Before and after – using a room’s varying floor levels puts the bath centre stageOctober 31, 2018
This owner has created a dramatic heritage-style suite
Just after the birth of their second son, the owners moved from a cramped three-bedroom semi to this four-bed house in Surrey. ‘It was only a few hundred metres away,’ says the owner.
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A lot of renovation was needed, as the previous owners were an elderly couple and every room needed updating. ‘We knew we’d have to take it slowly, as we intending on doing a lot of the work ourselves,’ says the owner.
Eventually, they got to the stage where they couldn’t stand the bathroom any more and it shot to the top of the list. ‘We’ve got an en suite in the loft, and a downstairs toilet, but the main bathroom was fairly yucky. It was covered in carpet, which we ripped out straight away,’ the owner recalls.
The fact that the room is on two levels was an issue. ‘It’s not something that can be easily changed,’ says the owner. ‘So we decided to embrace it.’ This was done by using different types of flooring, and having the bath on a raised stage.
‘I’m not one for anything totally modern, so we looked for suites that fitted the age of our Edwardian house,’ says the owner. ‘I’d always wanted a roll-top bath with a shower option as well, and I loved the idea of a shower curtain suspended on a ring.
The family found everything they wanted – including the old-fashioned radiator – at Ultra Finishing.
‘We were keen on wood for the main part of the floor,’ says the owner. ‘I know some people shy away from wood in bathrooms, but it looks so lovely. We find it easy to varnish and care for. Also, we planned to use it away from the main splash zone.’
‘We had a bit of luck with some lovely old wood that my husband brought home. He’s an electrician and often works on refurbishment projects. The boards were going to be dumped! They just needed some care and attention, and then he was able to lay them to create our floor – he’s great at DIY!’
‘We chose white metro tiles for the walls,’ says the owner. ‘But I wanted something different for the floor on the bath level that wasn’t too modern or colourful.’
‘I saw these tiles and fell in love with the subtle hues and the pattern they make together. Once they were in place, we could install the bath and the room really started to take shape.’
A handy wooden stool doubles up as a plant stand.
Get the look
Buy now: Archivo Bakula tiles, £96 per sq m, Topps Tiles
In store only: Wooden stool, £14.99, TK Maxx
‘The metal bath feet are works of art on their own and the wooden mat tones in with the floor.’
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I wanted to introduce some grey, so I used grey grout for the white tiles and painted the walls a soft grey as well to add some texture. I like to mix in a few old bits and pieces, too and pride of place over the sink goes to my late gran Mary’s embossed copper mirror, which she made herself. I’d waited ages for the right place to put it.
Get the look
Buy now: Lyndon outside light, £99.90, Castlegate Lights
White is a popular bathroom colour, but add some texture and older pieces to prevent the room from looking too stark. ‘I fell for this reasonably priced Indian cupboard at an antiques fair,’ says the owner. ‘It goes so well with the floor.’
Choosing the tiles in blue, cream and rust colours has given me plenty of opportunity to add accessories in similar shades, so I treated myself to a selection of towels in greys and blues.
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I’ve added in some baskets in natural materials for more texture as well. I absolutely adore my new bathroom, and can’t wait to get in there of an evening for a long soak.’
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