Interiors // Converting our Attic into a Bathroom

June 21, 2018

At the start of this year, one of our attics {our roof is a weird kind of M shape with a flat bit in the middle and two pitches at each side} looked like this...

Dark beams, unboarded, we used it just to store things. I didn't even think you could stand up in their properly! But lo and behold, Ben being Ben, he cleverly realised that it would be the perfect space for an en-suite bathroom above the new master bedroom. We'd put a staircase in, add some veluxes and convert it! Luckily the council, and conservation officer, agreed and miraculously let us do it {they normally make everything such a battle}. We would only be allowed to use conservation veluxes, couldn't put a dorma on and had to place the veluxes on one just of the ridges that wouldn't be visible from the road but we were more than happy with this.

So one frosty February day works began, the first job was to get the velux window in for light in there.

I wrote these two blog posts about our plans & inspiration for it all  - here and here.

Love this view over the crooked old rooftops.

Ben had the original access to the loft up the ladder in the hall, and then created a hole in the ceiling into the new bedroom to get materials up. Converting it meant reinforcing the ceiling with floor joists as well as insulate between the rafters.

It was a messy, awkward job crouching up there and working with the restricted head height/angles. But Ben & his small team persisted and eventually it was ready to get the bath up!

We'd bought this bath as the very first item for our new house before we even got the keys. It was a second hand, eBay find {from a showroom hence the dolphins!} and it's been stored in this room for the past two years. I was SO happy when it was time to get it up into a bathroom and we had a use for it at last.

Lifting a cast iron bath up a storey without a staircase is no easy task though! This was such a nail biting day for me as the boys used a winch pulley system from a beam in the roof to hoist it up. I remember not wanting to watch just in case it would fall and go crashing down into our lounge below!! 

It made it up there leaving our house in one piece though luckily. Next, Ben boarded the ceiling with tongue & groove cladding.

There are so many crooked angles up here, this part of the house is hundreds of years old which means nothing is straight! 

Ben prepared for the scaffold board walls by building a frame underneath the beams, leaving us some room behind for storage.

I pretended to be site manager, coming to sit up here and oversee everything in Ben's work boots! The dust and debris on the floor was horrid! 

We found a sink unit on eBay for the grand total of £6.50! And I wrote this blog post about it... 

We wanted wide panelled walls and scaffold boards seemed like an easy way to achieve this width {we couldn't find any wider boards in local builders merchants} and a very cheap alternative too. Ben removed all the metal bands, cut them to size and then sanded the boards back.

We wanted definition with gaps, to show that they're boards and not just one big wall. So he placed pieces of slate when fixing them to create the gaps.

It was slowly taking shape. I must admit, normally I'm really good at envisioning projects but this one definitely kept me guessing as to just how much space we'd have up here/how it would all come together!

Our decorator then primed all of the wood and then painted using Farrow & Ball Strong White {online here} for the scaffold walls. And All White for the ceiling. Both in modern eggshell finishes as it's on wood and will need to be wipeable in a bathroom.

After a hilarious 'save the dolphins' campaign on Instagram, it was unfortunately time for them to get painted and the bath to have a stylish makeover. I think some people actually thought that we'd keep the dolphins?! Imagine!

The bath was primed and then painted with Farrow & Ball Railings in Eggshell. You can see this post about painting a rolltop bath.

I couldn't decide on the sink unit colour for ages, would we go for something bright? We already have a famous pink sink in our other bathroom. But in the end, I'm really pleased that we decided to paint it Railings too to match the bath, and the whole room is so light that it needs grounding with the dark paint.

The unit was primed and then painted by our decorator.

Be aware that a high pigment paint like Farrow & Ball will often need two coats for a really nice finish. 

We decided to go for underfloor heating in here, to save on radiator space and make it toasty under the tiles. Ben bought a kit online and then had to prepare the floor for it with special heat matting and then lay a self levelling compound on top of the heat mats.

Then came the fun part {for me to watch anyway, definitely not fun for Ben to lay them!}, the floor tiles! I was SO excited for this day as had chosen these Bert & May tiles months before so I couldn't wait to see them go down.

My poor husband, he was definitely cursing me for a couple of days whilst he laid these. I'm always amazed by his determination though and how well they turned out in the end.

It didn't help that I wanted the grout gaps as narrow as possible which made it 10 times harder. We also had to seal the tiles before grouting as they're porous.

All the stress was SO worth it.

We were super excited for our taps to arrive from Italy from Bespoke Taps. Ben had found Bespoke Taps for our utility room when we couldn't find many brass out of the wall taps, and we've loved and used Paolo ever since.

The bath with satin brass mixer tap.

And now it looks like this! 

// After

The stairs going up from our new bedroom.

With full head height only in the middle, it makes photographing it fairly difficult! But I hope this gives you a rough idea before we have a couple of home shoots coming up next month which should be able to shoot it better.

Eventually we'll fit a toilet in here under the velux, basically in between the bath & the sink unit. But that will involve sorting out some plumbing in the toilet downstairs, or something. So for now whilst it's just us two living here, there's already a toilet right opposite our new bedroom and I kind of like the extra space up here without. We're still using our current bathroom for make-up/teeth cleaning etc right now as it has the shower. I don't know when we'll make the move to this loft bathroom but it will be lovely to take baths up here. This bathroom was always about future proofing the house/adding value etc rather than we needing to use it right now but it feels like such a luxury to have it pretty much finished and to use our attic space for it.

Hope that explains the space a little better! I'll do some kind of Instagram tour v soon.

Taps // Bespoke Taps in Satin Brass
Tiles // Bert & May Santona 
Bath // 2nd hand but painted in Farrow & Ball Railings
Walls // Scaffold Boards painted in Farrow & Ball Strong White
Ceiling // Tongue & Groove in Farrow & Ball All White
Sink Unit // eBay find converted. Painted in Farrow & Ball Railings
Mirror // Aldi Special Buy
Hooks // we purchased in Australia
Chair // Vintage

R <3 xx 

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  1. It looks so amazing!! It's amazing what spaces you can transform as well!

  2. I love these blog posts you share, they are so informative! Your new bathroom looks amazing, I would love to do something similar but was put off as I thought firedoors and doors at the bottom of the staircase had to be installed or if not, a sprinkler system? I would be really interested if you could share any of the building regulation side of things in the future! Thanks for the inspiration as always xx

    1. Thank you so much! Our bathroom isn’t a habitable room so building regs don’t require firedoors etc. If you had a bedroom up there it would be different though xx

    2. Ah that makes sense thank you! Love your posts about building and diy xx

  3. Looks fab! Well done!
    Do you know anywhere that sells hooks like your Australian ones but black please?

    1. Thanks Lucy! Umm let me have a think. Maybe willow & stone? Or we actually got nice hooks from Homebase a few years back for our other bathroom x

  4. I've gone through this twice now. I love it. What a great use of space and to turn such a dark space into something so bright and as always your decisions finishing touches are spot on!
    Tracey x

    1. Best compliment. Thanks so much Tracey xx

  5. Another beautiful transformation Rebecca! I would love to know where you purchased those hooks too (already asked about the palm tree ones)
    I live in Australia by the way!

  6. Gorgeous bathroom! What a lovely space for a soak :) May I ask where you got your towels from? Rachel x


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