'My bathroom is now a beautiful space to spend time in'

'My bathroom is now a beautiful space to spend time in'

Bathroom renovations can be very exciting. Transforming such a high-use room is always rewarding. But without a clear vision – and a realistic budget – a new bathing sanctuary can also be stressful and expensive. That’s why we always recommend researching different types of inspired bathrooms before you begin. That’s exactly what Ruth Corbett did before embarking on her bathroom makeover project. And doesn’t the finished result look fabulous?

Ruth Corbett adds artwork

 Ruth adds prized possessions to her newly transformed room. This artwork, for example, has added a personal touch to this area

Out with the old

The room before the makeover

This is what the room looked like before Ruth's makeover

Ruth inherited a small, dated bathroom when she moved into her mansion block apartment, which was built around 1900. It was covered in old, bright blue mosaic tiles, many of which were broken. The grout was grubby, there was no bath tub, a clunky shower cubicle and an unflatteringly bright strip light. In short, almost everything had to change to create a more inspired space.


Makeover by Ruth Corbett with tiles supplied by Hyperion Tiles

Ruth chose our striking Maroc Porcelain Teal tiles for her walls, and added a sophisticated black tile trim using our Jet Black Rounded Long Edge tiles. The compact basin and classic-style taps from Aston Matthews


Ruth lost no time in looking at lots of different designs. “I saw a picture of exactly what I wanted after spending many hours trawling various interior designers’ websites, Pinterest – all the usual places,” she confides. “The design I have ended up with is a pretty close copy of my original inspiration – only better!”


Keeping things classic

Ruth knew right from the outset that she wanted to keep things traditional. So her bathrooms research featured cast iron roll-top baths and high-level toilet systems, in keeping with the period in which the apartment was built.


The one original feature Ruth liked was the inspiration for the colour scheme she eventually chose. “The stained glass window set the tone for the overall jewel-coloured look,” Ruth explains. “And I was keen to reflect and enhance the use of colour in the space.”


Stained glass window in period-style bathing retreat

This beautiful stained glass window – a prized original feature – was the inspiration for the room’s rich, jewel-toned look


Green dream to inspire you

Green is one of Ruth’s favourite colours in both fashion and interiors. So it was always the front-runner in terms of ideas for her high-quality room renovation. “I think that green provides a really soothing backdrop while relaxing in the bath,” Ruth notes. “Green brick-style [Metro] tiles were top of my wish-list.”


Traditional with a twist

The wall tiles Ruth chose were our Maroc Porcelain Teal collection. These versatile porcelain tiles are suitable for both walls and floors, and incorporate a rich, glossy finish. Ruth accessorised hers with a black tile trim, using our Jet Black Rounded Long Edge tiles.


“This combination gives a nod to a traditional vibe, without ever being old-fashioned,” Ruth observes. “It was very hard to find black tiles with a curved top edge. So I was thrilled to discover these, as they provide a perfectly smart finish.”


Basin with tiled backsplash supplied by Hyperion Tiles

Ruth chose a classic basin for her renovation, using our green and black wall tiles as a backsplash


An inspired bathroom with black magic

While Ruth is fond of colour, she was careful to pay attention to all the details and not to let too much of it overwhelm her compact bathroom. Lots of bathrooms feature monochrome – a timeless colour combination that works equally well in big or small spaces . Ruth too decided on white for the walls and ceiling, with the new tub painted black to match the black tile trim.


“The bathroom’s stained glass window is quite dominant,” she admits. “So I was careful to keep to a limited palette elsewhere.”


Black might sound daring – especially for a compact room – but it’s surprisingly versatile, and always makes a serious style statement. If you add this colour wisely, you can expect an en suite or separate bathing haven installation to reach a high standard in terms of the design. Ruth agrees. “My feeling has always been that an element of black in any room brings a feeling of sophistication to the overall design,” she explains. And, like the deep green walls, it’s period-appropriate too.”


Black roll-top bath in bathroom with tiles from Hyperion Tiles

Ruth hand-painted her traditional roll-top tub from Aston Matthews in a dramatic shade called Sinner from Mylands to match the black tile trim – and add a touch of sophistication to her bathroom setting. She then used Mylands' White matt emulsion for a striking contrast on the walls


Less is more

The best inspired bathrooms use colour cleverly. Ruth decided to only partially tile her bathroom walls, to avoid overpowering the room with green – and to save money. She explains: “There was a lowered false ceiling in the room, which when removed revealed a very high original ceiling. The floor space, however, is still quite small. So I think to have tiled the walls from top to bottom would have been overwhelming, more expensive and would have created a ‘tunnel’ effect, which would have looked very odd.”


Steel radiator with backdrop of tiles supplied by Hyperion Tiles

A contemporary steel wall-hung radiator, plus a few carefully chosen accessories, adds a dash modernity to Ruth’s traditional room scheme


Original flooring

Unusually, Ruth’s inspired bathrooms research didn’t need to focus much on her flooring. That’s because when she took up the blue mosaic floor tiles she’d inherited, she discovered the original terrazzo flooring which would have been laid back in 1900.


“The terrazzo was quite damaged, but I had it restored then polished, as I was keen to keep such a beautiful original feature,” Ruth recounts. “To ensure the wall tiles looked great, the colour and style of the floor tiles was very important. Nothing patterned or too ‘out there’ colour-wise would have worked. I think the green and black wall tiles complement the terrazzo perfectly.”


A shining example

The inspired bathrooms Ruth looked at before starting her renovation confirmed her preference for gloss tiles. They always add a dash of glamour and personality to a room scheme. Importantly, their reflective finish allows light to bounce around a room. In turn this makes everything feel brighter and more spacious – important if your bathroom is bijou.


“I like the slightly reflective quality gloss tiles bring,” agrees Ruth. “And a gloss finish also seems to enhance the depth of colour, which is very pleasing. And of course, they are super easy to keep clean and looking good.”


Fixtures and fittings

Inspired bathrooms always need a clear design vision. Ruth lost no time in getting rid of the existing old shower cubicle, replacing it with a new shower area with pristine fixtures, a traditional roll top bath, classic-style ceramic sink and high-level toilet cistern, all from Aston Matthews bathrooms.


en suite bathroom with tiles supplied by Hyperion Tiles

The bathroom’s shower area features classic tap and shower head accessories, in white and chrome, from Aston Matthews to complement the overall palette


“The small dimensions of the room meant we had to measure everything to the last millimetre to ensure we got all the components in place, looking good and not squashed together,” Ruth acknowledges. “We achieved this by choosing pieces that were neat in size. The bath tub, for example, is fairly narrow compared to some, although still perfectly comfortable. The high loo cistern draws the eye up into the high ceiling space, creating a feeling of spaciousness.”


The finishing touches

Many inspired bathrooms mix and match old and new styles, something Ruth was keen to emulate with a clever choice of accessories. The end result is classic without being old-fashioned.


en suite featuring tiles from Hyperion Tiles

The high-level toilet cistern from Aston Matthews makes full use of the high ceiling space available, and draws the eye upwards, making the room feel bigger and brighter. The red framed circular mirror and wall lights are from Pooky


 “I chose a modern steel wall-hung radiator from Period Homes Interiors and a big circular mirror with a red frame, to bring a touch of modernity and freshness,” she explains. “Overall, it’s very much a contemporary take on a traditional look. The white walls and ceiling feel super fresh too.”

Ruth's gorgeous new bathroom

When it comes to bathrooms with the wow factor, we think Ruth has done such a great job. She concludes: “The finished bathroom is a million miles from the dingy, dirty, unstylish place it was before the refurbishment. It’s now a beautiful space to spend time in. Everyone comments on the gorgeous tiles, fixtures and fittings, and I love it to bits.”