Family bathroom

Before

a photo of the roll top bath painted brown, with the brown border tile
a photo of the airing cupboard door, with bare wall where the towel rail will be moved to
a photo of the airing cupboard door and the main door opposite, with white walls and the off white tiles and brown border tile
the glass door to the shower enclosure, showing the smaller shower area
the wall and door of the shower cubicle, showing how boxed in it was
the old single sink which took up a lot of space
the old cupboard, towel rail and loo, with free standing loo roll holder
the old loo with close coupled cistern and skirting boards hiding pipework
a shot of the old, single ceiling light
a photo of the inside of the bath, with the enamel coming away

After

A photo of the bathroom showing the bath, tap, window with new blind and hanging planters
the airing cupboard door with a new hook on the back, and the towel rail in it's new position
A photo showing the airing cupboard door opposite the main door in to the room, with new artwork above, a new towel rail, radiator and dark grey walls
A photo of the new open shower area with one panel screen and a niche for toiletries
a shot of the new shower area, through the glass screen, showing how light and open it is now
the two new sinks on top of a worktop giving lots of space to put things
A shot of the bathroom showing the wall hung loo, new cupboard and the metro tiling
the new wall hung loo with concealed cistern and a false wall to hide everything away
A close up of the 'niche' in the shower, with the waterproof lighting inside
A photo of the new, larger bath with the stand pipe tap next to it

Brief

When we moved in to this house 13 years ago, this is how the bathroom looked. It was originally two rooms with the loo separate from the bathroom, which is why the windows are different sizes. The previous owners had made the two rooms into one, but as we were a family of four with two small children, the layout wasn't quite working for us. We often had two people trying to brush their teeth at once, so top of my wishlist were two sinks. The shower area had been built next to the sink, with a false wall between it and the smaller window, which created quite a small cubicle and didn't allow any natural light in to the shower - not a nice showering experience. The lovely cast iron bath had been re-enamelled, but sadly, the paint was flaking and the bath was rusting underneath; also the taps were leaking badly, so a new bath was needed. The lighting was provided by one flush ceiling fitting, which produced a harsh light over the whole room, which was neither practical nor relaxing. There was also a shaver socket next to the sink (not very safe), which only worked when the light was switched on! To top everything off, there were several leaks in to the kitchen underneath, and the skirting which had been used to 'box in' all the pipework meant that the room took forever to clean. Also, did I mention that brown is not my favourite colour?

Outcome

I decided to stick with the original layout as much as possible, because it meant not moving the plumbing, which saved on labour costs. I chose a wall hung loo with a concealed cistern, as the loo being off the floor would create the illusion of more space. I then designed a low false wall in front of the windows to house the cistern, all the pipe work, and to provide a support for the sinks and worktop. Once I'd worked out how to fit in the two new sinks, I also opened up the shower by choosing a single glass panel for the screen, with no door. I asked my builder to make a 'niche' in the shower area for holding shampoos etc, and add waterproof lights on their own switch so that I could use them to create a soft glow. I also added two sets of downlights in the ceiling which are on dimmers and can be operated independently, so that the lighting would be flexible enough to provide both good lighting for shaving or applying make up, and soft lighting for a relaxing bath. I added a deep and comfortable bath, with a hand held shower attachment on the tap for rinsing, and moved the heated towel rail so that I could reach my warmed towels from the bath. I chose a spacious bathroom cabinet with infra red sensor operated lighting and a shaver socket built in, and also a super quiet extractor fan. Finally, I chose a dramatic wall colour to contrast with the white walls, and some new blinds in a mustard fabric to complement the dark grey wall colour.