When we picked up the keys for our first home ‘The Otto House’, we had three weeks to get it ready for our little family. At the time Darcey had just turned one, and although a walk in shower with large white plastic handrails and a fold down seat may be welcoming for a weary mama after a long sleepless night, it certainly didn’t please me aesthetically or suit our needs as a family bathroom. Thankfully a builder friend of ours was on hand to help us with the tiling and plumbing so we could crack on and get it finished in the couple of weeks before move in day.
We started by ripping out the shower and the awful faux marble plastic surround that had been literally glued onto the tiles beneath it. Having spent ages trying to take the tiles off the wall around the fireplace downstairs, the thought of more tiles that needed removing (especially ones not factored into our tight time frame) was as unwelcome as a James Blunt song on the radio. I needn’t have worried however as the tiles only required a few forceful taps, a bit of leverage with the chisel and they all fell down, bringing the wall with it!
Thankfully though we had plasterers on site already employed to do the rest of the house, so they could patch up the mess relatively quickly and not before long, our builders could reinstall the original toilet and sink, (we saved money by using what we had and just replaced the taps), so we no longer had to make trips to the ‘very nice thank you’ restaurant down the road in our paint splattered, dust covered and with holes in vicarious places decorating clothes, every time we needed a pee. Hurrah for working toilets.
The bath and panels were from Bathstore and it has stood up well to daily use but their customer service was so frickin awful, the blue rubber duck ‘freebie’ you get is hardly any compensation for their incredulous incompetence. I do NOT recommend. We got the taps and shower head from a family member who works in the trade and managed to get us discount which was amazing as I had no idea taps were sooooo expensive.
I had a good idea of the sort of tile I wanted and for once the internet gods shone down on me, because I actually managed to find these ones which fit perfectly (The Geo Tile by Ted Baker for British Ceramic Tile) within a couple of hours of searching! And they were really reasonably priced. Ker-ching. Statement tiles on the floor meant a classic metro on the walls was enough and I love this matt flat version. The floor tiles would probably enter my top five favourite things about the house (hmmm, that sounds like a blog post in the making…) as they add a fun and quirky nod to Victorian patterns and traditional tiling, whilst never showing the dirt, being super resilient to water splashes and daddy doing a stomping elephant impression whilst the kids are in the bath. However, if I were (read, get a builder) to tile a bathroom floor again I would certainly use a darker coloured grout. Whilst the tiles themselves are easy to clean, the white grout already looks pretty grubby and stains easily. And we’ve not even started potty training yet!
In the corner opposite the toilet sits the boiler in a cupboard with two louvre doors. It was amazing what a lick of paint (okay, maybe three or four) could do to this drab and dated feature, in fact, I actually really like them now they are white as I think they add much needed texture to the space. We believe this room was originally a third bedroom which is why it has a fireplace and is generously proportioned in comparison to the rest of the house. We can also see signs of an old lean-to outside, which we’re assuming is where some poor cold poppet had to do their business upon yesteryear. Anyway, back to the fireplace, which is gorgeously decadent and I love it, but I cannot decide whether the toilet roll storage is comically genius or historical architectural sacrilege? What do you think?!
With our mind always considering the resale we haven’t opted for too much colour in this house but I couldn’t resist adding a good splash of mint to the door to stop it from all becoming rather fifty shades of grey. When people ask to use the bathroom, I also love being able to say, “it’s the room with the green door,” as if upon ascending the stairs, they’ll find a whole other wing, a secret corridor and fifteen doors to choose from.
So, what do you think of our bathroom makeover? Would you be interested in reading a financial breakdown of the costs in case you’ve got a similar project in mind for your home?