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‘The old bathroom was a beige, masculine space,’ says the owner of this Victorian terrace in southeast London. ‘It had heavy brown cupboards and an empty tropical fish tank set into the chimney breast. We lived with it for nearly three years while we saved up. I wanted a scheme with glamour and elegance but, as this is a family bathroom, it had to be functional, too.’
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‘We stuck to the existing layout, hoping that using the same plumbing would save money, but when the old bath came out, we found that the pipes were running along the walls rather than between the floor joists. They had to be re-routed, which was tricky and time-consuming. It was worth it though – the bathtub is the centrepiece that pulls everything together.’
Swapping the brick-walled shower enclosure for simple glass panels and knocking out some storage and boxing-in has opened up the space. The white bath and marble tiles bounce light around the room. Painting the ceiling in the same matching black smooths out the awkward angles of a sloping roof.
The couple replaced the fish tank in the chimney breast with a mantelpiece bought on eBay.
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A birch-ply cabinet was built into the space and brass-clad doors added, ‘The brass dulls down and shows finger marks and splashes, but I’m not too precious about it,’ says the owner. ‘I prefer an aged patina.’
Matt brass is perfect for giving a bathroom simple glamour. The owner found her Art Deco-style lights on eBay, while the round mirror softens all the straight lines and right angles in the room.
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The roll-top bath is a nod to the house’s Victorian history. ‘We gained a lot more room by replacing the boxed-in bath with a freestanding one,’ says the owner. ‘The kids love filling the bath all the way to the top and diving in! It meant we could fit in a larger shower, too.’
‘People were quite sceptical about the black walls and ceiling, but it looks great, and disguises the slanting angles. I’m glad I trusted my instincts and stuck to my plan,’ says the owner. ‘I’m so proud of the result – it’s probably my favourite room in the entire house.’