When we moved into our house in early 2012, the bathroom was one of the first things that I was desperate to change. In fact, I remember saying to Adam that I would only contemplate making an offer on the house if we could do something about it immediately. Before you gasp and think that sounds rather spoiled, then please, let me explain (and show you!) why something needed to be done, and pronto:
The old bathroom was divided into two: a bath with an electric over-bath shower and sink, and a separate toilet. The room with bath had manky old carpet, a shower that made the most terrifying sound when it was turned on (so much so that a 12 month old Freddie wouldn’t go near it when anyone was in there), an airing cupboard complete with massive water tank, and barely any room to swing a cat. I was 7 months pregnant when we first moved in, and could barely turn around at the sink when it came to brushing my teeth, and bathing F was problematic! It just wasn’t going to cut it, what with the increasing needs of a growing family.
The toilet next door was functional, even if the lino was hideous. What confirmed our need to knock the dividing wall down, was the fact that one morning, whilst spending a penny, I noticed a dark mark and slight dent on the ancient wallpaper, directly at the height of someone’s head when they were sat down. People had been resting their head there, probably for years, whilst on the shitter! It DEFINITELY had to go…
First up, we moved out for 3 months whilst this and our kitchen were completed (more on that in a post to follow). The big job re the bathroom was to move the massive hot water tank in the airing cupboard (see picture below), as we were changing to a combi-boiler. The airing cupboard was then to be ripped out, to make way for our new walk-in shower. The wall dividing both rooms was simply to be knocked down. Where you can see the door, below, this was bricked up, as the main entrance to our new bathroom was to be the original toilet door (are you following me?!).
One of the stipulations of this bathroom makeover was that we wanted something luxurious, but that still fitted our relatively tight budget. I spent hours researching suites, as well as individual fixtures to find the best deals. In the end we decided to buy our bath, sink, toilet and towel rail separately, and have our builders fit them, as this was the cheapest way to get the look that we wanted.
I was really, really keen to have a roll top bath, and was disappointed initially to discover that these were, on average, about £600 plus in most big bathroom retailers (#sadface). My bubble wasn’t about to be burst (arf arf), after some of that late night research paid off, and I found an amazing Ebay store, based in Newcastle, who would deliver the bath and taps to us in London, all for a fraction of the price (£300 bath & delivery, £100 taps). The heated towel rail was £150 (they’re normally £300-400 in big stores). The toilet and sink were purchased from a local wholesaler for a fraction of the price, and the subway tiles and dark grout were a bulk buy from Tops Tiles.
When it came to finishing touches, and creating a look that we loved, we had to think about it from very early on due to some structural work taking place with the windows. Our builders assumed that we would want standard frosted glass for our new ones, but I had other ideas, preferring them to fit plain glass, and then measure up and purchased special patterned window film. This was quite nerve-wracking to order and then stick on, as the measurements had to be totally accurate, and one false move and the whole thing ruined- and 100 quid down the drain. I chose stars on a frosted background, and once on, was really pleased with the overall look.
The wall colour in the bathroom is Farrow and Ball ‘Manor House Grey’. The butterfly pictures are cheap as chips and come ready-framed from an ebay store for under a tenner (there’s a theme here with where I like to shop!), and the ‘A Harey Moment’ picture is from one of my favourite interiors shops, Graham and Green, and was a bit more of a splurge for a print (about £40). We saved money in other areas, for example, by using good-quality lino for the flooring, that actually looks like dark wood until you get really up close and personal with it.
So what do you think?
I personally love it, and it’s one of my favourite rooms in our humble abode, well worth the 3 month wait for all the work in our house to be finished. The shower is such a treat to walk into first thing in the morning, and the bath is great for lounging in with a good book. On a practical note, knocking down the walls to create one big, spacious room is brilliant for when dealing with two small children at bath time- I feel very, very fortunate to have such a lovely space and I am eternally grateful for it.
Now, if someone can recommend some pretty-yet-practical storage for all those bath toys, then I’d be a really happy woman…
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