Over the last 5 weeks, I have been working with Tile Africa and a troop of builders to transform the grimiest bathroom imaginable into a spectacular bathroom sanctuary for weekend guests. As with any building project, we went over budget, over time, and ran into a series of problems that we couldn’t foresee when we started out. But now when I look at the result, all of those challenges are forgotten. The new bathroom is even more amazing than what I saw in my mind’s eye. Here’s how we did it – you can also get the full video series of the makeover here!
When I said that this was the grimiest bathroom in the world, I wasn’t exactly exaggerating. This 1-bedrooom cottage on our farm was a double garage that was converted to additional housing 6 or 7 years ago, and it doesn’t look like there had been any maintenance since. I had no idea why there was a pipe in the corner of the shower – or how it came to look the way it did. But I was going to find out!
The garage was originally adjacent to the outdoor toilet of one of the main houses on the farm. During the renovation, the wall between that toilet and the garage was knocked through and a small area walled off to make room for a shower. That did, however, mean that there was a terribly thick wall dividing the already tiny space, making it dark and depressing. I knew from the beginning that the wall had to go!
A couple of hammers and grinders later, and we had opened up the space to create a blank canvass of 3.8sqm. That’s where the fun began!
The lovely Carol Koopman at Tile Africa in Paarden Eiland was most helpful when it came to choosing the materials. Tile Africa has the Find Your Happy Place Quiz on their website, so even if you don’t quite know what you’re looking for it will guide you through a series of questions and provide you with a shopping list at the end – one-stop shopping at its best!
My style is definitely Vintage Romance! I had put together a basic look and feel that included light, natural wood, marble and white tiles. Carol quickly saw my vision and expertly helped me to pull it all together.
Tile Africa Bathroom Makeover Project Sample Board
I chose Metro White Gloss Ceramic Tiles for the walls and the most gorgeous Patchwork White Mosaics made from recycled glass for the floor. White grout makes the walls look seamless while grey grout accentuates the pattern on the floor. The darker grout is also a sensible choice when it comes to cleaning!
Just a quick note about showers: I really dislike shower doors that open outward. There is almost no way that the floor remains dry with that design, so I always choose sliding doors for a shower. The Clyde Chrome Corner Semi-frameless unit is perfect for the space and ensures that the floors stay dry.
The taps are quite something! These super sleek pieces are by Vado and are manufactured in the UK. You can get them exclusively from Tile Africa. Their simple lines are very trendy and complement the rest of the fittings perfectly.
There is so much to say for a shower head: some people love a rain shower, while others prefer a power shower. Luckily, our bore hole and water pressure on the farm allows for a decent massage, while the slim square shower head supplies plenty of rain-like drops.
Because of the lack of space and layout restrictions, I was very concerned about the type of handwash basin we’d be able to get. The moment I saw this cute little unit though, I was sold! The Philly Coimbra Floating Cabinet with matching mirror and shelf look like it was made for this room. It’s compact, contemporary and has a lovely wood finish that adds warmth to the white tiles.
The toilet posed one of the unforeseen challenges on this project. Once everything was tiled and ready for the fittings to be installed, we realized that the existing waste pipe wasn’t able to connect to the new Orion Close Couple Suite toilet. We had to move the toilet forward by 200mm to allow for the new waste pipe to return, which meant we had to create a box behind the toilet. In the end, it was a blessing! Now we have a little shelf for guests to place things on, which is going to come in very handy in this small bathroom. Click here to download the septic tank notice for FREE!
Croydex chrome accessories ensure that towels, toilet paper, and other utilities are close at hand while looking great.
I added a few little touches, like this copper basket to keep the toilet paper in. It’s practical and the reddish metal also adds warmth to the room.
PRO TIP: to keep a guest bathroom always smelling fresh, place a reed diffuser on a shelf or window sill! That way, a delicate fragrance will always fill the room.
The bathroom is amazing, so now the rest of the cottage has to catch up! I will keep you posted on our progress over the next few weeks. Subscribe to my YouTube channel for more videos and our newsletter to keep you in the loop.
The materials for the this project as well as this post was sponsored by Tile Africa.