Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Bathroom/Cloakroom Transformation

The main bathroom in this property was a fairly unique space when we moved in and one that for many months I shared an extreme love/hate relationship with.

Bearing in mind our complete lack of heating/general warmth of any kind;

The Good

The bathroom had a fairly modern electric shower installed. In a house without gas central heating, this electric shower was like some glorious temptress, delivering delicious hot water to our shivering bones morning, noon or night. I kid you not, this shower was the saviour which countered our -clearly very foolish decision- to move into the property whilst having work done around us. Had it not been for this shower keeping us warm without heating, I feel quite sure that Steve and I would have come to blows!

The Bad

The shower was located over an original cast iron bath. One which had a drainage problem, as in, it pretty much just didn't drain. At all... So, despite the temptation to hop in the shower, bolt the door and live it up sauna style in the galley bathroom, our showers were pretty much limited to a timer of how long one could tolerate the bath filling gradually beneath your feet/calves/knees. Is this too much information? I feel you need a vivid picture painted of the utter grimness of this. Coupled with the dodgy bath, the rest of the fixtures and fittings basically hadn't been touched at all. Possibly ever. I exaggerate- the majority hadn't been touched in maybe 60 years- because that's so much better...

Oh, and did I mention the mural? I seem to have failed to get photographic evidence of this which is a catastrophe really. There was a wallpaper mural created by the previous resident using at least ten different types of patterned water and depicting a scene of heaven, the sun, sky, sea and earth all on one bathroom wall.

 Don't get me wrong, it's fairly incredible, we were pretty impressed. But it's not your normal bathroom feature really, is it? We almost felt a bit sad that someone had covered it with tiles to install the shower. I mean imagine how long it must have taken. To create the sea, earth and sky out of wallpaper! I bow down to this level of commitment to one's art.

Here is the bathroom before:

And the adjacent cloakroom/former junk cupboard with the green door. Original bathroom door to the right:


The bathroom was in a really pretty grim state when we found it so some time was spent trying to make it less gross. Steve got the honour of replacing the toilet seat and ripping up the carpet tiles/lino. I've put in some seriously hard graft and become covered head to toe in dirt and grime during this project but I draw a line at certain jobs which is why my darling Steve is such a hero, taking one for the team.

I focussed on tasks such as wallpaper stripping with some surprising results. Tasteful Fornasetti style paper striped back to reveal horrors beneath.

Not much more you can say about that really... Here are some shots of the bathroom once the strip out had started- not a pretty sight! You can see the original bathroom wall on the far left of the photo, the galley cupboard was on the other side of this. The wall was knocked through to create one larger space and steel beam installed to support.

This is the kind of look I had in mind as inspiration for the revamped space. I love the classic colours and elegant, traditional detailing which I thought would be fitting for our Victorian home:

I particularly liked the used of moulding here and the border detailing on the marble floor. Unfortunately our space wasn't large enough to really justify a border but these spaces provided useful inspiration nonetheless.

Here are some in progress shots of the space taking shape:

Once knocked through- big improvement!

I sourced a wet room style shower tray on ebay which was used in creating the giant recessed shower.

The freestanding cast iron bath was a Gumtree find. £100 and originally from Heritage Bathrooms. When we purchased it the colors were baby blue with gold painted feet so I repainted it myself to update the look.
More marble- Statuario this time!

Here you can see some photos of the bathroom fully fitted, tiled and decorated. Unfortunately we don't yet have window treatments or finishing touches such as a towel rail but you get the idea:

The vanity unit with lavastone sink is Fired Earth as is the WC. Unbelievably, I managed to source the Fired Earth unit and sink seperately both ex display. The sink taps are Catchpole & Rye and bath taps Perrin & Rowe, both via ebay.

It's not finished but we are getting there!