Newlywed & renovating: bathroom planning

Renovate the bathroom

No one said remodelling a bathroom was easy, and for my husband Marcus and I, it was certainly a dusty affair…

When we first moved in to our house that was in total disrepair, there was only one toilet upstairs that was all on it’s own – isolated from the rest of the bathroom. (I’m sure anyone remodelling a bathroom can understand my pain). I lovingly nicknamed it the chokey: the punishment cupboard of Miss Trunchbull in Roald Dahl’s Matilda.

remodelling a bathroom is never easy

Remodelling a bathroom always requires certain steps you need to follow.

Barely enough room to stand, let alone sit, you had to do a type of jiggle-dance to get in and close the door. It was decorated in florescent-green wallpaper, which in turn was hiding another layer of lilac wallpaper, so it really was like torture spending any time in there. Next to this tiny room was the bath and shower room. This included a fitted bath, hand-held power shower, a sink, some white tiles and lino flooring – thankfully not as unpleasant to be in.

However, in our short stint of attempting to live in the house while we renovated – which lasted three weeks before we moved back out – the shower proved to be very temperamental and tended to stop working mid shampoo. All of this combined meant the bathroom was one of our main priorities to sort out.

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The first milestone • We have heating!! Everything has been ripped out, from the old copper pipes (which were vile), water tanks, radiators and boiler. Replaced with a new combi boiler (that we can connect to our phones OOH-LA-LA!) and brand spanking new radiators! We also asked to have the tub and sink in the bathroom ripped out while they were at it! Although it’s all looking fairly chaotic, it’s starting to really get exciting!! #houserenovation #refurbishment #homeinterior #renovation #redecorating #homedecor #homerefurb #homeproject #newstuff #bathroomdecor #bathroomremodel #radiator #interiordesign #interiorremodel #homemakeover #renovating #gnmhome #newlywedandrenovating

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The first major decision we made when was to gut it of everything (a key step in remodelling a bathroom, I suppose) while our new pipes and heating were being installed throughout the house.

After removing all the tiles from the walls and ripping out the lino flooring, we removed the non-supporting walls that separated the two rooms. We then created a new doorway for the space, using plasterboard and a stud wall, which now seamlessly flows on from the exterior of the old WC.

Exposed, exterior blockwork, dusty floors, and a solitary toilet were what we were left with – and it already looked so much better. Soon after our electrician installed spotlights in the new 4.6m2 room, and a plasterer, who was recommended to us by family, sorted out the walls.

Now we had a blank canvas, it was time to rethink the layout. However, even though we had completely opened up the space, we were limited in what we could do – especially as we wanted to save money and keep the WC and sink where they were.

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I knew a bath would be a non-negotiable for me, as was a shower, so we had to have a design that included both. I’m not a fan of enclosed schemes, so it either had to be a wetroom style, or a shower-bath combination.

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Progress!! • After what has felt like years (in reality, a couple of months) things are about to happen!! The electrician is starting TODAY! The new windows are coming at the end of the month AND we’ve found a builder who can create our dream kitchen diner and utility room for us!!! Oh yes, not forgetting our new bathroom layout now has a door – instead of blue tarpaulin (that was fun…) – which is an original door that my father in law has started to give some TLC! #homeproject #realhomesofinstagram #homesofinstagram #renovating #renovation #redecorating #diy #houserenovation #renovationproject #renovationgoals #homeproject #bathroomremodel #bathroomdesign #progress #keeppositive #1930s #1930shome #homeinterior #interiordesign #homerefurb #homedecor #gnmhome #newlywedandrenovating

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However, Marcus was quick to dismiss the idea of a wetroom – as he didn’t want the whole floor to get wet after one of us had a wash. We also looked into fully waterproofing the space – known as tanking – and it was quite an expensive and time-consuming job. Consequently, we soon realised the layout would have to stay the same, but with a complete upgrade.

For the tiling I wanted to create a statement look, that was a mix of classic-contemporary with an industrial twist – eclectic, I know. This has stemmed from my weakness for dramatic and quirky bathrooms you find in restaurants and boutique hotels. I love monochrome tiles, so when I saw a black and white zigzag design from Tile Giant, I knew it was for me ­– and perfect for the floor.

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Zig zag heaven • So we had some exciting news today! Our bathroom – including the bath from @kaldewei, shower, toilet and sink from @burlingtonbathroom and basin tap from @crosswater_uk – are all arriving on Thursday! All ready to go with these feature tiles from @tile_giant. The plumber is planned to come on Monday to get started so it’s all go go go! It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but working for @kbbmagazine means I get to see beautiful and unique bathrooms everyday and I love aspects from them all. So ours is going to have a classic-contemporary look, with a hint of industrial just to mix things up! I can’t wait to see it all come together!! #renovation #renovating #refurbishment #refurb #homerenovation #homeproject #homeremodel #homerefurb #homerefurbishment #houserenovation #houserefurb #houseproject #realhomesofinstagram #houseworks #houseextension #buildingsite #buildingworks #workinprogress #longwaytogo #gnmhome #bathroom #bathroomremodel #bathroomdesign #zigzag #monochrome #floortiles #newlywedandrenovating

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We were planning on matching this with white herringbone tiling, but a trip to Topps Tiles soon changed this; after both falling head over heels for a rich blue, crackle glaze effect, vintage-style tile. I had no idea how these would go with the flooring, but I took a risk – and as they have literally just started to go down – I can tell the final look will be spectacular (if I do say so myself).

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For the fixtures and fittings, my heart was set on a freestanding, claw-footed bath. However, as this was going to have to be our shower as well, it had to be at least semi-fitted. I thought I had found the tub within our budget, but after getting some fantastic advice from our bathroom supplier realised that, it wouldn’t have been the most practical for everyday use as a shower, due to its light weight and feet. So, with that in mind we opted for a fully fitted steel enamel Kaldewei shower-bath, which is extra strong and easy to maintain.

Remodelling a bathroom can be fun

When we decided to renovate the bathroom, I couldn’t wait to pick the tiles…

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For the brassware there was no other option for me but to go exposed – the industrial look is simply one of my favourites. For the sink and WC we chose more traditional fitted furniture, which would provide us with ample storage to hide away toiletries ­– especially important. There’s no point in having a nice bathroom with bottles everywhere, right?

A double mirror was also essential – so I can do my makeup while Marcus brushes his teeth – and a feature light above this to provide some atmosphere and extra lighting to finish off the look. Our plumber, who was recommended to us by friends, is halfway through the installation and I can’t believe how dramatic it already looks: dark and moody, yet still warm and cosy – perfect for having a long soak or a quick shower. All that needs doing now is the grouting, to finish the plumbing… and around 10 or 12 houseplants and a few prints for the wall (I’m sure Marcus won’t mind…)

Are you remodelling a bathroom? If so, let us know in the comments section below… 

Read more Newlywed & Renovating blogs in the series.

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