Well, folks, we finally did it. Calum and I have finally completed the purchase of our first home – a lovely 1950s ex-council semidetached house with a utility room separate from the main kitchen and lots of storage for our tools and bikes. I think it feels quite cottage-like with built-in wooden cupboards, an adorable cubbyhole, and a rustic staircase that will be very pretty once it’s painted and recarpeted. My favourite part of our new house so far is our brand new bathroom, which we arranged to be fitted before we moved in.
When we purchased the house, the bathroom was actually two tiny rooms – a W.C. which contained just the toilet, and a bathroom containing the sink, bath and shower. Naturally, this was an entirely gross setup so we decided to prioritise getting the bathroom entirely remodelled. We hired an excellent plumber to tear down the wall between the two rooms, retile the surfaces and fit an entirely new set of sanitary wear.
Initially Calum and I talked about getting an awesome gothic bathroom. We liked the look of an ornate black porcelain suite that I’d seen in a shop window in our local town centre, but it quickly became clear that the gothic dream would likely be out of our price range. So, I took my search online and came across the Old London traditional range at Victorian Plumbing.
Calum’s favourite colour is blue, and he was amenable when I suggested the full duck-egg blue set, with accompanying amenities in white and chrome. Although Victorian Plumbing was a little disappointing with delays, missed delivery days and lack of communication, the products themselves are great. I particularly like our set because the sink is part of a cabinet that we can use for towels, and there is more storage in the mirrored cabinet above the sink. We ordered a Victorian-style bath that looks like a rolltop, but is actually flat enough that we could get a shower door rather than needing to settle for a dirt-gathering curtain. I like the chrome griffin-like feet that Calum selected for the bath, but my favourite part of our bathroom appliances is the heated towel rail/radiator. It’s just so cosy!
Choosing tiles was quite difficult, since I was adamant that, although we would probably want blue on the walls, I didn’t want the room to look like either a swimming pool or a public bathroom. Our plumber suggested we might like linoleum flooring because it would be easy to clean and replace, but I was worried it might look a bit too 1970s.
I had found a reference photo online that showed a bathroom with wooden flooring, which I immediately loved but dismissed as impractical because I thought it would get damp and rotten too quickly. My mum came to the rescue and suggested that we might look at wood-effect tiles. In the end we settled on dark “Maddison Cherry” tiles for the floor, with simple white square wall tiles. But I also ordered some very thin, rustic, duck-egg blue rectangular tiles to create a border at the top of the white tiles. I think they’re very cute.
After that we basically left our plumber to it. He was absolutely fantastic and finished the entire project in a couple of weeks. He knocked down the wall between the two rooms to make one proper-sized bathroom, and did a great job of the tiling and fitting. At all points he made sure he was working to our requirements: even if that meant using white polyfilla against his suggestion (he warns will yellow over time) and moving piping from inside to outside the house (even though it meant he needed to raise his original quote a little). He even went to B&Q on our behalf to purchase some shower equipment after we decided we wanted a new matching head rather than just keeping the original as we’d initially planned, and he got us a couple of taps for our radiator so that they would match the other taps in the bathroom, which was very sweet.
Honestly, I cannot recommend our plumber, Chris, enough – check out his Facebook site (Chrisdecor Home Improvements) if you’re looking for a reliable plumber in the Manchester area. We have him to thank for our beautiful bathroom and we’re so excited to start living in our beautiful new home.