Tiny bathroom renovations

EJN x Tile Africa Hans Grohe_0008

EJN x Tile Africa Hans Grohe_0008

Today we finally start our bathroom renovations (Enter excitement and trepidation here!). We’re so happy we’re finally fixing up the bathrooms as they’re the only really “ugly” parts of our house. The parts that don’t quite make the magazine spreads.

They’re really old and small and I can’t wait for them to get a bit of a makeover. To ease the pain of the (literal) hammer bashing our bathrooms down at the moment I thought i’d share a bit of our inspiration so you can get an idea of what we’re doing and also so I can envision the end product to get through the next week or two of noise and dust.

After months of trawling Pinterest bathrooms we finally decided you really can’t go wrong with a classic black and white bathroom. A bathroom with Subway tiles was a given, but I totally fell in love with the white complemented by a dark floor, in particular these matte black hexagonal tiles which I managed to track down at Tile Africa! They are part of the Douglas Jones Collection who also do other lovely mosaic tiles as well as the beautiful bevelled subway tiles.

EJN x Tile Africa Hans Grohe_0007

They look so good! (Above). I love this mix of black and white in this bathroom (found here) as well as the little details like the toilet roll dispenser / shelf for little ornaments (Below).

With bathroom renovations there are so many decisions to make. Tiles were fun and easy, while toilets and vanities were a bit more boring and in the end I just wanted something clean and neutral.

Another decision was taps and mixers. Here there are also sooo many options: feminine or masculine, modern or classic, rain shower or eco friendly? A good place to go see all the options (and try them out) is the Hansgrohe showroom in Kramerville. It’s seriously beautiful and makes the tap/shower mixer choosing process a lot easier. We ended up choosing a more classic look (not too cold and modern), and went for the eco option for the shower. I love saving money and Hansgrohe’s eco options are properly eco-friendly, you can even calculate how much money you’ll save per year by switching to their eco shower heads. Go here for their savings calculator. (I know it’s nerdy but I love numbers like this!).

EJN x Tile Africa Hans Grohe_0004

Soo where to start? (Especially if you have tiny bathrooms like me!)

There are so many tips we’ve learnt through this process but the first thing you have to decide on is your style which will help determine everything, the next is the space you have to work with. Our bathrooms are tiny and not like the huge one’s you see on Pinterest at all so there was no way we could fit in a beautiful free standing bath and a room-sized shower. We had to be smart in our layout and plan it very carefully. We spent hours on Sketch Up (well Dylan did) working on layouts and measuring things out to see what would work best. The key is to plan like a demon, and things can’t go too badly.

Here are some tips we’ve picked up along the way (especially when planning a renovation on a small bathroom)

1. Tiles: For a small bathroom choose neutral colours like white or grey as it really can make a space appear bigger. We chose the white bevelled metro tiles as a feature wall in each bathroom. These glossy tiles reflect light beautifully which also make the room feel light and spacious.

2. Don’t throw out the bath because you never bath (it’s great for resale and kids!). If you’re trying to save space there are a lot of smaller bath options. We found a 1.5 metre bath at Tile Africa (which just fits in our bathroom!), but you can also go for a corner bath (it won’t be a luxurious soaking bath but it does the trick).

3. Showers. The ideal shower (which we are managing to fit into our ensuite bathroom) is a frameless rectangular shower which consists of a couple of panels of glass that separates the room from the shower. It’s a super clean look and makes the space feel bigger and not so blocked off. If you’re really struggling with space consider a curved corner, pentagon shower cubicle or even a bath-shower combo!

4. Toilets. Choose a simple, good quality toilet (don’t fall for the gimmicks) and a random tip from the estate agents – plan the position of the toilet so it’s not the first thing you see as you open the door (try position it to the side).

5. Clean lines. Floating toilets and vanities add a clean look if your walls can handle them (ours are a bit too old!). Make sure you get a compact vanity that incorporates the basin and has storage space to hide any clutter (even if it’s small). Sometimes exposed pipes can be lovely but for a small space you really need a place to put the junk!

6. Accessories. In a small space you’ll want to keep accessories to a minimum. A nice clean mirror, towel racks etc. By now you’ll have such a clean space you don’t want to clutter it up too much. Choose a nice plant for a bit of green (like the examples above), and perhaps 1 framed print if you have the wall space.

and there you have it!

I hope this helps for any future bathroom plans. I can’t wait to show you the final makeover (and for the renovations to be over).

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  • Reply
    Chereen Strydom
    September 30, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    LOVE this post. We’re still renting at the moment with the view to buy our house further down the line, and the bathrooms (and kitchen!) would be the first rooms i’d change. We have those horrid pink baths at the moment… eww! Dying to have a minimalist bathroom with white subway tiles… *sigh*

    Good luck with your renovations!

  • Reply
    October 1, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Well we are becoming renters for the first time in December in CT and i’m pretty anxious that I won’t be able to change things! I need a new fixer upper project!

  • Reply
    October 26, 2014 at 10:20 am

    We are planning a bathroom renovation soon & Im looking for contractor recommendations in CT, so if anyone can pass details on I would be most grateful 🙂

  • Reply
    March 9, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Is the floor tile ceramic? I can’t find it on the site you referenced.

  • Reply
    Erika Sovacool
    May 22, 2018 at 2:02 am

    Hi, what size of floor tile did you use here? It’s very pretty.

  • Reply
    November 13, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Hi Emma, i love the black tiles, what size are they?

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