How this bathroom went from dowdy 70s to pink, white and black chic

Once lined wall-to-wall with dull Seventies plastic, this bathroom has been transformed into a black, white and pink room of teenage dreams

Meet + greet

Miranda Osborne, 47 (director of Ico Traders), Richard Osborne, 51 (head of transport, Christchurch City Council), Henrietta, 15, and Matilda, 12, plus Huxley the dog and Dougal the cat.

How long have you lived here? What did you like about the house when you moved in? We moved in 18 months ago (with the promise to the girls that the bathroom would be the first thing we renovated). I fell in love with the back garden and the brick fence, Rich fell in love with the two huge gleditsia trees in the garden, and the girls with the pool. The house had good spaces and we knew it would be wonderful for us, with a little work.

What changes or renovations have you carried out prior to renovating this bathroom? The girls’ bedrooms were purple and pink and the kitchen was butter yellow. Three days after we moved in, a very kind friend came over and painted all three rooms white – then we felt we could breathe!

What did you like about this bathroom? And what didn’t you like? The old bathroom had 1970s beige plastic on the walls, a beige basin, beige plastic shub, a shower that didn’t work and a beige toilet. There was not much to like about it, and although I was sad to rip up the vintage lino, I was even sadder to find it contained asbestos. We received a big bill to remove it.

What was the goal of this renovation? We wanted a simple-looking, workable bathroom that the girls could share. I wanted to create an element of privacy for them if they were both using it at the same time. I also have a pet peeve about bathrooms where you can see the toilet when the door is left open – that’s a no-go for me.

How did you go about designing the bathroom? It was a fairly organic process. I knew I wanted to use some of the pressed-tin panels that we sell at Ico Traders. The rest was designed by hand drawing and a little bit of basic computer sketching.

Did your daughters, Henrietta and Matilda, get involved with the design stage? The girls both had lots of say in the bathroom, but there were some things I vetoed, mostly because of the cost. The shower was designed by the girls (the rain shower and tiled footrest recess were must-haves for them) but the blush pink door came from me. If they’d had their way, everything would have been black and white.

Any big challenges or setbacks? The asbestos really set us back both in terms of cost and time.

Was it DIY or did you use tradies? Apart from some of the painting, we had help with everything. Sadly, Rich is not practical and I’m too messy.

What do you love best about the new bathroom? What do your daughters like about it? The girls both love the shower and the inset shelving; I love the minimalistic look and get satisfaction from the practical things, such as the positioning of the shower controls and the toothbrush chargers (which are hidden away inside and between the vanity drawers). I also love the fact that I no longer have to share our ensuite bathroom.

Scroll down to see the before and after’s

Interview by: Sally Conor. Photography by: Sarah Rowlands.

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