• Steve

MELROSE HOUSE – THE BATHROOM

Updated: May 26, 2020

Following on from the first in my mini-series of blogs for my most recent project, Melrose House – The Hall, this time, it’s ‘The Bathroom’ (as you can see, I’m keeping it simple with the titles)

When I first viewed the property from the developer, the bathroom was dull and unimaginative. The bright white walls and cheap looking vinyl flooring made the room feel cold and stark. Although the modern style bathroom suite was brand new and of fairly decent quality it didn’t give any character to the building and it wasn’t the look I envisioned for my home.

To make matters worse, the boiler for the apartment was on show, slap-bang in your eye line as soon as you walked into the bathroom, together with a dreadful grey high-gloss panel covering the pipework made from the side of a kitchen cupboard (honestly, I kid you not)

Like I mentioned briefly in my previous article (The Hall) the layout initially included a strange wasted area leading into the bathroom which provided no use whatsoever.

To make matters worse, the room had just one strange outdoor sensor light installed in the ceiling which decided to turn itself off every 10 seconds, unless however, you moved like you were dancing to the Macarena!

The lot had to go….


THE BUILD

If like me, you trawl endlessly through Pinterest looking at stunningly beautiful interiors and in this instance, bathrooms and then wonder “where do they put their stuff?” then this was my next conundrum.

First up was removing the original wall into the bathroom and incorporating the dead space into the room. I was conscious there was limited storage in the apartment plus, due to wanting to install a dishwasher into the new kitchen, the washing machine had to be relocated.

I needed somewhere to accommodate all those unsightly bathroom products, towels, bedding and in my case also the vacuum cleaner. The dead space from before would now be made into a much needed custom built storage cupboard not only concealing the washing machine but including made to measure compartments for all those life essentials.

The original bathroom suite was removed (and sold, though for next to nothing) and it was time to tackle the unsightly boiler. It wasn’t possible to relocate the boiler, so I asked my joiner to construct a faux wall to conceal it, with a door to access the boiler when needed.

On the opposite side of the room, three random shelves were boarded up to create a more streamline look to the walls and then it was time for the fun part to start…


THE DESIGN

I wanted the bathroom to be more sympathetic to the buildings history, something sumptuous and luxurious but with an edge to it.

The Victorian era (1837-1901) and in particular the later years when Melrose House was built in 1890, focused heavily on dark, moody colour palettes and floral and geometric patterns. During this era, wallpaper became increasingly popular, with botanical prints being at the forefront of Middle-Class homes.

Wallpaper became a particularly popular form of wall treatment…factory-printed papers provided a simply way to cover surfaces with pattern…geometric, floral or even scenic; oriental themes were also popular… Victorian colour tastes gradually shifted from bright and daring towards heaviness and gloom…darker and more muted colours, browns, olive greens and mauves, came to be regarded as more “tasteful.” A History of Interior Design – John Pile & Judith Gura

I fell in love with the strong green tiles whilst on several visits to the Victorian Baths in Manchester. This stunningly beautiful building is a fine example of Victorian design and architecture.

Planning of the baths started in 1897 with completion in 1906, the same time period as Melrose House’s first occupants, Minister Thomas H Williams and his family.

This inspiration started my creative juices flowing, below are the concept mood-board and 3-D images I created for the bathroom.


THE WALLS

The inspiration from the Victorian Baths had started my hunt for the perfect green wall tile. This was not as easy as you may think, in today’s interiors market there are endless shades and finishes with many