Room Tour: A Small Bathroom With a Sloping Ceiling is Reworked
This small loft bathroom had been built for two, but then three children came along and the layout no longer worked
Then, as the family grew from two to five, the bathroom came in for heavy use – and became less practical. “The kids kept banging their heads on the sloping ceiling when they were playing in the bath,” Sophia says. There was hardly any storage, the tiles were tired, and everything was getting grubby. On top of this, the couple’s son has a sensory processing disorder and ADHD, and Sophia wanted the new design to provide a comforting environment for him.
Who lives here? Sophia and Reuben Fish and their three children – a son, 10, and two daughters, 6 and 4
Location Near Maidstone, Kent
Property A new-build chalet bungalow designed and built by the owners on the site of a 1930s prefab
Room dimensions 2.4m x 3m
Designer Sophia Fish of Golden Feathers Interiors
Contractor Woodstock Carpentry
Project year 2022-23
Photos by Louisa Bedford and Sophia Fish
“For us, as a family, the bathroom needed to change,” Sophia says. “We couldn’t alter the ceiling, so I just stood in the room and thought, ‘OK, what do I need this room to do?’”
In terms of practicality, it came down to three basic requirements: improved headroom, hard-wearing finishes and better storage.
Sophia’s other need was that it was a “sensory design”; in other words, that the aesthetics created a stress-free environment for her son. “I wanted it to be a place to chill out, away from the rest of the home,” she says.
She explains that his condition means certain environments – due to sounds, colours, textures, patterns etc – can feel very stimulating, making him feel overwhelmed and out of control.
But of course, Sophia is a designer, and it also had to look good.
It’s definitely not about creating a plain or sparse environment. “Spaces that are too bland, without a ‘balance’ of these elements, can create sensory lows,” she says.
Sophia’s 10-year-old son, Maddien, loves nature and finds it calming, so that was a focus. “I went for deep green and natural materials. I [also] wanted to add pattern without it being busy.”
As such, the terrazzo-style tiles feature earthy tones and the grout is a gentle off-white. “Soft lighting was also a must – so you don’t have to have the main light on in the evening.”
And Maddien? He’s delighted with the result. “It’s like being teleported into nature. When I’m in the bath, I feel like I’m floating in a forest lake,” he says. “I feel so relaxed and safe; when I’m in there, my head feels quieter and calmer. The pattern reminds me of the forest floor and the shower feels and sounds like a waterfall.”
Terrazzo tiles, Boutique Stone. Terracotta tiles, The Baked Tile Company. Jasmine grout, Mapei. Bamboo shelf unit, Oliver Bonas.
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She chose an off-white colour with pink undertones for the ceiling. “It’s calming and goes with the green,” she says. “Sometimes, my son just needs to lie in the bath to calm down. If there’s too much white or harsh lighting, it can have the opposite effect.”
She also added lots of plants and had a live-edge worktop and shelves made from reclaimed oak to incorporate relaxing natural elements and textures. Even the tile trim is oak and the frame of the Velux window is unpainted timber.
Walls painted in Green 05 Rome House; ceiling painted in White 06, both Lick. Faux coral ornament, Rockett St George.
She added the terrazzo tiling to protect the wood and wall from splashes. This also creates useful shelf space.
More: What Happens When you Hire a Bathroom Designer?
“We needed to find a screen that would fit from the end of the bath to the angled part of wall while still providing splash protection. We searched for ages before finally finding one the right size.”
The L-shaped bath provides room a bit further away from the shallow-pitched ceiling area, as well as a generous, 90cm-wide square at the shower end. The screen opens so the children can use the full bath.
She kept the original black radiator, which ties in well with a new basin and toilet.
Shower, Victorian Plumbing.
She also replaced the basin with a black stone design.
Wall-hung toilet, Rak.
Hammered brass knobs, Anthropologie. Towels, John Lewis. Ceramic bowl, Abigail Ahern.
Do you have a small bathroom? What are your top tips for making it work? Let us know in the Comments.