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Family Bathroom Renovation, the Reveal! Marble and Black makeover

Bathroom renovations are currently the number one work undertaken in our homes according to Instagram (and no this is not an official survey, just a personal observation!). Trends for 2018 have included everything from indigo tones to future proofing your space but we all know that making changes to keep up with trends is not so easy in a room like your bathroom.

We started planning our two bathroom remodels in August 2018 (placing orders for most of the products back then) and kicked off the makeover three weeks ago. It was a dusty and noisy three weeks but we got there in the end.

You can read more about these two renovation, including a break down of labour cost, which is really handy if your home is based in and around London.

Don't forget to check out the detailed cost for this project in the previous post which includes the detailed quote we received from our contractor IDL Contractors Limited - a company I wholeheartedly recommend to others. They turned my vision into reality, have been so easy to work with and offered advice and project management during the two and a half weeks of the makeover.

Project: Warlingham Residential family bathroom renovation

Designer: Jenny Kakoudakis

Photography: Jenny Kakoudakis

Year: 2018

Cost: Under £10k

The Brief: Professional couple, Jenny & Anthony wanted a complete makeover of their family bathroom. There was storage which was unusable, the room felt dated, the mirror was small and off centre and the taps had seen better days. They wanted a small change in the bathroom layout to make the space feel bigger, and a timeless design that would add long term value to the property. The focus should be on attention to detail and the 'little touches' of luxury.


The room previously included a gold framed shower and grey tiles; a sink to the right of the window and an off-centre mirror as well as a toilet pan with visible cistern. In the corner of the room we had a floor to ceiling storage unit which frankly looked shocking when you opened those doors. It wasn't painted correctly, it wasn't very accessible and just created another funny shaped corner - and I hate boxed pipes and corners like that.

To complete the look, the previous owners also opted for gold bezels on the downlights and gold taps. I mean the whole room screamed GOLDFINGER. But if you remember the movie, Goldfinger had a pretty nasty end (getting sucked out of an airplane window no less) and that was exactly the end of this bathroom this month. The skip was big and fitted all. Of. The. Crap. Shown. Below.


I am not going to lie, seeing the room stripped back to the studs can feel scary but the good thing is that once all the furniture is out you can really understand the potential of the space and visualise what it should look like! This phase of the project is equally important as serious choices can be made that will determine the success of your project.

The Methven mixer shower valve


Sometimes I really cannot believe how lucky I have been with the opportunities this blog has provided to me, in terms of brand collaborations.

I teamed once more with the same brands from the earlier ensuite bathroom update to create a modern family bathroom that would be primarily used by our son as well as by relatives/ guests. Which means a shower was still relevant whereas a bathtub would make the space feel extremely small.

The result is a space filled with light, where textures more than colour take over and where the materials used are high end without being ridiculously expensive. The marble tiles/black taps combo that we saw in HOUZZ of 2018 is replicated here.

VitrA Sento toilet pan | Aruba slimline vertical Radiator from Best Heating UK | Towels from John Lewis & Partners | Toilet Roll holder, MPRO Crosswater via Bathroom Village

Shower enclosure

The shower cubicle we chose is the Industrial Kit B walk in shower enclosure by LUSSO STONE. It is set in front of a combination of marble tiles and hexagon mosaic from Mandarin Stone. This one I was a little apprehensive about because obviously there is NO DOOR and there's always the risk of water flowing out of the tray if at some point the pipe gets clogged with hair.

I will definitely do another post in 6 months time to let you know how it all went, because I really want to give you value through my posts as well as an honest opinion of how products work. I wouldn't settle for anything less than a thorough product review myself so why should you!

The Industrial KIT B that we bought fits over an 80x100cm tray - however, LUSSO STONE also do more sizes (this was the smallest I think).

Now, the important bit. If you see the photos on their website, the enclosure comes with a supporting bar, which according to them is mounted onto the small panel.

On the day of the installation, I couldn't get through to LUSSO STONE to ask this question: why was the supporting bar on the small and not the large screen? Once both screens were mounted onto the wall, we could feel that the big one was more shaky than the small panel so we decided to secure that one with the supporting bar.

When I finally got through to LUSSO STONE a day or so later, they advised that the rule of thumb is that the supporting bar goes onto the screen that is closer to you, because that's the one that you could accidentally bump into (especially with your elbows as you wash. It was too late for us at this point but I don't mind with the way we installed ours as otherwise the supporting bar would be too close to the shower head.

REMEMBER: When installing a walk in shower enclosure with a supporting bar, the rule of thumb is that the supporting bar goes onto the screen that is closer to you.

Although the enclosure has panels - Crittall style - the metal panels are on the front of the screen, outside the shower. Inside the shower you have access to the entire glass panel which makes it extremely easy to clean, especially if you have a squeegee nearby. In fact, after installing the shower, I also got a squeegee to help me clean both the shower enclosure (on the inside) and the bath screen in the ensuite bathroom.

TIP 1: Get a squeegee to keep your shower enclosure clean.
TIP 2: You will need to cut the supporting bar to size and drill holes on the side panel to fix the bar to place.

Good to know: You will have to drill some holes yourself into the metal frame.

You also need to know that the supporting bar comes in one size (1m long) and your builder will have to cut it to size. They will also need to drill holes on the metal frame to fix the supporting bar as well as drill a hole at the bottom of the panel so that if there is any water build up, it will be able to flow out. My personal view is that these panels should come pre-drilled with these holes, especially given the cost of the kit (over £1,000 for KIT B).

Marble Tiles

I loved the ALSACE HONED MARBLE tiles (from Mandarin Stone) that we had in the ensuite bathroom. I used the same concept of 3 different sizes of the same tile (large format 30x60cm on the floor; metro style tiles; and hexagon mosaic) but this time I did not use the wood effect porcelain tiles inside the shower.

The reason for that is that I knew roughly that the crittall style shower frame would look much better against a light background. I did, however, use the ARGENTO MAPLE wood effect porcelain tiles to box, once again, the toilet.

Expert Feedback: My tiler's comment on the tiles was that the metro style tiles chipped more than he would have liked when he was cutting them to size, but explained this can be 'hidden' when you apply the grout. Besides, marble is a natural stone so imperfections can be expected. With regards to the mosaic, he said it was really easy to work with. Which is also why we applied it inside the little shampoo niche.

As a natural stone, the Alsace Honed Marble tiles don't need a tile trim, but we did apply one around the shampoo niche and inside the window frame. This is a specialist trim that has a marble-effect and which I got hold of in Topps Tiles. However, this is now a discontinued range (not sure why as it is rather suited for marble tiles which are now trending!

And once again, I used a marble cornice to separate the mosaic from the metro tiles.


To continue with the black and white trend in this room, I turned to top bathroom brand VitrA (have you seen them during the 2018 design shows? They have done amazingly well!). As the space was limited, I opted for their FRAME 60cm vanity unit with integrated sink (comes with 1 taphole).

The Frame Vanity is extremely well made - seriously robust, much better than the Lusso Stone vanity we used in the Ensuite in terms of the material for the frame); it also has an LED strip inside so that when you open the draw, there's light in there. The drawer is soft close and has a cut out for the bottle trap under the sink.

One thing we couldn't find was information about connecting the LED lights, as the instruction manual did not mention them at all. We kind of took the plunge and connected them to the mains independently, thinking that the light should come on only when you open the drawer.

Having later checked with VitrA's technical support team over the phone, I was told that no, the LED lights should be connected to the room lights, so that when the lights in your room come on, the led comes on as well and stays on until you turn off the room lights. In my view this is a design flaw. There is already plenty of light when the main lights are on so why not work a mechanism where you can have the LED turn on when you open the drawer, that way you can use this internal vanity light together with a smaller light, for example the light of the mirror.

The integrated sink is perfect for this room and I can tell I will be able to clean it easily without worrying about stains (the Lusso Stone Resin Stone sink in the other room looks great but I do feel it will be harder to maintain). The sink also has plenty of space all around for toothbrushes, hand wash liquid and even the occasional candle.

The tall radiator that is next to the window also has a towel rail on it so we will use that one for our hand towels.

VitrA Frame Washbasin Unit, with 1 drawer, 60 cm, with white washbasin, Matte Black

VitrA Frame Washbasin Unit, with 1 drawer, 60 cm, with white washbasin, Matte Black

VitrA Frame Washbasin Unit, with 1 drawer, 60 cm, with white washbasin, Matte Black

VitrA Frame Washbasin Unit, with 1 drawer, 60 cm, with white washbasin, Matte Black and long radiator with towel

VitrA Frame Washbasin Unit, with 1 drawer, 60 cm, with white washbasin, Matte Black


The taps in this room are once again from Methven. The matt black Breeze wash basin mixer tap was used on the sink. We chose it for its simplistic single lever function, as this is going to be used mostly by our young son.

Inside the shower we added the KAHA 2-outlet mixer shower valve, together with a shower head and a handset (to make cleaning the shower easier). If you saw my previous review in the ensuite bathroom, I was very pleased by how robust these products were. They also well presented in their dedicated boxes. Really high end and they come with long warrantees for peace of mind.

Methven Breeze Matt Black washbasin mixer tap and marble hexagon tiles from Mandarin Stone, VitrA Frame sink vanity

Methven Breeze Matt Black washbasin mixer tap and marble hexagon tiles from Mandarin Stone, VitrA Frame sink vanity

Methven Breeze Matt Black washbasin mixer tap and marble hexagon tiles from Mandarin Stone, VitrA Frame sink vanity

Methven Matt Black shower hand set and marble hexagon tiles from Mandarin Stone

Methven KAHA Black shower 2 WAY mixer valve and marble hexagon tiles from Mandarin Stone




  • Toilet pan - Sento short wall hang wc, VitrA

  • Toilet frame - Rapid Installation for Wall-Hung Wc Pans (Floor Mounted) Application Set, VitrA

  • Matt Black Flush Plate - Loop R Mechanic Control Panel, VitrA

  • Vanity with Sink - FRAME, VitrA, with LED inside the drawer



  • Radiator, Milano Aruba - White Vertical Designer Radiator 1600mm x 354mm, Best Heating UK, £141.95

  • Towel Rail for Milano Aruba radiators, Best Heating UK, £29.95

  • LED Mirror, Pebble Grey, Globe Slimline LED Illuminated Bathroom Mirror with Demister & Motion Sensor Switch (500 x 600 mm), £99

  • Toilet roll holder, MPRO in black Crosswater, The Bathroom Village, £50

  • Robe Hooks, MPRO in black Crosswater, The Bathroom Village, £45

  • Grout - BAL, Topps Tiles

  • Trim - The Foundry Range, Topps Tiles

So what do you think dear friends? Have we done well here? Which product caught your eye?


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