. They are great for anyone with arthritis but my mum found them too cumbersome and refused to carry it in her handbag… so when I built her house, I bought a front door lock that has proved to be easy to unlock. But I’m sure someone will find that key turning aids are perfect for their needs.


If you are a regular Lidl shopper you will recognise what’s gone on here – the item has been taken out of the box and I couldn’t find any others still boxed up.

This is a jam jar opener, its a cumbersome, ugly thing but apparently it works.


I love the packaging design, well thought out, clear and also witty (see how 2 boxes next to each other can make up the image). Pricing is fantastic. Usefulness spot on. It’s great to see such a wide range of simple and effective mobility aids in a local supermarket and not just in a online disabled catalogue.

Massive thumbs up to Lidl, but I do wish these kitchen aids weren’t in blue and white.

Think outside the box! You’ve go the products right. Now give us some COLOUR, Lidl, we want our kitchens and homes to look lovely and personal.

5 Easy Steps to Make Your Garden Accessible and Enjoyable

September 18, 2016
Sunny garden living #london #tooting #balham #palm #interior #inspirationoftheday #Blissful #exterior #exteriordesign #textile #pattern #foliage #leag #green buildmumahouse Jola Piesakowska garden design

“I love my garden but I don’t have time for it.” “I miss my garden but I’m too old and too ill to go out there and do any gardening.”  At Buildmumahouse I’ve found that there are 5 easy steps that you can take to make your garden, patio or balcony more accessible.

It’s really important for anyone old, weakened by illness, depressed or less able …and their carers alike… to take a break, open up their horizons and enjoy all of the benefits of focusing on the wonder of nature. Doing a bit of gardening, helping plants thrive and picking the fruits of one’s patch is so good for all of us.

Plant bulbs in Autumn to cheer you up in Spring bulbs-buildmumahouse-jola-piesakowska

Plant bulbs in Autumn to cheer you up in Spring

These are 5 simple steps to make you garden more accessible and enjoyable…

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