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.
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