It’s been three weeks since we moved house. So, that means three weeks of NOT being at home, bunking in with family instead whilst the builders are busy transforming our house from “complete building site” to “acceptably liveable” status.
We are more than happy to move in with bare floorboards, half a kitchen, and not one “finished” room, whatsoever. But one room that we really did need to be functional right from the off was the bathroom. Because it would be actually impossible to live somewhere without a toilet or a place to wash.
So, our bathroom redesign was one of the very first things that I started to plan. I knew roughly what I wanted, but there was a lot of Pinterest-browsing in order to gain inspiration for fine-tuning the look.
Along with the rest of the world at the moment, I am partial to a bit of subway tile. They are also one of the more budget-friendly tiles to use, and come in a wide variety of finishes and colours. So they were a no-brainer choice really.
Sam originally vetoed the use of subway tiles anywhere in the house, as “everyone has them and they will date”. But he changed his mind once we started looking at pricier options. As with many things with this house renovation, we’ve found we’ve had to scale back our original rather grand preferences in favour of more budget friendly design options.
I was keen to try a different laying pattern to the standard brick subway tile lay. My favourite being this straight herringbone subway lay:
We also really like the chevron subway lay with white grout, but using the longer thinner tiles as seen here:
Right from the beginning of the redesign process, the one must-have that I was set on for our bathroom was white hexagonal floor tiles with medium grey grout. I just absolutely love them, and seeing as the bathroom is the only room in the house that will be having floor tiles (the kitchen/diner extension will probably have wood throughout), I knew I wanted to put the hexagon floor tiles in the bathroom and base the rest of our design around that.
I also love the look of hexagon tiles on the walls too, but floor AND walls would be a bit overkill, and I worry it would perhaps feel a bit too much like an optical illusion, especially in a small bathroom.
How to stop a tiled bathroom from looking too clinical?
I tend to find bathrooms with a huge expanse of floor to ceiling white tile can sometimes look a bit too cold and clinical. Our bathroom is a small space (2 x 3metres), so although I wanted the main effect to be white and bright, it was important to me that the accessories were carefully chosen to add warmth and texture to counteract that cold, clinical look.
My main idea to add warmth to an otherwise white, tiled room, was to make a feature out of the sink unit. In a small bathroom, we need a vanity unit to make the most of our storage potential. I fell in LOVE with the idea of a wood vanity sink – the more weathered the wood, the better.
I think the wood adds the perfect contrast to clean, white walls.
We’d love to find the perfect reclaimed wood cabinet, purchase a bowl sink to sit on the top, and DIY our sink vanity ourselves. Here are some options that I love the look of:
I really love this different twist on simple IKEA units. These customised sinks from the GODMORGON range at IKEA are made by Semi Hand Made, but unfortunately for me, they are a growing company and don’t yet ship outside of the US. We might have a crack at customising our own one, though.
Here are some other ways in which we can add a bit of warmth and life to our mainly stark white colour pallete:
Copper accents like these shelves would look great, and there will definitely be some succulents featuring in our new bathroom design.
We’d love love love to have a brass or copper mixer tap for our bathroom sink.
Another idea we we loved was colour-blocking one wall (for our bathroom, this would be the wall behind the bath):
Source (Big fan of those hexagon wall tiles too, although I’m not sure how much I’d like that many competing patterns and colours in our small bathroom).
Throughout the bathroom redesign process, our original ideas have changed quite a bit. We’ve found some things that we loved in theory, just wouldn’t work quite so well in practice in our small space. And there are other ideas that we have stuck to but have had to be adapted to some extent.
It’s the first room in the whole house that is starting to take shape. Sam and I spent a good ten minutes just staring at the tiles when they first went on – FINALLY something fresh, bright and white in a sea of dust and plaster-coloured walls.
Hopefully the rest of the bathroom will be finished in a few weeks. Stay tuned for an update on our bathroom and the reasons we chose our ‘final look’!