We initially started our bathroom renovation in August 2018 after deciding to proceed with a staged approach. This would allow us to manage the project ourselves and have the work conducted over a number of months rather than a short space of time. This would also help us keep a better eye on cash flow, plus ensure we could manage and control both the Living Room renovation and the Bathroom renovation, as both would be happening around the same time.
We had a few builders over to quote the job initially with all the quotes coming in between £4,000- £5,000 – this was to manage the project from start to finish but obviously did not including any products. We decided to arrange separate quotes for Plumbers, Plasterers and Tilers at the same time to see if we could make a saving – and you won’t be surprised to hear that you can make quite a considerable saving doing it this way. Managing the project yourself can save up to a £1,500 as you’re simply cutting out the middle man. Obviously, you could save even more money by doing all the work yourselves, however, for some jobs, we prefer to get in the professionals.
When we moved into our 1930’s fixer upper back in August 2016 – the first room we wanted to get our hands on was the bathroom. To say it was the worst room in the house was an understatement (actually, maybe it was on par with the Kitchen?!) Anyway, years of neglect had left this room in need of some major TLC, and that TLC was required quickly! When we first viewed the house back in June 2016, the ceiling and walls were covered in black mould (not shown on the Right Move pictures for obvious reasons so this came as a bit of a shock) this was probably due to bad ventilation but it was just horrendous visually, luckily, at the time, we had the vision to see past it!
If you had told me in August of that year it would take 2.5 years for us to complete the renovation of this room, I would have laughed, then cried and then probably checked into a hotel. Seriously – it was that bad I couldn’t even clean it for the first 6 months after we moved in (I’m not even joking) that job was left to Ian bless him. Always taking one for the team that boy.
So what was the reason for delaying the renovation of this room for so long if it was that bad you’re probably wondering? Well, this was simply down to cost – having a bigger Kitchen was our main priority at the time and by taking money away from the extension project to renovate the bathroom would have meant a delay in extending our home – something neither of us wanted. It was about what was more most important at the time and a bigger open plan space downstairs was exactly that – more important! Cillit Bang mould remover would go on to become our top buy of 2016 it has to be said.
Also, by cracking on with the extension, it would mean we would have a downstairs shower and toilet once the extension was completed, so when we did come to renovate the bathroom, we wouldn’t be without either washing or toilet facilities and of course, this would go on and allow us to go with the staged approach by managing it ourselves.
So what inspired our bathroom renovation and the products/brands we chose? The first thing we both decided on well over 2 years ago was the Neptune Countertop Open Washstand. Before Ian even started working for Neptune (he is the Store Manager of the Reading store if you were not aware) this was probably one of the first pieces of furniture we fell in love with. The Chichester range is classic and provides that ‘New England’ vibe that we really liked at the time – and still do to this day. You may have noticed, we have gone on to choose additional Chichester pieces in our home, most noticeably in the bedrooms and our dresser in the Living/Dining Room.
Next was the bath, we have both always loved Cast Iron Rolltop Baths so this was always on the wishlist, we did initially look at having the bath under the window but due to several limitations (our bathroom isn’t that big for starters!) we had to settle on the existing layout. We could have opted for a smaller bath however this wasn’t something I wanted to compromise on. Bigger the better if you ask me.
We chose The Millbrook Double Ended Bath from The Cast Iron Bath Company. You get to custom make your bath depending on the different styles on offer. Simple things such as whether you have tap holes within the bath or without, the style and finish of the claw feet and of course the colour of the bath itself.
Described as a Georgian inspired red based black, it is a colour that reflects more as a deeper purple shade than a red to us personally, however, it does change through the day and depending on the amount of light it receives, the colour really varies from time to time so is a fun colour to use for sure!
Next on the list were our taps – this was a no brainer as we only wanted to use Perrin and Rowe after drolling over them in our favourite magazines for years! We were extremely lucky to work with Perrin and Rowe on our bathroom project and we couldn’t be happier with how they turned out! Simply stunning and I think they have made the bathroom extra special! So classy and stylish and will remain classic for years to come due to the traditional style of the taps.
We loved the idea of traditional wall-mounted taps for both the bath and sink and the Perrin and Rowe finishes are second to none. For the bath, we opted for the Low Profile Spout and Crosshead Handles – in the Nickel finish – which is a shiny finish with a golden glow.
For the Basin taps, we went with the matching Basin Set with Crosshead handles and all our taps were specially made to order. We have also recently placed another order for some additional accessories to match our taps as we were so happy with the overall finish – it can’t be matched by any other brand on the high street! You can really tell the quality of the product that’s for sure We can’t wait to show you what we have chosen in a few weeks time so watch out for some new posts on Instagram.
Last but no means least was our Mandarin Stone – Skandi White Porcelain Floor Tiles! These combine the original nature of gnarled wood with a reclaimed, painted effect. We went with traditional planks but they are also available in a more unusual square format and come in many different colours and finishes which will compliment any room in your home. We have used Mandarin Stone tiles previously in our Guest Bedroom and I can’t recommend them enough! Do check out one of their nationwide showrooms if you can, or order some samples online to see the quality on offer for yourselves.
Recently I asked you on Instagram if you had any questions with regards to the bathroom to help assist me with this blog post – here are the answers to some of those questions!
Q – Is the floor actual wood or tiles?
A – The flooring is tiled and is a wood effect, Skandi White Porcelain from Mandarin Stone which I have again linked here.
Q – What colour have you painted the walls and woodwork?
Q – Where is the Tongue & Groove from and is it a smooth Finish?
A – Yes its a smooth MDF finish. We purchased this from eBay by a seller called Old Farm Woodcraft and we selected the Tongue and Groove Wall Panels that were primed and Moisture Resistant. The panel size is 120cm x 120cm and is primed and ready to paint with your topcoat. Made with high-quality 9mm medite moisture resistant MDF which is higher quality than normal MDF and suitable for all interior rooms including bathroom and kitchen. Easy to fix to the wall using good wood glue such as no nails.
Q – Did you have to do any prep work on the flooring before laying the tiles?
A – Yes, the floorboards (being nearly 100 years old) required some work to ensure the floor surface was level and would secure the weight of the Cast Iron Bath. We used a chipboard layer first followed by an installation board which would aid the Warm-Up underfloor heating we had installed.
Q – Where are the pictures and frames from and what size are the prints?
A – Both prints are from Desenio and can be found here – The Size is 50 x 70cm
Q – Do you ever get tempted to go bolder with colours?
A – Yes, but then chicken out last minute. We used a darker colour in our kitchen recently and although we like it, we don’t love it. I think we just prefer warmer, neutral tones if I’m honest.
Q – Did you have to forfeit a shower for a lovely bath?
We decided not to install a shower in our bathroom as this was more about having a place to unwind after a long day. By adding a shower we would have had to have a different layout, or even worse, kept that large partition wall between the bath and toilet. We have a downstairs shower which we use on a daily basis now so we really didn’t need an additional shower just for the sake of it. Personally, I love the look of the bathroom without it and it ticks all the boxes for us for what we wanted from this renovation.
Q – Do you have to worry about the bath weight?
Well yes, sort of but it’s fine! The extra prep work we put in place would have helped however check out the Cast Iron Bath Companies FAQ’s where it is addressed here
Q – Where are your shutters from and how much are they?
A – Our shutters are from California Shutters and came in at just over £500.
Range: Express Smooth Hardwood
Shutter style: Full-height
Slat size: 64 mm
Tilt rod: Hidden
Shutter colour: Pure White SW
Hinge colour: White
Q – The taps that come out from the wall, is that a new wall to house the pipes and is it expensive to do it?
A – No these were channelled into the existing wall (expect a lot of brick dust!). It’s a risky move to make to be fair as we would have to remove the panelling and plaster to get to them if there was ever a problem later down the line however it’s the price you pay for not having a box to hide them in! It doesn’t cost that much more but you would need to discuss this with your plumber.
Q – Where are lights from and how many pendants do you have?
We have two Pendant lights and they are from Jim Lawrence, called the Putney Pendant
Q – Where is your toilet from?
A – It is from Heritage Bathrooms and is called The Heritage Dorchester White Close-Coupled WC Toilet Pan.
Q – Where is your Mirror from and also your towels, I love the colour and how it compliments the bath!
A – Mirror is from Neptune and called the Buckingham. We have it in the smaller 60cm size and painted in Off-White. Our towels are from John Lewis and are the Ultimate Suvin Luxury Towels in Blackberry
We hope this blog post has helped, if you have any additional questions please feel free to comment below or DM us on Instagram where we will happily answer any questions.
*Please note that our bathroom contains products that were either gifted, discounted or provided to us as part of paid collaborations. We also use Affiliate links if a brand supports it and some are used within this post for total clarity*