Turning my chalet themed bathroom into a spa sanctuary
The bathroom is an interesting space – it’s often one of the smallest rooms in the house, gets congested at various points in the day, needs to be practical, to be spa-like, a serene space of calm and somewhere my husband likes to spend time “reading”… but it’s often one of the most expensive rooms to renovate in the house.
There’s also so much to consider - finishing touches, safety requirements (non-slip, easy grip) lights, electrics, mirrors, storage, taps, water pressure, heating and lots of theses are permanent choices with big price tags.
So where do you start??
We purchased a 1960’s bungalow in South Devon, and it had a bit of an ugly duckling complex. Aside from the many quirky features in the house (we’ll leave the hot air vents that don’t do anything for another day), the bathroom was attempting to resemble a budget sauna in the alps; plenty of wood effect vanity cupboards, pebble dash “feature” on one wall and a heater ring light that threatened to singe your hair if you stood too close…
It was actually the most modern room in the house, but it lacked a bath, smelled unpleasant and the toilet and shower leaked.
I wanted a sanctuary that I could spend time in, soak in a bath and feel pampered in. Despite my family’s best efforts to convince me that this shower room ‘would do’ - the beige cube of practicality with leaky puddles post showering wasn’t cutting the mustard.
☝️ This is presented in it’s best light and was what I was working with! These are the estate agents pictures which conveniently exclude the dangerous heater on the ceiling (pull cord seen in the middle).
Having used Topps Tiles on previous renovations projects in my hallway, kitchen and bathrooms, I was flicking through their brochure when the Staunton tile range caught my eye.
I was drawn to the dark colour tile and the sharp quality it had against the white free standing bath. I also liked the border effect in the splash back. I knew I wanted a modern feeling bathroom as our home is a mid century property.
I liked the fact that the floor and wall tiles were the same and in a small space this can help with the flow of the room; because the wall and floor are seamless it can help make the room appear larger as well as more restful (because there is less contrast to move the eye around).
You can read more about my top 5 tips for planning your bathroom here.
I started by pulling samples together for a mood board (which you can purchase and return to store) and this really helped me visualise what I was going for in the space. I was also adding an ensuite to our property, so some of the tiles shown here relate to that space which I’ll save for another post.
In order to make this work for my budget, me and my tiler decided to cut down the 3 x 3 border tile sheet and to use it as a single horizontal stripe around the whole room.
Grouts and Beading
I am usually a bit dubious about purchasing things like grout and beading in tile shops because the prices look quite inflated. On this project I decided to take a closer look at what was on offer and got the Topps guy to talk me through the ‘extras’!
Jamie, from Topps Tiles (in my local branch), got my tiles out with all the grout samples and different trim colours and we looked at the options together. It was really helpful to be able to try different colour combinations. The main thing I noticed was that the colours have been specially matched to the tones of the tiles they sell, and the trim I selected was a perfect match in terms of colour, feel and has a slight hammered effect so you can hardly see the trim is there. Overall the effect is really crisp and smart and I am so glad that I spent the time to look at what was on offer in store and to select something that was specifically designed to go with my tiles.
I paid for all of the following in full
Basin and vanity Austin II 800mm by Soak | Basin taps Grohe Essence available from Soak | Bath Caitlyn 1830mm by Soak | Bath taps Essential range by Soak | Shower tray Designer range 800 x800mm by Soak | Toilet Lyon II by Soak | Shower Screen | Shower head and mixer Square Concealed by Soak | Radiator, not available any more, but similar to one by Soak | Mirror Stockholm by Ikea and painted to match wallpaper | Wall lights similar to Fabio 1 Wall Lights by Wayfair | Plantation Shutters similar to ones by Hillarys
Disclaimer: Topps Tiles discounted the tiles for me in return for sharing my project. The grout, trim and adhesive was purchased in full by me.