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Here it is at last… our bathroom renovation!
Yep… it was finished by mid-January and now finally (in April) I can show you the full before and after details of the second major renovation to take place in the Start household.
Work began as H went back to school for 2019 and at first I welcomed the distraction from what turned out to be a tough December. Seeing the progress each day was the real fun part – having to find alternate washing and toilet facilities… not so much.
By the end of the two weeks I did admit to myself that really, perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea to plunge a peri-menopausal woman who was grieving for her recently deceased mum (and probably in the grips of the post Christmas blues), straight into living amidst a fairly major renovation.
Still, I (and miraculously everyone else in the house), lived to tell the tale and we’re so happy with the results! As with any renovation, looking back once it’s over, we can say it was worth the pain.
The actual work took two weeks from beginning to end and after being so pleased with how last years kitchen renovation went, we once again put ourselves in the capable hands of Jon and his team at Weber Creative Interiors.
Not only is their workmanship carried out to a really high standard but they’re also reliable and easy to have around in your house. And lets face it when you have to spend the best part of two weeks asking them to go outside for a minute and whistle loudly so you can have a pee in a room with no door and only a bucket of water to flush with, you need people that you feel fairly at ease with!
So… let’s get the somewhat grime-encrusted Before pics out the way. I mean… seriously… looking at these now you’d be forgiven for thinking did we EVER clean the bathroom?? Erm… probably not in that “deep clean” way once we’d decided to renovate some eleven months before.
Also, in true slapdash Before Photo tradition, I’d almost forgotten to actually taking the pre-renovation snaps and realised this possibly the day before it was all due to begin. And it was getting dark.
Not the best approach for interior shots in case you were wondering…
Feel free to admire the grimness of the shower curtain that we endured having stuck to our bums for every shower circa May 2018 to January 2019 if memory serves. Can you imagine how great it felt to see that thrown with abandon into the skip on Day 1 of renovations?
Anyhoo… moving swiftly on… with apologies for the mental imagery I may have just unwittingly stirred up…
It’s not a huge bathroom so going for a complete change and crossing over the the #DeliciousDarkDecor hashtag side felt like a bit of a leap of faith at first.
But having done this with the hallway and loved it and then established the ground rules of white sanitary ware and wooden accents to go with, it began to feel less scary.
There was no scope for moving the placement of where bath, toilet, sink and current shower were. Not unless we considered encroaching on space to the right of the room which is the airing cupboard. A bit of a no go seeing as, post kitchen renovation, that’s now where the boiler lives.
We also knew that in order to have a recess shower shelf and the type of bathroom cabinet we wanted, they would have to build a boxing framework along the entire wall, so we’d actually be losing a little space too.
Weber Creative Interiors went about sourcing all our fixtures and fittings once we’d chosen them but I can tell you the bath, toilet and shower are by Eastbrook and the sink and all tap fittings (or brassware as I’m told they’re called!) is by Crosswater.
Topps Tiles * kindly gave us a very generous discount in return for mentioning our gorgeous tiles here and on Instagram during the renovation. The floor tiles are called Regal Coal Matt and the walls are Stormstone Shadow – both in the 60cm x 60cm size.
And talking of floors… tiled ones need underfloor heating in my rule book.
But over and above that (and the super cool 4iE Smart WiFi Thermostat), the gift of warm tiles underfoot in the morning and evening is one that just keeps on giving!
Oliver Bonas Marble Tray * | Bamboo Cotton Buds from & Keep | Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Cleansing Oil [gifted]* | Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate Facial Oil [gifted]* | Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Under Eye Cream [gifted] * | Bobbi Brown Buffing Grains * | Aesop Post-Poo Drops * | Espresso Cup & Saucer by Jono Smart
One of the things I was really pleased about (apart from the prospect of no more shower curtain/bum cheek sticking incidents), was the fact that as part of the renovation process, we were able to get rid of another Artex ceiling in the house and have it skimmed by a plasterer.
I’ve since made a vow that no more rooms can be decorated without first getting the plasterer back to get rid of all the icky stippling.
We kept the old radiator/towel rail. After a clean with white wine vinegar and aluminium foil to get off dirt and rust, it came up like new. Patrick was quite impressed with my internet cleaning tip sleuthing.
Although he was probably wondering why I perhaps didn’t put those skills to good use on the bathroom throughout most of 2018.
A lady never gives it all away at once is all I’m saying.
Also in the video below and in the Before clip over on IGTV, you’ll see me talk about (and demonstrate but only to a point), the pitfalls of not thinking through putting a tall storage cabinet opposite the toilet. But not just any tall storage cabinet… on no. We’re talking one with a mirror.
After sixteen years of the entire family and all visitors being able to see themselves go for a pee, the removal of this was a monumental moment!
Getting rid of it meant not just ridding ourselves of an image that, let’s face it, no one wants to be confronted with, but it also meant we had to find more storage elsewhere.
The mirror door cabinet that Jon built and the under sink, two drawer storage has given us all more than enough space. We also decided to swap out the old IKEA medicine cabinet for another of Jon’s “marvellous shelves”… pretty plant perch wins over Paracetamol storage any day.
I decided to keep all the medicine cabinet items in a big plastic box tucked away in the
man cave garage. Job done.
Kiehl’s Body Cleanser [gifted]* | The White Company Wooden Bath Tidy * | Amara Marble Tealight Holder * | Black Rubber Soap Dish by White Black Grey | Natural Sponge from John Lewis & Partners * | Square Pumice by Sevin London * | H&M Small Vase * | H&M Wooden Storage Tray * | The White Company Flannel *
so do I have any bathroom renovation tips?
Well… after reading a couple of interior styling books lately and realising just how in-depth it’s possible to go (read: how much of an amateur I am), my first response should probably be to keep my mouth firmly shut. But when have I ever been able to do that when it comes to ideas for getting our home as we want it?
So think of these from a few basic practical snippets from one who has a lot to learn…
IN THE SHOWER
Think about the in-shower storage you’ll need. After years spent fighting to fit as many bottles as possible into a tiny wire rack – a large recess shelf was essential. If you opt for a recess shelf, get thee a shower squeegee * to avoid future mould… more on that later. Riveting stuff huh?
In fact don’t over estimate the amount of storage needed for all the family toiletries and products you’ll need – especially when you have a beauty obsessed mid-lifer and a teen with a burgeoning grooming habit living with you.
Patrick never ceases to be amazed at how many bottles the female contingent in this house need in the shower at any one time…
We have three different types on a switch outside the bathroom door. There are recessed down lighters in the ceiling that are super bright for those dark morning makeup application moments. Scary but necessary.
There’s also a light that comes on with the shower extractor fan and some LED strip lights under the cupboard shelf. Both of these together provide a really soft gentle light perfect for bath time.
The dark tiles were always going to be a fixture but only if they could be accompanied by the wood elements. As mentioned in the bathroom mood board post, that White Company bath tidy * was the thing that set the ideas rolling. I also love the wooden tray from H&M home * – a truly bargainous addition.
This is a new one for me… namely for the reason that I’m about to reveal. I’ve often thought about a plant in the bathroom… and thats as far as it goes. Monty Don I am not.
I don’t even know what the one we have is called (if you do, please share), but I did check with the lady in the garden centre that it was good for bathrooms. Go me. Also it looks really nice it its’s HAY concrete pot. *
CLEANING THE SHOWER
Uh oh… the pendulum has swung the other way.
A fancy pants new bathroom appears to be turning me into Aggie (or Kim) from How Clean Is Your House. So if you can ignore for a moment that earlier I talked about purposefully NOT cleaning the bathroom properly, here’s something that, done daily for two minutes mean you’ll never have to scrub limescale off your shower again.
After every use (unless you’re The Teen), the doors and shelf got a thoroughly good squeegee-ing and then the walls are wiped with the E Cloth. All I can say is watch the video and prepare to learn about the daily practice of Mindful Squeegee-ing.
It’s all rock n’roll in this house let me tell you…
So there you have it – one bathroom… (finally) finished.
S H O P T H E P O S T *
Photography For After Shots: Charlotte Bryer-Ash
Video Footage Edited by: Heidi Bawden Video