My work takes me all over the place and I get to see some stunning properties on my travels. None more-so than the one i’m about to introduce you to today. A neo-gothic converted college located in the middle of nowhere. Down a long and winding path somewhere in Leeds is a property that took my breath away.
On my visit the sat nav decided it would take me down an alternative route where eventually, the winding lane began to disintegrate under my wheels until I found myself driving into woods. You know, just on soil. Amongst trees and squirrels. Gave myself flipping whiplash on my first outing to find this place.
After reversing backwards for what seemed like a mile (probably about 12 meters) and doing a four million point turn to escape my journey into the wilderness, I finally managed to pick up the correct route, my sat nav finally locating the property postcode. Not a tree in some woods.
Upon driving into the grounds (yes I said grounds) the final destination warranted a hushed, yet wide eyed “holy shit”.
It was beautiful.
Now don’t get too excited, this isn’t one enormous house. I don’t think I could cope working in a property this big. The college, as it was years ago had been reconfigured and converted into several unique and different sized properties. All of which shared the wonderful grounds, 10 acres that wrap around the building. A very special place indeed.
My clients, who had recently downsized from a big barn conversion they’d worked on previously, had fallen for the charm of this property, that and the ooodles of outdoor space that came with it. However, the interiors throughout were all in desperate need of some TLC. Their first big project to tackle was the family bathroom, cue my visit.
The original plan they’d had from the bathroom company, a plan that would have been not only impossible to live in, didn’t fit with their brief at all. Which was:
- Family bathroom with bath for little person and separate walk in shower
- Use of wood
- ABC brassware (anything but chrome)
- Monochrome colour palette
- Minimal fittings, fixings and hidden wastes
- Underfloor heating
- High end/Scandi inspired design
As you can see, it’s not the biggest bathroom, it’s just under 2m x 3m. So it’s even more annoying knowing that a professional, well respected bathroom company had already said yes to a separate bath and walk in shower. Which would have looked something like this:
Rough floor plan
So yeah, you can get everything in there, but where do you stand to get dry? What if there are two people in there, as there often are in family bathrooms? How do we get storage in there as well? Do you have to dry the shower floor every time you have to kneel down to give your little one a bath? With every room, always always always act out the functions of that space before you confirm layout.
Find out for example, is your bum going to be hitting the toilet when you bend over to brush your teeth? If so, that’s not a luxury bathroom. That’s an annoying bathroom. And bad planning. Just because something will fit in a room doesn’t mean it should go in. You guys have got fit in there too.
Door ways are all about 800mm wide, which infers we like that much space to pass through, if you’re not leaving a bare minimum of 800/900mm between furniture you’re going to hate using the space. A bloomin shame when it’s a room that only gets updated every 10, 15 years or so.
So in I come with my big, bossy size 3’s and tell these guys, no you can’t have that. Well you can, but you’ll hate it. And, as in the long term they’re looking to convert the loft space into the master bedroom with ensuite bathroom, I convinced them to leave the walk in shower for that space and go for the traditional shower over bath for this one.
Confirmed layout 🙂
Now, let me explain what the birch rectangle is sticking out bottom left of that floorplan. The bathroom has two doors into the space, the second from the current master bedroom, almost like a Jack and Jill entry. But they certainly don’t need it. So that’s getting blocked off from the bedroom side and we’re using the remaining space inside door casing (of which there is a lot thanks to the super chunky stone walls) for a bespoke built-in storage cabinet.
This will make the cabinet doors flush with the newly tiled wall making it appear built into the wall. Which I guess it is! So it will look something like this:Vanity Wall Plan – birch plywood, brass brassware and monochrome tiles – Yum
Let’s talk about the tiles shall we?
The Monochrome Decor Porcelain Tiles from Mandarin Stone have the look of handmade, encaustic tiles without the added cost in both materials and labour. They’ll also be easier to clean and maintain. I’m actually really jealous. At less than £40 p/sqm they are around 500% cheaper than the handmade tiles we were originally going for. Plus, the tiler isn’t going to have a nervous break down in the process of tiling the whole bathroom in these. I adore the look of handmade tiles, but my gut was telling me it was going to be a complete ‘mare getting a good finish across a whole room, around boxing in and around the bath. Any experiences on this peeps?
Bath Wall Plan
I know you guys already feel my pain with the whole ABC in the bathroom situation. But I finally found a range from Living House, the Moca Brushed Brass range. It’s not cheap, but it’s also not the most expensive range i’ve seen either. And the amazing thing is, they do the wastes, bottle traps, towel heaters, AND SHOWER SCREENS too. Yes you read that right; shower screens with brass hinges!
So that’s as much as you’re getting today, because i’ve written over 1000 words and i’m hungry for lunch. Whadya think? You like? Any of you tackling a bathroom in the not to distant? Are you going to be banging your bum on the loo when you brush your teeth? These are the big questions we should all be asking ourselves. So do!