To make matters worse, as I sat typing this blog post a couple of days ago, the computer and screen suddenly died on me. It seems I was fated. Luckily, Mr HenHouse was on his way home, located the rogue fuse, and got everything working again. My hero!
I hope you've all enjoyed a lovely Easter. We headed off for a little family holiday to the land of smiles, more of that another time. I'm going to first play catch up with some other news. I'm going to lure you back to the HenHouse fold with snaps of the shower room makeover which I apparently teased you with a while back now. Pi even remonstrated that getting to the end of my post and not finding any "after" shots, was like finding the last page of a novel missing. Yikes, I'm always in trouble. Anyway, that explains the title of this post. It was still April when I started to write it and we're talking about the shower room. Geddit? Let's swiftly move on.
This is an epic, are you sitting comfortably?
You can of course, scroll back a few posts and remind yourself of how horrible the shower room was before we embarked on its makeover. However, here are a few quick reminders because really, who's got time to go scrolling back?
Yucky black tiles, the obligatory blue walls (just about every wall in this house was blue when we moved in, the telltale signs of having purchased from a single male), outdated sanitaryware.
You know this mother-in-laws tongue plant I had had for years, right since before I even met the Mr. I never ever watered it (save for about once per year) but it steadfastly refused to die. I thought it pretty ugly and I was quite happy to ceremoniously lob it in the bin.
Things definitely got worse before they got better. We discovered the walls were damp so all the plaster had to come off and the room was tanked and dry lined.
A two week job turned into six weeks. We're lucky in that it's not our only bathroom. Finally, there was light at the end of the tunnel. Wallpaper and paint. Hurrah!
I spent my time in between usefully making lavender bags from vintage fabrics.
I'm going to have to preface the reveal by saying that it's a jolly hard room to photograph, being typically quite small, long and thin as these rooms have a tendency to be. I also waited for a lovely sunny day (although I have to confess that was probably about two months ago now) and yet when I looked at the final snaps, it seemed that actually, the light had played havoc with my pics. Oh dear. All I can say is that it has exposed my woeful "skills" as a photographer. Let's get on with it then.
Right by the doorway there, I painted up a little wooden peg rack (bought cheaply in B&Q, I think) and hung up a couple of little bags. At extremes of the scale, I treated myself to the pretty flowery Cath Kidston one (costing nearly £30 - close your eyes at this point, Mr HenHouse!) then found the other, original vintage one (probably from the late '50s/early '60s I'd guess), in a charity shop in Bridport for 99p. Hmmm.
I'll go into the details of the fittings, in case you are embarking on a revamp of your own and that sort of thing interests you. The shower screens came from a manufacturer called Kudos, the glass is made in Cumbria. Hurrah for goods made in Britain! The tray is a new fangled low level one, just 1" high, to create a sort of wet room feel, I suppose (manufactured in Derbyshire using local stone, available through Simpsons). It's a big enclosure as we had room for it in here (900 x 1400) and it is really nice to shower in. The shower itself is by Bristan, we have another of these in our other shower room and it's very good.
So you can see that the walls are a mix of tiles and paint. The paint is by Little Greene and is called Linen Wash (I would say in "real life" it is quite a lot lighter than it looks here). I tried to match it to the background of the wallpaper that's on the other wall. I do like their paints, you can pay a little extra for a fancy one which is very durable and wipeable but has a matt finish. The dependable brick tiles came from Walls and Floors online, they are cheap and reliable and frequently have extra 10% off promotions. The floor we have not changed.
I initially wanted to buy an old wooden cupboard, paint it, and sit a wash basin on top. I just couldn't find what I wanted. So I went for a classic Victorian style basin and got a very good deal through Bradford Bathroom Company who I've used a few times. Their customer service is dire but they are a lot cheaper than anywhere else and you get there in the end (what's a few more grey hairs?!) This was a bargain as it has now been superceded by a model which looks the same but has a different name, the Burlington I think it is. You can buy the chrome towel rail as an add-on. Obviously this was part of its appeal in the first place. The taps are art deco by Bristan.
The rather scrummy bathmat is a Greengate number but I have had it for years (it initially came from Girls Own Store in Bridders). I also bought that little vintage pink stool from there. It used to live in my Den until I had the brainwave of putting it in here to house my towel collection (strictly decorative only as the males of the household have been informed). The towels are a mix of Cath K, Pip, Greengate and some vintage charity shop ones. I get an inordinate amount of pleasure from that little stool and towel stack, I can tell you.
The mirror came from a junk shop in Bridport ages ago, it cost me £15. I spent ages looking for lights. I was constrained by two things. They had to be IP44 rated (suitable for use in wet areas) and I didn't want to spend a fortune. I settled on those you can see, they are by Dar lighting and I'm really pleased with them at about £25 each.
Let's hop on over to the other side of the room, shall we?
So here I've gone for Cath Kidston Birds and Roses wallpaper. Unlike the rest of this Victorian house we call home, this room is a bit of an afterthought, stuck on the back of the ground floor, and doesn't have any nice original features going for it. It's rather bland so I thought a bit of fancy wallpaper might make a bit of a feature and jolly it up a little. I think it looks great, my handyman who had to hang it tells me it was awful to put up. We have coated it with a matt acrylic decorators varnish to protect it from moisture and we also had a discreet fan fitted in the ceiling.
Can we get on to my pride and joy now? I've long wanted a wooden cupboard with glass doors in which I could arrange my nic-nacs. I've had my eye open for ages but they're always quite pricey, even in dire condition at flea markets (Shepton Mallet, I'm looking at you). So we popped into a second hand furniture shop from where we've picked up nice things before (it's in the West Country) and found a sturdy old one in the predictably dire condition but it was acceptably cheap at about £50. Mr HenHouse very kindly took on the donkey work of stripping it back and mending it, I then came on line with the paint brush. The interior is a Homebase satinwood called Candyfloss and the exterior is the same as that used for door and window, being Turquoise (eggshell) by Little Greene.
As you can see, I've added some other bits to the walls. These are original photographic postcards of 1940's movie starlets. There is a man at Shepton flea who always has a whole stall groaning with postcards of every type and I struggled to limit myself to just these few, a bargain at 50p each. The frames were old cheap wooden Ikea ones I already had and I just gave them several coats of paint from a tin we already had down in the cellar (Calluna by Farrow and Ball).
I'm getting excited now. Would you like to see in my cupboard, all my hoarded pretties?
You would? You're my kind of people.
So there you have it. Not the most glamorous room to start with, and most definitely done on a budget, but we're pleased with the result. I enjoyed making it pretty but am pleased to say it does function really well which is always important, isn't it?
Note: Can I request (again) if you are going to pin any of these photos, PLEASE be polite and make sure you mention HenHouse as the source. Thank you so much.