With kids rapidly becoming teenagers we needed another bathroom. So we took it upon ourselves to convert a spare room. Now I’m a big believer that a bathroom should be a proper room. A place that is functional as well as beautiful. It needs to tick all the boxes. Somewhere to relax or freshen up, but most of all it should be an enjoyable experience. While we need to navigate our way around the functional pieces of furniture like the bath, shower, sink and loo the bathroom can still be a room filled with character. The odd bit of old furniture, a rug, beautiful mirror, works of art, possibly a curiosity cabinet help make the room feel like a living space.
The wall decor is equally important as the layout. Most people steer away from wallpaper in a bathroom but if you have a seriously powerful (but silent) vent you can absolutely throw wallpaper up on all four walls. One day back before Lockdown#1 while I was flicking through Instagram I happened upon @divinesavages where designers Tom & Jamie have created an inspired collection of wallpapers and fabrics. Their mission is ‘to inject a splash of wonder into your home’. So how could I possibly resist the temptation. Inspired I was to pull out all the stops and just go for it. I slipped moodboards under the family’s noses. They approved. The builders were recruited. To begin with they all thought I was ‘off my rocker’ but as the project progressed they began to fall for the brave colourful scheme.
Green was the go-to colour of choice for this north facing bathroom project. And of course pink goes hand in hand with green. And Divine Savages had the perfect Pink and Green wallpaper with can-can dancing ostrich (natch) aptly named Zsa Zsa (obvs). This wallpaper makes everyone gasp, wide eyed with wonderment as they do an about dance like swirl as they savour the unexpected. Then they stop, at the window, roll down the Roman and marvel at the dancing repeat of the Divine ostrich blind. The room is wrapped in a plume of fantastical feathers and pink legs.
The other must have was a ridiculous large walk in shower. While I love a shower you can party in I am not a fan of feeling boxed in. And then again, a draught is unacceptable. So where’s the balance? A half height wall topped with a square bespoke ribbed Drench shower screen. Chosen specifically to tune in with the Art Deco feel the bathroom was starting to take on. A custom made Matki shower tray measuring a colossal 100cm wide by 140cm was installed. Pink tiles climb up to the ceiling. With the finer details of a niche and edging in green Penn Station Metro Tiles.
We had an old cast iron bath tub lying feet up in a shed, so she was carried across the garden by 4 strong men, hoisted upstairs, painted a blush pink and installed on top of a white cork floor which now has an much loved Moroccan rug, that tells it’s own story of hours of haggling drinking excessive amounts of mint tea and a night spent with the Touareg tribe in the desert under a blanket of stars.
We fashioned up a vanity unit from an old Gustavian dresser which I procured from Vinterior. Topped with a heavy duty mottled white quartz and a sunken sink and wall mounted Booth & Co. taps, because why wouldn’t you? A old Art Deco mirror that has followed me everywhere since I was half the age I am now is flanked by a pair of stunning ribbed glass wall lights from lighting pro Jim Lawrence.
Just a little note about the cork floor as it deserves some praise for being hard wearing, sustainably produced as well as super insulating. There’s nothing worse than a cold bathroom and this is far from that. With a brace of column rads and a mammoth heated towel rail this bathroom’s temperature is controlled much like a hammam.
There are some finishing touches, aren’t there always. I am on the look out for an antique bench, a small wooden glass cabinet and possibly a picture or two. But for now I am so very grateful to have happened upon Divine Savages and their daring designs. The Genie is now out of the bottle and I can’t contain it as I turn to address the remaining rooms upstairs.