We've been here in my beloved HenHouse for getting on nine years now and having moved about a fair bit whilst I was studying, this is the longest I've been in one place (barring my parents' home way back). We've done our bit to put our stamp on most rooms in the house and it was becoming glaringly obvious that we needed to turn our attention to our ground floor shower room which looked as it did when we moved in. Despite having added in a few girly bits, there was no getting away from those grim black tiles and blue painted walls (can you tell we bought our home from a single bloke?) It was making the room very dark and the fittings were also looking dated and not to our taste.
I must stress though, that this project was intended to be a bit of a revamp. It was NOT meant to be a blow-the-budget, rip-everything-out and have-the-bathroom-of-your-dreams type make over. I'd been pondering our new scheme some time with the help of my trusty Pinterest boards. The boiler cupboard needed to stay, the loo was ok and could stay too, as could the floor. But the rest needed attention on a tightish budget.
Somebody else obviously liked the mirror and wash basin as they went onto Ebay and soon found a new home. I do like a bit of recycling and I was happy to have a few pennies for my revamp pot.
My trusty handyman arrived ready for action at the beginning of January. An auspicious start; New Year : new shower room. He's worked his magic on our kitchen, other shower room, bedroom and sitting room and probably some other areas besides. I must make good tea and cakes as he keeps coming back.
Day one and the official ripping out ceremony went well. Hurrah. Be gone manky old shower unit! Every blow of the chisel to those black tiles was sweet indeed.
Will you be surprised if I tell you that it wasn't long before disaster struck. Living in a nearly 140 year old house is largely a pleasure. I can while away many an hour admiring the intricate coving and ceiling roses, lighting fires in the beautiful cast iron fireplaces with their marble surrounds and loving the light which floods through the huge sash windows. But with a house this old, there are nearly aways surprises waiting for you when you start looking underneath. Aaarrgghh! In this case, it was moisture in the walls. The old shower had definitely been leaking. Oh pants. So off came all the old plaster. Steve-the-Handyman is not looking too impressed either at this stage. The dust, oh you wouldn't have believed the incredibly fine dust and how it managed to travel up three flights of stairs.
It was definitely a case of looking worse before it got better.
In my head, my vision for the new shower room definitely was going to be clean and bright and fresh but with a vintage edge, of course. I decided not to go all out girly (so hard!) and a bit of an Art deco influence emerged amongst the images which attracted me.
Certain features were added to the "desirables" list. I really wanted an old cabinet to paint and put a wash basin on but I couldn't find anything I liked, I wasn't prepared to shell out for a new one which wouldn't have that old look I wanted anyway, so I ended up going for a regular basin which I got a really good deal on. Something square and sturdy. When we went to Pickering back in October, we stayed in a lovely country house hotel in Malton and the bathrooms were stunning. Very restrained and neutral but classy. I decided to go for the same tiles they had there. Can't beat a brick tile. Good and cheap, too.
This room doesn't have a bath but it's quite a good size, so I felt we could go for a sizeable shower, probably a walk-in type with clean lines but hopefully a bit of a wow factor. Something easy to clean, too. I saw this one in John Lewis which I rather liked and it had the advantage of being made by a quality British manufacturer from whom we'd bought an enclosure before. I wasn't going to pay John Lewis prices though, so I went through the manufacturer direct.
(Snapped in John Lewis!)
Whilst I was out and about in the shopping centre, I may have picked up a few little accessories, just to keep me going.
Other images were grabbing me. I liked the idea of some wall lights. Finding some wasn't so easy as they had to be special IP44 rated ones, suitable for use near water in a bathroom. This really cut down my options, as did price. Vintage mirrors? Oh yes, I love those anyway, that was pretty much a given and I had two to choose from already. I paid the same for my vintage mirror as I sold the other old one on Ebay. Good stuff.
There definitely had to be a bit of a vintage vibe going on. I also wanted one of those wooden wall cabinets (inspired by Nikki and her lovely collections at Nostalgia at the Stonehouse).
Lace, there definitely needed to be lace in there somewhere.
Walls-wise, they were mainly going to be tiled in the wet areas and otherwise, painted in a pale colour. I wanted a feature wall though, and plumped for wallpaper. I thought nothing too pink, twee or floral. This is my idea of that! (From good ole' Cath K.)
Meanwhile, and at least three weeks in, the shower room still looked like a no-go zone.
I carried on my planning regardless. I had pinned an image which had gorgeous old vintage cream wallpaper with blowsy roses on it but what I really liked was the door surround picked out in a contrasting paint. So off I went to my local trade paint shop to play with colours. Always sweet agony deciding.
Finally, things started to look a lot cleaner and the tiles were going up.
I got my hands dirty too. The poor dining room became my painting den as I set to it, transforming some old wooden furniture I had found thriftily. (The little set of drawers is not for the shower room. I have other plans for those, oh yes indeedy.)
I do not want to see any paint again for quite some time.
Unfortunately, here we are at the start of week 6 and the shower room still isn't finished. I'm hoping (again) that it's now a matter of days. Things have really moved on though and as of today, most of the decorating has been done bar the odd final coat here and there. I'm liking how it is looking.
It is definitely looking a lot lighter (although it is again a very dull and rainy day here). I'm doing my best to keep the faith and see the finishing line.
I certainly haven't been idle and I'm itching to get that wooden cupboard on the wall and play with arranging my stockpiled vintage goodies. I've enjoyed visiting flea markets and making a few Ebay purchases as well as bringing together some pretty bits I already had elsewhere in the house.
Let's hope it's not too long before I can show you how everything has come together.
Fingers crossed. Xxx