Wednesday, 9 March 2016

My Bathroom: Before and After Its Beautification





This was my old bathroom with its shabby, unadorned suite.  True an airing cupboard is a desirable feature but this one's slatted shelves fell to the floor every time it was used. And a small space was made even more oppressive as the door to the room opened inward.  It wasn't a place where  a cat would be happy to be swung or where I relished spending  time to spend a penny let alone lingering for a long leisurely bath.   When I bought the house the room didn't feature in the glossy details.  Funny that!  This wasn't somewhere that could be spruced up with a minor makeover. Drastic measures were called for.  It had to go.  Luckily two blokes agreed. Remember when they trashed the place in about two hours.

So after just under two weeks of hard graft by Che, a totally wonderful bathroom fitter and creativity on my part when it came to maintaining personal hygiene, my bathroom has been transformed.  The layout was designed by a bloke called Lawrence but I take credit for choosing what went in there and deciding that the door should be rehung to open outwards.  I have to say the idea was genius.  It feels positively palatial now.  Oh okay I exaggerate but it does seem a bit bigger.  Here's your first little peep through the freshly glossed doorway.  Please say it's looking better than before!

You might think a bathroom's  cost might be proportional to floor area but you'd probably be wrong.  To make clever use of space I had to go a la carte and forget an ill conceived initial budget.  I wanted fixtures that didn't swamp the room with hideaway storage for toiletries and cleaning materials and space to hang towels. None of those special offer bundles where the DIY stores discount a bathroom set that they've lumped together fitted the bill. The room works totally as I wanted.   I've not had to compromise on anything so I'm in no doubt that it was right to incur the extra expense -  even if I have to live off stale bread and water for the next two years!


Here we are right inside.  The astute among you will notice that this picture and the last were taken at different times. There's a bit of a spot the difference thing going on, for example that squirty bathroom cleaner is meant to be tucked away.  I chose to have a wall hanging basin rather than a pedestal to increase that sense of space,  And do you like that beautiful wooden floor that replaced the old vinyl?  Ha!  Fooled you!  It's not made of planks at all. These are ceramic tiles masquerading as timber. I wanted a dinky bathmat to show off that floor to best effect. Ikea's bargain £1.50 one does the job rather nicely.  Some of the other accessories are from Sweden as well.  The storm lamp on the window ledge that holds a great big candle to create ambience comes from Homesense, a shop I've newly discovered that is just like TK Maxx but without the clothes.  Similar versions can be found in gift shops around here for around the seventy five quid mark but I got mine for less than half that price.  I had to get a couple of bargains in there somewhere just to make me feel better about the overspend elsewhere.
My bath is one of those new fangled ones that give someone with a 'big fat bottom' (quote from Lou!) extra room when standing up.  I couldn't forego the occasional soak with bubbles and a book so this is a good compromise.

This is probably the best shot of the tiles which cover the walls fully and have replaced the manky wooden window frame.  Again they're ceramic masquerading as something else.  They're textured and look like much more expensive rough hewn stone.  Conventional wisdom goes against using dark colours on walls in such a small space but I think it's worked here.  After all gleaming white everywhere wouldn't have made this room look the size of a banqueting hall.   More savings could be had if I'd settled for splashbacks and a modest tiled bath surround with paint on the walls and window frame.  Given the focus on doing up my house lately it may surprise you that I'm not a DIY lover.  It was worth spending a little bit extra so, aside from the ceiling and door, I'll never have to decorate again.  Now that's what I call an investment.

'I need storage space and somewhere to hang towels.'  I told Lawrence.  Initially he doubted that it would be possible but we did it.  I have this brilliant slimline  unit with three separate cupboards.  That glass is a bugger to keep clean even if there are dinky handles down at the bottom of the doors that are supposed to stop you touching them. Even so I love this  fixture for its practicality. It holds everything, even a gaslighter for the candles.  All the bottle of bleach and cleaner can be hidden unless I forget to put them away.   Those downlighters are a godsend  too when it comes to tweezing eyebrows.   'It's not at all what I would have expected of you.' said Mr Metrosexual when he came to give his very approving verdict. 'It's much more Liz Taylor!'


And here's the radiator that will keep my towels toastie.  I splashed out a bit  and went for something funky and designer rather than bog standard. After all I've already said that I only ever plan to remodel this room once so wanted it to look top end.  'Oh hang the cost. This project has already broken the bank!' I thought and bought new towels as well.  These are from George at Asda and that Swedish shop again.  My old ones were mainly greying white and I wanted a bit of bright colour to break up all that monochrome and metal.
When I went to the showroom for the design consultation I dragged along a grumbling Louis. 'It's your house as well and I want you to have a say.'  He perked up when he saw these waterfall taps.  'Wow these are so cool!'  I nearly backtracked on getting my kid's input into the process.  They were some of the most expensive on offer but I love them as well.  I'm justifying the expense on the basis that they have eco credentials and would save on water bills but for the fact that I'm now having lots more baths.  My boy's other contribution?  He insisted that we needed a designer duck!

I have to say that we're absolutely over the moon with our swanky new watering hole.  The fixtures and fittings came from Wickes and whilst they're not the cheapest on the market the quality is superb for a mid range price.  Given my lack of success at procuring tradesmen around here I used the store's fitting service. I couldn't cope with  cat herding.  The job was started within a month of my order being taken. Result!  And even though I've joked about the expense it was really rather reasonable.  I know it's rude to talk about money but I guess some of you will be dying to ask.  The total cost came in at around the 5K mark (including duck!).  The general consensus is that isn't too bad.

Thanks must go to Lawrence for his design prowess and I'm extra specially pleased that he assigned Che to do the work.  His workmanship was brilliant with a superb attention to detail.   Thanks mate for making my bathroom  as special as the rest of my home.   I'm extremely chuffed.   I definitely owe you and the missus a beer!

23 comments:

  1. We have to do the same thing, ours is looking very shabby (but not chic).

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    1. Do it at a time that the pool is operational. You won't have to worry about not having a bath then! x

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  2. Swanky is the right word! The fixtures and fittings are lovely, the tiles (wall and floor) are glorious.

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  3. It's definitely glamorous and gorgeous! It's sooo posh I'd be scared to use it!!!

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    1. I'm only scared of touching that cupboard. It takes ages to clean off finger marks!x

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  4. It is lovely.. Great wall tiles, and you can change the colour aspect with different towels if you feel like it. We had our bathroom " done" 2 years ago, and I still walk in and go " wow".

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    1. I think that I'll be walking in and saying wow! in a few years as well! x

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  5. That's not too bad for such a fancy looking job, gorgeous!

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  6. That is one gorgeous bathroom/loo. I love the green towel (my favourite colour!). Good job as our American friends would say!
    Also love the floor tiles.

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    1. The green towels are from IKEA. I thought that it made a change from the usual blues and pastels. x

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  7. Beautiful and a true retreat! It is calming and excellent choices all around. More bathroom envy.

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  8. well done and well worth the time and money. It looks fab. x

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  9. Looks fab and I can imagine it makes bath time so much more relaxing! :)

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  10. Oh wow, that is so glitzy! Well done you.

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  11. It's gorgeous! You'll be thrilled every time you use it. The price was very reasonable too.

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  12. I love the flooring and the walls! Super stylish, and yes I thought the floor was wood :-)

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  13. love it.the price is pot on i think. ours cost £1k more but we had to have the floor rebuilt and an extra shower cubicle. So I think you did really well. I like the shape of the bath as well. and very good use of space hanging the sink. Clever. LOVE IT!

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  14. Very glamerous. Lover the tiles on the wall.

    Carolx

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  15. The bathroom is amazing now. The finishing touches really make a huge difference. Love all the taps and towel racks you incorporated. My husband really likes the bathroom too, lets hope he takes a hint and gets to building ours very soon. Enjoy your great new bathroom. What a complete makeover!

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