‘our guests are in for treat’

Em­bar­rassed to show vis­i­tors the bath­room, Gill, 49, ex­tended and mod­ernised her en suite

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At last, Gill Hayes has a bath­room to cher­ish

Two years ago, my hus­band ian and i had to de­cide whether we were go­ing to move house, or com­pletely ren­o­vate our cur­rent home,’ says Gill. ‘We’d moved to epsom from Lon­don in 1999 and then into this house five years later.

We’d been at­tracted to this place by the huge gar­den and its many bed­rooms, but knew it needed some up­dat­ing, so as well as ren­o­vat­ing and dec­o­rat­ing most of the rooms, in­clud­ing the fam­ily bath­room, we also put in a new kitchen seven years ago.

But there were still some is­sues with the long, thin kitchen space and sep­a­rate din­ing room. We needed a larger space for our fam­ily. Also, we had pre­vi­ously re­vamped but not re­placed the en suite to the guest bed­room and, 12 years later, it was look­ing fairly sorry for it­self.

Mak­ing plans

Af­ter we con­sulted an ar­chi­tect, he came back to us with a huge build project. It would give us a two-storey rear ex­ten­sion to pro­vide a new kitchen-diner and a mas­ter bed­room, plus a side ex­ten­sion, which would mean a much big­ger guest room and an ex­tended guest en suite. It was a ma­jor out­lay, but still much cheaper than mov­ing house and, as we loved where we were liv­ing, it made sense.

The build­ing project got the go-ahead, and it started in May 2015 with a lo­cal builder we knew and trusted. By Jan­uary this year, the ba­sics were fin­ished and we’d been left with a nice rec­tan­gu­lar space for the new bath­room, with a large win­dow look­ing out onto the gar­den.

Sort­ing the shower

The main prob­lem with the space was that it had no shower. As our boys, Louis and Alex, have grown older, they pre­fer hav­ing show­ers to tak­ing baths, so that was an­other con­sid­er­a­tion. Also, as we now had this lovely new room, I didn’t want to just cram it with stuff – I was af­ter a wet-room feel, and care­fully searched out shower panels that didn’t have

metal sur­rounds, to pro­vide an open feel and keep a sense of flow in the space.

i didn’t want lots of things to be out on show, so a van­ity unit was al­ways on the cards. When i found a de­sign i liked, i dis­cov­ered that there was also a tall, thin match­ing cup­board. i re­alised that, with guests stay­ing and bring­ing their own bits and pieces with them, the cup­board would come in use­ful, so i de­cided to go for both. i wanted the pipework for the loo to be hid­den away and for the loo to be hid­den from the bed­room, which looks di­rectly into the en suite.

Colour scheme

as you can prob­a­bly tell, i’m ob­sessed with grey, in all its vari­a­tions and tones, so i was thrilled to find that the fur­ni­ture came in a soft grey shade. the room ben­e­fits from lots of light, so an all-white pal­ette would have been over­whelm­ing. i’ve gone for a slightly dif­fer­ent grey on the walls, and the tiles are a sort of off-white, which i’ve teamed with grey mo­saics in un­usual shapes. all the ba­sics are grey, which lets me add colour with ac­ces­sories.

Fi­nal touches

i wanted to put a blind up at the large win­dow for privacy, and chose a wooden Vene­tian style in a dis­tressed white, which is suit­able for bath­rooms. it looks good, brings some tex­ture to the room and is quick and easy to open for ex­tra light.

i’ve matched my favourite su­per­ab­sorbent ham­mam tow­els with some toi­letries in com­ple­men­tary shades of green to give lit­tle bursts of colour. now the room is com­pleted we’re ready to wel­come guests – and, as we have rel­a­tives scat­tered ev­ery­where from Shrop­shire to dubai, it’ll cer­tainly get a lot of use!’

line up. ‘the van­ity is wider than usual, with a basin to match, which cre­ates a be­spoke feel’

hide it away ‘the tall cup­boawrd has sev­eral shelves, which makes it easy to find things’

Make space ‘With a false wall cre­ated to hide the plumb­ing, we took the chance to put in a shelf for toi­letries’

stripe show. ‘i fell for these mo­saic tiles as the long, thin strips are re­ally un­usual’

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