‘I WANTED TO DO SOME­THING DIF­FER­ENT’

Set­ting a roll­top bath at an an­gle, adding a gallery wall and up­cy­cling an old side­board has given Emma All­man-Shut­tle­worth’s room a unique look

House Beautiful (UK) - - TRANSFORMATION BATHROOM - Emma All­man-Shut­tle­worth, 45, an in­te­rior de­signer and owner of decoretc.co.uk, lives with hus­band Paul, 47, a com­pany di­rec­tor, and their four chil­dren in a five-bed­room Vic­to­rian semi in Shrews­bury, Shrop­shire

What was wrong with your pre­vi­ous bath­room?

It hadn’t been touched since the 1980s. There was a tiny, gold-framed shower raised up off the ground, a huge built-in boiler and an old-fash­ioned sink. A small bath was po­si­tioned un­der the win­dow and there were printed tiles half­way up the walls that looked dirty. It needed rip­ping out and start­ing again.

So how did you start the process?

The bath­room is at the back of the house, over­look­ing the gar­den, with a flat roof be­low. We could see it would be a good place to have a bal­cony with French doors, rather than just a win­dow, but adding one meant we needed plan­ning per­mis­sion, which we had to wait a year for. It was worth it though, to bring in all that light and fresh air. In the mean­time, we had to put up with the old suite.

What was your first move?

Get­ting rid of the boiler and gut­ting the room. Af­ter mak­ing sure the space could hold a de­cent-sized shower, we or­dered plain, con­tem­po­rary san­i­tary­ware from a lo­cal sup­plier and had it fit­ted.

Did you al­ways in­tend on bring­ing in colour?

Yes, but I wanted the ba­sics to be dark grey and white. I chose off-white tiles for the shower and had two of the walls cov­ered in Vic­to­rian-style Anaglypta wall­pa­per, which I then painted over.

Were you wor­ried about hav­ing wall­pa­per in a bath­room?

No, as I think it’s only a prob­lem if it’s di­rectly above the shower. But to make sure, I had the wall­pa­per painted in a Dulux bath­room paint to give it ad­di­tional pro­tec­tion against the mois­ture, and used the same paint range on the re­main­ing walls.

Was it easy to choose the ac­cent colour?

Yes, I’d al­ways had my eye on or­ange and us­ing dif­fer­ent tones works well. As the walls were plain, I wanted the floor tiles to be colour­ful. I found a range of lovely Span­ish tiles on­line with or­ange as the pre­dom­i­nant colour, and I knew they were the ones I wanted.

How did you find the van­ity unit?

I wanted to do some­thing dif­fer­ent and not just go for the tra­di­tional sink with a boxed-in unit un­der­neath. The unit came from my lo­cal char­ity shop and cost £39. I painted it grey to co­or­di­nate with the gallery wall and added or­ange high­lights. Plain or­ange tiles were used for the top, and patterned ones for the splash­back. I plumbed in the basin my­self, which was fairly easy to do.

Did you al­ways plan on hav­ing a gallery wall?

Yes, it’s some­thing that’s very im­por­tant and per­sonal to me. There is a paint­ing by my great-grand­fa­ther, as well as a print by my brother and three prints by my late fa­ther, Colin, which he did while he was study­ing for his pho­tog­ra­phy de­gree.

How do you dis­play them?

I love us­ing pic­ture ledges as it means you can change and re­fresh things at a mo­ment’s no­tice. I find a lot of my in­spi­ra­tion on on­line on In­sta­gram, and buy prints from small busi­nesses rather than go­ing to big stores.

Would you en­cour­age oth­ers to be bold with their lay­out?

Ab­so­lutely. There’s no rea­son why your bath needs to be along a wall, par­tic­u­larly if you go for floor­stand­ing taps. The lat­ter may be a bit more ex­pen­sive, but the ef­fect is great. The builders were look­ing at me as if I was mad when I sug­gested putting the bath at an an­gle, but I stuck to my guns. I’m not one for con­form­ing, and I think the end re­sult is a more in­ter­est­ing room.

IN DE­TAIL Sit­ing the taps on the floor, rather than on a wall, meant there was a lot more flex­i­bil­ity on where the bath couldbe po­si­tioned; the floor tiles con­ceal plumb­ing holes

TILESPick­ing a de­sign that comes in dif­fer­ent sizes and plain colours meant Emma could use the tiles on the walls, van­ity unit and floor

VAN­ITY UNITUs­ing a grey paint in a lighter tone to the one on the gallery wall gives the room a co­he­sive feel

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