A couple from southeast London has transformed their bathroom into a stylish, spa-like space, complete with a green bathtub. The homeowners chose a monochrome scheme, adding warmth and a feeling of luxury to their small bathroom ideas through timber and brass.
The makeover goes to show how neutral walls and pale-coloured flooring can really enhance the sense of space. What was dark and cramped is now bright, airy and soothing, with the bath providing a clear focal point.
Previously, the bathroom walls were two-tone, and the window frame was painted white. The bulky built-in units where overwhelming the space, making it feel much smaller.
Now, it feels so much lighter and brighter, with the freestanding tub and black window frame leading the eye outside. The walls are finished in micro cement which provides the look and feel of concrete at a fraction of the cost and weight.
'We wanted a lot from our new bathroom – it needed to be a practical space as well as providing a calming, home spa feel – and I think we have actually managed to achieve it,' say the homeowners. ‘With a busy household, we needed a practical solution that could also be a space to get away from it all.
'No structural work was involved so we didn’t need planning and we did have another bathroom in the house so that eased the pressure.' The couple also used builders that they had already worked with previously, so they knew the bathroom renovation would be done with minimum fuss.
'Our designer Samantha Watkins McRae created the mid-century scheme we wanted and maximised a sense of light and space by taking away the chunky built-in bath and vanity unit, giving us room for his-and-hers basins and ensuring our beautiful freestanding bath would be the focal point,' they explain.
The stylish built-in vanity unit ensures bathroom clutter remains unseen. It provides enough space for two sinks, each with a mirror above. The wall-mounted taps require forward planning to ensure pipework is accurately placed in the wall.
'We love how the neutral colour palette highlights the brushed brass fittings, which add texture and warmth and evoke the calm ambiance we were after,’ the homeowners explain.
On the other side of the bathroom, is a sleek small bathroom shower idea, in warm brushed brass ties in with the bath and basin fittings. Cool stone and an unfussy style allow the brass fittings to shine and the elegant bath to take centre stage.
Freestanding baths are sculptural statement pieces and very desirable, but there are a few things to think about if you are considering installing one in your home. First, installation. Compared to a built-in bath, a freestanding bath is actually easier to install. Instead of a decorator and a contractor, you’ll likely just need a plumber.
Second, placement. Freestanding baths allow you to use your space more creatively. While built-in baths may need two or more walls for their installation, with freestanding versions, anything goes!
And if you want to combine a shower enclosure and bath, a built-in bath is the way to go. It is possible to mount a shower to a freestanding bath, but it looks clumsy. Some come with a small hand-held unit for rinsing off, which might be a compromise.
Last of all, bathroom storage ideas. Bear in mind that freestanding baths have less space to put your shampoo or candles. A recessed shelf in the wall is a good option – or you might end up buying bath trays or a storage unit on wheels.
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Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less.
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