html> Four Walls: The bathroom of doom.

The bathroom of doom.

Ahh the bathroom, it is seen by many as a place of opulence, an area to rejuvenate oneself - a definite priority for some renovators. For us, we don't mind slumming it for a little while whilst the rest of the house gets made-over. And although it's clad in a less than desirable floral pink border tile and a shower curtain resembling the set of Psycho, after scrubbing it from top to bottom, we deemed it 'good enough'. It did the job for the time being.

There is only so much that scrubbing can achieve
At least it's predominantly white...

It's not grey tile grout, that's bleach resistant dirt

Si had fitted a shower the day after we moved in, strangely it didn't have one even though the place has been a bedsit with multiple occupants at some point. That mixer tap was pure luxury, and for a good 2 months it worked. Well, pretty much. Granted the boiler was a bit temperamental, the water pressure quite low so showering always required a 'stop-start' approach at least 2-3 times per shower, but when it was warm, it was truly glorious, and we really appreciated it after a hard days work in the cold of winter.

Then a few weeks ago the pressure suddenly dropped even lower and left the shower unable to summon the strength to get water to the head unless we turned the sink taps on first and sort of tricked it into working.  After a few days of doing that, it just stopped all together. We had to take the shower off the wall to help the water run to the end of the hose more easily, and then had to take the shower head off, so it was essentially, just a 'hose' lying limply and forlorn by the plug hole, still with its temperamental heating tendencies.

So 'showers' for the past few weeks, and I use that term in the loosest sense, have consisted of squatting or kneeling in a cold steel bath, holding a hose over ourselves, turning the water on and off half a dozen times until it runs out tepid. This is when the bathroom suddenly became a priority.

Don't get me wrong, it's bad, but it's not unbearable. I've taken to imagining that this is how the Grecian Goddesses bathed (of course it is, Gemma). It helps. It also helps that we love camping, and it's somewhat easier than that, because we have a proper bed and can stand up straight and everything.

What I'm failing to mention is the toilet, that smaller somewhat smellier room next door to the bathroom. On first inspection of the house during our estate agent tour, we noticed a gathering of rags at the foot of the toilet, and a lingering stench. Hoping it looked worse than it was, we moved in and cleaned the area like there was no tomorrow, going to great lengths to avoid touching anything that may have been harbouring disease.

Welcome to your new home!

Unfortunately we soon learnt that the rags weren't just precautionary and that the toilet was veritably leaking a suspiciously dark brown residue each time we flushed the chain. Presumably a six year old residue from its last use. How Si got his head so close to that bowl to fix it up with some sealant and didn't retch is beyond me, what a trooper.

So this weekend we started deconstructing the bathroom. We figured that without a functioning shower, it was hardly worth keeping the bathroom intact. It's the only room in the house that's a bit on the small side, so the bigger plan is to knock the bathroom and toilet into one room. By smashing through the stud walls we got a true feel of how big (or small) the space is and as soon as we did it we finally made up our minds about how we'd lay it out. So here it is;

Some in progress shots...

Tiles off

We're keeping the door, but moving the doorway

Such a joy to wash here each morning

We knocked through the wall between the two rooms, and then decided to take out the other stud wall between the back bedroom and bathroom as it was lathe and plaster and the rest of that room is back to brick anyway. In for a penny, in for a pound.

You can almost visualise it.....almost

View through from the back bedroom

The beauty of this temporary open plan living is that we can now sit on the toilet and look through the bathroom and the bedroom and straight out into the garden to wave at our neighbour through the window. Needless to say we've draped said window with a sheet to keep our dignity.

As it's a small room, we want to stay away from very chunky boxed out furniture, and have a view to keeping this room maybe a little more traditional that the rest of the house. I had my heart set on gold fittings in here but it's just so damn expensive. Dream well and truly quashed. So admitting defeat I've been eyeing up a pedestal sink and traditional style towel rail radiator. We're dead set on a fixed riser shower, our poor water pressure rules out a grand 12" or 8" shower rose, so instead we'll settle for a far more utilitarian offering.

Here's a taste of some stuff I have my beady eye on...