Our 1920s Manhattan art deco inspired London pad was coming along nicely. After we had sorted the kitchen and the floors, the bathrooms provided the next challenge on our list: a family bathroom on the small side and an en-suite that was so miniscule, we couldn’t even fit a regular door on it.
The family bathroom also had to serve as our guest cloakroom, i.e. it needed to be splash-proof yet presentable. I scored a batch of gorgeous marble tiles in the sale and did the same when it came to taps, showerheads and levers. It’s amazing how all well-known brands mark down all their ranges once or twice a year by up to 30%. If you can, find out when their sales are and wait.
I find storage in small bathrooms to be the biggest problem – the place looks cluttered in no time and towels easily develop that gruesome mouldy smell if they don’t have enough space to dry properly. A towel radiator is the ideal solution here. That, and creating recesses to hide away all the pots and potions you use on a daily basis. We built various recesses into the double wall that is hiding the cistern and the pipework. It’s an easy, effective and clutter-free use of space. A cleverly designed walk-in shower can also beat any space issues that sliding doors create.
The shower in the en-suite is clad in large marble slabs which my builder salvaged from another building site. One man’s trash is another woman’s treasure…
Last but not least – I always wanted a dressing table in my bedroom, but again, space (or the lack of it) has been in its way. As we had to put new wardrobes in, we took the chance to plan them with a gap in the middle that now hosts a single drawer, home of my makeup, hairbrushes and little beauty secrets (not many).
I had the insides covered in Christian Lacroix wallpaper, which I had fallen in love with a long time ago. As it is rather flamboyant and also eye-wateringly expensive, this little corner was the perfect place for it. We found the stool at John Lewis and the lamp at BTC. I love BTC lamps – gorgeously classy and timeless.
If you’ve got deep alcoves like the one above, it might be worth building a radiator cover and throwing a couple of pillows on top. Et voila – a window seat for reading or general world-go-by-watching.
And then, when two years or so have gone by, you put the flat on the market and start all over again. Yay!