Cleverly changing the layout in her cramped bathroom has given Rachel Addis a modern en suite.
When Rachel Addis bought her flat, she wasn’t put off that it needed a complete renovation. ‘It was by far the best property I’d looked at, as it’s on two levels, with large rooms and even a cloakroom on the lower floor,’ she says. ‘It looked as though it hadn’t been touched in quite some time, so I didn’t feel guilty when I immediately started ripping things out.’
The bathroom, in particular, had issues – it was badly laid out, with the bath crammed in between a wall and a vanity unit, which provided the only storage. ‘I renovated each room as I could afford to do them,’ she says, ‘and, even though the bathroom wasn’t ideal, it was usable for the short-term, so I lived with it.'
While Rachel saved up enough money to carry out the work, she had time to focus on what she wanted, planning everything on paper until she felt it was right. In the end, she decided to reconfigure the room and replace the bath with a modern corner shower. ‘I know some people are wary of doing this,’ she says, ‘but I prefer it, as it’s so much quicker to use. It was an easy choice to make. I also added a lovely big vanity unit with plenty of storage. As it’s wall-mounted, the floor underneath is exposed, giving the illusion of extra space. You can move around much more easily now.’
Rachel was fortunate that her father, Peter, a former builder, was able to help at weekends by doing a lot of the preparation work and tiling. ‘He also recommended an electrician and a plumber,’ she says, ‘which took me a little longer to organise, but it saved me at least a third of my precious budget.’ With the money she had left over, Rachel was able to go for high-end products she’d had her eye on for quite a while.
‘My advice for anyone planning on renovating their bathroom is to secure a builder first and find out what’s feasible before you even look at a brochure,’ says Rachel. ‘This is something I’ve learnt from my dad. He told me straight away that, because of the position of the plumbing and awkward structural angles, the shower would have to be raised, so I knew from the start that I couldn’t have the wet-look-style I wanted.’
Rachel is delighted with the transformation. ‘I was a competitive swimmer when I was younger, ’ she says, ‘and I’m drawn to water – I find it incredibly relaxing, which is just how this room makes me feel.’
Photography: Colin Poole