Interiors Update: Bathroom

Pyjamas: Yolke. Sink: £386.95, Burlington at Victorian Plumbing. Wall tiles: Topps Tiles. Mirror: £57.49, Maisons Du Monde. Paint: Dulux. Toilet roll holder: £26, Ferm Living at Amara. Towel holder: £30, Ferm living at Amara. Photographs: Christopher O’Donnell.

I feel like I’ve been saying our bathroom is ‘done’ for a while now. But what with a few last minute snagging issues (a window where we forgot to buy a handle, a mirror we couldn’t find etc) it has taken a little while to feel ‘complete’.

Toilet: £179.95, Victorian Plumbing. Window: Windowlines.

I want to start by mentioning how difficult it is to actually ‘photograph’ this room. It’s actually quite narrow and most of it is hidden behind corners. The room was originally a separate toilet and bathroom, both quite unuseable (the door to the toilet opened onto the staircase, and the ceiling under the toilet actually caved in shortly after we moved in) and there was a large water tank behind the bath deeming a third of the bathroom redundant.

I’m not really one for Before and After photos, I often prefer to be looking forward and show the finished result but thought these pictures might be useful to get an idea…

The first thing to be done was to make better use of the space, without doing any major (and costly) construction work. We knocked through the toilet wall, got rid of the water tank (with a brand new boiler and, in fact, new central heating system throughout the house) and extended the doorway. This larger doorway actually made a huge difference (and one we’d never considered before). The floor and ceilings all needed to be levelled as the rooms were at different heights.

We were lucky with our builders, who started just after the new year and plumbed, tiled, fitted the bathroom suite and painted the room. So we actually did very little, freeing us up to work on other things.

Pyjamas: Yolke. Floor tiles: Topps Tiles.

We knew we wanted these tiles, after seeing them on a few Instagram accounts. They actually come as large tiles, so very cost effective per square metre.

We bought all the tiles from Topps Tiles and most of the fittings from Victorian Plumbing. Originally I was after brass fittings but when it came down to time restraints and money (we had to choose quickly as we couldn’t have a hot shower until the room was sorted!) we went for chrome fittings – especially as I fell in love with the sink, which had chrome legs and taps.

Hand wash: £3.99, H&M. Toothpaste: Marvis. Mixer tap: £179.35, Burlington at Victorian Plumbing. Lumiere gel cream: £45, Darphin. Hand cream: £10.20, Lano.

I have always wanted a Burlington sink, and drooled over them in the Hoxton Hotel’s bathrooms for ages. It’s definitely the priciest thing in our bathroom but I also think it’s the main thing you look at. And the thing about this house is that we’re now buying everything with a long-term plan and this will (hopefully) be our forever home.

Sink: £386.95, Burlington at Victorian Plumbing. Hand wash: £3.99, H&M. Towel holder: £30, Ferm living at Amara. Hand towel: Fab India (bought in Mumbai). Bathmat: £12.99, H&M Home.

Light: BHS (old. You might remember it from our previous loft).

I had pinned loads of black bathrooms on Pinterest and was excited to do something bold in here. This paint is custom-mixed by Dulux, and it’s actually inbetween a charcoal and navy tone and in the bathroom recommended finish so it has a slight sheen. We tiled up until 2/3 of the wall so it wasn’t too dark and finished off with black hardware in the room such as the towel radiator, towel holders and the window.

We bought a double glazed UPVC window rather than timber sash or black aluminium to save money as well as ease. It wasn’t a big window space and it’s covered anyway, and in fact the wood effect black window looks quite good.

Prints from Tate (Georgia O’Keefe) and Yellow Korner (Slim Aarons).  Frames from Wilko.

Ladder shelving: £85, Next. Art print: Tate (Bridget Riley).

Fragrant water spray: £12.75, Roger & Gallet. Detox mask: £22, Caudalie. Anti-wrinkle serum: £36, Caudalie. Cleansing balm: £40, Elemis. Pink tray: H&M Home (old).

Shower: £159.95, Victorian Plumbing.

Wooden bath caddy: £39, Etsy. Bathmat: £12.99, H&M Home.  Marble effect tray: H&M Home (old).

Creme brulee honey bath: £33, Laura Mercier.

‘Coco Rose’ body polish: £36, Wood Grey.

I love basket bags for hiding all manor of sins. A wonky tile (underneath our sink!), bleach, cleaning wipes, spare toilet rolls…I use this Ikea one for all these bits and bobs under the sink.

Basket bag: £36, Wood Grey. Towel: Debenhams. Radiator: £79.99, Screwfix. Stool: £15, Ikea.

I know it probably seems silly to have pictures up in a moist room, but I love having a few more personal items in the bathroom. None of these are expensive but I think adds a bit of personality to perhaps an otherwise stark monochrome room.

Needless to say, we love the new room and it is definitely our most appreciated room in the house after going without hot water for so long…

Thanks to Dulux for providing us with custom-mixed paint to help realise our dream bathroom. Follow me on a video tour below…

60 Comments

  1. I absolutely love this! It is beautiful. Well done for getting one room of the house finished. I am SO getting those floor tiles from Topp Tiles…..maybe for my lean to/back entry way to my house. Please keep the renovations posts coming, they are such a delight to read xxx

  2. It’s beautiful, well done! I’m planning to do my bathroom later this year so you’ve given me some ideas, especially around the paint and your fittings. The small details make all the difference and you’ve nailed it!

  3. Love it, looks amazing! I have been eyeing exactly the same sink, haha! Great to see the before and after as we have a similar set up in terms of pre bathroom being two separate rooms… Debating whether it’s worth the hassle of knocking through, we’re ex council and I am worried that getting planning permission to change the window will be a headache. Anyway, we’re quite near you (Stroud Green) and I was wondering if you could possibly kindly share your builders’ details please? I always think a personal recommendation is so good when it comes to these things!

    1. The knock through was no hassle – it wasn’t a structural wall (as there would never have been an upstairs bathroom in the original house) so was relatively simple….oh yes planning permissions tricky – we are waiting for 2 party wall answers as I type!). And re: builder i totally would, but we are now back in a waiting list for ours as I’ve already recommended him to about 5 people !! So after we’ve got him back I am happy to! Hoping to start our study in late April if you can wait? Email me alex@the-frugality.com.gridhosted.co.uk xx

  4. This is lovely, Alex. I really want to steal your sink for my bathroom renovation (I live in NZ so don’t worry, you are pretty safe)! I’ll have to see if I can find something similar here.

  5. Looks great! Can I ask where you get your windows from and which ones? Boring question but I need to get some myself!

    1. Not at all! This one was UPVC actually, wood effect from Windowlines. We want sash timber for the rest of the house but as it was small and only looks out to an alleyway, this saved money and looks pretty good! xx

  6. Hi Alex, I’ve been following you for a while, since you bought the same light as us from BHS ??!! The one that now graces your lovely new bathroom. I love the interiors pieces you post. We used to have a lovely home, a mixture of scandi style with antique touches and eclectic finds from our travels, but since our twins were born in October 2015, our beautiful home now resembles more of a soft play place!! Perhaps you could recommend some interiors bloggers who have children that might provide some welcome inspiration? Our house is small and our twinkles have ALOT of stuff!! Thanks Alex. Best wishes for everything you do. Lindsay Reed

  7. Great bathroom!! Thanks for the tour, tips and links, so helpful. I’m doing up our bathroom at the moment (black and white too obviously! but going for hexagon wall tiles and black and white marble look floor) and having the same issue you mentioned in your video – I’m trying to go for ‘antique gold’ brass fittings, but can’t find it all to much! So frustrating, their missing a trick there. Our space is also teeny, may I please ask what exact bath you went for? Are you able to send me a link to it please? Was it Victorian Plumbing also? Thank you so much. ? ?

    1. I found you could get taps, but then what about the sink hole for the bath…?! It was a bit mind boggling! The bath I can’t seem to log in and check, the websites a bit useless – it was just a normal bath and we bought the screen separately. It was quite narrow to fit our space. What I would say is that the square edge one I’m not the happiest with, I wish I’d got one with a curved back more in-keeping with victorian style….it feels like the only modern item in the bathroom…

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