It feels like everyone had a lock down decorating project on the go last year and mine was the bathroom and shower room. It has transformed the way I feel about my home and is now my favourite sanctuary in the house. It’s also the only room with a lock on it!
I’ve finally got round to uploading the beautiful photo’s and telling you a little bit more about the ideas behind the design.
First up here is a snippet from my sketch book. I always use my sketch book to help me clarify my ideas around a room scheme. Like everyone else I’m sure, I begin by madly pinning away and then print out a few of my favourite images. What I’m trying to do at this stage is work out what colours I like to see together and play around with different palettes. I’m also trying to conjure up the feeling I want to create. For this bathroom it was all about creating the cosy feeling of a living room but for a room with a bath in it rather than a sofa. Some of the images here show ideas I liked that conjured this softer feeling, like fabric, artwork, rugs and timber cladding. Because we positioned the shower and WC in a smaller room next door (you can view that here) this room literally was just a room with a bath in it that was going to be mostly used occasionally as we shower most days and only take a bath as a treat! This gave me the opportunity to be less restricted by practicalities. But if you can separate your bath from your shgower i really recommend it, as arguably they are for very different purposes. My shower room is for washing and cold showering. It’s all get up and go! Whereas my bathroom is a room for relaxation and contemplation.
I had a complete blank canvas in terms of the renovation because I wanted EVERYTHING to go! We put the bath, taps and basin on Facebook market place so they went to worthy new homes. The ceiling had textured Artex and I wanted to change the lighting layout. I had the bath moved a foot to the right so I could fit some storage in on the left and install a radiator on the right. It was no longer central to the room which upset the plumber (why to trades ALWAYS want everything to be central and symmetrical!) but I was planning the room out in such a way that it suits how I was going to use it and style it. I had a floor plan!
The bathroom in its current state felt really cold and unrelaxing. I hated lying in the bath looking at one rather eye wateringly bright light fitting that just illuminated the revolting Artex textured ceiling. The tiled floor and tiled walls felt cold and it was all hard surfaces.
My design choices included swapping the cold ceramic tiles for wallpaper and MDF matchboard. You can but pre-treated panels that are moisture-resistant from your local timber merchant. The boards were painted in a white which I matched the background of the wallpaper, which is a lovely warm white. It continues on the ceiling and all the woodwork, windows and architrave.
The wallpaper was central to the colour scheme and is very much in keeping with the colour palette that I have throughout the house. I’ve used wallpaper in plenty of bathrooms and never had a problem with it. You can read my post about wallpapering bathrooms here. The decision to paint the bath that warm red was very last minute. I had a pink or a mustard yellow in the cards all the way up to the end but decided the red really gave the visual punch that I always love, as well as being such a warming and cosy colour. I avoided using blues and greens as I wanted to focus on the feeling of warmth and so went for a custom coloured mustard yellow column radiator.
On this mission to create a cosy bathroom, I also took the slightly risky decision not to have a tiled floor. Because this bathroom doesn’t have a shower and I’m not washing toddlers or dogs in it, it doesn’t get very water splashed. An engineered wood floor will withstand a little moisture, but you will probably find you will have to waiver your warranty with the manufacturer as wood floors are not advised for rooms that get very wet. A shaggy vintage morrocan rug finsihes the look. Again this wouldn’t work if it got sopping wet every day, but it fine for a weekly bath. So my advise is, really think about who uses your bathroom and how often.
Next up the lighting got a complete overhaul. I added three wall lights on their own dimmer and then a separate lighting circuit that included a recessed ceiling spot light central to the bath (not the room), and one central to the basin, so those two areas have a lovely pool of light falling onto them. Rattan basket shades diffuse a beautiful honey glow in the evening. I finally found a home for some antique plates that I’d inherited from my Grandmother and found this amazing oil painting from an Antiques fair for a song. I love the way it picks out the colour from the bath. A happy accident!
Switching round to the other side of the room the basin plumping stayed where it was. But my aim was to be rid of the sterile tiles, wood-slatted blinds and bulky cosmetic cupboard in order to create something softer and more elegant.
Due to the single brick thickness of the wall, I couldn’t have the pipes or waste chased into the panelling so currently use a lovely pile of towels and basket to hide them. I brought in the matchboard panelling again to replace the tiles. Painted in a few coats of eggshell it’s splash resistant.
A pair of wall lights on either side of the mirror is the most flattering on the face and a simple glass shelf I find is all I need to keep a few key toiletries that I use every day. I’ve considered adding a fabric curtain around the basin, which would allow me to hide more clutter below it. But at the moment I’m enjoying the nice airy feel this washstand creates. But never say never!
Finally, a soft roman blind at the window pulls out the pinks and adds privacy at night.