Melisa's Blog

How we renovated our tiny downstairs loo during lockdown?

 

2020 has proven to be a challenging year for everybody. While key and the front line workers had their own type of challenges, like saving lives, sacrificing massively for us and day to day struggles to survive the pandemic, more regular people like us had totally different and unimportant challenges like boredom and restlessness while we wait in the comfort of our homes for this to "go away".

We all spent the first month of lockdown either excessively exercising or eating (and drinking), or learning how to bake various fancy breads and cakes. After the novelty wore off, we then moved on to DIY and home renovations. 

Like everyone else we also got the DIY bug and thought it would be fun (!) to do a little makeover of own. Having very little DIY experience, my husband and I thought we would do the smallest room in the house, which is our downstairs loo. It is a 2 x 1 metre room after all. It is also the plainest and most boring room but at the end of the day it is the loo and it really doesn't matter if it is perfect. 

I initially thought we would just change the tiles because I really disliked the yellowish stones on the walls. We selected the mixed Casablanca and metro tiles from Porcelain Superstore. (TIP - if you are going to lay metro tiles yourself, it is a good idea to measure everything precisely on paper before you start :) ) After much deliberation, we decided to go with the darker grey grout as I thought lighter grey would look too light with the white metro tiles. I wanted the tiles to be visible and that is another reason to measure properly and always use a leveller.

I absolutely love the new mixed tiles on the floor. Everybody in the family contributed in deciding which pattern should go to where. In fact, we all picked our favourite tile and wrote our names on the back (it is another activity while you sitting on the loo you can try and find your tile and spot the others and that is of course if you are not looking at your phone)!!!

 

After we laid the tiles, the next decision was the wall colour. If you are cruising on Pinterest a lot, you should recognise the colour Hague Blue from Farrow & Ball. It was always going to be one of the Farrow & Ball blues. At the end, I wanted to create a contrast between the white tiles and walls, so I selected the dark deep Hague Blue. The colour is so rich and the paint is thick so it covers every single spot on the wall. We chose to paint the fuse box too (it is not visible on the pictures) and also the wooden window sill to get a more unified look.

Everything in the old loo was in chrome finish including the radiator. I wanted to have the old style brass fixtures and heated towel rail but soon figured out that they are not only very hard to find but also extremely expensive. At the end, I was unsuccessful in finding a brushed brass / gold radiator that would not actually cost more than the bathroom itself. So change of plans on the radiator. I had read on a blog that someone actually painted a chrome radiator with using metal primer first and it came out ok. So I just did that. Used the same Farrow & Ball Hague Blue paint followed after Metal Primer & Undercoat - Dark Shades. I don't know how it will work when the heat is on, time will show. 

 

I got the wood wash stand / basin unit custom made by Simply Rustic Furniture. I also got two matching shelves from them, one of which is hanging above the window. I also got the dark grey concrete basin custom made as I had a very limited space.

Brushed brass fixtures like the tap, towel hook and toilet paper handle is all from Drench Britton range.

 

The other accessories like Meraki concrete tray, towels, diffisuer and soaps are all from my own shop mylittlewish.com. The two wall lights are from Amazon. The round brass mirror is from MaisonsDuMonde but I have to say it took months (!) to get this delivered from the company so if you are looking to get something quicker, try alternative shops like Wayfair or John Lewis, they have similar mirrors.

This DIY experience was fun and we are proud we actually achieved something during the lockdown but we know it is not perfect. There are corners that is not quite straight, or the tiles are not perfectly aligned. We still love it as it is and happy with the results.

If you are planning your own  bathroom makeover, I would recommend the following

- Get a professional tiler because a) he will do it much much quicker and b) he has all the tools so you don't need to buy them yourself. 

- Although they may cost a little more, get your basin and cabinet custom made for your space. It is so worth it! Or buy a second hand cabinet and transform it and make it your own.

- Second hand brass bathroom fixtures can be found on Ebay but you might need to wait until you collect all you need.

- You can find similar wall paint in fact the same colour mixed for you if you don't want to spend too much on the paint.

 

 

Please leave a comment below if you have any questions,

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