Our little London fixer upper has certainly kept me busy for the best part of five years. We tackled the renovation slowly, when money and time permitted.
It was clear right from the outset there were some major issues with the bathroom. Water ran down the walls when it rained; a rotten wasp nest was falling through the ceiling; it was without a shower; and to use the basin, you either had to close the door to access it or go to the adjacent BEDROOM to use the KITCHEN SINK. The biggest problem of all though was the way the room made us feel. Our bathroom made us feel dirty instead of squeaky clean. To save our sanity, this room needed our immediate attention and a complete overhaul.
We made a start. We re-plumbed the boiler, took down a wall to combine the existing bathroom and a small adjacent bedroom and closed up a doorway. This was essential work, but it was also very destructive work. Progress was very slow as I was trying to do my parts during my son’s afternoon nap. It was crazy!
At this stage our friends – the Watts family – decided to come and stay with us while the purchase of their new house went through. So at various points we had four adults and two toddlers tip-toeing on joists to use the facilities and flushing the toilet with a bucket.
Having done a little tiling before, I decided to take this task on myself to save a bit money. I was really careful not to repeat any past mistakes. The floor was quite quick and easy but there were a lot of tiles going on the walls. The wall tiles have a slightly uneven edge too, which meant I couldn’t rely completely on tile spacers and needed to line them up by eye. I think I went a little cross-eyed by the end of it!
Incorporating well organised storage spaces was also an absolute necessity. An upcycled cupboard used in the hallway of our previous home became our new vanity. I removed the existing top and replaced it with a marble top and inset sink. A full length Victorian cupboard facade was also removed from one of the bedrooms. This became the front of the airing cupboard which was built around the boiler. These two cupboards hold all our essential unsightliness, with plenty of room to spare.
I also had a country style plate rack in the kitchen but have repurposed it for the bathroom. I gave it a lick of paint with one my favourite colours, Farrow & Ball – Railings No.31, and it now holds all our bubble baths.
I wanted to create a beautiful, light filled family bathroom. We all love soaking in the bath with a good book, so a large tub was crucial. I do have two elements of the remodel I sometimes think about…
#1 – Our marble vanity top. Marble requires a little love and care. It needs sealing occasionally and we were advised not to place products on top of it as they can ‘eat into the marble’ so there is a little impracticality that comes with it. A quartz top would have been a better choice. It still has the lovely vein that marble has but requires no love or care – just to use as you please and admire as you use!
#2 – Shower curtains versus glass doors. We chose a simple white slub shower curtain from John Lewis. It does a great job and always looks clean. A glass shower door would have looked very smart but we live in a hard water area and I was put off by the water marks that dry on the door.
So the first room was finished, and I just love how bright and spacious our bathroom is now. It is a complete transformation – in the way it looks and the way we feel after using it.
Subscribe to the Edna & Ossie mailing list to receive notifications of our further trials and transformations.