All too often, we live with a tired room scheme because we don’t think our budget will stretch to a proper makeover. But interior blogger Chelsea Stonier of The House That Black Built might just have proven that you can make a big difference on a relative shoestring.
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Granted, she was lucky enough to inherit a beautiful claw-footed roll-top bath, which was already in situ when she bought her Cheshire home. But her ‘up for anything’ approach to DIY made the real difference.
‘We were willing to give almost everything a go ourselves, with no prior experience or knowledge,’ she says.
The existing bath led the way for Chelsea in terms of design. ‘We wanted to be sympathetic to the Victorian era but give it a modern twist, and our choice of tiles really drove this forward,’ she says.
‘We chose a clean and simple elongated, white gloss metro tile for the walls, topped with a traditional border. By keeping it all the same colour, it was easy to apply a modern look to the classic room.’
And that was done with chocolate brown walls and crisp black accessories, including framed prints, towels, lighting and a handy bath rack.
‘As the wall tiles were so simple, we wanted to go for drama on the floor,’ says Chelsea. ‘We chose a beautifully patterned monochrome floor tile to add interest. It’s a way to wow without being overpowering.’
Chelsea refrained from bright paint or accessories in the bathroom, relying on house plants to add restful pops of green.
Chelsea removed the wall between the loo and the shower, then installed a new cubicle to open up the space. She kept the high-level WC, because she felt it worked beautifully within the period property.
‘To me, it’s really important to honour the age, character and feel of your home before giving it your own stamp,’ Chelsea explains. ‘When purchasing new bits and pieces, try to expand on what you already have and enhance the existing features.’
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Chelsea picked shutters made of faux wood which makes them perfect for the wet conditions of a bathroom, since they are unlikely to warp or crack – a risk with some hardwood and MDF versions. ‘I see plantation shutters as being an investment for resale too – they add extra value,’ she says.
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As evidenced above, the DIY approach definitely paid off for Chelsea. ‘What we saved on labour, we got to spend on products that we really adored instead, plus you get the added satisfaction of having done something yourself!’