I bought my little terraced house nearly five years ago, but doing up the bathroom wasn’t my priority then – the main task was to get the hundreds of layers of wallpaper, paint and woodchip (woodchip!) off the walls of the main bedroom.
Because I hate hard work, that particular job took quite a while to get round to and even longer to complete, but it got done. Then my attention turned to the bathroom with its weird avocado-pistachio-yellowy-brownish suite and half-tiled walls. The upper half of the walls were lined with wallpaper, which is of course the perfect thing to use in a room that’s perpetually full of moisture.
There was no extractor fan, so the wallpaper ended up spotted with condensation mould which the previous owners had simply painted over. I tried to do the same, but lost the will to keep repeating the exercise quite quickly. Something needed to be done.
Over the summer, my husband and I had a brief debate about the merits of a gradual renovation to minimise disruption versus getting everything done at once so we’d have more disruption, but over a much shorter period of time. And, trust me, we needed to get EVERYTHING done – replastering, extractor fan installed, new tiles all over the floor and walls, new suite put in, pipes shifted, and electrical work.
We both agreed that we just wanted to get it over with after spending so long with a crap bathroom, so after expending a lot of time and energy trying to find someone who would be willing to give us a quote (seriously, a couple of people either didn’t turn up as arranged or came round but then never sent a quote. We actually want to give you our money! What’s wrong with you?!), we got the project booked in for a period of around 10 days in October.
It wasn’t a pretty 10 days, let me tell you. It was a bit scary coming home from work on the first day and seeing the bathroom completely gutted of everything except the loo – which we had to put up with only being usable when the workmen weren’t there, and only then with a ‘manual’ flush, shall we say. We could only wash at the kitchen sink, although I could at least use the showers at work. Thank goodness for dry shampoo.
When the tiles started going in a few days later, I was relieved. I could finally see everything start to take shape! Once the suite was in, I was practically ecstatic. We’d definitely chosen wisely (well, mainly my husband, because I’m crap at choosing things that go together) – we wanted a look that would suit the high ceilings of the house, so we went with a Victorian-style white suite with a high-level toilet, charcoal and white pattened floor tiles, and huge white gloss tiles for the walls.
I can’t tell you how brilliant it was when the workmen finally left and we could clean up all the dust and set about buying the little bits we needed for the bathroom. We got some new grey storage units from Argos and a little round teal table from Zara Home that I love but my husband thinks is ‘a bit weird’. The teal is there to add a splash of colour to what is otherwise a pretty monochrome room, and I think it works well.
I love my showers, but it was so, so wonderful to have my first bubble bath in the new bathroom. I could finally relax in a lovely, fragrant, foam-laden haven without having to stare at specks of mould on the wall! I could even have the ‘big light’ off for more subdued lighting as we now have an illuminated mirror! Which also heats up to keep steam off it!
We’re now around 6 weeks on from the renovation, and I’m still delighted with the new bathroom. It was an expensive, messy and stressful time, but so totally worth it for what we have now. Here’s to lots more perfect bubble baths over the winter!