Please confirm whether this is your own home?
Yes this is my home
Please confirm that you live in London?
I do live in London
Is this property owned or rented?
We own the property
Where is this home (area) and who lives here?
Our home is in North East London (South Woodford E18). I live here - Kristine Hall, 35, with my husband Dan, 37, who works in insurance, and our two troublesome young sibling cats Mr Dukes the Mischief Floof and Gracie. I previously worked as a business manager in banking but I've just launched my own freelance interior design business this year after getting an overwhelming amount of encouragement from the Instagram account I set up to document our renovations - @restoringlansdowne.
What did you do to the space and how long did it take you?
We created this new bathroom space, as part of a larger renovation project on our home, by having a dormer built to extend our loft space. The loft was previously only accessible via a rickety ladder in our back hall ceiling and was unfinished and filthy - wasted space and perfect for an extension.
We emptied a hundred years' worth of rubbish out of the loft space then hired a local building company who had to remove the roof, install steel beams to support the new room, construct and insulate a side dormer, replace the roof, install a new staircase, window and roof light, construct the internal stud walls/shelves, run new electrics, plumbing and underfloor heating, fit the bathroom suite, tile and install the lighting.
The remaining work was DIY. My husband and I stained and varnished the wooden shelves and did all the painting. We had our original dining room door resized to fit so we could use it for the bathroom, then stripped it back, sanded it, fitted new glass, and painted it. We also had a big problem with the wall tile grout throughout the bathroom - it dried really blotchy, so I had to apply a grout colourant to each and every grout line, mixing a custom colour from off-the shelf options to match the tiles. I must have spent 40 hours doing it - 40 very dull hours of my life that I'll never get back!
It took four months for the room to be built and ready for use, but I've only just completed all the finishing touches/accessorising a year and nine months since we started the project. We've completely renovated our home from top to bottom over the past 6 years, doing a lot of the work ourselves, so it's been an adventure.
Who helped you with the project?
I designed the space with my husband and we hired a quantitative surveyor to draw up the structural plans. As above, we had a local building company build and fit out the space which we then decorated ourselves. We lived in our home throughout the work and I project managed.
What's your favourite feature?
I have so many favourites….I love the plant shelf which is something that was at the top of my wish list from the day I started designing the space. I love houseplants and really wanted our new bathroom to be a jungley oasis. And because it's really bright and humid, plants that are challenging to grow elsewhere in the house really thrive in here.
The roof light comes in a close second. We were limited on head height in this space and we couldn't have large windows because of the pitch of the roof outside and planning restrictions, so to add extra head height and bring in as much natural light as possible we had a large rooflight installed in the centre of the room. It's a simple addition but really magical and I absolutely love it. It floods the room with light and you can see the stars from the bath. It was really important to me that the space didn't feel claustrophobic.
I also love the brass pendant lights over the vanity unit. The light they give off is perfect and even on your face and they're on a separate switch from the ceiling spots so I can have a relaxing bath with a bit of mood lighting going on.
How much did it cost?
Excluding labour and building costs we spent a little under £5000. It's a relatively large room with a lot of tile, so to keep costs down I shopped around a lot online and bought every item individually from wherever was selling it for the best price. It was a bit of a logistical nightmare but we did get a lot for our money.
The bathroom was done as part of a much larger renovation project, but we estimate it cost about £24k in total to build and fit out the room.
design - ciara_nevin