This has not been an emotional roller coaster. In fact it's been the most painless renovation makeover in our home yet. So much so that I am now determined to go ahead with the kitchen renovation at some point. But first things first. Today's post is all about the reveal of our new Ensuite Bathroom. In a series of posts I have recorded the journey so far.
If you want to find out what the labour cost was for this project, check out the first post which includes the detailed quote we received from our contractor IDL Contractors Limited - a company I wholeheartedly recommend to others. They made the process seem so easy. Professional through and through, they offered advice and project management and turned my vision into reality.
OUR BATHROOM RENOVATION SERIES
Ensuite Bathroom Renovation - Part 1, The Plan
Ensuite Bathroom Renovation - Part 2, The Halfway Point
Ensuite Bathroom Renovation - Part 1, The Reveal
Family Bathroom Renovation - Part 1, The Plan
Small bathroom remodel with black elements
Project: Warlingham Residential ensuite bathroom renovation
Designers: Jenny Kakoudakis & Melinda Kiss, Keyhole Interiors
Photography: Jenny Kakoudakis
Cost: Under £10k
The Brief: Professional couple, Jenny & Anthony wanted to change everything in their ensuite bathroom. There was no storage, the room felt cramped, the furniture were dated and there was no mirror. They both wanted a new bathroom layout to make the space feel lighter, 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 featured both a bathtub and a separate shower cubicle. As a result, the sink was placed in front of the window, leaving no space for a good sized mirror. Storage was non existent. It was a room that was out of line with the rest of the house and aesthetically not pleasing. AT ALL. Everything bothered me about this room. From the purple mixed with green in the border going all around, to the radiator that the previous owners had propped on the wall (!!).
Every time I stood in front of the sink, I thought "where the hell is the mirror", things like this were just winding me up. We did the best we could to dress the space - minimalism was our friend in this case, but the truth is we needed something completely different.
Jenny considered a number of layouts (even as far as joining up this bathroom with the ensuite bathroom next door to create one long room), but after consulting with the contractors it became obvious that the position of the toilet needed to be very precise, which limited the choices and dictated the layout.
When people think of Seasons in Colour, I feel that instinctively they expect abundance of colour and pattern to fill every room in my home, like they saw in my living room and the guest bedroom but that's not something I can live with.
I think you can work with soft colours too and have impact in a room. But colours come and go out of fashion, faster than ever before, so I did not want to go for a scheme that would have a very short expiry date.
I shared a number of pictures with Melinda Kiss of Keyhole Interiors asking for help to prepare mood boards to help put my thoughts in order. Melinda knew exactly what I was looking for. While we did not strictly follow the schemes she came up with, this was more because of my collaboration with a numbers of brands (like Mandarin Stone, Methven, VitrA, Lusso Stone, Bathroom Village and Best Heating).
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. Here's what Melinda wanted to share:
"This bathroom is all about contrast and for me, it’s what makes is so special. The contrast of the marble and wood effect tiles creates a really calm scheme which is elevated by the matt black fittings and the subtle brass accent in the niche trim and the pendants.
Your bathroom should serve as a relaxing haven. It’s the only place where you are truly alone, so it should make you feel comfortable and happy to spend time in. Jenny’s bathroom feels serene, inviting and cool enough to want to hang out in just for the fun of it!"
I want to thank all of the sponsors who provided products or discounts on products for this makeover and their PR teams who were fantastic; some of these collaborations were months in the making and we managed to stay on track.
Melinda (Kiss), thank you for returning my drawings in such short timeframe and always being there ready to answer questions. And Lubo and the IDL Contractors Limited Team, thank you for the attention to detail, always making yourself available, being on the property daily and...if anything goes wrong, I know where you live (* queue laughing emoji here *).
Enjoy the photos
Metro tiles - Alsace Honed Marble 150x75 tiles, Mandarin Stone, £83.20 sqm
Cornice - Alsace Honed Marble cornice, Mandarin Stone, £13.14 per tile
Herringbone tiles - Alsace Honed Marble herringbone Mosaic, Mandarin Stone, £137.56 sqm
Wood effect tiles - Argento Maple Porcelain Tiles, Mandarin Stone, £46.80 sqm
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 Resin Stone Sink - PIANA 1000, Lusso Stone, £1,095
Bathtub, Index Rectangular Shower Bath 1700mm x 750mm Carronite, by Carron, £668
Bath Screen, Cadmium 18 10mm Top Hinged with black hinges, The Shower Lab, £517
Wall mounted tap - Breeze basin mixer black, Methven, £220
Mixer Valve - Kaha Concealed Mixer Valve Matt Black (2 Outlets), Methven, £510
Hand Shower, Krome Range, Methven, £127
Shower head, Wall Mounted Shower Arm & Head - Black, Methven, £113
Bath Filler - Overflow Bath Filler With Clicker Waste black, Methven, £196
Radiator - Milano Alpha Black Horizontal Double Slim Panel Designer Radiator 635mm x 630mm, Best Heating UK, £141.95
Pendant Lights - Solo Suspension Lights by Intueri (via Clippings)
Mirror - Oval mirror 'Hub', Umbra, £144
Small Mirror - Wall mounted Black LED Cosmetic Mirror, Lusso Stone, £125 sqm
Toilet roll holder, MPRO in black Crosswater, The Bathroom Village, £50
Robe Hooks, MPRO in black Crosswater, The Bathroom Village, £45
Grout - BAL in 'Pebble', Topps Tiles
Trim - The Foundry Range, Topps Tiles
Bathroom products - Muji
LED Lights, Phoebe by Spectrum, The Electrical Showroom, £49.99/piece
Ceiling speakers, Screwfix, £99
The toilet pan stayed at the same place but was replaced with a wall hang toilet by VitrA, to combine aesthetics with functionality. The cistern was boxed all the way to the ceiling and tiled with wood effect porcelain tiles to create a focal point and warm up the room. Luxurious bronze trim was added on the corners and the grout was colour matched to the tiles.
Turkish brand VitrA has had a fantastic year - they are in every magazine you open, landed a prestigious collaboration with RIBA until 2020 (a two year series of talks that will feature emerging and established international voices in architecture; a partnership that reflects a shared commitment to add social, economic and cultural value to society). I am really excited to use more products of theirs in the family bathroom renovation, which is coming up in a couple of weeks!
To continue with the black theme around the room, a matt black cistern dual flush plate was added. This provides easy access to the cistern for when things go wrong.
Tip: Toilet frames like the VitrA Rapid Installation Floor mounted concealed cistern frame can be adjusted to 3 different heights. So remember to ask your fitter to put the height to where it feels most comfortable to you!
And if storage was a problem before, it is no more. The Piana 1000 freestanding vanity from Lusso Stone features double drawers (with a cut out inside the first drawer to make way for the bottle trap) as well as a full resin stone sink on top. This comes complete with a pop up waste, a little touch that makes it look even more expensive.
The vanity has an internal cut out inside the first drawer, to accommodate the bottle trap under the sink. Depending on your design you can also change the basin waste with one in matt black (we chose not to go for black to avoid to many contrasting points around the room. We calculated the space down to the last centimetre and so the vanity looks like it was made for this space.
The sink came without holes, and that was a perfect excuse to...
...add a fantastic single lever wall mounted tap by Methven. I am reliably informed by Mary Middleton, interiors journalist and blogger who writes the popular Hello Pea Green, that single lever taps were a big thing in Salone del Mobile this year, so tick that box for me someone, will ya! The elegant flowing lines, organic curves and an easy to use solid handle in our tap, are both functional and beautiful.
Methven is a market-leading designer and manufacturer of showers, taps and valves. Their business is headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand where they design, develop and manufacture many award-winning products and technologies that are sold in Australia, China, UK, Middle East, USA and Europe in addition to their home market of New Zealand.
In 2016 they celebrated 130 years of innovation. Their most recent success: the new Tūroa shower range has won New Zealand’s highest award for product design at the Designers Institute Best Design Awards.
Lusso Stone did not have great photos of this vanity on their website. I took a gamble there and it paid off. The colour of the vanity works great with the marble tiles from Mandarin Stone. The herringbone mosaic is the piece de resistance here. As it is natural stone it has a beautiful finish with 3D effect. The colours range from almost translucent white to dark grey. The veins in the marble are obvious in some places and in others not at all.
To make the wall behind the sink more interesting, a marble cornice was added between the two different types of the marble. It makes the design feel more luxurious.
THE SHOWER BATH
Once the shower cubicle was out of the room, it became really obvious that a shower bath would solve the space problems we previously had but it needed to be the right one. Check out this post which explains the process we followed to find the perfect shower bathtub, with easy to follow infographs.
On top of the tub, a 10mm bath screen from The Shower Lab sits proudly. It was the only one we could find in the market with black hinges. It opens outwards to allow us to access the handset and clean the bathtub as needed or to access the bath filler and run a bath.
Methven's 3 outlet valve is another winner here. You will find very few options for a 3-way outlet in matt black in the market, and Methven's complete series of black products really complements it. The handset comes with 3 different settings of spray and the bath filler has its own pop up waste, both black.
We added the same bronze trim around the recess and if you saw my Instagram stories, we had a last minute change of heart about adding a light in there. The reason for that was because the lights in the ceiling are dimmable and can go completely off while the little halo around them stays open in a colour of your choice (all controlled through your phone) and the light in the recess would be right in our eyes while sitting back for a bath with the lights dimmed. But it is definitely worth considering.
THE FINISHING TOUCHES
There was a lot of thought that went in the room I can tell you that. From adding a marble like trim around the tiles close to the bathroom, to tiling the front panel of the bathtub, adding a slim black radiator that is both on trend and will deliver excellent heat output (Best Heating UK) and a magnifying mirror with LED light (the only one in the market currently) as well as the black toilet roll holder and robe hooks (both by Crosswater via The Bathroom Village).
Inside the vanity, Muji boxes hold our his and hers products (although I have to confess, I have 3/4 of the vanity to myself and it feels GREAT!).
Interior Designer Sarah Mailer says of the scheme:
"This beautiful en-suite bathroom artfully combines materials and textures, creating harmony, interest and depth. The use of black accents grounds the design and balances the lighter elements.
I love how the textural wood-effect tile has been incorporated into the scheme as an accent. This gives the space added warmth, alongside the brushed brass details, and softens the monochromatic palette."
BLACK VS GOLD
Black vs Gold taps: who wins? They are both really big at the moment.
"I love black AND gold and depending on the project, I would consider both options. But for the Kakoudakis residence black is definitely the winner! The Mathven taps are every homeowners dream and I just don’t think the same effect would have been achieved had they been gold."
Melinda Kiss | Keyhole Interiors
Should I have gone all marble (without the wood effect tiles?
"I’m a huge fan of bringing natural elements into any design scheme so to me the wood effect tiles look perfectly in place. They dial down the elegance of the marble tiles just a little bit by adding some edginess to the room. They also add an extra layer of texture to the scheme - which is essential in any design!"
Melinda Kiss | Keyhole Interiors
"Jenny's stunning new bathroom ticks all the boxes for me. By using the clever mix of wood with marble, Jenny has injected warmth and character to the room that otherwise could have been a little too minimal.
I can see that 4 different types of tiles have been used in this one fairly small space - this is genius - I think most people would think to stick to one or two styles per room but this demonstrates that with a little thought you can bring a high end bespoke feel to any space."
What caught your eye?
"My eyes instantly zoomed in on the black fittings of the bath screen. I also love the brass trim around the shower niche. Jenny’s attention to detail combined with her impeccable taste and thoroughness ensured that nothing will look out of place or unfinished in the renovation of her bathrooms."
Melinda Kiss | Keyhole Interiors
"One of my favourite areas of the room is the basin - the lusso stone vanity unit is just perfection! Practical with tonnes of storage and blends seemlessly with the colour way of the marble tiles. Bravo Jenny, I love what you have done here!"
Daniela Tasca York
I would love to hear your thoughts and read your comments below. Would you have done something different, and what?