A bold, eclectic bathroom inspired by Soho House
Natalie Cosgrove, a solicitor, and husband Richard Baker, a barrister, created a Soho House bathroom at home, for themselves and their two children Sophie, 10, and Aithne, eight months. The plan was to reconfigure the existing en suite to include both a bath and shower – the pair wanted a Victorian feel but with an eclectic edge and bold use of colour. The result? A Victorianesque bathroom with a contemporary twist.
What was wrong with your original bathroom?
It was functional but not practical. The shower space was huge but it had been installed shoddily, which meant there was an overflow issue. It had been tiled black, so it didn’t feel cosy, plus there wasn’t a bath, which didn’t seem right for a five-bed property. I painted it a deep red to add some warmth, but we knew we could do more with it – the room was so vast and there was potential for a large tub. With a baby on the way, it was time to make a change and we wanted something that fitted our aesthetic.
What were your big ideas for the design of a Soho House bathroom?
We wanted to bring fun and character to the house while also reverting back to tradition, as it’s an 1855 Victorian property. We stayed at Soho House Berlin a few years ago and the bathrooms are stunning – this gave us our starting point; that Victorian public convenience vibe with dark tiles… I also knew I wanted a black bath. Something that we could sink into after a long day.
What was the biggest challenge you faced?
I met Liz, our interior designer from Wolfe Interiors, on an Instagram course. We got chatting and I quickly realised she was the missing link to progress the house renovations and our Soho House bathroom. She has a knack of being able to take my ramblings and turn them into beautiful designs. Our biggest issue was simply getting tradespeople in during a pandemic, but we did. I was heavily pregnant when the project was happening and was certain we’d be washing the baby in the sink at one point!
How did you make the budget work for you?
One of the initial issues was the rates good trades people wanted to charge, but we were fortunate to be able to find good-quality items at reasonable prices. I did have a habit of picking the most expensive items and then Liz had to go away and find something similar in our budget. We did look to make savings on certain items, which I regret now. My advice would be, buy a more expensive toilet. Cheap toilets are not worth the savings you may make.
How do you feel now it’s all finished?
I’m delighted. It’s such a stunning space and I love looking at the wallpaper. It’s super functional, but it’s quirky and pretty too.
What would you do differently?
The only issue we have relates to the shower; we need to downsize the head as it tends to splash out of the shower area. I am not sure I would want a shower door, as I much prefer the open spaces. And therein lies the issue; in order to get the aesthetic of the room, we just have less powerful showers. In the grand scheme of things, I’m not sure I would do it differently at all.
Bathroom renovation costs
- Labour £5,500
- Furniture £3,800
- Tiles £1,100
- Lighting £695
- Wallpaper £420
- Radiator £324
- Accessories £400
Total spend: £12,239