Scrumbles Cottage – Building our family home in the New Forest

Part 4: The bathroom makeover

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Now we’re onto the fun bit. I’ve absolutely loved building our house and getting involved with all the planning and design details but I must admit to feeling very overwhelmed by decisions at times. I really suffered from choice paralysis whilst at the same time being acutely aware of how much of a first world problem this is.

I really had no idea there were so many choices of soffits and fascia, architraves and hinges. Half of the things I’d never even heard of before embarking on our journey! Anyway, we did it and are so happy with all our choices and now we’re onto the next stage; sorting the inside out.

Interiors

Now, this is the bit that gets me very excited! I’ve always had my head buried in an interior magazine and I remember pouring over Design Sponge in its early days when it was mostly about Before and Afters. I’d marvel at what people could achieve and in our previous house renovations I’ve loved transforming spaces and now I’ve got the ultimate, a completely blank canvas.

We’ve moved into Scrumbles with just plaster on the walls so are currently living a pink Mediterranean dream and I can’t wait to start injecting our personalities into our spaces. The house will be an eclectic mix of a lot of styles. Dark blues and greys with mid century pieces and a lot of greenery in the adult spaces. Then white and hygge-tastic with lots of clean lines in the kitchen and main living space. Through to bold geometrics with a lot of brass and industrial pieces in the bathrooms, finishing with bold and bright for the boy’s room and blush and gold for our daughter’s room.

The main bathroom

I’m going to take you room by room over the next few posts and thought I’d kick of with our main bathroom. We’re very spoilt and have a large family bathroom and our ensuite in our master.

This is the image I’d had pinned for years and years, even before we thought we’d be able to go on our building journey.

That bath! Those tiles! A walk in shower! Wall mounted taps! Sunbeams coming through the skylight! It was my dream. So you can imagine my joy when it became a reality and we’ve been able to create this! We’ve also been able to get our walk in shower too at the other end of the room.

Floor tiles

I lost so many hours hunting for the right floor tiles. My dream had been the beautiful Moroccan encaustic ones in the inspiration images, you’ll have all seen them on Pinterest, they’re beyond beautiful. I had to have a serious chat with myself though and understand that the up keep and care they take was not going to be on my priority list. I barely find time to clean, let alone seal encaustic tiles all the time to keep them safe from little people spills! I’d decided porcelain was the way forward for us, much more wipe clean! I then spent hours, probably days, trawling shops and google for encaustic effect, bright geometric tiles. Oh how I underestimated how hard this would be! All my hard work paid off though and I finally found my dream ones on good ol’ eBay too, they’re causing quite a stir.

Metro vs square

Our tiler thought we were insane! Certifiably! When he saw the floor tiles he told me they were ‘weird’ and it actually made me love them even more. I nearly pushed him over the edge when I showed him what we wanted on the walls though. ‘I haven’t laid those since my Dad was a tiler 30 years ago and even then they were crap!’. Oh, the ever optimist he was! I don’t remember ever asking his opinion but again it made me love them even more. All our trades had a tendency to give their opinions on our ‘strange’ or ‘wacky’ decisions. I took their feedback as a compliment that meant we weren’t being boring at least!

I’ve always loved metro tiles but having put them in our previous renovation I wanted to do something different. We’ve still used them, elsewhere, in our ensuite, just in a different pattern to the standard brick. I still wanted something to let the floor tiles pop so went for simple white squares laid in a brick pattern. I love them!

Choosing sanitary-ware

When I first started my Instagram journey I came across the beautiful work by Lusso Stone. Oh how amazing their sinks are! We actually bought our wall mounted double sink for our ensuite a year before we even completed on the purchase of the house (probate takes SO long!) and it lived in our roof box (to keep it water tight) underneath our caravan. We really love their stuff! We knew we’d be getting another of their sinks and really wanted to use one of our pieces of furniture, that has been on this house building journey with us, to mount it on.

The white unit used to have our plates in 15 years ago in our first flat. We found it on the street in Brighton and it’s been in our family ever since. Street shopping is a proper activity in Brighton and we have furnished many a home this way. People just put their unwanted items out on the pavement for people to re home. It’s genius! The unit even landed up in the awning kitchen we had attached to our caravan housing our plates again! You can see it at the back of this pic, with handles on.

Our plan is to paint it Farrow and Ball Hague Blue and add some beautiful Buster and Punch handles to the front which I think will work beautifully with our dream Rose and Grey industrial mirror and Industville wall mounted lights.

We fell in love with Industville whilst doing our last renovation and at that time they were only available through their eBay shop. They’re doing really well and their lighting range is fab. We’ve used their pendants in our bedroom (recycled from our old kitchen) and more wall mounted ones in our ensuite too but in pewter.

A living wall

One of my favourite things about our bathroom is the light we get from our sky lights and the wall behind the bath which is crying out for a living wall, in my opinion. I love all things foliage and am going to fill the wall with plants and geometric planters. I especially love these ones by Jack Laverick, another Instagram find.

Using pots like this but filling the wall even more.

We’ll also be making shelves for plant pots out of the beams from the original house. We stored all the wood that was taken out, behind our caravan (!) and are going to be using it throughout the house. It’s the most beautiful wood, so far Mr Scrumbles has made our new kitchen table and bench and I love sitting at it and looking at the knots and holes that really tell a story.

Also on our list is a long shelving behind our kitchen work tops, planters for the garden and drive way, a long shelf above our bed again full of foliage and bath plank to house a glass of red and a candle.

Paintwise I think we’ll keep it white in our bathroom so that the foliage and flooring pops with all the natural light too. Lying in the tub looking out through the roof at the stars makes me oh so happy!

Our bath

Being realistic, our budget couldn’t stretch to a Lusso Stone bath but again through my beloved Instagram I learnt about their sister company Charles Brooks who make the most amazing reinforced, framed acrylic composite baths. This basically means that they don’t bounce back when you step on them, they are absolutely solid! Being in the New Forest, we’re no-where near their showroom so had to trust that the lovely guy I spoke to was speaking the truth and I’m so glad we did. It’s an epic bath! I bought ours in their sale and they stored it in their warehouse for us for over a year (we couldn’t quite fit the bath in the roof box under the caravan too!) which was brilliant and we just had it delivered when we were ready for it. My big tip is don’t be afraid to ask people for help on things like this. They can only say no!

Now, to get our painter booked in and make all this become a reality! Having painted all of our previous large renovation (a 3 bed Victorian townhouse that we stripped out, extended and started from fresh) around full time jobs and a young child, grabbing evenings and weekends when we could, we’ve decided we’ve paid our dues (it was very hard work!) and this time are calling in the professionals! And I can’t wait!

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