Most homes have a bathroom, ours did, but it was so tiny, so very out of date and the toilet even had a crack in it – so here is the story of our new bathroom, how we now have a new room to bathe in, and I’m so thrilled and just love it!
Erik is very handy at most things, but even he feels the necessity to call in a ‘proper’ plumber for jobs such as a bathroom. So between me scouring Google and Pinterest, myriads of magazines, the local tile and bathroom specialist, and our trusty plumber, Keith Richmond of Sigglesthorne, we have ended up with a stylish room, and now one it is a pleasure to use. OK, it is still tiny, as we couldn’t push the walls out, but just beautiful. And, most important, lovely and warm thanks to a huge shiny towel rail and a heated floor. Oh, the bliss of getting up early to go to the ‘loo’ then my bare feet slide over the warm ceramic tiles and I smile, a big smile.
We remembered, for once, to shoot pictures of the ‘before’ room, so here it is before we touched it, and another shot of it stripped out and looking very sad.
Then the very sad bathroom, stripped down to the basics by Keith Richmond.
Over the last year or so, I have enjoyed buying Orchids (only from the local supermarket), because I realised that they lasted for many months, even years. And in what was our not very nice room, we had a window-ledge, which had become the home to a lovely very pale orchid with deep pink spots, which sort of dictated my colour scheme. This orchid now has a very stylish window-cill to live in, and is doing very well. It probably enjoys the steamy heat of the bath or shower as much as I do.
When reading about ‘doing up’ bathrooms, I read that in a small room (and ours is very small), put in as big a bath as possible. So what did I do? Put in the biggest bath that fitted between the walls. The bath is 800mm wide by 1800mm long, and quite high. So high that the 4 youngest grandchildren will need a stool to help them get in the bath! Not Jacob though – at 15 yrs and about 5ft 11 inches high, with very long legs, he will have no problem getting into it. The problem will be me trying to get him out of the bath!
Because of the size, this bath takes about 15 – 20 minutes to fill up according to Erik, who I allow to have the odd bath every now and then (he prefers to use the shower room downstairs normally). Sometimes, after chopping wood or after a long walk, his aching muscles just call out for a bubble-filled bath, and being a tall man, he enjoys the beauty of a really long bath to have a relaxing soak. As I am only quite small, I don’t put as much water in as Erik, but when I lay down in the bath, with my head at the end, my feet are about a foot away from the taps. I can almost swim in the water, it being such a huge bath.
However much we have transformed it, the bathroom is still small, so there is no room for a separate shower. I decided to have a big shower, with a smaller shower for rinsing hair etc, placed within the bath. The big shower is very big, shiny and round, an amazing size, the the smaller one is perfect for smaller people, washing hair or rinsing out the bath. Because the shower is near the window, I searched Google for waterproof blinds, and came up with this very stylish, silver-grey PVC waterproof one – it’s colour is perfect, and it’s waterproof properties certainly keep the water out of the window recess, and my orchid is also well protected! To be honest, the blind is even better in real life than I thought it was going to be!
The warmth of a bathroom is so important to me. I cannot bear a cold one. So along with our electric heated floor, I chose a big towel rail which gives off a lot of heat, the result being in a morning this great room enfolds me gently in its ‘toasty’ warmth. And I smile.
Big or what? A great big, shiny towel rail, to keep me, my towels and my dressing gown warm when I’m using the bathroom. Perfect. To make this special even warmer, we now have underfloor heating underneath the ceramic floor tiles. To be honest, it is only the tiles in the centre of the floor which have the electric heating underneath, as you cannot put such as a toilet or bath or cabinet on top of the heating wires. But it does make it so warm for your feet. Here is the picture of the control box for the underfloor heating on the wall, outside the bathroom. Not exactly a ‘designer’ photo, but it will suffice.
So to give you a better idea of what our new bathroom looks like, what I see as I open the door, here is the last picture.
We trailed around the tile suppliers in and around Hull, but I had a strong idea of what I wanted – tiles that were light, and light-reflective, as the window is quite small. Also, medium to large tiles make a small bathroom look bigger. Luckily we found exactly what I had dreamed of at Brookes in Hull, and the wall tiles were on ‘special’offer. The non-slip floor tiles were also from Brookes, but the tessellated grey strip tiles were from Al Muraad, another Hull shop. I have always been fascinated by Roman mosaics and the use of tiny pieces of stone or tile, so, again, I was thrilled to find these small tiles with three shades of grey running through the pattern.
Google was my guide to finding the sort of lights I had set my heart on. I was looking for some lights that reflected the light, and for the ceiling found the square downlights, that had facets around them which certainly do reflect the light. Then I found the lights for either side of the cabinet, above the sink – again lights with crystal side pieces that make the light ‘explode’ and sparkle. A bit ‘girly’, I know, but Erik didn’t mind.
Since these photos were taken, Erik has painted the bathroom door frame plus inside of the door in a deeper grey paint. We met a lovely young lady at B & Q in Stoneferry in Hull who gave us brilliant help at choosing from their new range of paint, Valspar, which will give you a choice of over 2 million shades to choose from. She suggested the correct paint for the bathroom walls and ceiling, and also for the door and frame, and Erik declared the paint was brilliant to use. It certainly looks fabulous. And for the tiny patch of flat ceiling, the colour I chose just happened to be called ‘Burnt Orchid’. Coincidence or what?
So the story of our new bathroom is down to myself, Erik and Keith Richmond, our plumber, and between us this room has been totally transformed from one I didn’t use much to one that makes me smile every time I push open the door to go inside. Hans Christian Andersen’s story of the transformation of the ugly duckling into a beautiful swan reminds me very much of our lovely new bathroom – and even our plumber, Keith, admits it’s turned out even better than he expected. So it must be good!!