Updated: Jan 26
We've recently undergone a major bathroom renovation, demolishing our old 1960s bathroom and re-siting a new one in the small 4th bedroom, its not massive, but bigger than the original.
To walk you round, a cut to size quartz top sits on top of Ikea wall cupboards, (much cheaper alternative than buying ready made vanities). Tiles are dusty matt pink subways with 3 large quartz tiles in an inset panel over the bath and bold charcoal colour flooring. I hung a chandelier left over from our last Victorian to add girly glam. No shower, but bath shower head to wash your hair in the bath whilst you are having a long soak with a glass of bubbly!
Sample of my original digital design visualisations below in a soft pink glam.
Up or down, shower or bath?
Standing up for my rights to have a bathroom retreat! I'm OK to share it with the guys but I’m the only one who uses the bath so technically its mine!! Don't worry the guys are catered for. They prefer a shower and don't mind the downstairs wet room and trooping upstairs in a towel.
Building in a small space
Bearing in mind the squidginess of the original bathroom, demolishing a 1960s bathroom is a hell of a mess in a really small space. Respect where its due, its a big project whatever the size, building and combining all the different building elements and services, hot and cold water, piping, electrics, etc as well as plastering, making good, followed by decorating and tiling.
Tiling over tiles
The third picture shows we had to take off two layers of tiles to get back to the wall. Any decent tiler will tell you this is not a good idea, as the extra thickness could make it difficult to accurately install fixtures and fittings. To achieve a good finish, skimming with a new layer of plaster is part of the prep.
1960s "luxury" bathrooms
A British 1960s family bathroom was usually tucked away in an upstairs corner and similar to kitchens, designed by men of course. UK Designers and Builders would have ascribed to the view, that cold, small kitchens and bathrooms were designed to "get in and out quickly, no messing about" .Dallying about for a long hot soak to charge your batteries wallow would be thought of as a big strange, "You've been a long time in that bathroom dear, are you alright"?
Luxury bathrooms and kitchens were common in the US and in UK Twyford's designed about 27 colours (the ducks above are collectors items). Avocado one of the most popular. Are you surprised to see a woman with a bare bum in the shower? Me too, imagine that today! The red and avo was an original design for the Barbican in London, with its new fangled wall sink.
Peptol-bismol pink was everywhere
This particular pink became known as peptol-bismol due to its resemblance to indigestion medicine .I can personally attest to its popularity (shown in the last image below) as evident in the last layer of our original bathroom tiling.
Originally developed in the 50s by Procter & Gamble. It was suggested kids would like it, as its bright cheery colour was meant to reduce fear. What, were kids fearful of bathrooms then? It still induces fear in the modern house hunter, you need a strong stomach to decide on renovating and restoring in the hope your next house buyer will like it.
Less is not more in new build houses
To compare and contrast, new build houses are getting smaller. In the 1960s we were just content just to have one bathroom. The modern builder's genius is to try and get some element of luxury in a tiny space. Its a real challenge as the sinks, for example, have to be really tested to see whether you can wash your hands in them.
New build houses have diminutive everything, but the trends seems to be more bathrooms in new houses, not necessarily more space in one communal bathroom. We are willing to put up with less space for more bathrooms. No one banging on the door as you bide your time.
So I'll go back to pink
Sometimes we kid ourselves thinking we are doing something new and original, but I've gone and got myself another pink bathroom, just a different shade to replace the old one! Miley Cyrus said "Pink is not a colour its an attitude". I love pink, I admit it. Colour psychology tells us it has a deeply joyful vibe. But I am not being put off because its become the property of every little girl on the planet. Its never out of vogue, just the shades go in and out of fashion. Pink has about 50 hex colours. I unashamedly admit I've can't resist this timeless colour which makes me feel happy and creative. Hope you like it too!
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