So, downstairs toilets aren’t exactly the most glamorous thing to talk about, so be prepared; I am going to summarise the work we did, but in the most roundabout type of way.
My Mother’s reaction when we told her we were going to have a downstairs loo was a lot of fun. She absolutely shrieked down the phone at me about how it wasn’t fair – she was fifty-something and had never had a downstairs toilet! When I reminded her of the house they lived in a few years ago which had a downstairs bathroom, so technically, she had, it didn’t make things better!
And now, to the title. My Sister had a similar reaction of bizarre envy, and even managed to track down some online article listing the 5 things your house needs, to show that you are “posh”;
- Downstairs loo
- Utility room
- Wine fridge
Like I said, 2 out of 5 ain’t posh.
When we moved in, the “Utility Room” of the estate agent’s literature was little more than a lean-to with a dodgy roof, harbouring a rusty old clothes horse and a broken washing machine, but it was big enough to be reworked to include a separate downstairs loo.
We stripped it right back to the brickwork (which was under 2 layers of floor to ceiling tiles), had it re-roofed, battened the walls out to install some insulation, had the electrics moved around to provide light points in both the utility and downstairs
loo areas and sockets in better locations throughout. The old Victorian privy was still in the garden, so we re-routed the soil pipe (yup, glamorous!) to inside the far end of the utility room and we set about building a partition wall and having it all plastered.
We chose a narrower than normal concertina door, so it wouldn’t take up any precious space, and meant we didn’t have to worry about leaving room for a regular door to swing open/closed.
About the most fun you can have with a teeny tiny downstairs loo is the decor. While I was up for something pretty crazy, Husband vetoed a lot of ideas in his general aversion to bold or dark colours, so we agreed that we’d paint it the same pale blue as the rest of the utility room and kitchen – Little Greene Bone China Blue – and I would choose whatever tiles I wanted to make a jazzy little splash back.
The floor in this space is the only decorative finish that we haven’t replaced since moving in; good quality terracotta tiles, which aren’t necessarily my choice, but were in really good condition and super practical given the direct access to the garden. So, I decided to take inspiration from them, and choose some little colourful Mediterranean styled tiles from Fired Earth. A mix of 4 different designs from the Acapulco and Andalucia ranges, and I was sorted. I still can’t decide whether to continue the tiles further outwards, or upwards, to make more of an impact or to leave them as they are… opinions welcomed!…
A dinky little chrome mixer tap and bright yellow circular mirror from Ikea, teal hand towels to pick out a colour from the tiles and a pretty little ceramic doorknob for the under sink cupboard and I was done.
Simple, but effective (I hope)!