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Real home: a 1960’s nightmare turned retro bathroom haven

Who says hexagons can’t be beautiful?
   Hannah Caton  |  written on: 24-07-2019 08:00am

The project in a nutshell


Who lives here?
Louise and Adrian Cherry, and their young family

Location: Surrey

Designer: Joanne Sangster, Senior Designer at Ripples

Decade property was originally built: 1930’s

Although the house itself dates from the 1930’s, the décor inside was distinctly 60’s when Louise and Adrian bought the property. It had single glazing, no central heating and even an out-house. Louise explained that all the surfaces seemed to be full of “brown, green and blue carpets and awfully fussy, swirly wallpaper.”

The couple went for an all or nothing approach, drawing up plans that would double the footprint of the house. An extension allowed the extra space for the kitchen expansion and (alongside using a little of the original space) to extend the downstairs toilet.



Although it was easy to find sources of inspiration on Pinterest, Louise says she struggled turning those ideas into concrete design choices. That’s where Joanne Sangster came in. Louise explains, “I had pinned a lot of geometric retro styles and colour because I really wanted the downstairs bathroom to stand out. We needed someone to really feel enthusiastic about the project and help bring the moodboard to life.”



The tiles chosen are a subtle nod to the original retro feel of the property, but they also have a slick modern feel. They used large format tiles in dark grey contrast with a white three-dimensional geometric design that opens up the room. “Joanne found the tiles for us and I fell in love with them. She then did three hand drawings using the tiles in slightly different variations and we stuck them up in the space for a week to help us decide which worked.” The result is a bold modern twist on a retro classic look.



The furniture selected amplifies minimalism and calm. Floated shelving, under-counter storage, a sleek minimalistic shower screen and a wall hung toilet leave the maximum free space available. Open plan shouldn't just apply to kitchens. The shower tray has been installed at exact floor height to allow ease of access and cleaning, and not to break up the limited space. The shower screen also has an anti-plaque treatment to ensure water runs off and leaves less limescale.



Designer Joanne Sangster worked hard to combine a sleek look with practicality. But the difficulty of this room was it’s shape. “With the room being rather narrow, the difficulty was ensuring it didn’t have a corridor effect when finished.” The main challenges involved the original pipework and electrics – “we needed to move electrics out to the cupboard space behind and the waste pipe for the shower had to be dug into the concrete floor.” Pipework was carefully concealed in the walls in a way that left as much space as possible.

“The bathroom is everything I dreamed of and more, it feels serene and luxurious. I’m so pleased we didn’t get scared to be bold with our choices, " smiled Louise.

Also read:
Incoming: Victoria & Albert release a totally circular bath

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Hannah Caton


Hannah is the online writer for KBBArk, providing the latest scoop on all things interior. She's always on the lookout for the latest trends and most beautiful re-designs.