Family Bathroom Renovation, from frumpy to fabulous
Welcome, this is the first in a series of posts where I will share the renovation of our barn conversion room by room. I’d meant to start blogging about our renovation but things have been so busy here I’ve only just found the time, I hope you enjoy what I share of our work so far and find some inspiration along the way.
Some of you will know that a little over a year ago we moved into our barn conversion mews, which was previously owned by an elderly lady, we had our hands full, pastel carpets, floral window dressings, dark beams and poor lighting being some of the obstacles. My least favourite room complete with a beige suite, pink carpet and floral tiles was the family bathroom, but as we had other priorities and it was functional we waited almost a year before we began the renovation.
I wanted the room to have the wow factor but be a calm and relaxing space at the same time. Living with the room for a year gave me time to figure out how it worked/didn’t work for us, I established that the toilet should be moved as it was visible from the landing, the shower cubicle was too small and the bath was in the wrong place. So, I set about designing a new layout and sourcing the perfect fixtures and fittings. Once I had the design finalised it was time to create a mood board, I’ve used these throughout the renovation, I find them to be the perfect way of getting all my ideas in one place and seeing how each element will work together. They’re also a great tool to share with suppliers so they can see the final look you are hoping to achieve.
The starting point
The first thing we purchased was Hurlingham Baths Dietrich Copper Bath, this would form the centre piece of the bathroom and sit centrally on the back wall for maximum impact. I wanted to achieve the look of an aged wall behind the bath, which I felt would contrast so well with the shiny nickel, I was lucky to work with Murals Wallpaper who supplied me with their Crumble mural. which is the perfect contrast to our highly-polished nickel bath.
I wanted to keep the colour palette simple, I chose white, pink and grey, these came in the form of the white fixtures, Ca Pietra’s Carter Ceramic Rose tiles and Annie Sloan Paris Grey for walls and wood work. Natural neutrals were introduced in the form of the nickel bath, chrome fittings, the natural stone effect mural, black window frame mirror, Industville’s pewter dome wall light and the wood effect flooring.
Sourcing fixtures and fittings
I worked with Bawtry based Independent business Meliora Kitchens Bedrooms and Bathrooms to source the remainder of the fixtures and fittings. Working with Kelly from Meliora was fantastic, I showed her the mood board I’d designed and she totally understood what I wanted to achieve and worked with me to source the perfect products and liaised with suppliers to ensure that all items arrived on time. I had high hopes for Meliora from our first meeting and they certainly didn’t disappoint, going above and beyond.
We chose a large shower tray and simple enclosure with clean lines by Roman Showers, a traditional toilet and Frontline’s Holborn console basin with ceramic legs, the latter is a real statement piece. Shower can and riser, bath and basin taps and shower valve are also Frontline.
The lighting needed reviewing, we started out with one central ceiling light and one wall light, the ceiling light was removed and replaced with spot lights and the wall light was moved to above the bath and replaced with Industville’s 8 inch pewter Brooklyn Dome wall light, this vintage style perfectly complements the wall mural and the window frame mirror above which it hangs. We are lucky to have a Velux in the bathroom, which lets in tons of natural light and is so lovely at night when laid in the bath.
We’ve used local business Direct Carpets throughout the house, having used Camaro LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile) throughout the downstairs I knew that this would be the perfect water proof flooring for the bathroom, I wanted something warmer under foot than tiles. I chose their parquet tile, laid in a herringbone pattern to match the tiling within the shower and above the basin, expertly laid by Direct Carpets.
The bathroom previously had tiles to dado height throughout, these were removed at the same time as the suite, after some filling and sanding the walls were good as new. The ceiling was painted white as was the velux frame, doing this alone made such a difference to the lightness in the room. I’d not used Annie Sloan wall paint before, I chose Paris Grey for the walls and the woodwork and used their clear wax to seal the chalk paint used on the woodwork. I used Annie Sloan brushes for the first time too and I must say painting the walls was such a pleasure, the paint went on so well, such a lovely consistency and really great coverage too.
Crumble Wall Mural
The piece a resistance has to be the Murals Wallpaper Crumble wall mural. From start to finish the process was so simple, from ordering to hanging, their customer service is fantastic too and the website is full of helpful hints and tips. I simply measured the wall, input my measurements on their website, chose the quality of paper and soon after received a proof via email. The mural arrived in one roll within a few days and came with instructions to cut each piece and hang left to right, using the paste the wall method, it went up in around an hour and looks incredible. It looks so realistic that when my neighbour visited she asked when we would be painting the old wall grey to match the other three, good job I’m not easily offended.
I’ve added interest in the form of plants, both real and faux, a large real palm, which I’m hoping the humidity will keep alive as I don’t have the greenest fingers and some fantastic fauxs from Dowsing and Reynolds, their hanging fern looks particularly beautiful hung above the bath. Once I’d added the plants I knew I had to add one of my favourite pieces of art to the room. Decay by Lise Ulrich at Bo Concept is a photographic piece printed onto glass featuring decaying flowers, the colours perfectly complemented the space and I knew it would be perfect for in the bathroom as being glass it wouldn’t be effected by the humidity. I added a couple of mirrors as I really wanted the natural light to bounce round the room, a gold circular one above the basin and Cult Furniture’s Mace Metal Window Frame Mirror behind the bath. Other finishing touches included the obligatory fluffy towels courtesy of Christy and scented candles along with some vintage sea shells which belonged to my Grandmother.
We discovered a talented tradesman via our builder when we knocked our kitchen through into the sun room last summer. Having done an amazing job of fitting our kitchen we had Zac back to rip out and replace the bathroom, this involved moving all the pipework including the soil stack, fitting all new fixtures, replacing the lighting, tiling and generally lots of problem solving along the way. It was a filthy dusty job but totally worth it, now my favourite room in the house, where I can mostly be found soaking in the bath of an evening.
Mark and my Dad fitted the mural and Mark and I did the rest of the decorating ourselves.
The Camaro flooring was sourced and expertly fitted by local company Direct Carpets.
From ripping out the old bathroom to having my first bath took just under two weeks, which I was really happy with.
When things don’t go to plan
I’d sourced a lovely mantle piece which I planned to put behind the bath, the fitter tiled a back board in the Ca Pietea tiles in herringbone to match the shower and above the basin. Sadly we realised that using it would mean that the bath would have to come out further into the room. I was gutted at the time as I was really keen to have a lovely mantle with a mirror above. I love the styling opportunities that mantles offer. Since then I’ve decided that I’ll use it when we finally do our bedroom. Other than not using the mantle things went to plan. Starting out with a clear idea of what we wanted to achieve, using great suppliers and trades people all helped to pull of this part of our renovation.
I would like to thank Kelly and Leon of Meliora of Bawtry for their excellent customer service, so nice when suppliers become friends, they’ll soon be opening their new showroom in Bawtry, which I can’t wait to see.
Thank you also to Katie @comedowntothewoods for introducing me to Kelly at Meliora.
Product was kindly provided by a number of brands who I worked with on the renovation of our family bathroom, the full cost of the renovation work and other items were paid for by myself.
Brands who have contributed include: