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Friday, 3 February 2012

A Sneak Peak at Our Bathroom...

So next on our ever growing list of things to do, and the thing we would LOVE to get done ASAP is our en-suite bathroom. Currently as far as we are concerned, IT IS DISGUSTING. . . it is so outdated and has been done really badly and the entire thing needs to be completely stripped out and re-done. That, and the fact that we have two bathrooms and neither of them has a shower. . . We NEED a shower. So that is the plan for this bathroom. To make a shower and make it nice.

This is what it looks like now. (We actually don't even go in there if we can help it.)
It actually doesn't look as bad in the photos as it really is.
A couple of months ago I downloaded Google Sketch Up to see if I could play around a bit and do a quick mock up of how I saw our tiny en-suite bathroom working. I made everything to scale so I could figure out how we were going to fit everything in. Having never used any kind of 3-D/Modeling program before it took me a very long time to figure out enough of the program to do what I wanted to. There were some things I couldn't figure out, like how to take the path lines off so you could just see the shapes and not the points they were made up of. But after I had figured out the sizes that everything had to be, and how it all fitted in, I gave up on trying to make it look pretty and just left it with the lines on. This is what I ended up with:
Now you have an idea of what we are aiming at and you can see the amount of space we have to work with. As you can see from the sketch, our shower isn't going to have a door. I don't think the water will splash out too much because we are going to have a small row of bricks which should solve this problem but we will only really know once it is done. We have already bought all our materials and accessories, the only thing left to get is the shower glass and brackets.


Now that we had an idea of what we wanted to do, the fun part was buying everything. 
Let's back track a little to October last year, even before the house was registered, straight after we got bond approval we saw a really nice bamboo toilet seat, then our eyes moved slightly up to the next shelf and we saw the bamboo towel rack and then we saw the soap dishes and toilet roll holder and and and... Basically every bamboo accessory we could see in front of us went straight into the trolley! 
We have a couple of really nice bamboo kitchen accessories and really love them, so we are suckers for bamboo stuff. 

The next thing we got was some floor tiles. Originally our idea was to have mosaic tiles in the shower only BUT because our bathroom is so incredibly small, 1,73m x 1,73m, we just decided to do the whole floor with the same tiles. We found these really cool natural stone tiles from CTM. They definitely weren't the cheapest ones but there were only four boxes left and thats exactly the amount we needed. So we just bought them. It was R49.95 per sheet and there were 11 sheets per box so it did work out a bit expensive but you can do the maths if you really want to :) The awesome thing about these tiles is that every sheet (30cmx 30cm) is completely different and random. I am so glad we bought them when we did because even though we were told they were getting more in, we haven't seen them again in any of the stores we have been into and there are similar ones but none that are quite as nice as these ones.
I could not wait to lay some of the tiles on the floor to see what they would look like. This is what it looked like after I laid them out. Like I mentioned earlier, every sheet is different so when they are laid down there is no specific pattern, which we love!


The next things we bought were some taps for the basin and the shower and a shower head and arm. We spent a little more money on the taps. All the taps and the shower head and arm we got from Bathroom Bizarre. The total we spent on this was about R1,800.00. We could have got cheaper ones but these are the ones we wanted...


Finding the basin and the table happened at pretty much the same time. Originally we wanted the basin to sit on top of a nice concrete counter but after more thought we realised it wouldn't look so good in such a small area and the 'heaviness' of the concrete counter might make the bathroom look even smaller than it is. After a couple of weeks of thinking and looking around for just the right thing, we can came across this table. The only thing wrong with it was that it was completely the wrong size. So I snapped a quick pic in the hopes of sending it to someone to have it made up in our dimensions.
 The basin we ended up buying to was a Trio 3-in-1 Drop-in Basin from CTM. Initially I was a little hesitant to buy it because it looked a bit funny. But when we saw it 'dropped-in' to a table/counter, it looked really awesome. It was also really well priced at R249.00, compared to all the other counter-top and stand alone basins we had seen that ranged between R500-R900. There was one basin I really loved but I couldn't justify paying R900 for a basin.

After we had bought our 'drop-in' basin, we then figured out the dimensions of the table we wanted, including the size of the hole that would have to be cut into the top of it to allow us to drop our basin in, and sent it to a furniture company in Greytown called Traditional Furniture.

This is what we got back after a few weeks . . .
 It was made of Saligna rather than the usual Pine. I can't explain how happy I was with the finished product. When I sent the pic as a reference I wasn't expecting it to be EXACTLY the same, I would have been happy with something similiar, but as far as I can see, it was exactly as per the pic we sent them! Normally when I have asked for stuff to be custom made there has always been some problem and it is not exactly right the first time round but this was the exact opposite. Thanks so much Graham and Charmaine from Traditional Furniture. We love it!! We asked for it to be unvarnished and we bought some Matt Wood Doc sealer and sealed it ourselves. We have done 3 coats of Wood Doc so far but want to do another two or three coats to be extra sure it is properly sealed as it is going to be in the bathroom. The total amount we spent on the table and the basin together was about R650.00.

Here is the finished table with the basin placed in the table and the taps balancing very carefully on the basin.


This is the toilet we picked up for R399 from Builders Warehouse. This is as close as the toilet will be to the basin because we don't have too much space to work with. The only major thing is going to be changing the plumbing to allow for a shower instead of the bath that is currently there.

We are planning on doing most of the work ourselves except for the plumbing. After the bathroom is complete we will be able to add a whole lot more skills, including plastering walls and tiling to name a few, to our ever growing list of things we can do. We realistically only see it being completed in a couple of months time, as it depends a lot on whether we have budget for the plumbing to be done and when you are doing it yourself after-hours it obviously takes way longer than if you just hire someone to do it for you. 

And the stripping begins . . . (We did this small amount of tile stripping about a month or so ago) 

This weekend we are planning to spend most of the day on Saturday knocking out tiles . . . Check back next week to see if we actually managed to do what we have planned and hopefully we will have some more progress pics to show you all . . . 

If you have any thoughts, ideas, helpful tips we would love to hear from you. or if you have done something similar before send us your before and after pics, we would love to put them up on our blog.
Drop us a mail: or leave a comment . . .

Wish us luck :) 


  1. Thanks for this excellent post I found your website perfect for my needs. It contains wonderful and helpful posts. I have read most of them and got a lot from them.
    Basin Taps

  2. Saligna is a great choice for a wooden furniture. Its rich, dark honey-colored feature is widely used. And due to its aesthetic qualities, it can either just be varnished or finished with any shade of your choice. The bamboo cabinets are a sensible choice as well. It would be nice to see the entire look of the bathroom. ^_____^

    Darryl Margulies