An elegant damask pattern was Jane Cherry’s starting point when creating the perfect traditional bathroom.
After living in rural County Durham for four years, Jane and Pete Cherry were lured back to Tyneside by the buzz of urban life. They soon found a large Victorian semi in Jarrow, South Tyneside, which was closer to their friends as well as Jane’s parents. ‘We fell in love with the house’s character instantly,’ she says. However, the interiors hadn’t been updated for more than 15 years.
‘I loved the bathroom’s size and the fireplace,’ Jane explains, ‘but I didn’t like the corner tub.’ Although they could live with these minor inconveniences, a leaky shower finally nudged them into action. ‘We realised if we replaced it, we’d have to take up the flooring,’ Jane adds, ‘so we decided to do everything.’
The starting point was the room’s original wallpaper. Inspired by the existing design, the couple found two new versions at Fred Williamson & Sons Ltd in Sunderland, opting for an opulent cream and lilac damask for the top half and Anaglypta below, which they painted in the same warm grey as the fireplace. ‘I wasn’t worried about steam making the paper peel off , as the room’s well-ventilated,’ Jane explains.
Next, the couple visited Northumberland Tiles & Bathrooms. ‘They had excellent suggestions,’ says Jane. ‘They showed me a lovely roll-top bath and traditional-style basin that were perfect, as well as wood-effect porcelain floor tiles that would work well with the underfloor heating I wanted.’ Using one company made the renovation easier, too, while Jane and Pete sourced their own lights and mirrors.
The most transformative decision was to replace the old cubicle with a walk-in shower. As the area was tanked with waterproof membrane, they could continue the floor tiles into it instead of having a bulky tray. Jane was also keen to keep the alcove cupboard. ‘We painted it the same shade as the fireplace and wallpapered the panels,’ she says.
Although it may look traditional, the bathroom’s also linked up to the couple’s Sonos sound system, controlled by an iPad. ‘I use the bath a lot since I work outdoors – it’s the best way to get warm,’ she says. ‘We think the final result is stunning.’
Photography: Katie Lee