I think we all know that feeling of walking into a hotel bathroom and thinking to ourselves, “This is so much better/ nicer/ thought out than my bathroom.” Quickly followed by; “Why, is this so much bloody better?” and/or “Why is this not my bathroom?”
When we started our bathroom project, that was essentially the kind of bathroom envy I was trying to quash forever in my little world. Now, I am not naïve enough to think that I will never again walk into a bathroom of dreams and think “Why god, why?!” I just wanted to at least try to create a little piece of bathroom bliss in my own home, to prevent myself from getting quite as green-eyed with envy when I happened upon those bathrooms!
I think choosing a bathroom, a kitchen or even flooring are all very “grown up” projects, with equally “grown up” decisions to be made. These are the kind of projects that can potentially add huge value to our homes; not to mention the wow-factor for when you come to sell. (You’ll notice as you read this blog that I talk about selling this house a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I am in love with our little home, but it was never bought as the forever, so the bigger picture is always on my mind. Always.)
The main problem I had when we came to the grown-up task of designing our new bathroom was space. Space; in that we were lacking it. Just how would I fit my free-standing copper-bath-of-dreams and my wet-room rain shower (big enough to have a party in) into this modest space? The truth? I wouldn’t, and my dream bathroom bubble was well and truly burst. I knew we had to work with what we had, so we set our minds on creating our own little slice of bathroom heaven.
Note; the free standing copper-bath-of-dreams and that shower big enough to have a party in will one day be mine. Keep the faith.
I’ve never liked the look of too much “stuff” residing in a bathroom; this results in endless tidying of husbands “stuff” and endless cries of “Where have you put my…(insert any object here)??” For this reason we needed a sink unit with BIG cupboards for me to simply hide everything away; any other shelving or storage in that bathroom was going to be used entirely for items with no actual use or purpose; items that ,you might say, created a real bathroom-of-dreams vibe. We found a fabulous sink unit made by Roper Rhodes and we chose it in “mocha”, this was a lovely muted grey/green colour that really tied in with the heritage feel that we wanted.
We went on to choose taps and fixtures that suited the heritage look too. The rest of the bathroom suite was just plain white, and as I couldn’t have my free-standing bath the bathtub we had chosen was set to be entirely tiled in. There came the week-or-so long deliberation about tiles. We umm’ed and ahhh’ed over many a tile. Searching online and going to several tile showrooms. Decadent me wanted to go all-out in Fired Earth, but sensible me (pushed quite heavily in that direction by my husband) knew that wouldn’t be a sensible or economically smart choice for a three bedroom Victorian semi (after all I didn’t want my bathroom to be worth more than my house!). So eventually we settled on some Laura Ashley Artisan tiles from Homebase, just white (you know, my favourite colour!), rustic looking, rectangular tiles. I am so glad we did as I think they really do give it a lovely crisp and clean feeling.
Note; when we do have our forever home I am going to lose my mind in Fired Earth. Totally bloody lose it. That will be a blog post in itself! “How I totally lost my sh*t in Fired Earth.” Don’t act like you’re not hanging on the edge of your seat for that one.
The tiles for the floor were a much easier decision. I think we just walked into Topps Tiles and walked out again, within minutes. We went for their Sahara Dust modular tiles; the space was too small for bigger flagstone style tiles, so these gave the same feel but suited the space far better. We also went for underfloor heating to keep our tootsies toasty; as I said before, life is just too short for cold feet!
My husband was entrusted fully with selecting the shower and towel rail (you have to give them something); so naturally he went for the biggest shower head he could find (one that even has a button in the middle you can press if you want the water so strong it will potentially knock you over) and a full length heated towel rail for the wall (which is actually super-handy for all the huge White Company towels!) I think these touches made it feel more like a hotel bathroom and less like the humble little space it was. We used Farnham Bathrooms in Surrey for all of our bathroom suite, fittings and fixtures; quite franklthey were bloody brilliant!
Once all of the major work was over we painted the walls in Farrow & Ball “Ammonite”, it was such a warm tone of grey (Yes I am proud to say I am part of the crazed group of us who are slowly turning our houses different shades of grey!), and it has become one of my favourite F&B colours. To complete the project I got to indulge myself in buying all of the accessories to finish my “vision”. I went for a round mirror from The White Company, which I love as it makes the space feel far bigger and much more homely. Then I picked up a painted peg rail from eBay for the wall, and we found a free-standing ladder shelf for all of my completely non-essential items. The accessorises such as soap dish, toothbrush holder, bath-shelf and ceramic product holders were all also from The White Company. I finished the spa-look to the bathroom with stacks of Hammam & Home Turkish hammam towels; these are a beautiful collection of luxe cotton towels that look stylish in the bathroom and are so much nicer to dry off with (especially in the warmer months!).
I think it’s safe to say that I don’t get bathroom envy so often these days, but when I do? Well I am just a tiny bit smug in the knowledge that I have my own little piece of bathroom bliss to come home to!