Bathroom makeover: Creating a stylish, accessible space
Modernising a dated bathroom provided the perfect opportunity to create an accessible space for homeowners Ellie Tipple and her husband Jon. Ellie was battling motor neurone disease (MND), so the bathroom needed to cater for her requirements without compromising on style.
Sadly, Ellie passed away in November 2022. Before she died, Ellie shared the story of her bathroom renovation with Good Homes magazine. Her husband Jon has given us permission to run the story online to help raise awareness for motor neurone disease. If you would like to learn more about MND or make a donation to help further research into the condition, which affects the brain and nerves, please visit mndassociation.org.
Why did you want to change your bathroom?
We’d put in a lovely new bathroom when we moved here, about 20 years ago. Although it was a bit dated, the main reason for the change was my health. I have a condition that means I will need a disabled-friendly, accessible bathroom in the future. The existing design and layout were not going to work for me long-term.
What ideas did you have for the new room?
On the practical side, my top priorities were a spacious, wet-room style shower, and a supportive bath to sit up in, as lying down is uncomfortable for me. That said, I was determined not to have anything that seemed in any way clinical or functional.
Everything had to look and feel fantastic. I wanted a colourful, uplifting and inspiring room that the whole family would love and enjoy using. My taste is quite varied, but I always like to be original, and have interesting, characterful things, a bit different from the rest.
How did you approach the project?
I researched really intensively and spent a lot of time with my builder, Ravenward Construction, too, checking layouts and measurements to be certain I could fit in everything as I wanted it. I had a detailed vision in my mind, which I put onto a mood board, and I was online for absolutely hours, sourcing the different products.
I knew I’d have patterned floor and wall tiles, but the choice was vast. I ordered masses of samples and studied each one in the room before I decided.
Tell us about the bath…
Finding the right the design took another long search. I wanted a tub style with a period feel, and once it arrived, I tried it out in situ to make sure it was perfectly comfy, before it was plumbed in. I almost gave up my hunt for the arched mirrors I had in mind for behind it, and was considering getting them cut specially when I finally found some I liked at the Cotswold Company.
Is there anything you’d change, or do differently?
Overall I’m pleased I stayed focussed and stuck to my original plan, although it did take a long time to track down some items. The only thing that didn’t work out was an alcove shelf in the shower area. I’d have loved one, but it just wasn’t possible to include it.
What do you think has worked best?
I love the concrete basin for its velvety feel, and the big, drenching showerhead is fab too. As the water comes straight down and doesn’t spray outwards, I only needed a very compact shower screen. That keeps the space clear and accessible, and the vanity unit stays dry. The wall-cladding is another favourite detail. You don’t really notice it, but it just adds a little texture.
How do you feel now all the work is done?
There was a lot of planning and it took months to complete the project, but I’m so happy with it I loved the process and it’s turned out just as I visualised it.
Bathroom renovation costs:
- Bath £799.95
- Taps and shower kit £1,723.30
- Shower screen £408
- Vanity Unit £549
- WC £2160
- Basin £786
- Tiles £2,200
- Wall cladding £50
- Paint £100
- Accessories £1,040
Total spend: £9,815.55
Ellie Tipple documented home renovation projects at instagram.com/the_englishhouse
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