Bathroom Makeover: Part 2

It is finally here! I am so happy to show you what our bathroom looks like nearly a year after it was done. If you remember from the before, the corner bath was taking up most of the room and it felt dark and dingy, whereas now I love how open and fresh it feels. It still isn’t large by any means, actually it is tiny, but it has everything I need and I couldn’t be happier with the end results.

As I mentioned in the previous post, we initially settled on an all white palette until we found these hexagons with the black dots here and there (I see flowers and you?). Now I couldn’t imagine anything but these tiles, I absolutely love them! We decided to eschew the classic designer tip of larger tiles to create the illusion of a bigger room, as we’d seen enough Pinterest examples of our tiles to know that it would work in a smaller bathroom. We actually had one contractor quote us on installing these tiles, which we’d already bought, but all the while insisting that we should rather go with something bigger. It was an incredibly frustrating experience as he was pushing us to go for a completely different style because he didn’t like installing these smaller tiles, which can be more labour intensive. Eventually though we found an incredible contractor who does both tiling and plumbing, an incredibly useful all-in-one for bathroom renovations, and he was absolutely lovely. If you are in the Northern suburbs I’d definitely recommend him! It is probably also worth noting that both our hexagon floors and subway tiles are slightly larger than the traditional/standard, so I do think that helps ever so slightly in keeping it from feeling too doll house and busy.


Along with choosing tile came grout choices. I spent hours poring over examples of colours and sizes and eventually we settled on a 1 mm light grey for the walls (although it looks darker) and a slightly darker dove grey on the floors. I wanted the pattern of the tiles to be pronounced, but also didn’t want it to feel too stark or modern as some of the examples with dark grey and black grouting felt.

We actually spent months hunting down the perfect bathroom cabinet as it was one of the first things we had to replace in the bathroom, even before the actual reno took place. We didn’t have the widest variety to choose from in 60 cm and found that a disappointing amount of the cabinets came with what is usually referred to as a “prego basin” (see here for reference). So we decided to take matters into our own hands and my husband built this shaker-style cabinet to fit into the space. It is everything we dreamt of and has a tonne of storage in the inside. We could have gone the other route of a custom cabinet, but as with many features in the bathroom, we didn’t want to splurge too much as this isn’t our forever home.

Unfortunately when we were looking for taps, there weren’t many options for cool taps that also had a lever. Now Flush Bathrooms have Meir’s mat black range which I’m seriously drooling over. We decided to go for the Hans Grohe Decor range as it is superb quality and we could make it work in our budget.

I knew I wanted to add an element of matt black though, so we decided to use a black curtain rod on ceiling suspenders and it works wonderfully as a towel rail. The slightly matt finish really grips the towels so that they don’t slide off all the time and as we were able to customise the size, it means we can both spread out our towels to dry completely. We also added a hook behind the door for a hand towel.

Other small details included the custom roman shade I made, the ugly boob light we replaced with recessed lights and the new trim (cornices and skirting).

All in all I’m in love with our bathroom, but it is still not done. I’d love to replace the mirror with something more special (I’ve been on the hunt for almost a year!) and my husband wants to create a custom glass shower door. We also still need to replace the cracked window pane – something we remember every now and again- and I can’t figure out what to do with the blank space above the towel rail as it can’t be something that stands out too much. All of my moaning aside, this has really become one of my favourite places in the home, whereas previously I literally rushed in and out as fast as possible.


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Bathroom Makeover: Part One

I thought instead of sharing the horrifying before pictures, I’d start the post on a high with our inspiration. When we first moved in our bathroom had few redeeming factors, among which were the natural light from the window and an extractor fan. That was pretty much where it ended. The cabinet was cherry laminate wood and mouldy, the bath was way too big and took up most of the room. I could barely reach the towel rail that stretched over the bath, toilet and behind the door and entering the room was tricky. You kind of had to enter the bathroom, walk into the only gap between the bath, toilet and cabinet to close the door and that space wasn’t even large enough for a full bath mat to lay flat.

Here is a picture of our nightmare. At least the bath and toilet were white – it could have been much worse! The wall tiles were a textured peachy-cream and the walls were painted butternut. We put up a temporary blind for privacy and patiently counted the days until we’d have enough saved for the whole reno.

Besides actually finding a way to fit everything in, the next biggest challenge was deciding on our style. The first “renovation squabble” was around marble – I love it and he thinks it belongs on the kitchen counter. If I had my way, we’d have white subway on the walls and calacatta marble tiles on the floor.

Both me and my husband like the classics, but we also like modern touches and found ourselves attracted to patterned floor tiles. We were stuck for some time, before we finally decided on an all white bathroom (hexagons on the floor and subway on the walls) with light grey paint. We liked the more graphic flooring options like that beautiful white and grey option above, but felt that we needed something a little more timeless.

By the time the plumber was able to come around, we’d found a cheaper hexagon floor tiles (at about half the price of the original all white) with a touch of black and decided to ditch the grey wall in lieu of classic white.

The Architectural Digest image at the top, which had been pinned on my Bathroom Pinterest board a million times, became my inspiration.

As I mentioned, the layout was also a little bit of a head-scratcher. There weren’t a lot of options, but by simply changing the regular swing door to a sliding door (not pocketed) we were able to really increase the usable square footage in the bathroom. See the rough layout below.

Although there are still a few things I’d like to change, I am so happy with the end results and can’t wait to share it with you next week. Have you ever tackled a bathroom make-over?



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Back in Black in Babylonstoren

DSC_3638 This past weekend was a long one for some and for the rest of us, well we had to work on Friday. That does not mean that we didn’t make the best of Thursday’s public holiday! Ryno and I decided to head out to Stellenbosch for lunch as I hadn’t been there in quite a while. After finding a few of our favourite spots were closed for the holiday, we headed to an old favourite, Java for their chai lattes (a.k.a. liquid pancakes) and pizza.

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What I bought and loved: Part 1

100_8775Ankle boots | B&W Peter Pan Shirt | Nude Shell Top | Belts | Black Straight Leg Pants | Melange Knit 

Hi guys, so this is a new series I’ve been thinking about for a while. I won’t follow a set schedule for this series as I just shop when I find things I like and it’s usually pretty random, but I’ll try to update you whenever I do find something I want to share with you.

I’m kick starting this series with a few of my favourite buys in anticipation for starting my new job. I might as well call this a Mr Price haul as the majority of items are from them. Their buyers have really been on winning streak of late. Keep up the good work! As you can see I’m really feeling the monochromatic and nude colour schemes and I’ve finally come around to buying a few key autumn/winter pieces.

100_8779Ankle boots are going to be major this season-think over-the-knee boots last winter, but much more practical! I have always loved Country Road shoes but the price tag is somewhat off-putting, so imagine how happy I was at finding these at Truworths.  They’re a dead ringer for Country Road’s Tayla Ankle Boot for less than half the price. Obviously it isn’t real leather though but as it’s a trendier piece I’m not bothered.

100_8778I love shell tops and this blush one from Mr Price is super flattering and surprisingly I also really like the neckline detail. It adds definition without being too OTT. The black and white trim top has one of my favourite features- a Peter Pan collar. So naturally I couldn’t resist. Both were priced at R69,99 from Mr Price.

100_8780I kind of always need belts to keep my pant looking neat (the joys of being pear shaped in a world of apples) so this two-pack from MrP is great. It features a light rose gold buckle and is somewhere between a skinny and regular belt (just perfect). The nude is ideal for white or other lighter pants whilst the black is a staple for winter wardrobes. I am so glad my mother spotted this for me and at R50 it’s a bargain!

Finally I bought a straight leg black pants from Mr Price and a round-neck knit in melange at R180 (from Edgars) that’s great for layering.

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