Enlarging their cramped and dated bathroom and ditching the tub finally gave the owners the spa-style super-luxe shower room they'd always wanted
The owners bought their house knowing that they could make a big difference to what was already there and create the sort of home they’d dreamed of.
‘When we moved in, the house had a bathroom you really wouldn’t want to spend too much time in, and a tiny en suite,’ they say. ‘We were keen to improve the property, so we decided to extend the master bedroom and en suite. We had a good idea of what we wanted the new shower room to be like, but in order to make the most of the space, we employed an architect to help us draw up the plans.’
The pair already had a great local builder in mind to carry out the project. ‘We knew him before and had inspected his work, so we were confident it was up to scratch,’ they say. ‘He did such an amazing job.’
The new en suite is much bigger than it was and, as it’s only the couple that use it, they decided to treat themselves by recreating a hotel spa look, with plenty of natural stone and mirrors.
‘We’ve always liked Villeroy & Boch bathrooms,’ say the owners. ‘And as we’re not planning to work on this room again for a long time, we splashed out on our sanitaryware. We also chose gorgeous tiles that are different sizes, but all made of luxurious grey stone.’
Rather than having blinds, the couple added opaque glass for privacy. For a similarly fuss-free look, the shower fittings were kept very streamlined. ‘We looked hard to find a shower with as little chrome as possible,’ they say. ‘And we chose a glass shower enclosure because we wanted it to look almost transparent when you walk in.’
The one thing the couple had kept from the previous bathroom was a radiator. ‘Now it has a lot more space around it, so it’s more effective,’ they say. ‘And because everything else is neutral, we treated ourselves to bright hammam towels to add bursts of colour.’
The plumbing is hidden by a false wall, so the owners built in a handy shelf for shower essentials.
To complete the scheme, the couple added two mirrors to throw light around the room. ‘It’s a fairly cheap way of making the space seem larger,’ they say. ‘And it’s easy to get pieces of mirror glass cut to size at a local merchant.’
Want to see another hotel-chic bathroom makeover? READ: Before and after: from dark loft to hotel-style en suite
‘It’s a luxury to have this much storage,’ the pair say. ‘We’ve got a drawer each, with the inside of one divided into sections for toiletries and make-up.’
‘We love the shape of this basin mixer,’ say the owners, ‘and we’ve echoed it in the shower controls, so everything ties together.’
The couple are so happy with their newly supersized shower. ‘You can’t keep us out of here now!’ they say.
Get the look
Buy now: wet room panel, £1,076; Venticello loo, £457.50; Venticello stone grey vanity unit, £953; and Venticello basin, £670, all Villeroy & Boch
Buy now: Bernina grey floor tiles (60 x 60cm), £66 per sq m; Bernina grey wall tiles (15 x 60cm), £57 per sq m; Bernina mosaic tiles (30 x 50cm), £64 per sq m; and Bianconero glossy white tiles, £53.80 per sq m, all Villeroy & Boch
Buy now: Zuchetti brass hand shower, £93; Zuchetti single lever basin mixer, £338; and Zucchetti chrome thermostat, £412, all The Sunbury Bathroom & Tile Company
Buy now: mirrors, £250 each, Knights Glass
This bathroom makeover originally appeared in Style at Home, July 2017.
Image credits: Colin Poole
The post Before and after: from tiny en suite to supersized shower appeared first on Ideal Home.
A tricky layout was no match for the owners' planning skills when they tackled their new home's kitchen
‘We bought our flat as a project and were really excited to be able to put our stamp on it,’ say the owners. ‘The other rooms just needed new flooring and a lick of paint, but the kitchen needed a complete overhaul.’
The couple had to crack on soon after moving in, as the hob and oven weren’t working, leaving them on a diet of microwave meals. ‘Before the sale went through, we were able to take measurements of every inch of the room so we could start planning before we got in,’ they say. ‘It made things a lot easier when we got the keys.’
Before they moved in, the pair spent many a weekend in kitchen showrooms, looking at doors and cupboards. Eventually they decided on handleless matt-finish doors with a composite worktop. ‘Our kitchen crockery and accessories are fairly bright,’ they say, ‘so we were keen to keep the kitchen fairly neutral, opting for white kitchen units and a light grey worktop.’
Once the owners moved in, they were able to check the finer details like gas and water pipes, and start work. ‘The first thing was to change the shape of one of the windows,’ they say. ‘The one where the sink is now was originally about four inches larger, which prevented us from running a row of kitchen units along that wall. We were replacing the old wooden windows anyway, so it wasn’t much bother to simply lay a row of bricks at the bottom to bring the window up and allow the units to sit in front.’
Once the windows were in, the couple started to rip out the old kitchen units. With the room bare, they were able to replaster the textured ceiling and sand the floor. Next came the plumbing – luckily only the sink was moving position, so this was a fairly easy job, which the builders completed in a day.
‘The most exciting part of our kitchen makeover was receiving the units,’ the pair say. ‘As Howdens kitchen units are prebuilt, it was just a case of levelling them off and securing to the wall. Before we knew it, the worktops were on and the room almost complete.’
The owners found this little table at a second-hand shop. ‘When we have guests, we simply place a large piece of board on top,’ they say. ‘Stacking stools are also great if you don’t have room for lots of chairs and we painted our seating to add a hit of colour.’
‘We’ve always loved string shelves, but they were out of our budget,’ say the couple. ‘While searching online for alternative ideas, we came across an Ikea hack, simply reversing brackets and placing boards within them. We found scaffold planks at a local timber yard for just £1 per foot, cut and sanded them, and made the shelves up for under £20. We were so excited to get our china out of storage and finally have it on display.’
A wall of prints and fun pieces lends a personal touch to the space, along with the colourful crockery and brightly painted seating.
Now that the work is complete, the couple have a kitchen that they can really enjoy. ‘Being able to cook proper meals again and have friends round for dinner or drinks is wonderful,’ they say. ‘Our kitchen may not be big, but we’ve really made the most of what was an awkward layout.’
Buy now: Clerkenwell kitchen units in Matt White, £1,500, Howdens
Buy now: Ice slimline worktop, £2,390, Bushboard
Buy now: Deca 100 sink, £379; Aros tap, £215, both Carron Phoenix
Buy now: SX1046S L PX built-in oven in Black, £549; and GX641FGK hob in Black, £529, both Hotpoint
Buy now: De’Longhi Argento toaster, £29.99, Argos
Buy now: Ivar chair, £15; and Frosta stool, £9, both Ikea
Buy now: terrarium, £25, Urban Outfitters
Buy now: Paloma cocktail coupes, £6 each, John Lewis
This kitchen makeover originally appeared in Style at Home, July 2017.
Image credits: Lizzie Orme
The post Before and after: raising a window made room for more kitchen units appeared first on Ideal Home.