Begging, stealing and borrowing space within a home is something that I have been practising for years and yet I am always amazed at the possibilities it presents.
None more so than when I was able to recently create a bathroom by stealing space from a redundant airing cupboard and a tricky corner from an adjoining bedroom.
The result is an absolute triumph, an airy space with an interesting curved ceiling and the views from the original Crittall window are to die for.
And so, the scene was set…! The only problem being that I hadn’t budgeted for this extra addition in my original plans and so I aimed to create a “bathroom on a budget”.
Tiling a bathroom is a costly exercise. My plan was to source the floor tiles from a local discount store and to clad the majority of the room in a more economical tongue and groove. This enabled me to indulge in a beautiful half tiled wall with hand-made tiles from Fired Earth, they are stunning and give the room a beautiful clean and yet rustic feel.
When I bought the house there was an original claw foot bath in the main bathroom and I decided to re-use it here. The exterior cast iron was a ruddy, flat brown so I painted it in a specialist finish Farrow & Ball colour, Castle Gray. My Plumber then suggested an old-fashioned trick of using white vinegar and baking powder to remove the soap that had built up over the years. The transformation is amazing and I am over the moon, with the newly fitted traditional taps it looks like a new bath, a perfect piece of vintage charm.
Storage needs in a bathroom should never be underestimated and the principles of layering to create personality and interest still apply here. I prefer to create hidden places for functional shampoos and toothpaste etc. so that decorative objects can breathe and be appreciated. That said, basins and vanity units can be very costly, and again I was on the hunt for a bargain and ended up moving in the direction of Ikea. This handy three drawer unit is perfect.
The unexpected bathroom is one of my favourites and it has been such a delight layering and dressing the space.
UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT
- Use sheets of MDF for the tongue and groove and ask your carpenter to router out the grooves to achieve the tongue and groove. This is a much more cost effective way of achieving the same look.
- People don’t tend to think about hanging artwork in bathrooms, but it’s often a lovely way to provide some colour and visual interest to the space.
- Purchase pretty knobs from shops like Anthropologie to give otherwise plain storage more of a bespoke feel.