MAKEOVER FOR £1500
GETTING USED TO THE NEW NORM
When we first arrived in the UK, the one thing that I really struggled getting used to was the size of the bathrooms. South Africans are not the smallest of people on the planet and having tight spaces to squeeze around in isn't the most ideal.
We came from a home in SA that had a master bathroom with a double his and hers shower and arrived to our London rental flat with a master shower that created difficulty to even lift your legs to clean the underside of your feet. Try doing this with a massive 9 month pregnant belly as well. Not ideal at all.
When we purchased our fixer upper home here in the UK, although the home initially only had space for a single bathroom downstairs - I decided I was going to make the most of the space we had and utilise it well.
The original bathroom was very strange to say the least. The toilet was alone to one side of the kitchen, with the bath and basin on the other. The bathroom was an extremely tight space as the bath was a sit in compact bath that had a door for easy access. This definitely ALL had to GO.
We decided that the width of the bathroom was just too tight to run the bath along the back wall as the width of the existing bathroom was 1.2m and we needed at least 1.5m if we were to get the tiniest fitted bath into this new space. We opted to remove this bathroom wall and re-build it 450mm further out to maximise the bathroom space and create a less compact feel. Adding 450mm to this space was a game changer. This bathroom is now HUGE (for UK standards at least). You can sit on the toilet without grazing a leg on a basin beside you. Everybody's dream (sarcasm)
DECIDING ON FINISHES
All of our bathroom sanitaryware was purchased online via Victoria plumbing as due to the fact that we were in lockdown at the time, we were unable to go view showrooms to get the best deals. Victoria plumbing had some great sales and deals (as they always do) and we managed to find some good bargains. Their products are cost effective, however their customer service was slow and their delivery times a long wait. Worth it though for the prices you pay.
We purchased the built in bath with shower screen, toilet, basin and towel rail from them. We did however have to pay an additional fee for a faster delivery as we would have waited over a month for delivery if we followed their usual delivery times (their website is very vague about this and you only really find this out after payment has been made).
I wanted to create a timeless bathroom space that had a victorian modern feel and hence went with brushed brass fittings. I searched high and low for good deals on these and finally found them on Ebay. The basin mixer was £35 and the shower and bath spout with hand shower all came in at just under £180.
I wanted to keep the tiling as simple as possible, but still create a wow effect. I decided to go for Mandarin tiles Mimica Iceberg Matt 60x60 floor tiles and their basic Albion Classic White Matt 150x150 wall tiles. We decided to brick bond these wall tiles to make the detail slightly more interesting than a straight forward straight bond.
To add to the style we were going for , I purchased a 4 pack of Dado rails from Wickes for £23 and we attached these very simply with No more nails and our mitre block to get the corner angle joins as neat as possible.
I wanted the remainder of the walls in the bathroom painted instead of wall to wall tiles in order to soften it a bit. Due to us only having one bathroom for now, this bathroom acts as a Guest loo as well and hence needed to be as inviting as possible. The walls and ceiling were painted in Farrow and Ball Strong white (Goodness I Love this colour).
We then purchased skirting to match the reminder we were using in the rest of the house from Skirting world. We went for the 250 height ones to create a bit of a dramatic statement.
The basin vanity storage was found on Facebook marketplace and was selling as a sideboard server. I knew I wanted something vintage but couldn't find something at the height that I needed. I searched for sideboards via Ebay and Facebook marketplace and asked all sellers what the height would be if the legs were cut off. Finally I found my match and the seller agreed to sell it for £40. I sent my husband to collect it and told him to take the hand saw with him to cut the legs off prior to bringing it home (as this was also the only way it would fit in the boot of our car).
I found the Vintage mirror via Ebay aswell for £25 and this matched the side board perfectly to finish the look.
I always knew that this bathroom would feature the Romo Areca wallpaper , however to purchase new from Romo themselves (even as a trade buyer) was going to cost me. I only needed 2 rolls (well just over 1 roll to be precise) so I thought I would search good old Ebay and facebook marketplace again to see if anyone had any left over rolls from jobs that they were trying to get rid of (are you picking up on my addiction to these websites). I finally found EXACTLY what I was looking for on Facebook marketplace. 2 rolls of Areca in the colour way that I wanted for £60 including postage. What are the chances!!!
I have been so nervous to install this wallpaper myself as it has a full drop pattern match and even though I have watched wallpaper being installed countless times on my clients installations, its so daunting doing it yourself, for fear of botching it up. I have given it a go and I have to say its not as scary as it looks. It did however take me 3 hours to install it as I was so cautious.
I am very proud and happy to say that our bathroom is now complete and we can enjoy it for years to come. I love being in this space as it is tranquil and spacious and overall a lovely space to be in.
I have attached the suppliers of the products installed below.
Wall and Floor Tiles - @Mandarin Stone
Basin , Toilet , Bath and shower screen - @Victoria Plumbing
Mirror - @Ebay
Vanity sideboard - @Facebook Marketplace
Dado Rails - @Wickes
Skirtings - @Skirtingworld
Wallpaper - @Romo
Basin Mixer, Shower head, mixer and hand shower - @Ebay
Estimate costs of our bathroom Reno:
Bath & shower screen - £189.95
Bath waste (brass) - £66.45
WC - £151.95
Bottle trap for basin (Brass) £47.45
Basin - £56.95
Heated towel rail - £45.55
Floor tiles - £162.30
Wall tiles - £97.03
Toilet roll holder (brass) - £12.11
Shower head and mixer (with hand shower) - £96
Bath mixer and spout - £83
Dado rails (pack of 4) - £23
Skirtings (primed) - £36.60
Wallpaper - £60
Vanity sideboard - £40
Vanity mirror - £25