After updating my loo, the bathroom felt a little sterile and bland. I guess it’s the decorating domino effect at work again. You know how it goes, no sooner have you finished a room all of a sudden it leads to an idea for the next. And so we keep going. Round and round the house on a decorating loop. Living our own version of Changing Rooms. Hopefully without the stencilling and overtly prolific use of peach! Anyhoo, back to the task in hand. The bathroom was completely redone about 8 years ago. It is looking slightly out of date when you compare it to bathroom styles now. Trouble is I haven’t got the budget to rip everything out and start again. So the bathroom is having a mini makeover to hopefully give it a new lease of life.
Now my bathroom is tiny. In fact it’s so small that when we first moved in it only had enough room for a bath and a sink. A huge window and an unsightly airing cupboard were taking up most of the space. What was worse is that fact that to use the shower (which was over the bath) everyone up the road could see your naked body through the window! OK, slightly obscured by the horrible bobble glass but still distinctly naked! To make matters worse due to the layout of the house there was no way to reconfigure the rooms upstairs. The landing is a horse shoe shape and whilst you could move rooms around they wouldn’t have a doorway!
THE BATHROOM WHEN IT WAS FIRST FITTED
The only way to make the bathroom feel bigger was to work with what I have space wise. So out came the airing cupboard. And at the same time a new combi boiler was fitted. And I bricked up the window to give us a smaller one and more wall space. This is the only room in the house that I didn’t tackle myself. Even for a seasoned DIYer like me it was a big job which I would have tackled if it wasn’t for the fact that five people live in the house and this is our only bathroom. There was no way we could stay in the house throughout the revamp. So we didn’t, we buggered off on holiday for two weeks instead! Leaving the tiler, plumber and carpenter to get on with it.
It was such a lovely holiday but I don’t recommend trying to project manage from the poolside in Mexico that’s for sure. Now I love a bath but my boys and Mr RFW love a shower so it was a priority to make sure we had both. Storage was also top of the list along with a shaver point. No, not for my hairy legs! For the hairs on my mens chinny chin chins. The only way I could fit everything in was to move the bath from one wall to another. Then a shower would fit where the airing cupboard once stood. All design though is about compromise, and in this case it mean’t that we could no longer fit in a full size bath. Bye bye dreams of a roll top bath!
HANDY STORAGE CADDIES FROM MATALAN
To create a feeling of space I used a wet room under floor tray for the shower. And although the openness of a wet room would have benefited the space I didn’t actually want one. The shower is way too close to the sink and I have much better things to do that constantly clean a bathroom. Go figure! So I set out on a quest to find a shower enclosure that would firstly fit the space. And secondly was made with as much glass as possible to keep the feeling of space. I was over the moon to find the Series 10 from Merlyn. It’s perfect, suitable for wet rooms, fabulous quality and comes with a lifetime guarantee too.
Next I turned my mind to storage. I absolutely feel in love with a range by Mereway. I knew I wanted storage and the sink to hang from the wall freeing up more floor space. In turn making the room feel larger. I also new that although the room was small I wanted to express my love of dark colours. And their charcoal grey was perfect to go with the tiling I had in mind. The sink choice led on naturally to having the double ended bath. Which as it turns out is great because we are a right and left handed family and everyone feels at home being able to choose which side to lie down in. I also knew I wanted central taps to keep a feeling of balance in the room.
OUR SINK UNIT
This bathroom works very hard with so many people passing through it. And I knew the tiles were going to have to good quality because once fitted they were staying for a long time. In the end I chose a large terrazzo tile for three of the walls along with the floor. Small tiles would have made the room feel way too enclosed. And to add some interest and texture, the bath side and wall are clad in slate. This ties the house together nicely as the flooring in the kitchen is also slate.
At this point in time we were going through our minimalist phase. Well I say we but what I mean is Mr RFW was. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, he might think he’s a minimalist but he really isn’t. Bless him, he’s the most untidy person I’ve ever come across and believe me minimalism and untidy do not a match in heaven make. So the bathroom pretty much stayed like that for years with no adornments. But just recently it’s started to feel bland. Sterile even. It had become a place to perform the functions of bathing and that was it. Bathing was no longer a relaxing treat but a boring necessity. Now you know me, I love interiors and this feeling was seriously getting me down.
EXTRA STORAGE AND A BIT OF GREENERY FOR THE MINI BATHROOM MAKEOVER
I know, first world problems and all that. But in my defence I also know that it’s important that a home reflects the inner you. We spend such a huge proportion of ours lives in our homes and making a room right is very good at reducing anxiety. And so that’s what I’m doing. My mini bathroom makeover is just that. Mini. The bones of the room aren’t changing. But with some serious faffing and a little bit of paint I hope you like the transformation. It feels so much more inviting now. And once again I’m enjoying a soak in the tub.
All that was left to do was to dress it up was some cheap accessories. A sprinkling of ingenuity. And a little bit of time. First off I waited for Mr RFW to out for the day and I gave the ceiling a lick of paint. Now why did I wait till he went out you might ask? Well, I wanted to take it dark. And I just know that the answer to me asking him would be a resounding no. Easier to just paint it and go Ta Dahhhh! Slightly unethical potentially. But my thinking has and will always be, it’s only paint. Worst case scenario you paint over your mistake. The errors of decorating judgement are fairly easy to rectify. The bathroom door has also gone dark too.
THE HOMEMADE LAVENDER BATH SALTS I CREATED FOR MY MINI BATHROOM MAKEOVER
Then the manky grout in the shower got a good old bleaching. And I carefully removed all the old silicon that was mouldy and replaced it with new. Who’d have thunk that a new stripe of bright white silicon around a sink could make such a huge difference? Next the faffing could commence. First things first I created some DIY Amber Bottles. Part of my quest to cut down on the amount of plastic going through the house. Next up was my Homemade Lavender Bath Salts. And Homemade Lavender Organic Soap too. Both a quest to remove chemicals from our home. And both easy, quick and fun to make too.
HOMEMADE LAVENDER ORGANIC SOAP THAT I MADE FOR MY MINI BATHROOM MAKEOVER
Next up was greenery, now I love house plants. However they do not love me. OK I admit it, I am a serial plant killer. I am a fauna executioner. A danger to vegetation. So my dears, I’ve given up on botanical cruelty and I now only opt for fake. Forgive me for my sins. I really love Matalan for faux, they’re fabulous quality and really quite realistic too. Obviously not as good as the real thing. But a room isn’t a room without a bit of greenery is it? And so I compromise and the plant world I think, thanks me for it.
MY AMBER BOTTLE DIY, SOME CANDLES AND A SPOT OF GREENERY
The final touches are a few candles and and wooden accessories to give a modern apothecary vibe. I’ve always loved the look. I’ve added some new towels too. The old towels are still going strong so why buy new I hear you ask. Well, I’ve distributed them amongst the youngest two boys (read men but to me they will always be my boys). The reason for this? They don’t like touching a towel someone else has used. And they will also only use a towel once. I hope this will reduce their anxieties by a tiny notch. Believe me every tiny notch counts!
The finishing flourish is a new Roman blind for the window. I’m going for an unstructured one though as the window is very small. I’ve got a ‘How To’ coming up shortly is you’re interested in how to make one yourself. I have splurged with the fabric. I do believe that although I always decorate on a budget it is always worth investing in a central item of good quality. It has a way of rubbing off a little luxury on the things around don’t you think?
THE BATHROOM AFTER IT’S MINI MAKEOVER
So there you have it! What do you think? Have I transformed it sufficiently that it could grace a square in Instagram? Only joking, we should all post what we love on there. And I love just how different my bathroom feels for a bit of faffing. Styled or not, I’m more about the people behind the squares on Instagram anyway. For me I love to style shots but then I’ve always worked in the industry and now I’m a home bod it gives me a feeling that I’m still in some way connected to my old life. How about you? Do you just point and snap or take a gazillion shots before you find the first one was the best anyway! Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.