One room becomes two: the ensuite is shiny and new

For anyone who’s visited our house, or even read this blog, you might recall we had a very strange en-suite. It was long and thin, far too big (lengthwise) and quite a bit mouldy.

It was so green and awkward, with the loo in such a place it couldn’t be plumbed in (so as a result it was a very noisy macerator toilet…which was not pleasant), there was a tiny box-like shower, a floor I couldn’t get clean and it didn’t even have a door so we could shut it all away.

It was a happy day when we ripped out the toilet and sink, but it was another 18 months before we could actually get to do the work needed to turn it into anything you would be happy to spend time in.

Here is what it looked like when we moved in:

LOVELY en-suite (note: will not be green in future)

Here’s what it looked like when we ripped out the plumbing (and what we lived with – albeit a cleaned up version – for many, many months):

And it's gone!

And here’s what it looks like now – after turning one long room into two! A bathroom, and a wardrobe…

IMG_0436 IMG_0434

We always thought the en-suite was bigger than it needed to be, and planned to split it in two so we could build in some much-needed storage into our bedroom.

You might ask why we didn’t have it the other way round, and of course, we would have loved to have had the bathroom at the front with the window, but alas, that was not possible. The original worry we had when we saw the very original macerator toilet was that because our bedroom is at the front, we might not actually be able to plumb a toilet in. But, our builder was not put off and hoped that if he could get it as far back as possible, he could just about get the height and angle he needed to plumb a toilet in, essentially right in the middle of the upstairs.  And hence how we ended up with a window in our wardrobe (soon to be covered with a blind, fear not).

The reason we’d put this job back a bit, was due to the reorganisation needed to make the structure work. Because next to the where we wanted the bathroom to be, was the back bedroom – which essentially had to be taken apart in order to put the plumbing in. And then rebuilt. So – there was yet more dust.

Here’s the ensuite from start to finish…

Et Viola

It’s the one job we’d been most worried about, but I think it’s maybe the one that we are now most happy with. Now I stare at the clean lines and nice, bright space and have almost forgotten the mouldy green walls. It’s a real treat to have all my clothes in one place for the first time in over two years. And we have more than enough room in both rooms – and doors to close them all away!

Of course, we are not finished – now we have three bedrooms to be plastered and decorated…yet more skirting boards to add, doors to strip and paint, colours to pick, carpets to lay…but, for now, our main structural work is done in the house. For a long time we shouldn’t have to take any more walls down, or floors up…or put any more plumbing in. This is PROGRESS!

I have to recommend a few places and people that made the process easier:

  • We got all our bathroom fittings from TJR Bathrooms on Romford Road, just over in Manor Park. They were fantastic. For the downstairs bathroom we bought everything online, and then waited for various different delivery schedules, had no customer service and probably didn’t save any money in the end. At TJR they gave a great discount and got everything delivered to themselves first, checked it all and then once it was all there then delivered to us. The Sottini tap we chose was going to take too long to come so they recommended another similar one from Kohler. When there were any problems they identified them first and then replaced them, and kept us all up to date in the meantime – we couldn’t fault them. It was a great example of why shopping locally can be the best.
  • Yet again, our favourite tiling website came up trumps. Walls and Floors do next day delivery on sample tiles, which means you can get a few different things and end up with something you never thought you’d like – just as we did! I would definitely have turned my nose at the ‘wood-style’ tiles we ended up with if someone told me about them, but when I saw them online, I thought they were worth a look. Both me and my partner almost didn’t want to admit how much we liked them when they first came, and even my builder was like – “I would never have picked these, but, yeah, they’re REALLY nice”…I feel like we’re in a spa with a wooden deck – but slip-free and waterproof!
  • We love our builder. He’s helpful and ambitious, but also has a very high standard of his own. Lots of people always ask me for his details, but he’s insanely booked up with other jobs right now and only likes super local jobs that he can cycle to (he lives in Leytonstone). Obviously happy to pass on details but won’t post them here so get in touch if you have time to wait for him and live nearby.

And so, now we wait for the plasterer to be available to skim all the bedroom walls, then the decoration can begin upstairs. I’m hopeful to be done by Christmas, but as ever, I can’t imagine it!

It’s like when we first moved in giving ourselves that Christmas deadline, but thankfully this year we’re not hosting 11 people…

So, as it normally takes me about three months between posts, I’m hoping the next time I write, I’ll be saying – Merry Christmas, look at all my lovely bedrooms…(A Girl Can Dream).