Bathroom makeover – Maximalist revamp
Joanne Hutchinson, a beauty therapist, and her husband Paul, a business development manager, wanted to transform a badly designed, dated bathroom. They wanted a showstopper bath, statement wallpaper and luxury fixtures and fittings for their bathroom makeover. They also decided to rejig the layout to include a walk-in shower.
A bold scheme has allowed Joanne to create a luxe look where the tub takes pride of place. We talk to Joanne to find out why she decided on the bathroom revamp and whether the project all went to plan.
Why the bathroom makeover?
“I liked our original pink bath, but the rest of the room was worn and tired. Although the room is large, a tiny shower had been squeezed in next to the bath, but it was covered in mould and constantly overflowed into the kitchen below. The basin had also been positioned under the window, so there was nowhere to hang a mirror,” says Joanne.
What were your big ideas for the design?
“Rearranging the layout to allow for a walk-in shower in the unused area opposite the bath was the game changer. It freed up space for a tub to take centre stage and made room for a statement radiator and high-level cistern toilet. I was also determined to reposition the sink against a wall to allow for my longed-for mirror,” Joanne explains.
Did you have a particular scheme in mind?
“I love dark colours and a touch of glamour, so a black-and-gold theme was always going to feature, and I spent a long time researching before we began – not only using online sources but also magazines. I wanted to indulge my love of maximalist interiors, so decided to inject some bold pattern using wallpaper, which adds to the boutique-hotel vibe. I also wanted Victorian-style sanitaryware in keeping with the age of the house,” says Joanne.
“I originally saw a beautiful gold bath in a shop window about 20 years ago, and since then I’d often dreamed of having one of my own. So renovating this room allowed me to finally fulfil that ambition. The ones I initially saw cost up to £7,000 – way out of our budget – but I began trawling the internet and found this one at a fraction of that. It was unbranded and the supplier didn’t have a showroom, so had no high-street costs to recoup, which is why it was cheaper. It still took up a large portion of the budget, though.”
Any problems along the way?
“Just as we started having the new products delivered, the country went into lockdown, so I had to store everything in the garage for a year. Then, when it was all systems go again, we expected the works to take about a week and a half, but the plumber was so unreliable it ended up taking 16 weeks, and we had to live with the bath in our bedroom for two months,” explains Joanne.
“Plus, after the work was supposedly finished, the taps hadn’t been connected, so when Paul turned them on, water flooded through to our newly plastered kitchen ceiling.”
Did you stick to budget?
“Pretty much, though I did need to compromise on some of the fixtures and fittings as it was eaten into by the bath. I would have liked larger black-and-white floor tiles, but these smaller ones were considerably cheaper and give a similar vibe. I learned fairly swiftly that buying everything from the same supplier isn’t always the most cost-effective option, so found cheaper pieces by researching items separately,” Joanne says.
Are you happy with your bathroom makeover?
Although the project was stressful, I smile every time I walk in the room, and love the fact that wherever I look there’s something interesting to see. Leisurely time spent in the tub is everything I dreamed of.
Straight base black-exterior brass bath, £2,299, Coppersmith Creations.
Aysgarth bath filler with standpipes; £724.99; Aysgarth basin pillar taps, £190; Polished brass Calder exposed shower valve, rigid riser and 6-inch Rose White lever, £865, all The Cast Iron Bath Company.
Burlington Victorian two-hole basin with pedestal, £167, UK Bathrooms.
Butler & Rose Catherine high-level toilet with pan, £279.99; Vellamo City 8mm framed matt black easy-clean walk-in shower screen panel, £184.99, both Drench.
For a similar flush pipe, try the Gold high-level traditional WC flush pipe kit, £219.95, Victorianplumbing.co.uk.
William Morris Golden Lily wallpaper, £99 per roll, Tallantyre.
Victorian white chequer tiles, £86.97 per sqm; black & white border, £105.82 per sqm, both Topps Tiles.
For a similar radiator, try the brass & white traditional heated towel rail, £389.97, Better Bathrooms.
For a similar side table, try the Daven in brown, £105; Fiddock mirror in black & gold, £204, both Olivia’s.
Ribbed glass bathroom wall lights in Black Pewter, £45 each, John Lewis & Partners.
Wood wall shelf, £89, Barker and Stonehouse.
Antique gold four-tier freestanding shelf, £132.95, Melody Maison.
Total spend £6,423.