The Downstairs Loo
The little downstairs loo – is always a design challenge because it’s tiny – but also a place to have some fun with bold colours and prints. It’s the room all your guests will see eventually, so why not make it stand out?
This space was initially even smaller. When we bought the house, it had a big shower in it, and an awkward cupboard on the wall. There was a tiny corner sink squished under the window. I wanted to open up the space, and knowing we would never use that downstairs shower, we took it out and replaced it with the loo. After removing the big cupboard on the wall, the new sink was positioned on the wall adjacent to the window, which allowed for a much larger basin, and a mirror above it.
Now for the decor…
Brown has got to be my favourite colour, for both fashion and home.
When I found the wallpaper, my heart actually sang. It’s Folly in Berber Brown by Veere Grenney at Schumacher and the blind is Beige Seaweed by Colefax & Fowler on a stone linen. They look very similar, and I just love the juxtaposition. I’ve used the coral pattern elsewhere in the house but it works particularly well in a bathroom. I love the draped shade of the blind as it’s not too modern and the colour of the window frames, ‘Mummy’ from Edward Bulmer was a latecomer to the party. We used it in the snug (that reveal will follow) and as that was being painted, I decided to try it on the downstairs loo window frames. A great use for leftover paint and really pulls everything together.
The loo and sink are Burlington Bathrooms, who I’ve spoken about before on @louiseroehome. Their new Riviera Collection looks back at 1920s Europe and all its glitz and glamour, taking inspiration from the Art Deco architecture that makes up the French Riviera coastline…hence the name. There are beautiful chrome and gold finishes reminiscent of the lavish décor seen during the 20s, known in France as ‘les anées folles’ or the crazy years. We’ve got the Burlington D shaped basin (the 580mm) with a Riviera pedestal and paired it with the close-coupled back to wall loo with chrome fittings…also from the Riviera collection.
Despite this Burlington range being about the roaring 20s, the Art Deco style and Riviera party days, all the pieces still work in modern or traditional homes and have the fine detail that Burlington Bathrooms are known for.
The artwork rather follows this theme, especially with one of Paul Colin’s prints of the dancer Joséphine Baker. It’s called ‘Le Tumulte Noir’ from 1927. There are some pictures of old stately homes as well as some flea market finds. I’ve got a slight mix of sizes; they’re not hung in lines and there’s various frames too. I love the mish-mash of it all.
The vintage bamboo mirror above the sink is from Etsy and we had it in our previous cloakroom bathroom too. The wall sconce is from Pooky Lights, as are the Ruby Candy Stripe shades. Alongside the bamboo mirror, I think they make the room feel quite beachy. I put an antique children’s chair next to the sink – found in a junk shop for £10 – and my Sharland England basket makes for a great loo roll storage basket. I found the old towel rail from Etsy (it’s full of such good home finds) as I don’t like modern ones, and in place of hand towels I’ve got some linens from Isla Simpson and Found. The finishing touch is soap from a lovely Italian brand that uses olive oil in its products called Seed to Skin.