Honestly, it feels like we’ve been refurbishing this house for years. But now, with the flooring done, it really feels like we’re getting somewhere. Our last two big projects to tackle are the two bathrooms: the main bathroom which the boys share, and our own en-suite, which we’ve lived with in a right old state since the shower developed a leak over a year ago. The problem with bathrooms are that they’re expensive. Even if you find all the ‘furniture’ at the very budget end (which we did), you need someone skilled to come and do things like tiling and plumbing, so we waited until we could just about afford it all, and made savings wherever possible. Here’s a bit of en suite inspo for you, should you be considering doing the same:
The original bathroom
Yuck. This house had been rented out for years and years. The leak meant that the floor had lifted, plus the toilet and sink were old fashioned, the ceiling was cracked and the tiles were a very old fashioned 70s beige.
After stalking every stylish bathroom I could find on Pinterest, I had a good idea what I wanted: basically a hotel-type bathroom: floor to ceiling slate tiles, a patterned tile floor, sleek white sanitary ware, lovely chrome details (and taps that I can turn on – our last ones were useless once your hands were wet) and some storage. Luckily, Mr E’s nephew, Gavin, works in property renovation and agreed to help us. He also came up with some brilliant ideas, like fitting some tiled shelves into the wall, and edging them with mosaic tiles.
The building work
UGH! The worst bit. But as it started to take shape, it was so exciting. Originally we were going to try and keep the toilet, and just fit new bits to it, but it ended up leaking so we bought a new one, which actually turned out to be a great decision: you don’t realise how much fashion moves on, even with things like sanitary ware:
Mr E and his brother had already gamely fitted the new shower, and poor Gav had to work with some of Mr E’s slightly dodgy tiling, but as the tiles went up (we bought the cheapest grey tiles we could find), it really started to transform the space. We came unstuck when we realised how many tile cuts there would be around the new shelves, but Gav came up with the brilliant idea of buying mosaic tiles on a mesh backing and cutting them to size (these were quite expensive, coming in at over £100, but well worth it). We also had to slightly lift the height of the windowsill, so the tiles came in handy there too:
A big sticking point was the flooring: I wanted tiles, but the floors upstairs have quite a bit of bounce, and we knew that traditional tiling would crack pretty quickly. Plus, floor tiles are really expensive. I ended up buying a faux-tile lino online really cheaply, and I absolutely love it. The towel rail was a relatively cheap Ebay find as well:
The finished en suite
The new toilet came from Wickes, and with new taps for the sink, the whole thing looks absolutely amazing. I’m so, so pleased with it, and the floor to ceiling tiles make it so easy to clean, too:
And with a little help from HomeSense, it’s now completely finished, with grey baskets to hold all our things, soft towels, luxurious toiletries and even an industrial-chic bin!
All the storage means that we can keep the surfaces free of clutter, and with a few nice accessories, the whole look is clean and stylish:
What I love about HomeSense is that you can often find really cult items in there, at great prices too. This Superfacialist Vitamin C+ Skin Renew Cleansing Oil was just a couple of pounds, and so was the giant glass handwash dispenser. I love this fabulous freestanding mirror too (we didn’t want to drill into the new tiles!):
The shopping list:
Design and installation: G T Property Services
Wall tiles: frozen stone from Walls and Floors
Mosaic tiles (used as edging): Chiltern Tiles
Shower, towel rail and tiles: Ebay
Toilet, sink and taps: Wickes
All accessories: HomeSense