Hello and welcome to my show notes for the latest episode of the Great Indoors podcast and a huge thanks to Neptune for sponsoring the series. On this episode we are talking all things kitchens and bathrooms, with some great insights from Living etc’s Busola Evans. You can catch the full episode here.
I am so excited to have made a start on renovating my beige bathroom which has been a long 4 year wait. It’s the smallest room in the house but one of the reasons it’s taken so long to come around to it is probably because the bathroom is one of the most expensive rooms to renovate. It requires you to call in so many trades; plumbing, carpentry, electrics and then there’s the heating, tiling and decorating to consider too. We started off with the oh so small but perfectly planned wet room which is just 1m x 2m in the floor plan. I made the decision to get rid of the tray and screen and make it an open plan space which helps it appear so much roomier than it actually is. I am so delighted with the result and I have certainly banished the beige and gone full-on colour. The scheme was kick-started by the fabulous Cape Town encaustic floor tiles by Ca Pietra featuring blue, pink and yellow and then I discovered that Burlington was doing pink sanitaryware so it was full steam ahead from here. Delighted that I got the go-ahead from my son Arthur. While he is nine now, he still maintains he loves pink!
Yes, it’s bright and bold but I wanted it to spark joy and be uplifting as that’s what a shower room should do right? It’s a place to freshen up and set you up for the day. As Kate pointed out it’s the place you start and end your day so it’s key that you create the right mood. The bathroom is generally the smallest room so is the one place you can really add your own personality and go for it in the colour and pattern stakes.
For my main bathroom, I’m going to be dialling down the vibrancy as it will be the room with the bath. I need it to feel more relaxing and somewhere to unwind.
I wanted to design my new bathroom, in the same way, I would my living room, in order to create the same feeling. I’ve gone for wall sconces with silk shades, and get this, a fabric curtain around the basin – a step too far for Kate. The idea behind this was to soften the hard lines and surfaces and echo the fabric blind at the window. This is all about creating a room in which you relax while you bathe.
Lighting is key in a bathroom, again, it’s all about creating the right mood. Spotlights are great for the practicalities and I’m all for wall lights – on dimmers to create a relaxing vibe.
Associate editor of Living etc Busola Evans is a self-confessed kitchen and bathroom obsessive, check out her Instagram grid for some fab examples, @busolaevans. We thought we would get some insights into some bathroom trends from an industry expert. She says, curves have been big in interiors as a whole and have made their way into the bathroom. So we’re seeing more curved baths, sinks, mirrors and tiles, all of which help balance the straight lines and make it look more welcoming. There is a strong move towards textiles in the bathroom to soften the space and Busola has seen more relaxed curtains both as a window treatment and a ceiling-mounted rail above a free-standing bath -all to help make the bathroom less clinical and inject more personality. Finally, she says coloured sanitaryware! this has been a slow burner over the last couple of years and many brands are including them in their collections.
If you’re tackling your own bathroom update or just want some inspiration, there is tons of support and creativity over on the Great Indoors Facebook group.
As we embark on our potential extension and dream kitchen, I need to cleverly think of ways of introducing some pink to continue with my red thread as my husband has pleaded for no more pink! I had thought about pink and mustard for the kitchen but I’ve already gone with that colour combo for the bathroom so may well be a stretch too far.
They have also found that people are buying two different colours – so base cabinets in one colour and top cabinets or shelves in another. If you go dark on the bottom and lighter on the top it helps to make the room appear bigger, or why not try a different colour for the island – if you’re lucky enough to have space.
Neptune also reported that brass taps and handles are by far the most popular choice. Whilst Kate said that brass was a classic choice it has been somewhat of a trendy element recently. We perhaps fell out of love with brass as it tended to tarnish, although we are now loving the aged patina finish so it has come back round in favour. Kate, however, is loving a pink tap, (check out Dowsing & Reynolds) although it is still boxed up in the hope the mad husband will come round!
What does Busols say about kitchens…
Wall cabinetry – just as we’ve all signed up to open shelving the wall cabinet is staging a come-back but this time with different fronts to give the kitchen a similar airy feel. So, we are talking about glass, fluted, reeded and textured styles are all gaining popularity as well as mesh fronts. The key is to obscure the view inside the cabinets so it doesn’t restrict organising but it retains a feeling of space. If I get my dream kitchen in my dream extension is will be open to the living and dining room so part of me is thinking it might actually be quite nice to have things hidden away.
Busola reports, there is a move towards more freestanding pieces to make the kitchen look less ‘kitcheny’ with the deconstruction of the standard fitted kitchen. Many of the brands she speaks to say that a walk-in pantry is almost always at the top of a customers wish list. If space is an issue then large pantry cupboards are a close second.
The other trend Busola mentioned was deeply veined stone. Striking veins on marble or quartz are making an appearance on worktops and islands.
So in summary, don’t chicken out on a bold choice, if you feel it in your heart and really want it, it means it’s right for you. You don’t want to look back in 6 months time and wish you had been a little bit braver. Yes, we know kitchens are expensive and an investment but because of that shouldn’t you go for something you truly love?