Master bathroom renovation

In just over one month’s time, our master bathroom renovation starts. To say I’m excited is somewhat of an understatement. I’ve been planning this for over a year, looking at images on Instagram and Pinterest, sourcing fittings, putting moodboards together and tirelessly questioning and examining my decisions. My poor husband!

All plans require a compromise of sorts. Double sinks or shower and bath? We hardly ever use the bath, so double sinks became the focus of the renovation, with a large walk-in shower.

Bathroom moodboard
Bathroom moodboard: photography clockwise from top left: Bert & May, The Water Monopoly, Original BTC, Smith Hanes Studio, Porter Bathroom

This has started the decorating domino effect, as it means moving from the top floor of our house, where we currently have our bedroom and bathroom, to the first floor. Our top floor bathroom contains the boiler and hot water tank so we could only fit a large shower, sink and toilet. When we moved in over 12 years ago now, the previous owner had their bedroom on the top floor, so we subconsciously followed suit. But the first floor bathroom is much bigger, the main bedroom is grander, so we’re moving down a floor. And this will mean more renovations as all rooms are being repurposed! But first, the bathroom.

So, we are finally there. Everything is ordered and plans have been drawn to the millimetre. I must thank West One Bathrooms for taking my moodboard and bringing my vision to life with such attention to detail and producing some fabulous renders to view. I also experienced their 4D virtual reality theatre at their showroom which was incredible!

Overhead view of bathroom by West One Bathrooms
Overhead view of bathroom by West One Bathrooms

Unlike our beautiful bathroom in our house in Salento, which spoke loud and clear regarding how it should be designed, our London house was more difficult. When you have incredible architectural features such as the ancient 500 year old star ceiling in Italy, everything else takes a polite back seat. We chose relatively local materials, such Carrara marble for the double sinks (oh, how I love them!), locally produced patterned tiles for the shower and local stone for the flooring with underfloor heating. Simple.

Italy Bathroom
Italy Bathroom

But, a Victorian London house can be any style and, as someone who loves many styles, Art Deco, mid-century, industrial design, urban glamour, you name it, what should I choose?

My initial starting point was marble sinks. However, I quickly moved on from those after the prohibitive pricing and the size of most of them (too big!). I also prefer square sinks to round ones, so that lead me to the Soho double basins on a frame by The Water Monopoly that have featured on my moodboard forever.

The Water Monopoly Soho double basin on a frame
The Water Monopoly Soho double basins on a frame

I have always coveted Lefroy Brooks taps, and staying as I often do at the Crosby Street Hotel in New York, I am a massive fan. Love the marble, the lighting and the taps and sinks. But for me, black ceramic handles please!

Crosby Street Hotel, New York
Inspiring bathroom at the Crosby Street Hotel, New York, which has Lefroy Brooks sinks and brassware.

Next on the list had to be patterned tiles. But floor or walls? And what to go with them? My husband has always regretted that we didn’t use metro tiles the first time around so this was his only stipulation this time – which meant patterned tiles on the floor.

I really wanted to get some marble in somewhere so the shower niches will be marble, as will the wall shelf (more about that later…)

I have always loved the Loredo tiles from Bert & May having spotted them in Erica Davies’ house on Instagram. But, they require a good sized floor area as four tiles make up the pattern, so it had to be tiles that contained the pattern in one tile. So, these are my choice…

Bert & May black basco tiles
Bert & May black Basco tiles

So, now we have patterned tiles, metro tiles for the walls (gloss and flat), marble niches and the double sinks. Next, bathroom mirrors / cabinets…

Because we have coving in this bathroom, I really didn’t want to disturb it. But every bathroom needs good storage so the mirrors had to be cabinets too, which meant creating a false wall to house them in, as well as the plumbing for the sinks. After viewing more than I care to remember, most of which were pretty utilitarian, I found these beauties; the Clarendon cabinets by Porter Bathroom.

Clarendon cabinets by Porter Bathroom
Photograph by Porter Bathroom of the Clarendon cabinets by Porter Bathroom

Aren’t they gorgeous? With a little detailing and nod to Art Deco at the top of the mirror, they fit the spec perfectly. I wanted to play with a mix of metals – so chrome taps but antique brass cabinets. I hope it works!

To make a feature of the false wall, the idea of a shelf for plants was born. We have quite a few succulents in Italy and they require very little watering and feed off the moisture in the air – perfect for bathrooms. I’ve spent many hours on Patch Plants website looking at the variety and I can’t wait for the styling and accessorising phase!

Overhead visual of bathroom
Overhead visual of bathroom showing the marble shelf at the top of the false wall.

Next decision was the lighting which was actually a fairly easy one. We already have spot lights on dimmers but I wanted wall lights too. I’ve loved the pillar lights ever since I first saw them at Soho House. I chose the pillar lights in weathered brass from Original BTC as I have this thing for bronze at the moment and I think the mix of metals will go well.

Visual of cabinets and lighting by West One Bathrooms
Visual of cabinets and lighting by West One Bathrooms

I love chrome taps as they’re very Art Deco but I really didn’t want the matchy matchy look for the cabinets and lighting and was inspired by Martin Brudnizki who has used bronze/weathered brass lights with brass accessories in his own bathroom.

Martin Brudnizki's own bathroom
Martin Brudnizki’s own bathroom, mixing metals

And finally, the shower. It just had to be crittall. We’re not replacing our sliding doors in our kitchen with crittall any time soon so this is the only place I can satisfy my crittall needs. I hope I still love them in five years time – I’m sure I will!

Visuals of the bathroom by West One Bathrooms
Visuals of the bathroom by West One Bathrooms

The only decision still left to be made is what colour to paint the walls. The visuals that West One Bathrooms created show a green colour, complimenting the Art Deco feel. I’m thinking Dix Blue by Farrow & Ball but not finalised yet!

That leaves the installation team, recommended by West One Bathrooms, to deliver the plans on paper to reality. It’s a three week build so check back beginning of March for the final reveal!