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Before and after: modern vintage style bathroom makeover

August 29, 2017

By blending antique finds with luxe touches, Morag Waller has created a striking-yet-practical new scheme.

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Makeover details

Homeowners Morag Waller and her husband John, both corporate lawyers.

Family Emily,5 and Charlie, 3.

Location Blackhall, Edinburgh

Propety thirties bungalow

Budget breakdown

Sanitaryware £1,405. Taps £175. Tiles £800. Furniture £229. Accessories £250. Paint £50.

Total spend £2,090.

The brief

To strip out the exisiting fittings and reconfigure the layout to use more space wisely. Also, to redecorate and install new fittings.

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When purchasing their thirties bungalow in Blackhall, a suburb of Edinburgh, in September 2012, Morag and John Waller knew they had a major project ahead of them. ‘The previous owners had been here for 25 years,’ Morag recalls, ‘and the interior was very dated.’

A complete redesign of the existing bathroom’s awkward and uninspiring layout was high on the couple’s wishlist. ‘It was a decent enough size but very Eighties looking, with a brownish  oor and cream-coloured suite,’ Morag explains. ‘A corner bath dominated a big chunk of the space, and the redundant bidet was where the basin and console are now, so one side of the room was underused.’

Morag and John redesigned the layout to create a luxurious bathroom, featuring a statement freestanding bath painted in Farrow & Ball down pipe, a dark lead grey with traditional appeal. For the tiling, they first opted for classic white metro designs, the same as they had used in the kitchen downstairs. However, when they headed to Topps Tiles and found distressed-style subway tiles alongside the plain white, they realised that this look could be even more striking. ‘We loved the matt finish and that extra detail,’ Morag explains. ‘They were more expensive, but absolutely worth it.’

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She had already spotted the mosaic-style floor tiles. ‘We were a bit concerned that the finish on the wall tiles, plus a busy patterned floor might look like too much together, but once we compared samples at home, we discovered that they worked.’ The vintage wood table that supports the marble basin is not only an inspired touch, but also a fortuitous find. Morag and John stumbled across it while browsing in an antiques showroom and quickly realised it was the perfect size. Their plumber simply drilled a hole for the drainage for the basin and they added the brass towel rail.

The one thing the couple really splashed out on was the marble washbowl itself: ‘We felt that having just one special piece would give the whole space an air of being a bit more bespoke,’ Morag explains.

Since completing the overhaul, she and John have added extra brass accessories and plants, thriftily reusing pieces they had elsewhere in the house. ‘It’s now a lovely place to spend time in,’ Morag says. ‘I feel like the house is finally finished.’

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Words: Fiona Reed, photography: Douglas Gibb