STANLEY AND MAUD X KOHLER*
PART 1 | The Design & Planning
AD | I am super excited to be working with Kohler on our next home project. If you read my blog post on us relocating (if you missed it you can read here) you'll know our home is a doer upper. B and I are partial to a project and this house is full of them.
Our house is 18th Century Georgian and used to be the Minister's, at some point it was divided into two (hello neighbours!). The house has some amazing features but it also has some really hideous ones, the previous owners rented it out for years so its condition and attention to detail was well to be honest pretty awful. An example being where some electrics were done instead of plastering over the chased in wires they glued a bit of a4 paper over the top and painted it to match the wall. I'll leave the rest to your imagination.
I love interiors and I appreciate good design and architecture. I don't know if I really have a style as such I like what I like but I've learnt that I'm a more of a neutral girl and I like a statement (as long as it's within the neutral colour palette). Before we start a project I will spend hours and hours searching and planning ideas. I love interior magazines and books but I have to admit I spend 90% of my planning time on Pinterest.
If you follow me on Instagram you'll have seen we've already been really busy...we moved in the last week of September 2019 so it's nearly been a year! I had loosely planned most of the house before we moved in and I knew that I wanted it to be our style but also respect the house's age. I love old houses, I love their quirks, I love their style but with an old house you never know what you're going to find.
We are very fortunate to have a shower room downstairs and a bathroom upstairs, the downstairs was newly fitted, albeit badly (that's another days project), but the upstairs bathroom was very old and very yellow. Our hallway is yellow, 50 shades of yellow to be exact so I was 'thilled' to see the colour extended into another room. There was nothing I liked about the bathroom, it was floor to ceiling mermaid board, it had a big old airing cupboard which was good for storage but that was it's only positive.
I cannot tell you how excited I was when Kohler got in touch, I had an idea of how I wanted our family bathroom to look but nothing set in stone. Out of everything we'd done in the house so far I was most looking forward to seeing that bathroom ripped out. I am a bath girl and I want to lay in the bath and feel like the Queen and there was nothing fancy about that shiny yellow room.
Before I go on anymore I have to say my husband is incredible he rarely moans at my antics and leaves me to it when it comes to the planning...I should also say he's just as impatient as I am, I went to the garden centre and came back to see the old bath down the side of the house. I waft mood boards under his nose and ask if he thinks he can do it. He's not a tradesman but he could be as he puts his hand to anything. He is brilliant. The fun bit...
Kohler's team were brilliant with suggesting products, I knew I wanted to keep the style traditional with a twist and I knew I wanted a stand alone bath. It was important to me to have a traditional feel so it complimented the house's age but I like a modern take on old styles. I can't tell you how much time I spent looking through Kohler's collections. I didn't think twice about the bath I fell for the Cléo and I fell hard. She was exactly what I had in mind and so everything else was planned around her. I couldn't decide on a basin until I came across a beautiful sideboard and then I knew it had to be a vessel style, I originally loved the Botanical Study design and everything then started falling into place. Obviously the colour had to be within the neutral palette...anyone who knows me knows my colours are black, white, grey, beige and green tones, I originally planned to paint the whole room in Farrow and Ball 'Mouse's back' but as the bathroom only gets direct sunlight for part of the day I decided it may be too dark for that space and I'd probably regret it. Me being me I went all into the planning and B was having moodboard after moodboard put under his nose, this was the first draft.
You know I said earlier with old houses you never know what you'll find well no surprises but the mermaid board was holding up some pretty old lime and plaster meaning the room needed stripping back and plasterboarded. Trying to find bags of plaster after lockdown was like looking for a needle in a haystack but we managed it and after lots of room prep, initial pipe rework, reinforcing the floor, electrics etc the plasterer came to work his magic. I hate the smell of plaster it turns me every time but I love it in a project because I know it's progress. I had also decided I wanted some panelling, we are yet to find one wall in our house that is straight so B wasn't up for my original plan of floor to ceiling panels all the way around the room plus we couldn't because of where the door sits in the room there wasn't enough space. I am very good at planning pretty but I have absolutely no idea on the technical side so we agreed on the main wall being panelled. Again I wafted drawings under B's face and being the super hero he is he made a start on the frame work which would enclose the taps.
Oh the taps...the taps took me the longest to decide. I really loved the Artifacts collection and it was a really close decision but I wanted a mixer tap for the basin and we needed a taller one for the vessel sink so we chose the Purist. I'm going to save the Artifacts for when we start on the downstairs shower room. I like 'matching' taps and the Purist are a really classic design, I loved the tap for the basin and we chose the spout and individual taps to come out of the wall above the bath. and I felt they were the 'modern twist' on traditional and I'm so pleased we did I can't tell you how beautiful they are in real life. I squealed when I opened the box.
I've done a lot of waffling up to now so here's some work in progress shots...
The woodwork took a long time there was a lot more to it than I expected and it had to be done in stages as we were having the taps come out of the centre panel meaning our lovely plumber came back and forth as and when we needed him. B used water resistant MDF for the actual panelled area and built it into three sections so should we ever need to get behind the taps we won't have to remove the whole structure. I was super excited about this bit because I wanted a shelf...a shelf for my faffing...I am always about prioritising. We got the flooring laid before anything started to arrive so we effectively had an empty shell to start in, it really started to feel like a room. I altered a few parts of the design along the way as we either came across something or I felt like something aesthetically wouldn't work...sometimes you just can't tell until you're midway through a project and you start to see the room coming together. The taps came first and the excitement was real...they are more beautiful in real life the photos really don't do them justice. They are really solid, well built taps and so shiny. The design was just as I wanted and them arriving earlier gave us time to get another stage of the plumbing done before the bath came.
I love the design stage, I can see past the horrible dust and 'to do' jobs (albeit I have little 'I can't cope with the mess' tantrums) but I can visualise how things are going to look. B doesn't so it's always ideal for me to create mood boards to show how a room is going to look it's also really good to see whether things will work before committing. I love mixed metals...my Granny always told me it was unlucky to mix silver and gold but what can I say I'm a minx...I use both metals in my jewellery designs and I do in my home too. I saw Kohler had a basin called the Persia which had a beautiful mix of silver and gold pattern and I knew that I had to change plans and have that basin. It felt like the perfect choice for our bathroom and my style.
So here's moodboard number 53674853787439...featuring the finalised panelled wall design. It did sway from the original I had planned but as we don't have any straight wall it wouldn't have worked and the new design complimented the wall tiles I'd found.
I'm aware I have waffled on a lot but there really was so much to do and this project has been going on for months...not B being slow we just so happened to start during a world pandemic so naturally things were on hold, there were delays and obviously waiting until it was deemed okay to allow workman back into our home. I always want things doing yesterday and renovations, especially in an old house, aren't easy or speedy!
Here's some more 'along the way' progress photos...(I will love looking back on these in years to come!) and in years to come I'm sure B will remind me of how he got the bath up the stairs! (HIM + OUR NEIGHBOURS= HEROES.) On that subject it turns out one is an ex champion weight lifter...I mean how blooming brilliant!! for them and for us because I have the strength of a knat.
I've decided to share in two blog posts so in part 2 you'll see the 'grand reveal' and so you're not sat here for another hour reading my waffle plus what can I say I'm a minx and I like to create a bit of suspense!
I am literally bouncing...I promise it's worth the wait I am so excited to share it with you! I would love to hear about your renovations!
*this post is part of a collaboration with Kohler, some of the items featured are part of a gifted partnership.
All design work and opinions are my own, other products featured, materials and labour was paid for by ourselves.
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