Monday, 21 February 2011


A rather large tile sample was waiting for me when I got home this evening - actually more than a sample, it was a complete tile! A 60cm x 30cm one.

I'm of the persuasion that large tiles in a small space will actually give the illusion of a larger space as the eye willl have less grout lines to focus on (see pic 2) - especially if you choose a coloured grout that blends well with your tiles.

With large rectangular tiles, you can tile them in a brickwork pattern or stacked (as above).  I prefer the latter, as I think it has a cleaner, more contemporary look and that's what I'm going to go for.  Of course you can also line them up vertically for a narrower, taller look, which is probably better in a bigger bathroom.
So, I have now come to the end of my tile search having decided on the late arrival (as in Pic 1).  It has the high gloss, flat edged look that I was after and furthermore it was the lightest coloured of all of them. Interestingly, a lot of what is advertised as ivory, cream, etc often turns out looking more mushroom hued once you put it into your bathroom which is why it is important to seek out as many tile samples as you can, situate them in your bathroom and wait until you find one that is right for the space, light, etc.  Unless you are after pure white tiles, it is also worth holding them against the whiteness of the bath, basin, toilet, etc as this always brings out the colour in the tile, even it if is of the palest ivory.  It pays not to rush into the permenance of staring at tiles that you are unsure about; worse, tiles that you could end up loathing in a few years time.  The bathroom is one of the first rooms that you notice in the mornings, so it should be clean looking, refreshing and invigorating.

For another post, I'll show you some spectacular, exciting bespoked tiles that I came across in my search that were out of this world, deluxe decadence par excellence - of course, it helps if you have a opulent sized bathroom to begin with.  Fantasy tiles.

Sunday, 20 February 2011


Goodbye cruel bathroom with your bizarrely random bright blue shells and ugly fittings!  And so the work begins by removing the old tiles from one of the walls. Since this is going to be a weekend job, I thought I'd leave the basin splash tiles until last:  The bathroom needs to be operational during the week.

I was quite suprised to discover that the old grout bed is about 1/4 of an inch thick, so I've decided to scrape it back to the original wall.  With a bathroom this small, every centimetre of extra space counts!  The original wall is a horrid bubblegum pink with traces of previously having been lilac. Reminders of the previous occupants as this house was build in 1936.  It can be quite interesting what your walls can reveal, but most of all I'm very grateful that I still haven't come across any hidden cracks revealing structural defects in any of the walls. That's one of the advantages of stripping it all back.  This place is solid.  Good old pre-war housing stock.  They don't build them like they used to!

Saturday, 19 February 2011


Debris 2011

Open Marrow Flower 2010

Oriental Poppy 2010

Cactus Flower 2010

Peony 2010

Untitled 2010

Gladioli 2010

Marrow Flower 2010

Cat 2011

Untitled 2011


Thursday, 17 February 2011


Always refer to the IP44 zone guide before selecting your bathroom lighting.

From a design aspect, it is not ideal as one light has a round fitting and the other a square.  The over the cabinet light has the right projection depth (190mm) to illuminate over the cabinet where the light is needed (80w).

The ceiling spots can be directed to the other areas of the bathroom, but by themselves (3 x 35w) would probably be insufficient if you like a bright bathroom as I do.  Unfortunately, I have been unable to find one with a square chrome fitting.


CLICK TO ENLARGE - it's a shame I can't do that in real life!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011


High in the tiles selection stakes at this moment is this high gloss light sand coloured porcelain tile (right).  As the bathroom is miniscule, I think the highly polished surface, which almost resembles glass, will bounce the light around the room and it doesn't appeared as matt and dull as some of the natural stone samples.

Unlike many of its natural stone rivals, porcelain is non porous and highly resistant to chemicals; it doesn't require regular sealing and is extremely low maintenance; and it is very resistant to abrasion as it is actually harder, stronger and more durable than natural stone.  But what I like most about porcelain is that it doesn't have that 'printed' quality of some ceramic tiles that are often made to resemble marble or natural stone, but do it badly.

The sample I was sent has very subtle textural flecks, similar to granite, enough to make the tile interesting without finding yourself caught up in a web of swirls simulating onyx or marble, which I think would be a mistake in such a small space.  The light sand colour is agreeable and not too buttery or peachy to be cloying, yet it has just enough colour to contrast with the white of the wash basin, bath & toilet.  One other detail worth mentioning is that the tile edge doesn't have that slight raise that tiles often have, and if grouted correctly should blend smoothly and seamlessly. What more can I say... unless something better arrives in the post tomorrow, this could be it.

Monday, 14 February 2011


There are Gardens of Solitude, and Gardens of Tranquility, but being a novice gardener I have dubbed mine 'The Garden of Anxiety' because there is so much to do and so little time to do it.

Taking a break from my bathroom  obsession, I did manage to find the time to move the last of the rose bushes in front of the new rose trellis.  The middle trellis panel has yet to be fitted to complete the triptych.

In addition to the existing roses and unable to resist a bargain I picked up these climbing roses (side pictures) from Poundland.  The first 4 which were planted at the end of January seem to be thriving and have thrown out shoots and little leaves.  I'm intrigued as to how the deep purple ones will actually look in bloom and whether they'll look as good and as abundant as their portrait on the packaging. 3 additional climbers (purple, white and rose) were purchased last week and  have gone into the ground against the fences.  The idea is to trail them along the tops to deter the kitties that like to use the garden as an enormous litter tray.  According to my gardening books, if roses could choose where to grow they would probably opt for clay soil - which is fundamentally what I have.  Just as in interior design you work with the given space, I do believe that this is also a good philosophy to adopt in the garden - in this case,  indulging in clay loving plants.

Recession priced Roses available from:-

Saturday, 12 February 2011


This compact chrome towel radiator is just the right size for a couple of folded towels, as it will be situated next to the hand basin.

The BTU Rating is 1084 which is ideal for a 5ft wide x 6ft long x 8ft high bathroom.

The squarish flat sides should complement the square Roper Rhodes Factor mini basin mixer nicely, and be in keeping with the overall angular chromeware of all the fixtures.

Available with a reassuring 10 year guarantee from:-

Friday, 11 February 2011


These classic stainless steel and mirrored door bathroom cabinets have an understated, sleek, streamlined quality that will blend into any bathroom design. Generously proportioned with countless storage shelves, they are available in various sizes - the largest worthy of a place in any hypochondriac's bathroom.

With over thirty different designs to choose from, there's no excuse anymore to have your bathroom littered with messy toiletries.     

Available from:-


Bristan Quadrato Thermostatic Surface Mounted Shower is the tallest member of the Quadrato Family.  A modernist take on Art Deco elegance and a must have for my bathroom.

Available from:-

Thursday, 10 February 2011


A solution to reducing the cost of using real stone in the bathroom is to designate an untiled area that can be painted as seen in this image. 


CHOOSING TILES: It's not set in stone!

The bathroom is filling up with tile samples. At the moment my favourite is the Moleanos Cream Limestone which has beautiful small fossil flecks throughout the creamy tile.

A tiled bathroom is probably one of the most 'permanent' rooms in your house, so it is important to pick your tiles with care: obtain as many samples as you can; place them around the bathroom so that they can be seen in the ever changing light to give you an idea of how the bathroom will appear in the morning, midday, afternoon and evening.  From my experience, tiles always look different and often brighter in the showroom from how they will look in your bathroom.  Live with your tile samples for a few days before starting the process of elimination.

Sunday, 6 February 2011


Sadly, my miniscule bathroom won't tolerate travetine as even that appears too dark.  The search is now on for an off-white porcelain tile that won't compromise the space.

Friday, 4 February 2011




Tuesday, 1 February 2011