Friday, January 14, 2011

before + after: bathroom


When we inspected our house I thought my husband was crazy for actually considering buying it. It really was hideous. But we couldn’t get past the fact we were 100 metres to the water (we have waterviews from our… driveway!), it was big and had potential. Plus, we were after a “project”. And we certainly got that! The bathroom confused me (click here to see floorplan). There was a huge shower and a vanity and that was it. The toilet was on the other side of the house – WHY? For a largeish house, it had a tiny bathroom. And also, they had tiled every surface in the bathroom, including the back door. You felt like you were in an asylum and couldn’t close the door all the way because there was no way you’d get it open again because it was so incredibly heavy it dragged on the floor. For some insane reason we put up with this for a few years. I couldn’t handle looking at brown and white tiles with sunflowers on them, so I painted over them but that didn’t achieve much. When Zak came along we were determined to get it done – I didn’t want him growing up without a proper bath, so we got started. We asked our local hardware for recommendations for a builder, got a couple of quotes and ended up going with a carpenter who we’ve employed to do every job since around here. He was not only the best priced, but the main selling point was the fact he actually listened to what we wanted, really spent time working out measurements to make sure what we wanted to do would fit (like if there was enough space behind the door for a toilet if it was in the middle – one guy just said “nope, no chance”) and made suggestions of his own. This is someone you want to work with.
BEFORE: This linen cupboard was ripped out to allow for more space.
AFTER: Despite being only 180cm by 210cm, we managed to fit a bath/shower combo in, vanity and toilet in (behind the door) without it feeling too cramped.

And so, our quote came in at around $8000 – this included everything; a new wall structure, new window and door, the fittings, appliances, plumbing, tiling, plastering and electrical work. Obviously the price would fluctuate depending on what fittings I bought – he allowed for an average price. In the end, I think we only spend a few hundred more and the only problem was the tiler who just decided he didn’t want to do it anymore and quit after waterproofing for some unknown reason. God he was the grumpiest man I’ve ever met. And I honestly think he had a baby phobia and that was his reason for quitting – an odd thing to say, but you should have seen the look he gave Zak when he saw him….

BEFORE: Ugh vanity that was rotting and had one big open space taken up by the pipes. The mirror was to the side – not handy at all.

AFTER: As much as I love all white, I wanted some natural elements and a little darkness in the bathroom too. I decided on a dark brown floor tile, white walls and a chocolate brown vanity with white top. To break up the mono, I found this simple stone mosaic from Amber Tiles on special for just $10 a sheet for between the vanity and mirror. I like that it adds a little something to a very simple room. The vanity has shelves and plenty of space, and one of those clever drawers that is divided around the pipes when you pull it out. Oh and it never looks like this normally – there is crap all over it. The only downside is there isn’t much benchspace…


Anyway, soon enough we were done and able to have a bath. An added bonus  is we can watch TV from the bath if we really want to. When we moved here I left my beautiful claw-foot bath behind in our old house and had nothing. I needed something deep again, so chose the deepest, longest simple bath I could to fit the space. This was from Bunnings – as was the vanity, toilet and wall tiles. No space for pretty free-standing baths here. Maybe next time…

BEFORE: This shower was as hideous as everything else in the room. It had tiles missing, cracks in others, the door would come off its runners… nightmare. I was NOT sad to see it go.

AFTER: If we wanted a bath, the shower had to go on top of it. Not ideal, but much better than the alternative: no bath. I debated installing those fixed glass panes but then discovered one on a swivel which is genius as you can open it up to reach the taps easily and wash the babies. And also, it’s a lot longer too, so the water spray isn’t as much as it is with those panels. 


As with all things I’ve done around here, there are things I’d do differently if I did it again. But it’s functional and nice enough and 10000 times better than it was. And it didn’t cost an arm, leg or my first-born child (who, I might add, is thisclose to being given away for nothing in return at the moment. grr)

A few other details:
White flower towels (my fave!), Le Souk – just noticed these are on special for the month of January
Chevron bathmat, Adairs
Towel rack, Howards Storage World
Glass panel, Brisbane Water Glass
Apologies for grainy, wonky pics. It’s really hard to take a good picture in there – so small and I can’t quite blend into a wall as much as I’d sometimes like to!
Belinda x
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