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…

66 Comments

  1. Your bathroom looks amazing, I am going to steal a lot of your ideas! With the tiles on the wall – did you use a black grout or was it dark grey please?

  2. Thanks Alex. Just watched your video, been meaning to do that ever since you posted it. I mostly did my bathroom on a budget. I’m in a 1940’s house so I left the suite (cast iron bath and typical plain white sink) and updated taps, waste etc. Looking for a bit of a change and because I did as you have and half tiled, its easy.
    A lick of paint is in order. I’m just looking to change my all white theme to a dark ish grey… perhaps a touch lighter than the colour you have but something similar,

    I enjoy your blog, both fashion and home provide inspiration and ideas for any budget. I find it very refreshing. Thanks for everything! Becky

  3. Hi Alexandra

    I love absolutely your blog! Its changed the way I shop, all for the better, and I am constantly inspired by your style as well as travel and interior ideas.

    I am in the process of buying a house which is just like yours, in lovely North London and we will be embarking on a similar (and scary) renovation project. We will also need to knock through our toilet and bathroom as you have done here so I was wondering if you could possibly share the details of your builder as they have done a sterling job, as is clear from above!

    This would be hugely appreciated as I am would always prefer to find trades men or woman via a recommendation. Thanks so much for considering this request and I look forward to seeing your project come together.

    Warmest regards

    Simone

    1. Hi Simone,
      Of course – how exciting! Whereabouts in North London? My builder is quite busy as I have already recommended him to a few people (!) but happy to – do you mind emailing me @alex@the-frugality.com.gridhosted.co.uk just because I only really have his email and mobile and he may not want that public! Alex xx

  4. I’ve been keenly following your renovation works and I just love how you’ve fitted the bathroom! We’re in the process of buying a place which will definitely need some work done to it and at the risk of coming off a bit weird I was wondering if you’d be comfortable sharing your builders details with us? Completely understand if not! Ps you have incredible resilience – I’m terrified of the prospect of not being able to live through such a significant project

      1. I’m so sorry I didn’t respond to this – thanks so much for coming back to me! For some reason I thought I would get a notification email thingee – just goes to show how terrible I am with this sort of thing! We’ll definitely be emailing you – we’re a few months away from needing someone but always good to know that there’s someone out there that comes highly recommended! Thanks again!

  5. Looks really great, a very boring question but what size are your white tiles, we’re about to do our bathroom and can’t decide between 15×15 or 20×20. Thank you in advance. Sarah

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