Know Your Bath


Robyn LambrickLast week we chatted to Robyn Lambrick about the wonder of “resurfacing” – a restorative process where old and ugly sanitaryware gets a new lease on life (read post: here). Robyn’s husband owns the resurfacing company Beta Bathrooms and the sanware item they refinish is bathtubs…

Today Robyn is going to tell us all about baths (all of which can be resurfaced btw) – and since my bath is one of my sacred spaces in my home, I am all ears (plus both of our baths need a bit of TLC).

Take it away Robyn…

Q: Should I replace my old cast iron bath while renovating my bathroom?

A: Well, if you ask us – we’ll tell you NO!  Most definitely not! It’s simple, we believe that a cast iron bath is one of the best baths ever made!

Q: Could you open that up for us somewhat:

A: Sure thing.  There are a few reasons:

# Firstly, a cast iron bath is a handy man’s dream – no silicon is required for sealing around this This means – no unsightly mould (a biggie believe me)!

# These baths are solid as a rock – no shifting or moving beneath the user – no matter how heavy you are!  It’s important to note here that the fibreglass bath, a much lighter bath, shifts very easily and has been known to crack and sometimes even produce holes in the bottom or sides – much to their owner’s dismay!

# Cast iron baths retain their heat for way longer than any other bath.  Suddenly that long romantic bubble bath soak becomes appealing doesn’t it?

# Buying a cast iron bath is also not a short term purchase.This bath once installed can last a lifetime. It is an element that will work in favour of your home as an investment.

# Cast iron baths are harder to chip & scratch and most certainly won’t develop any holes – unless you purposefully take a drill to your bath!

# They are, however, a rare and beautiful find – as they are scarce and quite sought after!  So if you happen to lay your hands on one – hold on to it and rather resurface or renovate the surface. As mentioned earlier – it will pay its dues!

# These baths are durable and have a classic look that never seems to date no matter what bathroom trends we face.  Therefore, we highly recommend don’t replace. Rather Resurface. That’s a no-brainer.

Q: Can the same be said for a pressed steel bath?

A: No, unfortunately not.  These baths are made from formed steel and have a porcelain-enamel coating.  They are not as expensive and chip and scratch very easily!  Steel conducts heat, meaning the bath water cools way too quickly – leaving the occupant feeling rather chilly!  Pressed steel are way heavier than their brother – the cast iron bath – back breaking stuff moving this bath – so not the contractor’s favourite friend!  We’d go out on a limb and say – a pressed steel bath is not our favourite type of bath.

Q: What about a plastic bath? 

A: Plastic, either fibreglass or acrylic baths, offer the greatest design flexibility because it can be moulded into many shapes –customer is spoilt for choice in shape, sizes, colour and styles! It insulates very well; is light for transport and carrying purposes. The downside however – it does chip and scratch easily – especially with the abrasive cleaners available on the market.

Bathrooms: Don’t replace. Resurface.


beta bathroomsMany years ago during the sale of our last house, I discovered that there two areas of a house that buyers are always drawn towards like magnets – the kitchen and the bathrooms.  It seems that if your kitchen and your bathroom don’t measure up, it could potentially work against the sale of your house.  Having a lovely lounge, dining room and bedrooms just won’t compensate for bathrooms and kitchens that are seen to be rather sad.

Today we chat with Robyn Lambrick.  Her hubby’s business, Beta Bathrooms, transforms existing bathrooms from drab to fab.

Q: Robyn, what can be done to give one’s bathroom and sanware a facelift?

We so often receive enquiries from homeowners who want to refresh their outdated or worn bathroom but are daunted by what such process might entail. Just think about it – ripping out tiles, sanware and cabinetry – what a mess! Not to mention the high cost of replacing those fittings and finishes.

Bathrooms and kitchens are the most permanent aesthetic fixtures in your home. To refresh any other room in your home can involve as little as a lick of paint and few new cushions. A bathroom or kitchen makeover is far more complex and expensive. Or is it?

The new trend to renovating these days is not to replace, but to resurface.

Q: What is resurfacing?

A: Resurfacing, also called refinishing or re-enamelling, is the process of refreshing the surface of worn, damaged sanitaryware, such as a bathtub, to a like-new condition. This process typically involves repairing any damaged areas and then spraying the surface with a durable enamel coating in-situ.

This bathroom facelift is far less expensive and disruptive, not to mention time-saving – we are in and out in 24 hours!

Q: Any last words of advice from Beta Bathrooms?

A:  Again we say – Don’t replace.  Resurface –  save the planet and your pocket!  Resurfacing is not just restricted to baths – basins, toilets, even tiles and kitchen cabinetry can be resurfaced. Also, don’t stress too much about the state of your bath, we have perfected a coating and procedure that is able to mend all damage to any bath – that includes scratches, stains and cracks.  Beta bathrooms are able to assist sorting that issue for you within a 45 minute period. Please feel free to contact Stephen Lambrick for an onsite consultation and a free quote: here.

Stay tuned for the next “episode” of this series in which Robyn chats about the different types of baths.  Adios Amigos.

Road To Design Indaba 2015!


“It’s that time of the year again! The Design Indaba Expo, South Africa’s premier showcase of high-end design and homegrown wares, starts this Friday!”

Rose and I are super excited and geared for the Design Indaba Festival 2015 – that right this year they have dubbed it a “festival”… and what a delicious festival of creativity it is!

The brilliant FilmFest kicked off the official Indaba festivities last Friday and the Conference and Simulcast start tomorrow. Then on Friday the doors will be thrown wide open to welcome the public to the amazing eye-candy experience that is the Expo.

Oh, and don’t forget the music – if you want some local head-bopping, hip-swaying, foot-tapping entertainment the Design Indaba music circuit will be grooving from 25 to 27 February.

The Design Tabloid has, like the previous 3 years, received media accreditation for the 2015 Indaba and we will not only be attending the Expo but also the Conference Simulcast! Lucky, lucky ladies we are!


 “Dubbed ‘the Conference on Creativity‘, the Design Indaba Conference is all about how design, creativity and innovation can positively impact the world. In 2013 the likes of Creative Review editor Patrick Burgoyne said it is ‘perhaps the best design conference in the world‘”


I sure I will get all lyrical about the conference yet again… it blows my mind consistently every year! It’s THE not-to-be-missed creative inspiration event of the year. Be sure to check our Twitter & Facebook feeds during this period as we will endeavour to post regular little snippets of our conference experience!

Now, this year’s EXPO promises to be even bigger, cementing the platform’s position as the go-to destination for taking the pulse of South African creativity. To get you all psyched for this year’s Indaba here is some highlights from the horse’s mouth…


“For 28 hours, over three days next weekend (Friday 27 February to Sunday 1 March) the Cape Town International Convention Centre will be abuzz with things to see, do, experience, make, create, shop, eat – it’s the ultimate inspirational indulgence.”


 Design Indaba Expo’s distinguishing characteristics are two-fold: it showcases exceptional design across all the creative disciplines (from architecture to jewellery design, fashion, visual art, craft, industrial design and everything in between); and it sets an exceptionally high professional standard. More than 400 exhibitors will be strutting their creative stuff this year at the Expo. The always-popular Emerging Creatives platform again promises to bear testament to the scope of ingenious young designers in South Africa

I also can’t wait to see this year’s MBOISA (Most Beautiful Object In South Africa) nominations in the flesh (you can take a peek at the nominees: here). Then there is the fashion shows, delicious food & pop-up restaurants, workshops, talks, and much, much more….


Design Indaba EXPO at the Cape Town International Convention Centre

  • Friday 27 February: 10:00 – 20:00
  • Saturday 28 February: 10:00 – 20:00
  • Sunday 1 March: 10:00 – 18:00

EXPO Tickets available at the door or through Computicket

  • Adults: R80
  • Pensioners and students: R60
  • Scholars (Ages 10 – 18): R45
  • Children under 10: Free

Design Indaba FilmFest 2015


Design Indaba Festival 2015 kicks off tomorrow with its annual 10-day celebration of creativity. This year Design Indaba teams up with The Labia Theatre, Cape Town’s oldest independent cinema, to present the annual Design Indaba FilmFest from 20 February to 1 March. Ten days, thirteen movies to inspire and entertain you, covering hip hop, architecture, comics, newspapers, gay life, fashion, art forgery, photography and folk art.

I perused all the trailers of the films and doccies that will be screened at the FilmFest and there are two I’m dying to see. One – a doccie about  quirky and infamous art forger, Mark Landis, the other – a Tim Burton film about the life of artist Margaret Keane. See the deets and trailers of both below:

Oh, and see you at The Labia!

Art and Craft:

This documentary follows the story of one of America’s most prolific art forgers, Mark Landis.

With a career spanning 30 years and a talent for painting and drawing across different art styles and periods, Mark Landis is a master art forger. This film follows the cat and mouse chase between Landis and art registrar, Matthew Leininger.

Once duped by Landis’ skill, Leininger is now consumed by the desire to expose Landis’ charlatanry. But Landis isn’t in it for the money. He’s donated his forgeries to hundreds of institutions across the states. When asked why he thinks it is that he hasn’t been prosecuted, Landis answers “’Cos I haven’t done anything wrong or illegal. I decided to be a philanthropist.”

Directed by Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman and co-directed by Mark Becker, the humorous film leaves you unsure of where your sympathies should lie.

“There is a kind of performance art quality to the act,” says Leininger.

Big Eyes:

Director Tim Burton lets the viewer step inside the life and work of acclaimed American artist Margaret Keane in this brilliant, biographical comedy-drama.

Based on the true story of Tennessee-born artist Margaret Keane, the film Big Eyes takes the viewer on a journey filled with the highs and lows of Keane’s creative endeavours.

Keane painted women and children mainly, recognisable by their oversized, doe-like eyes. In the 1960s, she burst onto the San Francisco art scene where her works became collectors’ items and were sold as original oil paintings, prints, postcards and posters. However, her then-husband, Walter Keane, took praise for her work and sold the unique paintings under his own name.

Big Eyes, directed by Tim Burton and starring Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz, follows Margaret’s journey from a promising artist to her heated divorce trial where she accuses Walter of stealing the credit for her work.


FilmFest kicks off with Tim Burton‘s “Big Eyes” on Friday 20 February at the Labia Theatre. If you want to take a peek at the FilmFest program or you want to book tickets, see the Design Indaba website here: http://inda.ba/film2105

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