Lately I have been obsessing over bathroom inspiration on Pinterest, in bathroom catalogues, heck, even on H&M Home (I am always in love with nearly all their homewares) and George at Asda (ditto). Why? Because we have decided the bathroom is going to be our next renovation project.
It wasn’t really a conscious decision that it should be next, more of a, what-do-we-need-to-do-before-the-serious-renovation kind of a decision. Basically, our house is two cottages knocked into one. The staircase of the right hand cottage is the one we use, which comes up in the centre of the house, and, along with the huge chimney on one side of it (which we don’t use) takes up nearly a metre of space in four rooms – the living room, dining room, our bedroom and the small spare bedroom. We want to get rid of the staircase and chimney to regain that space. To do that, we have to open up the left hand staircase, which is right in front of the entrance, and at the moment is boarded off, save for the first few steps which are currently a cupboard where we keep our wellies and outdoor shoes. It comes up underneath the bathroom, as we discovered when we installed the heated towel rail.
We thought that we could reinstate it and simply re-design the bathroom around the new staircase, but the weekend before last we took up the floor to measure exactly where the stairs would be, and see how large of a space we would be left with.
On seeing what was underneath, we promptly realised there was no way it would work. We would be left with a very long L-shape room, basically a corridor with just about enough space for a bath and maybe a sink at the end, but no toilet. Not going to work.
Ste then suggested that we move the bathroom to what is currently my office, and a slightly larger room than the current bathroom, though shorter (but the current one is way too long anyway!). It also has a pretty window onto the garden, and the potential to be the country-cottage bathroom we both really want, and the long room would be perfect for an office with space for loads of bookshelves along the long wall (I love books). Cue lots more measuring, to see how big the room would be, and some wrangling with layout to make it work (on paper). We also need to put up an end wall, and to remove the doorway in the office, opening up the landing a bit more.
So, obviously now the bathroom will be at the back of the house instead of the side, waste pipes and plumbing need changing, and all manner of other fairly major work needs to be done. This is going to cost! While waiting for a few freelance payments to come in (which will be financing this project), I am busying myself designing my perfect bathroom in my head (and bidding on things on eBay to make it a reality). I thought I’d share some of my Pinspiration here (all images are from my Pinterest unless otherwise noted).
Colour-wise, I want to go for white woodwork, with blue floor tiles and walls. Ever since our lovely holiday to France I have been obsessed with the gorgeous french shade of blue that was on shutters all over the pretty villages (you can see lots of pics here), and I think the bathroom is the ideal room to indulge this obssession.
Naturally, I started with the floor tiles. I love beautiful Moroccan handpainted tiles, or the stunning azuleijos you see all over Lisbon, so I knew I wanted patterned floors. These ones from Tons of Tiles are a current front-runner, and are a really reasonable price.
I did think of running off to Morocco (and my friend Lucinda had a similar thought) to source some handpainted tiles and ship them back, but in the end it would be much more expensive sadly since we don’t have a huge space to tile. Very nearly an amazing idea though.
I have wanted a freestanding roll top bath for forever, and I am so excited that we can get one now. We were thinking about getting an old cast-iron one and reconditioning it, but even buying cheap in the first place, getting it to a usable standard makes it a very expensive endeavour. Also, I am kind of keen on the fact that modern acrylic baths keep the heat in much longer – more time for soaking. I love these ones with the taps in the middle so two people can bath together. Ooh err!
The panelling in this photo is also something I’ve always been keen on, especially because a nice wide ledge will make a great place to balance mirrors, pictures or just stash beauty products. I think we will panel in white, with the walls blue, but I’ve seen some lovely grey and coloured panelling which looks stunning too. It’s so hard to decide.
The final feature we’re already decided on is a sink recessed in a vanity unit. I like that you can combine the sink with practical storage and a beautiful piece of furniture.
The only ones I was finding to buy though were very modern and not my style at all. As is my habit, I began trawling eBay of an evening, and eventually came up with this beautiful mahogany chiffonier, which is the perfect height for a recessed sink and exactly the right size for the space we have. As luck would have it, it was for collection from half an hour away, so, mid-wedding that we attended last weekend (so sorry Jo and Rob, I was paying attention the rest of the evening I promise) I sneakily won it for a bargain £27.
A huge mahogany mirror that would fit perfectly over the top, also located locally, soon followed for an amazing £9.99 (the seller paid £395 a year ago), and the vintage recessed sink was a mere £15, though that is rather further away and we’ve yet to collect it. So our sink situation is sorted for a grand total of £52, plus the inevitable plumbing parts, but still less than your average pedestal sink starting at about £100. I heart eBay, a lot. I can’t wait to see what it all looks like in situ. Excited doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Anyway, that’s where we are with the bathroom planning – me, looking for fixtures and fittings and dreaming up colour palettes, and Ste, burying his head in DIY plumbing books and muttering about waste pipes and drilling a few ‘exploratory’ holes here and there. We’re getting an appointment with the builder very soon to look at removing the soon-to-be-defunct doorways and other building works, and then I hope things will start moving.
I am really looking forward to having a bathroom I love, and it is going to be quite a long way from this:
Perfectly serviceable as you can see (sorry about the loo seat being up and the mould in the shower – this was taken as soon as we moved in, deep cleaning came after this photo clearly!), but not our style, the water pressure is awful, and the layout is really bad. And, carpet. Just no.
I can’t wait til I can relax with some Game of Thrones (I’ll probably still be reading it) and a glass of wine in a glamorous new bath. This is the first time either of us has ever designed a room from scratch just the way we want it, and it is unbelievably exciting! Stay tuned for our progress – you can sign up to receive my posts by email below if you want to be sure to see them.