Our bathroom demolotion has begun and planning is in full swing. For those who don’t follow along on stories or are new to the blog, we are (unexpectedly) having to re-do our en-suite bathroom after discovering Milla’s ceiling was about to collapse due to a leaking shower AND a leaking roof. Our bathroom is ten years old and bar two tiny mosaics which had come off in the shower without us noticing, we thought it was still in fairly good nick. We didn’t realise our shower was completely rotten and wet behind the shiny mosaics… This renovation wasn’t something we had planned (or saved for!) but it HAS to be done, so I am doing my best to save money where I can.
Initially I wanted pink herringbone tiles in the shower, but after a LOT of deliberation, chatting to our builder and an army of helpful people on Instagram in the past week, I have decided to stick with a timeless large marble effect porcelain tile from Mandarin Stone. I went to Mandarin Stone as so many people suggested them, and if I have learnt anything in the past year it’s that I can really trust the advice that I get from the community that follow me. When I asked for suggestions of places to look for tiles, there were two names that came up over and over again – Mandarin Stone and Ca Pietra. I decided on Mandarin Stone because I really wanted to see the tiles in the flesh and they had a showroom that wasn’t too far away from me in Primose Hill. Unless you know EXACTLY what you want, I really think it’s important to ‘experience’ the tiles in the flesh. I stroked a lot of tiles that day!
In the end, I decided against the pink herringbone, partly because the builder had said that they would be more expensive to lay and hard to keep clean, but mostly because I was worried that they were very ‘now’ and I may not love them as much in 2 years time. I was reminded by a few people (quite rightly!) that I had fallen out of love with the pink walls in my bedroom recently. I also listened to very helpful messages from a few people who had gone with mosaics and herringbone in their showers in the last two years and regretted it hugely as they had been problematic. So classic, timeless marble effect porcelain tiles it shall be!
With that decision made, I decided that I needed to get my pink fix elsewhere. We won’t be doing tiles floor to ceiling due to cost, so I do have a fair bit of wall to paint or wallpaper. Something that would be easy and inexpensive to change in a few years if I decide I want a change. I have found a few wallpapers that I thought might work and add a ‘little something’ to the room, but I am worried about the practical aspect of wallpaper in a bathroom, so I may just end up painting the walls instead.
I think we are going to have to keep our existing tall, mirrored cabinets. They are very modern and not exactly what I would choose for this bathroom, but they were custom made for us and do provide amazing storage space for my MANY beauty products. So to soften that area, I thought I would try and upcycle our existing vanity unit. It’s high gloss with a white stone top which we had custom made with two sinks ten years ago. The stone is beautiful and would be too expensive to replace, so my plan was to either ‘vintagise’ (that’s definitely not a word, but I don’t know another!) the base unit by painting it pink and adding some antique brass handles and legs.
Once again there was a ton of helpful advice over on my instastories about upcycling, painting over gloss furniture, places to look for second hand pieces and I really wanted to share it here in case it is useful to anyone in the future.
To paint over gloss, I was told that I would need to sand it lightly first then prime it using Zinsser Bulls Eye which apparently you can use on almost any surface.
I have ordered samples of Frenchic Paint, and plan to either paint the existing unit, after sanding and priming it, or I might try and find a vintage sideboard and paint that. Because it’s in a bathroom I was advised to use the Al Fresco range at Frenchic Paint and then use 2 coats of a water repellent Finishing Coat.
I was also told about a company called Pro Spray who can spray furniture for you and a very helpful lady called Helen at Decorating Centre.
I fell in love with this sideboard which I found on Etsy. Disappointly it was sold, but it did kickstart a frenzied quest to find something similar that swallowed up several hours on a saturday night. Actually my idea of the perfect saturday night, but don’t tell anyone! 😉
There were plenty to choose from, but the dimensions needed to be perfect due to the existing stone top. I eventually found a piece that could be perfect on Ebay, and have used Auction Sniper to bid for me, so fingers crossed.
I thought I would share the places to look for pieces to upcycle as there were a few I wouldn’t have thought about.
So that’s the plan. I’ll try to blog my upcycling project and the bathroom renovation for those interested. Wish me luck!
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