‘our guests are in for treat’
Embarrassed to show visitors the bathroom, Gill, 49, extended and modernised her en suite
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.
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.
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.
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’