(Please note that just in order to be completely transparent we worked with soak.com for part of our bathroom renovation and therefore they gifted us the white goods in exchange for content on my blog, you tube and social media. We weren’t paid any extra on top of this and all opinions are my own)
It’s been a long time since I popped up a renovation update post here on my blog. I still have a few rooms that I haven’t taken photos of or created blog posts about, including the dining room, lounge, our bedroom etc. I have done room tours of these over on You Tube (you can find my interior playlist here) but I really need to get a move on and write blog posts before they become so old I start redecorating them again!
Today though I have a special project I want to share with you all- our family bathroom renovation. This was started way back in October and only finished a few short weeks ago. It wasn’t particularly that the renovation took that long, it was mainly due to a number of different aspects- the plumber fitting us in around other jobs, waiting on a specific shower door screen to be delivered etc. There were long periods of time where no work was taking place and we were just waiting around. But it is done now and we absolutely love it.
I should probably start by sharing with you some before photos. When we moved into our house well over a year and a half ago now, there was no doubt that we would get round to replacing the bathrooms eventually. We bought the house as a complete renovation project so it was just a matter of time before we changed them. Our house is about 17 years old, so quite modern in terms of a property, but honestly it really was dated inside.
The previous owners hadn’t touched the bathrooms since they moved in and as a result they were getting tired, a bit shabby around the edges, and above all they just weren’t our style. We could have lived with them for a few more years, they weren’t offensive, but they were always going to be something we tackled at some point. Jon actually had a really good few months of work as he had quite a large contract extended, so we decided to bring forward our plans and get the family bathroom renovated sooner than we originally thought.
WHAT WAS OUR VISION AT THE BEGINNING OF THE RENOVATION?
- Keep the walk in shower– Our family bathroom isn’t a large space, it is about 2 metres squared. We didn’t particularly have any massive requirements at the beginning of the project, bar we wanted to keep the shower. Behind the door on the right hand side is quite a narrow but practical walk in shower that we use a lot, so we wanted to make sure we kept that.
- Patterned floor tiles– I really wanted some patterned floor tiles, but looking on Pinterest and Instagram could only see ones that suited period style homes. This was a must for me as we had vinyl in our old previous home and while it was fine, I really wanted some cool patterned tiles in our new family bathroom.
- Free standing bath– It sounds silly but for such a long time, years in fact, I have always had this little goal in my head that one day we would have a freestanding bath. I have no idea why it is just something I have always wanted, I love the look of them. I really wanted to get a free standing bath in our new renovation, but I was also realistic that it was only a small space.
- Light and bright– Other than the above the only other real requirement we had for our space was that it was light and bright. As it was quite a small space the previous bathroom did look quite dingy at times, so I wanted to make it feel bright and light. I also wanted to put an effort into the styling and make sure that there were lots of things on the wall to at the same time make it feel cosy but stylish.
WHAT WEREN’T WE FUSSED ABOUT
- Lots of storage– Although this is our family bathroom, we actually spend more time in our en suite. (that currently hasn’t been renovated) The kids also spend most of their time there, we all brush our teeth in there etc. While I am aware the girls especially will get bigger and want their own space in years to come, we weren’t too fussed about storage. We aren’t a family who has loads of lotions and potions anyway (we are quite minimalist in that respect) and we also have a big airing cupboard right next door on our landing where we keep a lot of stuff like toilet brushes, toiletries etc. Therefore loads of storage wasn’t something we particularly needed, in fact I find the more storage I have the more likely I am to clutter it up with things I don’t really need.
- A towel rail- I have had a couple of people ask me on instagram why we decided to leave out a towel rail. We always planned to do this, I find them quite unattractive (although you can get some nice ones nowadays) and they take up a lot of space. We had a towel rail in the existing bathroom that in the whole year and a half we have lived here we have never turned on. Our house is really great when it comes to heating, and we keep all our towels in the airing cupboard. Therefore factoring out a towel rail would help save money and also space.
THE FINISHED BATHROOM
We couldn’t be more thrilled with the finished bathroom- it was worth the wait and I think we’ve managed to create an amazing family bathroom considering the fact that it isn’t a huge space. I thought the best thing to do is to talk through some of the key features of the bathroom and then I can list where everything else is from, as well as do a bit of a budget breakdown as I know I find these super helpful when planning our renovations…
Building Work, Materials, Plumbing and Decorating
Most of our budget was eaten up by the plumbing and building work which ended costing more than we expected. This is due to a number of different reasons, when they went to take the tiles down they struggled to get them off as the walls were so weak so we ended up having to pretty much rebuild the walls. We also had a dummy wall built where the toilet is to hide unsightly pipework (the pipework was previously hidden by a random tiled left hand corner of the sink that stuck out (see before photo) and we wanted everything to look clean with no random edges). The pipework itself needed moving around- in our old bathroom we had a large shelf which hid the pipework and it meant the toilet was under the window (see before photo). Due to the way our joists in our house ran we would only be able to have the toilet remaining in the same place if we had that dummy shelf and I didn’t want it as it took up a lot of space, so we decided to move the toilet to the side wall and put the basin under the window. I am glad for this decision in the end as it looks so much stylish and minimal not having the big shelf.
Our builder also created a shower shelf for me which I really wanted, the shower itself is quite small and narrow so I wanted a space to put our bottles. There was a quite a lot of building work that we needed to do that we didn’t factor in originally.
Floor Tiles (and feature shower wall)
I knew before we renovated that I wanted some patterned floor tiles because I just love that look, but on instagram all I could see was patterned tiles that I personally thought were more suited to period style properties or cottages, I felt that some of them might look a bit odd in our relatively modern home. I must have browsed every single tile shop online over a period of weeks and then I found the Sorrento Nizza tiles from Fired Earth and I fell in love. I then spent so long looking on Pinterest and instagram to see if I could find them in anyone’s house to get some inspiration from there. I couldn’t find a single person so I wondered if it was a risk, but after getting a sample I decided that I just loved them and needed them in my life! I couldn’t love them more, we also used them as a feature wall in the shower as well which I am so glad we did.
Fired Earth are a little more of a higher end tile but I got them with a 20% discount they had on and to be honest they are my favourite thing in the whole bathroom so they are so worth it. I definitely think it’s good mixing higher end products with more affordable ones.
As we went for patterned floor tiles we decided to go for a very plain wall tile. I had wanted metro tiles as we had them in our last house, but I fancied a bit of a change with them. We decided to go for these bigger, longer metro tiles that are matt and with no bevelled edging- I love them. We bought them from Tons of Tiles (they are the Metro XL Flat white Metro Tile) and they were really reasonable in price (around £250 for the amount we needed). I think they really compliment the floor tiles and ensure that things don’t look too cluttered.
We worked with soak.com on our white goods and they kindly gifted us to them in exchange for me creating content across You Tube, my blog and social media (sink, toilet, bath). Even though the space we had to work with was small, one of my main wish list requirements for the bathroom was a freestanding bath. I have always wanted one, but I didn’t want a traditional type one as I didn’t think it would go in our modern house. When I saw the Isla Freestanding Bath I just knew it would be great- it is only 1500mm wide so would fit perfectly in our space giving us room around it (We could have actually fit the slightly larger one in but I think a freestanding bath only works if there is space either side).
Because I wanted the bath so badly we had to sacrifice on the size of the basin. A few people have asked me about this as our basin is quite small but to be honest it is the perfect size for us, we tend to use our en suite for brushing our teeth and I am also not a big fan of clutter- we don’t have loads of toiletries and anything we do have is either in a little basket at the side of the bath, in our en suite cupboard or in our airing cupboard. I would much rather have the freestanding bath than a big vanity unit. The basin we went for is the Denver basin and it’s only 400mm wide so perfect for space saving.
We also went for a the Lyon back to wall toilet which I love, it looks really clean and modern.
Hardware e.g taps and shower
I was adamant that I wanted black taps in our bathroom and almost every single person told me they would be impractical. However I do often think plumbers, builders etc are often about practical and not design or creativity, so once I had made up my mind I was positive that black was what would be best.
I did a lot of research on black hardware and we live in an exceptionally hard water area (we get limescale build up on our taps, shower screen etc) so we have since had a water conditioner fitted. It cost £300 including labour and I am no expert but it attaches to your mains pipe and helps soften the water (it is slightly different to a water softener which tends to be big and bulky and goes under your sink), and therefore reduces limescale. So far so good but I am also militant at cleaning the taps as well and wiping them down after use.
For our bath taps I really wanted the ones that stick out the wall as I just love the look you get with them (it reminds me of being in a fancy hotel) and I think they look really nice when paired with a freestanding bath. We decided on the Iker black bath tap which is gorgeous. For our sink tap we decided on the Vellamo Twist Matt Black tap from drench.com.
The black shower is another from the Iker range at soak.com and I love it. It’s simple and modern and looks great.
I originally ordered a really good value chrome shower door and then it arrived and I just decided if we were going for this black modern, industrial look, it would look really weird having a chrome shower door. So I sent it back and then set about looking for black shower doors. There were a fair few but because our shower is quite narrow I just couldn’t find anything suitable- they were lots of adjustable chrome ones in that size but none in black. I then contacted a few bespoke shower companies and the doors were coming in at over £1000 for a shower door- it was crazy.
I rang one random company based in Devon and the man was so helpful, he did some research for me and found a made to order shower door from a company called Novellini . They are based in Italy but do reasonably affordable (for the quality and the fact they are made to order) shower doors. We ordered a black one from there (ours is from the Zephyros range) that took 8 weeks to arrive (but there was Christmas and New Year in between), and when it did I was thrilled.
It was more than we had wanted to spend for a shower door but it completely completes the look and I couldn’t recommend it enough. Also recommend First Class Wet Rooms who are based in Devon (nowhere near us but they ship anywhere in the UK), I randomly found them when searching for the shower door and they were so helpful.
I decided that a large mirror would look amazing over the bath and would also give the room the illusion of more space. We ended up going for this huge round black mirror and I couldn’t love it more. It was so incredibly heavy to lift though, it took Jon and our builder to put it on the wall. I also panicked a little about the fact it was so heavy being balanced over the bath, so as an added security we put a thin layer of silicone sealant around the edges of it too (the same type of sealant you put around toilets, baths etc). It just means if we start to notice that coming away then it’s time to panic!
I really wanted to style up the room as much as I could as it is my favourite thing to do. First things first I added two black shelves that I could pop trinkets like nice quality bath stuff, candles etc on. I am a huge houseplant fan so I also got the lovely wall mounted planters from La Redoute (I can’t find them online so they must have sold out). Then I got the gorgeous ‘Love Yourself’ print from a lady on instagram called Margo in Margate as I thought the message was perfect for when you are looking in the mirror in the bathroom and also the monochrome matched perfectly. I also bought a lovely black planter (set of 2) from Matalan.
We didn’t have a set budget in mind, but equally weren’t in a position spend an absolute fortune on the bathroom. We had done a more budget bathroom renovation in our old house and had a little more to spend this time as this is our forever home, so we just kept a note on our phones of what we were spending when to make sure we didn’t go too overboard. I splashed out on certain things, like the floor tiles, but saved in other areas too.
I’m not including the cosmetic accessories (bar the mirror) like prints, plant posts, shelves etc as these are just finishing touches rather than essential to the renovation…
Labour (building, building materials, grout, decoration and plumbing) – £3800 (this was higher than we originally anticipated due to the fact that when we took the old tiles down we needed to rebuild the walls as they were in a bad condition, we also needed to move a lot of pipework)
Floor Tiles- £607.00
Wall Tiles- £252.00
Freestanding Bath- £279.99
Basin and Vanity Unit- £139.99
Bath Tap- £159.99
Basin Tap- £86.99
Shower Head- £149.99
Shower Door- £300.52
Water Conditioner- (to help with limescale on black hardware) £300
And that is it! The family bathroom of my dreams! We love it so much and are so pleased with how it turned out. I hope you found this post helpful, but if you have any questions please let me know below and I will do my best to answer them.