Bathroom SOS!

Who needs a time machine?

We moved into this house when I was 5 years old. My father, rest his soul, having no mind or time for DIY, simply didn’t change a thing. I’ve made a few inexpensive upgrades since I took over the place: put up blinds where once there were curtains, and given the walls a fresh coat of paint. Still, what lies within these four walls is a living testament to 1001 Decorating Ideas, February 1980 (and no, I didn’t just make that up!)

1001 Decorating Ideas - February 1980


A bathroom in crisis

The most neglected room of all is our upstairs bathroom.  Apart from putting in an electric shower at the turn of the century, nothing has been done.

I became convinced the bathroom was haunted when I was a child, and I’ve never once used the toilet in there. The bathroom is so hideous to me, I literally can’t stand to be in it for more than 5 minutes: if I fancy a bath, I wait until I’m staying in a hotel that has a bath.  But, before you accuse me of being a bathroom-drama-queen (or smelly), let’s take a closer look at it.


[youtube video=83JQDFCY5kI autoplay=1 loop=1]


My bathroom gripes

First – it’s green. My least favourite colour. It’s green, with other shades of green, in a vomit-inducing pattern.

Second –  it’s falling apart.  The toilet cistern is broken and doesn’t work anymore. The taps are stiff, the tiles are crumbling and the panels are cracking. It’s really showing its age.

Third – I’m still not entirely sure that it isn’t haunted. And, if it isn’t haunted, I’m convinced the 1970s electric heater on the wall was designed with the sole purpose to kill me, so I’ll be the one haunting it.

Inspiration from Luxury

Big Bathroom Shop and Tile Mountain‘s Dream Bathroom Competition got me dreaming.  With over 5,000 high quality bathroom products available to buy at the Big Bathroom Shop, and an extensive range of wall and floor tiles at Tile Mountain, there was plenty to dream about.

I had an idea of what I wanted. Call me dull and boring if you will, but after 36 years of living with these tiles, my soul was crying out for neutrals. I wanted to design a bathroom that reminded me of being in my favourite hotels, so I set about finding the combinations to achieve that vision.

1. The Water Club, Atlantic City

Bathroom at The Water Club, Atlantic City

The downside to the bathroom at the Water Club is that there isn’t a tub.  However, the design of the walk-in double-headed shower more than makes up for that!  Recreating this bathroom with a single suite would be difficult, but Big Bathroom Shop have a range of options you can mix and match outside the packages they have on offer.

[all units available at Big Bathroom Shop]

[fts pinterest pinterest_name=msfriendly board_id=water-club-bathroom-furniture type=single_board_pins]

[all tiles available at Tile Mountain]

[fts pinterest pinterest_name=msfriendly board_id=water-club-tiles type=single_board_pins]

The walnut units by Bauhaus reflect the refined ambience of the Water Club, whilst the stunning Milano walk-in shower enclosure is an ideal replication. Add on the Premier Thermostatic Bar Shower Valve & Kit with Telescopic Riser, and you could almost be back in Atlantic City.

I’m extremely particular when it comes to a toilets – it has to have a flush handle and a wide bowl. The Old London Richmond Toilet Pan & Cistern meets my requirements in that area: I’d choose a seat and cover to match the rest of the decor. The Ultra Glide mirror and Milano Pendle Chrome Heated Towel Rail with Heated Shelf add that extra bit of luxury to the design.

The tiles from Tile Mountain are neutral, but a flash of mosaic would give the bathroom more character.


2. Soho Metropolitan Hotel, Toronto

buf Bathroom at the Soho Metropolitan Hotel, Toronto

The bathroom at the Soho Metropolitan Hotel, Toronto, has everything – except, I’m not a huge fan of how they use the same colour tiles for absolutely everything (nor am I a huge fan of the colour of the tiles).  There isn’t enough room in our bathroom for both a bath and a shower, but emulating this particular design is quite simple.

[fts pinterest pinterest_name=msfriendly board_id=soho-metropolitan type=single_board_pins]

To reproduce the Soho bathroom I’d pick the Phoenix Emma Furniture Bathroom Suite, with a Euro 750mm Basin unit. I’m a big fan of open shelving – if it’s in a cupboard, I forget that it’s there – so I’d add on a couple of Phoenix Cara 20cm Open Shelf Storage Units.

A mix of Polished Cappuccino Marble Wall and Floor Tiles with Cappuccino Mosaic, along with a Pebble Border to break the monotony would complete the look, whilst the LED mirror would make the bathroom look more spacious.

3. Malmaison Hotel, Edinburgh

Bathroom at the Malmaison, Edinburgh. Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor.

The Malmaison Edinburgh is pretty much my ideal bathroom. The fact that it’s smaller than the other two bathrooms brings it much more in line with what would be achievable in the space we have. The huge mirrored wall makes the bathroom seem big and bright, and the colour scheme is timeless.

[all units available at Big Bathroom Shop]

[fts pinterest pinterest_name=msfriendly board_id=malmaison-bathroom type=single_board_pins]

The Hudson Reed midnight bath, basin and cabinet with a thermostatic shower panel seem like ideal choices to start on recreating the look of this bathroom.  The Twyford Clarice Toilet, Cistern and Black Ash Seat meets my aforementioned personal requirements for a toilet, and the Bauhaus Celeste Tower Storage Unit in Black Ash along with the Premier Relax Black Wood Bathroom Mirror would give the bathroom a contemporary feel.

[all tiles available at Tile Mountain]

[fts pinterest pinterest_name=msfriendly board_id=malmaison-tiles type=single_board_pins]

Chess black and white tiles could be combined creatively with Hammered Slate Effect Black Floor tiles and Sheera Multicolour Slate tiles to create the perfect monochrome bathroom.

A final pick

The Big Bathroom Shop and Tile Mountain competition required that I choose three suites and three tiles to create my ideal bathroom.  Taking inspiration from above, I’d choose the Hudson Reed Bainbridge Bathroom Suite as my favourite, because it’s the closest match to the Malmaison bathroom. The Ultra Design Showerbath Suite would be my second pick: it’s stylish, compact and bright, closely followed by the Ultra Lux Bathroom Suite.

If I were limited to three choices of tile, I’d choose the Chess Black and White, with Sheera Multicolour Slate tiles. Check out my Pinterest board below for an idea of how these would combine to create my ideal bathroom, and save me from my current bathroom blues (and greens)!

[raw_html_snippet id=”pinterest”]

Find your ideal bathroom at Big Bathroom Shop and the tiles to match at Tile Mountain.