Thursday, 2 February 2012

House Renovation: Bathroom

I've fallen off the renovation blog bandwagon a bit, having shown you the hallway and the snug. But now I'm back with the bathroom. The space originally occupied by the old bathroom is now the new bathroom plus part of our ensuite (with the other part of the ensuite formed from the new extension), if that makes sense? Not only that, we also stole a little bit of space from the front spare bedroom to make the new bathroom - the photo below shows the section that we 'stole', it used to be built in wardrobes for one of the bedrooms, but now it's part of our bathroom.Tis mighty confusing! Anyway, on with the picture show (there are lots, so be warned!)

Here's the original bathroom in all it's lemon-coloured fixtures and beige-carpeted glory, on the day we got the keys to the house (August 2010)
Fully-tiled shower with lemon-coloured soap dish and tray; I had one or two "showers" using this contraption which dribbled water slower than the slowest thing you can think of. We weren't sorry to upgrade.We even had a bidet, which we don't have in the new bathroom so I guess we're not so posh anymore. I bet DC would love it if we had one, I can imagine he would have a lot of fun splashing around.Somehow I managed not to take a photo of the sink and it's delightful (and huge) formica unit which was to the left of me in the picture above. I'm sure you can get an idea of how lovely it was from the other bathroom fixtures.

The toilet was across the landing in a room all of its own; equally delightful in lemon and beige. This space is now part of our bedroom.
Then in April 2011 the builders arrived and the destruction beganIt was 'sayonara' showerBye-bye bathToodle-pip toiletAnd wave farewell to the wallsAt one point the entire back of the house disappeared and we looked like something from an earthquake zone.But then the re-construction began; slowly at first, with the appearance of the stud walls. When they went up I spent a lot of time thinking (and saying out loud) that the bathroom was never going to be big enough. It's amazing how deceiving space can be.The toilet now sits in the far corner with the bath along the newly built wall - but there really doesn't look like there would be room, does there?!Stud wall as seen from the bedroom on the other side of the bathroom.Then the walls were plastered and a new door was fitted.And as seen from the landing; right side = bathroom; left side = smaller of the front bedroomsThen it was first fix electrics and a new double-glazed window.Then the white (what, no lemon, avocado, dark brown or turquoise?) sanitary ware and chrome fittings.Behold the 'L'-shaped bath.Then it was time to get tiling. I had an image in my head of the shade of green that I really wanted as the 'accent' tile which would be teamed with the white tiles making up the majority of the tiled area. Luckily I found the shade I was looking for without too much trouble; unfortunately, it happened to be in Fired Earth - not the cheapest place, but lovely quality. I bought a sample of the glorious crackle glazed, green tiles from the Retro Metro range (Lime House, in case you're interested) and brought it home.

Hmm, as always such a tiny sample made it difficult to tell what the whole shebang would look like, but at least hubby was in agreement on the shade, so I got Fired Earth to quote me for the number of green tiles plus the quantity of white/off-white that we would need. Well, that was a bit of an eye-watering moment; I can't remember exactly how much it came in at, but it was in the region of £700 and then some to tile the splashbacks above the sinks in the bathroom and ensuite, the area above the bath in the bathroom, and the shower cubicle in the ensuite. So I started shopping around for other metro tile options and the best deal was to be found at Homebase where, luckily, their white metro tiles were on offer and the amount we needed came in at about £250. Unfortunately the only other colours they had were cream, red and black so there was no chance of getting the shade of green I really wanted. However, it worked out that the number of green tiles we wanted from Fired Earth would actually only cost about £35 (plus delivery), so we decided on a bit of mix and match with the green from Fired Earth and the white from Homebase. Once the green tiles had been delivered and I'd hefted umpteen boxes of white tiles home from Yeovil (and took some back when I realised I'd picked up cream, and hefted some more white back in their place), it was time for the tiler to get on and do his thing:Before grouting:And after:Here's a close up of the crackle-glazed, green beauty in all her scrumptious glory. Deeee-lish-us, non?Then it was time to fit the showerAnd the shower screen - which is a fabulous contraption with a magnetic closing door and a moveable side screen, making the most of the larger section of the 'L'-shaped bath.

Photos complete with builders' rubbish still in the bath - nice.And looking a little tidier without the builders' rubbish, but replaced with some of our gubbins.And finally, we had to choose some flooring and have it fitted. In much the same way as it was difficult to see from the tiny tile sample just what the whole thing would look like, can you see what we had to go on to decide whether or not the floor covering we liked would be the right choice?Get your magnifying glass out. Yep, there it is - one teeny, tiny little square of Cath Kidston Rose Sprig White from Harvey Maria
Ever since I first saw this featured in a magazine when it was new out I've thought how nice it would be if we could have it on our bathroom and/or ensuite. Luckily hubby was in agreement. The price was a little (read: a lot) more than we would have liked to pay, but it's a fairly small area so we decided to bite the bullet and go for it. And then, guess what happened? I was flicking through my copy of BBC Homes and Antiques magazine and there in the middle of the 'Special Offers for Subscribers' section was a coupon code for 30% off Cath Kidston flooring at Harvey Maria. Well, it was clearly meant to be because usually I don't even look at those pages as I assume they're full of offers that are no use to man nor beast; so I got straight on the HM website and ordered the tiles with my lovely lovely money-off code. The only hiccup in the entire process was that they were out of stock until the end of August; not really an issue, except then they ended up being out of stock for quite a while longer and then our flooring chaps were busy and couldn't come round to fit the stuff, so we had to live with a floor that looked like this until just two weeks ago (that's three-and-a-half months after we moved in): plywood is the new black, don't you know?But finally, Cath was in da houseAnd the bathroom suddenly looked much brighter, much bigger and much more like the finished product.And now the bathroom is nearly finished; we need to put some shelves up and hang something on the wall next to the loo, and we need some new towels that match the colour scheme, and there's probably some more prettifying that can be done, but it's a definite improvement on what we had when we first moved in...
Oh, an we even got round to fitting a new knob on the wooden cabinet that suits the room/colour scheme a lot better.


  1. It looks great, I love the colour of the tiles! Your chairs look fantastic in your snug, you'll have to look out for a typewriter now.

  2. Your bathroom looks great! It would be fun and relaxing to take a bath in that shower. You'll definitely feel fresh after doing that!

    Louie Cunningham


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