A brand new layout has made all the difference to this wonderful white scheme
‘We moved here eight years ago knowing the house needed quite a lot of work, and we’ve done it bit by bit over the years as finances allow,’ says the owner of this 1930s semi in Southwest London. ‘Although the bathroom wasn’t what my husband and I would have chosen, it was reasonably okay. And the downstairs of the house needed much more sorting out. So we saved up for a large kitchen extension to create an open-plan kitchen-diner several years ago. But the state of the bathroom began to really get to me and, last year, we made plans to change things.’
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As the couple’s children grew, a separate shower had become a necessity and the family knew there had to be a better way to lay out the space. ‘It’s actually a reasonably sized room so we sat down and drew out a design on paper,’ says the owner. ‘We worked out that there was enough space to put a new bath under the window rather than along the right hand wall where it was, and we could easily fit a toilet on that wall as well.’
‘This would free up room to put in a separate walk-in shower if we went for a curved enclosure. Lack of storage was one of the major issues and thankfully there would also be space for a vanity unit.’
‘Once we were happy with our drawings we measured everything again until we were confident it would fit,’ says the owner. ‘We already knew the builder as he had worked for us before, so we booked him in. The first thing we did was to change the windows. They had probably been fitted in the Eighties and actually kept out the light.’
‘We’re not overlooked here at the back of the house, so we went ahead and put in plain glass. But it’s nice to feel private sometimes, so I also went for blinds that can be adjusted to control the amount of light coming in. Their wood-effect finish copes well with all the water and steam.’
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Buy now: Mode Arte freestanding bath, £383.20, Victoria Plum
‘We had the original Thirties tiles, which would have been nice to keep, but they weren’t in good condition, which was a shame. I like the Art Deco look, so I started searching for brick tiles that were a bit more interesting than plain white, and was thrilled to find these marble-effect ones with grey veining at Topps Tiles.’
‘As we needed false walls for the pipework, the builders created recesses and finished them with metal trim.’
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Buy now: Vyne White gloss wall tiles, £57.78 per sq m, Topps Tiles
‘A freestanding bath was always top of my list and a space-saving curved shower enclosure was the answer to our walk-in shower issue,’ says the owner. ‘Our wall-hung vanity unit didn’t take up any floor space and it’s got a big enough drawer to fit in all the toiletries. We chose grey gloss as it matches the veins in the wall tiles.’
To contrast, the owner wanted a darker floor, so black hexagonal mosaics have added more pattern and interest. ‘I love what Jo has done with the tiles – the marble adds a luxurious feel, and the dark grout makes it modern and edgy. The new shower also helps to create a relaxing but more functional bathroom.’
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Buy now: Similar Mode Harrison thermostatic triple shower valve shower pack, £215.20, Victoria Plum
Buy now: Shapes Hexagon Unglazed Black 23x26mm Mosaic Tile, £89.62 per sq m, Topps Tiles
‘We thought carefully about what shower enclosure would take up the least room,’ says the owner. In the end, she opted for this rounded model with doors in the middle.
‘I’ve given the towel rail plenty of space, right next to the shower so you can reach out and grab a warm towel,’ she adds. Colour has been added to the monochrome scheme with accessories in bright orange and turquoise shades.
‘We loved this oversized mirror, which is divided into sections and acts like an extra window. I went to town on accessories in my favourite orange and turquoise shades. I’m a big fan of eco products, too. I found The Wise Shop online, which sells natural soaps and soy wax candles.’
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Buy now: Window Pane Mirror, £299, MirrorDeco
‘We just love the way the room looks, especially as it feels so much bigger now we’ve moved everything around. Our guests can’t believe that we didn’t extend.’