Bathroom Chronicles, Part 12
Enough of this whingeing – we love our new bathrooms. Why the complaints? Maybe we were too close to it and saw the sausages being made, so to speak.
The demolition, the rebuild the pipes, the ripping out of tiles, the installation of niches, we saw through every phase of destruction and recreation.
The big risk was the Venetian plaster. This costs roughly three to four times the cost of tiles and involves three to four times as much hassle.
And I have to say that, at first, we both thought we might have made a huge, and hugely expensive mistake.
But what finally brought it all together was a last-minute change of colour and texture on one wall, and accessorising like mad.
The colour scheme in my bathroom is pale green and black. Now any green goes with green so I had options.
Green towels, any shade. Black towels, only black. I’m happy.
Sue’s bathroom was a dramatic grey, darker on the bathroom walls than in the showroom windows (surprise, surprise) but she lifted it to a new dimension with a “split stone” in mother-of-pearl on one wall.
Then we discovered that aqua blue or green toned in perfectly in her bathroom and we were off to the races (or Ikea, to be more precise) buying up every item of bathroom related accessories in the matching tones.
I have not set foot in Ikea in Tempe since it opened all those years ago. It’s terrifying, even on a Friday afternoon during a pandemic with hardly anyone there. I looked at the vast expanses of car park and shuddered. When this place is full … oh, the humanity.
I’m told there are Boxing Day Sales shoppers from 1996 who, like marooned Japanese soldiers at the end of World War II, don’t realise the conflict is over and are still hiding out in the mountains of Frikke and Grutne.
For our part, the war is over and we are happy. The showers shower, the drains drain, the bath … well, as long as we keep up our pilates classes, we’ll be able to get in and out reasonably comfortably (if not elegantly).
And was it worth it?
We took a nostalgic trip down to the gym and pool showers which are fitted with exactly the same 7cm square grey tiles, sinks and WCs as we used to have in our flat. The answer has to be a resounding ‘Yes!’
Did we need new bathrooms? Probably not. Could it have been cheaper? Almost certainly. Are we happy. You bet.
Oh, and did we get a grant? No, because the renovation was too modest and the flat is worth too much. Finding the sweet spot on that could be a TV show to rival The Block.
But that’s all good, and during the course of this whole process we met, in no particular order, an Italian plasterer, two Greek professional footballers (a plumber and a project manager), a Uygur renderer, two Iraqui shower screen installers, a Turkish tiler and a Brazilian plasterer.
There were days it was like the League of Nations in here, but it illustrated how and why we are a nation of immigrants. It works.
OK, I have to go now – the bathroom calls.