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Bathrooms can be the among the smallest of rooms in the house, especially if you’re in a new build property in the UK – so making the most of your space is crucial in achieving a result that looks beautiful and works from a practical perspective.
When we moved into our new build property four years ago, it immediately became apparent that the lack of storage in our en-suite shower room was going to be an issue. So we ordered a cheap freestanding cabinet with hopes of achieving a tidy space and having somewhere to store some of our toiletries. However nothing looked quite right or fitted and there was a lot of wasted space – so we knew we’d eventually have to upgrade it.
Fast forward several years and with several plumbing issues to investigate and therefore lots of mess likely, we figured it was the perfect time to start the work.
I knew I wanted a light, bright and functional space – and I had my heart set on a scallop marble tile splash back. So I began scouring Pinterest and Instagram for ideas and quickly stumbled upon Symphony’s Aquadi Bathroom range.
Having used Symphony for our new build kitchen renovation a few years ago (you can read about that here) and therefore first-hand positive experience with their hard-wearing and beautiful ranges (which have impressed us in terms of standing up against dog paws, spills and scuffs!) we explored their variety of bathroom styles and settled on their Valencia range, featuring stylish shaker doors and matt colours. We wanted something warm, with character and a little nod to a heritage traditional bathroom feel – while still maintaining a contemporary look. And we think the Valencia range does just that!
Opting for a entire wall of built-in units, toilet and sink means that we would be able to able to maximise storage and achieve a sleek finish – with one long length of countertop running the length to display all of our favourite toiletries (no more precariously balancing soaps on top of the teeny basin!).
So after weeks of planning, our plumber ripped out the old sanitary-ware (which we were able to give away to be used in another home – since it was still relatively new) and our tiler chipped away removing our tiles. Unfortunately lots of the plasterboard came away when removing the tiles which added a little extra to the cost in new waterproofing, tanking and board. However it did mean that we then had the opportunity to add in a shower niche, which I was thrilled about! More on that later…
Once the demolition had finished, it was time to put the room back together. New 900 x 900 Calacatta matte tiles were fitted to the walls of the shower enclosure and the entirety of the bathroom floor. The large footprint of the tile meant that we could maximise the feeling of space and grandeur with a continuous marble vein and minimal grout lines. I’d definitely recommend measuring up your space beforehand as these tiles come in assorted sizes – and you may find you can minimise your wastage by opting for a particular dimension.
With the tiling complete, it was time to fit our Symphony units – the part I was most excited about!
We’d opted for a large semi-recessed star basin in the centre, flanked by cupboards and an enclosed WC on one end. This gave us three spacious cupboards for storage – one of which we opted for drawers inside so that we could access everyday items easily! Although my original idea was to have a totally recessed basin, we’re so glad we decided to go for this one as the shape gives a really luxurious finish and it’s far more practical. It reminds me a little of a kitchen Belfast sink which I love, although the slightly rounded edges give it a contemporary twist.
Symphony recommended a continuous countertop – which I was thrilled about, as it offers plenty of space to display all of my everyday essentials – so we chose the ‘Gloss White’ laminate to reflect light around the room and provide a bright, modern finish.
Although I never thought I’d be getting excited about toilets, our new WC has a soft-close seat and ties in beautifully with the shape of the sink, offering a sense of cohesion to the space.
We completed the look with beautiful American Bronze knobs (also Symphony) which add a touch of high-end luxury to the cabinets! Although it can be tempting to match metals in a bathroom – and originally I wanted to go for brass everything – I find it can add more interest and depth if you mix them up a little. So after much deliberation, we decided to contrast our American Bronze knobs and mirror to the original chrome tap, shower screen and shower head. I find chrome is more hard-wearing and practical in a bathroom as you don’t have to use special cleaning products and it is more resistant to scratches and marks. I’ve found out the hard way how difficult brushed brass can be to keep looking beautiful!
With all of the furniture fitted, all that was left was to tile our splash back! Yes, I managed to get those Zen Scallop Marble Tiles in somewhere! We used 12 sheets across the length of the wall and sealed with a water based sealant (solvent based sealants can cause discolouration).
So there we have it, the finished en-suite! We are absolutely thrilled with the final result and how light, bright, stylish and spacious the space looks. The amount of storage we’ve gained is of huge benefit to us (especially as new-builds typically are lacking in this department) and we can’t wait to start using it.
Let’s re-cap some of my top tips:
If you’re re-tiling, it’s worth enquiring with your trades if there’s opportunity to add a ‘niche’ into the wall of the shower area. These remove the need for an additional shower shelf, which not only saves on cost but on space too! They also look really stylish – and you can opt to display your toiletries in amber glass bottles for a boutique hotel look.
Make the most of your space and build in as much storage as you can. Symphony offer a wide range of fitted bathroom furniture to suit a variety of personal tastes, so head over and check out their Aquadi Bathroom collection here. Fit the furniture with a long length of worktop to optimise space to display all your favourite perfumes, soaps and toiletries.
Ensuring your new space is practical is just as important (if not more) than how it looks, so I’d recommend going for the most spacious basin feasible. Not only will this minimise spills and splashes (our previous sink didn’t hold much water and it was always splashing over the sides) but it helps to create a luxurious ‘Belfast sink inspired‘ look.
Face Level Storage
Although this isn’t something we needed to do in this bathroom, one thing we’ll be looking to include in the next is face level storage, eg a mirror cabinet/medicine cabinet, above the sink. This provides easy access to all your everyday items and can be hidden behind a beautiful mirror – optimising space!
- Units in ‘Valencia Matt Platinum’ by Symphony
- Star Basin by Symphony
- Gloss White Laminate worktop by Symphony
- American Bronze Knobs by Symphony
- Feature Tile – Zen Scallop Marble by Ca Pietra
- Floor & Shower Tiles – Calacatta White Matt Tile by CTD Tiles
- ‘Warren Rectangle’ Mirror by Dunelm
- Vase & Faux Foliage by Dunelm
- Basket by Ikea
- Hand soap & lotion by Evolve Beauty
- Grout & adhesive by Weber UK
What do you think about our bathroom makeover? Are you planning any bathroom renovations over the next few years? I’d love to hear your thoughts!