6 Things This Woman Craves From Her Bathroom

Our house is a 1920’s semi, which was decorated in a very neat and very uninspired late 80’s fashion when we moved in 25yrs ago – woodchip on the ceilings, textured wallpaper all round, clean & tidy old-lady carpets. We gradually decorated our way around the house, but the one room we didn’t touch at all was the bathroom. We had a perfectly serviceable suite in dull dove grey, there was a striped dove grey and whisper pink carpet and the walls were papered in a thick shiny fake-tile-effect paper with soft whisper pink clouds. I know – gorgeous.

Eventually, though, the ageing plastic suite had to go – we had child no. 3 on the way, and the elderly bathroom was literally disintegrating from the strain of a growing family. So 14 years ago, we finally had a new bathroom suite; cheap and serviceable, we opted for a high street store that supplied and fitted in one job lot price. Simples.

Do note the different colour of the random pattern tiles. We thought it was minimal and wouldn’t notice. Ha – only on Every. Single. Bathroom. Visit.

And we had the utterly brilliant idea of tiling the room ourselves, floor to ceiling. Come on, it was fool-proof. No more peeling walls, totally hard-wearing from the children, easy to clean… what could go wrong?
Nothing at all – just as long as your tile-taste will still be the same in 14 years time... Once you’ve tiled an entire room, you will swear by all that is holy to never ever tile another wall, ever again, as long as you live. Get bored with the tiles you put up? Tough – the husband swears he’ll move house before he hammers them off the walls again.

So; move along 14 years, and what does our bathroom look like now? Erm… it is a 14yr old white suite in a small room overpowered by floor-to-ceiling huge and dated tiles. Obviously.


I mean it’s all perfectly serviceable,  and at first glance it really doesn’t look too bad. Especially as we recently had to replace the laminate flooring with vinyl.

NB – while you’re remembering to never ever tile floor-to-ceiling your entire bathroom with huge tiles, never ever laminate the bathroom floor, either.
Small boys pee on the floor.
For years and years.
And the pee gets in the laminate, and it warps and swells and no matter how much you scrub it… Oh, the shame of the stench when we pulled it up… *shudders*.


But when you look closer, you start to see the age and the cheap finish that was only a temporary solution, 14 years ago. Cheap IKEA wire shelving units that are rusting away. The 80’s carpet still decorating the airing cupboard floor. The similarly cheap IKEA mirror that is slowly rusting inside the frame. The door of the cabinet which cracked when we fitted it… but still works, so we’ve never replaced it. The radiator… dear god, the radiator. How that actually still keeps water in I’ll never know. The finish above the shower cubicle where we had to replace the shower and the new pipes fed into the opposite side…

So I’ve finally been planning my new, lovely bathroom. Once I started pinning (you can see the Bathroom Makeover Board here ) it became clear quite quickly that I already have a strong idea of what I’m looking for.


I started off with a room theme much like this – there’s no point in me yearning for a super-luxurious and contemporary bathroom; it’s got to be workable for a family of six, and it has to fit into our 1920’s little space. I love the bright, airy colours, the stark blacks against the white and turquoise make a fresh modern twist on a deco colour scheme, and it feels liveable and bright.


And whilst we will never again have floor-to-ceiling monster tiles, a certain amount of tileage is a bit of a practical necessity with small splashy people about. I really would love a tile wall that doesn’t look utterly uniform (and nboring) – and I want mine in crispy white.


The walls I’m thinking should keep to a simple bright white; the room is small, so colour choice needs to be as bright and reflective as possible. Although I do love the freshness of the two-toned room balancing out the hard whiteness into something softer…

I have a bit of a thing for vintage plumbing wares, too. I LOVE the knobbly-topped taps (yes, that is definitely the technical term for them…), but I happened to be meandering about looking at mixer taps on the GROHE site and LOOK at the fabulous GROHE Atrio set. I’m smitten. Modern and sleek, and yet a timeless style with that perfect arc. Gorgeous.

And don’t get me started on radiators. You did see my bathroom radiator, yes? What I really really REALLY (really) want is a large cast double-width one. A pretty one. One that I can sit a folded towel on to enrobe myself in when I step out of the shower.
One like this…


Oh SO pretty.

And we haven’t even mentioned the shower. That’s got to be back to Grohe for a great big tropical rain shower head to drench yourself in, with an additional power-jet head for a more scalp-tingling proper wash, and the added bonus of all that contemporary showering magic in a traditional look that’ll work perfectly in our little 30’s inspired bathroom.

Flooring… oh, yikes, the flooring. I would love a fabulous black and white tile-effect vinyl (nothing but fully sealed vinyl, thank you. Not going down THAT stinky rotten road again…), just like the very first picture way up at the top. When we replaced it recently, we played it safe with a muted neutral colour. Big mistake. Huge. It looks dull and forgettable and seems to absorb the light. If we keep the rest of the room bright enough, I think a bold black & white would look fabulous, and totally in the 1920’s vibe I’m trying to keep.

Okay – now am officially excited to get started!

Don’t Forget To Pin It For Later

Author: Laura

A 70's child, I’ve been married for a Very Long Time, and appear to have made four children, and collected one large and useless dog along the way. I work, I have four children, I have a dog… ergo, I do not do dusting or ironing. I began LittleStuff back in (gulp) 2004. I like huge mugs of tea. And Coffee. And Cake. And a steaming cone of crispy fresh fluffy chips, smothered in salt and vinegar. #healthyeater When I grow up I am going to be quietly graceful, organised and wear lipstick every day. In the meantime I *may* have a slight butterfly-brain issue.

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  1. Loving your ideas – the big tiles aren’t THAT bad (although those odd-coloured patterned tiles would have driven me mad way before now!), but your makeover look is definitely an improvement!

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    • Thanks Sam – now I’ve got it all planned out, I’ve already moved in to the new bathroom in my head. Going in there now is an ever-increasing source of disappointment!

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      • We did the black and white floor, and I painted the old tub aturquoise robins egg blue {hubby picked that!}. Lots of tile and a year later, we still love it. We put in a black tile wainscot higher on the wall like they did in the 1910s because that’s when our bathroom was done. Our bathroom is teeny, so we put old boards up at picture rail height on the top of the tile work and put in lots of 1910s coat hooks (schoolroom type)— a to the fact that this room was a closet before 1914. We hang shelving and a rack for towels and our pictures from the hooks. Good luck with your project. It cost us very little in $$ and lived in it while it was being done. You can do it!

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  2. Oh love that bathroom raditor .. so unique and stylish it is.. did you used during your bathroom makeover ?? Even i love that mirror, i have saw in many blog and they look simply elegant.

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  3. The cement tiles near the bathroom in the second picture is just beautiful. Lovely Ideas for white color in the bathroom.

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  4. Nice, your dream bathroom.great tips.Thank for sharing

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  5. WOW!! your bathroom are looking good as well as pretty cool. specially i like a round shape washtub

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  6. Really nice photos and I love that radiator valve.

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  7. Laura, I love your bio. I could have written it except I have 2 children (twins) and a small dog. Everything else, same. I wish you well my friend. Stay well.

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    • Why thank you Linda, that’s really sweet. I love it when I find a kindred spirit! And when I was small I always panned to have twin, it seemed like a great deal to me; I wanted 4 kids, but if I had a boy, then a girl, and then twins I’d only have to do the yucky birth thing three times, right?!! I was a child genius.

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  8. I like the blue painted bathroom !! What is the paint manufacturer and what’s that colors ???? Thanks

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    • I love the blue you used on the upper walls. Its soft and fresh. What color is that?

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  9. Nice pictures! I love your inspirations. The best for me is bathroom with bath under the window. I’m fall in love! I must take a renovating my bathroom. I heared about https://thehomeexpert.uk/

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  10. I’ve just finished our bathroom, all teal and black iron…….OH DEAR!!!!! Now I want to change it back to white and turquoise/duck egg – he of 53 years wedded is not happy with me and said NO! But in a very defeated voice. Where decorating is concerned I ALWAYS get my own way

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