Well, what a whirlwind six weeks it has been since I first embarked on the One Room Challenge with the goal of decorating our guest ensuite from scratch in just six weeks ... with Hubby and I DIYing everything in the room ourselves. This was my first time taking part in the ORC and, despite the incredibly hard work involved, I am so glad we did it because it motivated us to push this room to completion faster than any other room we have done in this house.
I wanted this room to be a light and bright space with lots of visual interest. From the outset, I knew that the floor tiles would be the main feature in the room, and that choosing those would set the tone for the rest of the décor. When I found these beauties, I knew I was onto a winner ...
I especially love how using black grout has made the tiles blend into one another to create a continuous pattern across the floor. Even in a small space such as this, it's a really eye-catching feature.
Seeing the room now, it's hard to imagine that this is what it looked like just six short weeks ago. It was virtually untouched since the house was constructed, with bare plaster walls, an exposed plywood sub-floor, plus a host of electrical, plumbing, and carpentry issues to resolve before we could even get started on decorating the room.
Taking my cue from the floor tiles, I came up with a black and white colour scheme for the room with accents of blue and pink. The idea for the pink accents came from a beautiful print of a cormorant that was a birthday present from my sister. I had to include it in the room when I noticed that the bars on the bird's wings are the same shape as the patterns on the floor tiles!
One of my favourite things about this whole design was my decision to paint the ceiling pale blue and to bring that blue colour onto the top portion of the walls. It was something that evolved from a problem-solving measure. When we tiled the shower area, we obviously wanted to hang the tiles perfectly level on the wall. Our ceilings, however, are not level. So if we were to bring the wall tiles all the way up to the ceiling, it would highlight how crooked the ceiling is. Stopping a little short of the ceiling helped to avoid bringing attention to its flaws. Then, once I decided to paint the ceiling blue, it occurred to me that I could carry that colour down as far as the top of the wall tiles, creating the illusion of a picture rail around the room. I love how it turned out and, especially, how it has impacted the proportions of the room.
The pale blue ceiling creates a perfect backdrop for the pink marbled glass of my vintage globe light. The fitting was originally a brassy colour that I spray-painted silver to coordinate with the chrome fixtures in the room.
Accessories introduce colour, texture, interest, and warmth. This faux trailing succulent softens the hard edges in the room, and I absolutely adore those pink crystal geodes that I picked up at a street market in Cambridge. Bog Standard make my favourite scented candles, and the concrete pot hides the matches!
I upcycled the carriage mirror, wall light, and towel hooks with spray paint to create a cohesive look for the hardware in the room. They now co-ordinate perfectly with the cast iron door knobs that we recently installed.
The sink unit (vanity) was originally maple with long chrome handles (see it here). The style of it didn't particularly suit the room, and the fact that we needed to patch a hole that our plumber cut into it gave me an excuse to paint it and give it a complete makeover. I especially love these new drop pull ceramic knobs that I put on it.
Keeping with white on all the lower portions of the walls, I tiled around the trough-style basin with mini subway tiles.
The basin even has this a cute little soap dish built into it!
Above the sink, the carriage mirror provides a place to hold practical items as well as somewhere to display decorative items.
On the opposite side of the room, the shower area is tiled with simple white ceramic tiles so as not to compete with the feature floor tiles.
The tiered caddy keeps shower essentials close to hand.
The clear glass shower enclosure helps to maintain an open feeling in the small space. Next to the shower, the white wrought iron towel rack stores plenty of guest towels in front of the radiator that we relocated from the adjacent wall. Above it, the upcycled wall storage offers guests extra hanging space as well as storage for supplementary toiletries.
You may have noticed a seaside theme to the accessories in this room. I love being at the coast, and the sea urchin and feathers are mementoes of walks on the beach with Hubby during our recent wedding anniversary trip to Donegal. And, of course, there can never be too many birds!
This may be a small room, but it came with a huge workload. With Hubby and I doing it all by ourselves and no outside help, completing it within the six-week time frame was certainly a challenge. If you were following from the start, you will know that this was one of those rooms where it seemed like everything that could possibly go wrong, did. But we prevailed in the end, and now I am delighted that our guests will be able to enjoy this ensuite bathroom when they visit us.
I am so grateful to Linda from Calling It Home for creating and hosting the ORC. I have been following it for years and I'm delighted to have taken part in its tenth season. Don't forget that there are twenty featured designers showcasing their work each Wednesday, and hundreds of other guest participants such as myself posting each Thursday. So be sure to check out all the fabulous room reveals for days and days worth of home decor inspiration!
My sincere thanks to everyone who has followed along with my progress on this challenge, and especially to those of you who left such heartwarming and encouraging comments along the way. It has been a fun ride! I'll be sharing more about the projects in this room over the coming weeks, but for now I'll leave you with another gratuitous pic of those yummy floor tiles ...
Wall paint: Iced White bathroom paint by Dulux
Ceiling paint: Inky Pool 6 by Dulux
Woodwork: Old White by Annie Sloan from The Gaiety (Westport)
Floor tiles: Capo from the Sorrento range from Fired Earth (Dún Laoghaire)
Floor tile adhesive (the second one we used that actually stuck the tiles!): Flexible Tile Adhesive by GranFix from Cutting Edge Tiles (Galway)
Black grout: Flexible Black Wall & Floor Grout by Mapei from B&Q (Athlone & Nationwide)
Backsplash tiles: Domino White Gloss Mosaic from Fired Earth (Dún Laoghaire)
Shower tiles: Kai Ceramic Wall Tiles - White from B&Q (Athlone & Nationwide)
Readymixed wall tile adhesive: Wall Tile Adhesive - Shower Proof by Unibond from B&Q (Athlone & Nationwide)
Readymixed white grout: Wall Tile Grout - Anti-Mould by Unibond from B&Q (Athlone & Nationwide)
Tile trim: Homelux from B&Q (Athlone & Nationwide)
Basin & unit: Linha by Vogue from Keane Bathrooms (Loughrea)
Black paint for sink unit (vanity): Lamp Black by General Finishes from The Gaiety (Westport)
Drop pull ceramic knobs: LynnsHardware (Etsy)
Door hook: Large Victorian Style Double Coat Hook from Kumquat Mai Vintage Styling (Ebay)
Toilet: Havari by Vogue from Keane Bathrooms (Loughrea)
Shower: Mira Event XS Thermostatic Electric Power Shower from Amazon (affiliate link)
Shower enclosure: Milano Corner Entry by Vogue from Keane Bathrooms (Loughrea)
Shower caddy: Similar to 3 Tier Corner Bathroom Shower Caddy Organiser Rack Shelf Unit from Amazon (affiliate link)
Carriage mirror: Doris by Karen Miller (UK & Online*)
Wall light: Similar to Litecraft - Elena 2 Light Glass Bathroom Wall Light from Amazon (affiliate link)
Pendant light: Vintage
Towel rail: Similar to Vintage Style Ivory White Metal Scrolled Freestanding Towel Rail Stand from Amazon (affiliate link)
Towels: Ikea (now out of stock)
Artwork: Hurrah Hurrah studio (Cork)
Framing: Express Frames (Galway)
Toilet roll holder: Svartsjön from Ikea (Dublin)
Black wire basket: Flying Tiger (Galway & Nationwide)
Faux trailing plant: String of Pearls Succulent from Abigail Ahern (London & Online*)
Concrete storage jar: Fusion Embossed Fretwork Patterned Pot from John Lewis (Cambridge & Online)
Scented candle: Sea from Bog Standard (Online & in stores nationwide)
Crystal geodes: General street market (Cambridge)
Wall storage unit: TK Maxx (Galway & Nationwide)
Stoneware pot: Vintage
Sea urchin: Collected
Crystal glass paperweight: Aran Crystal (Corofin, Galway)
Glass storage jars: Dunnes (Galway & Nationwide)
Hand wash and hand cream: Sea from Bog Standard (Online & in stores nationwide)
Faux small succulent in faceted pot: From the Essentials range at Target (USA & Online)
Seagrass mini lidded storage basket: Ljusnan from Ikea
*delivered via ParcelMotel where shipping to Ireland was not otherwise available