Black circular shelving and mirror in a monochrome family bathroom

How We Created A Light, Bright, Monochrome Bathroom

It’s been a while, but our ‘new’ monochrome bathroom is finally complete! It has been fully functional for a long time, but I have only just found the right finishing touches.

So here is the finished monochrome bathroom:

The key to a monochrome scheme is to keep things as simple as possible. Keep any accessories in a very simple colour palette and they’ll really pop against a black, white and grey background.  Remember that bottles of shampoo and shower gel are often colourful, so don’t be tempted to add much additional colour or it will end up looking too busy.

Our bathroom has to be family friendly, so we’ll never get that hotel chic look, but by keeping the colour scheme minimal, it helps create a feeling of space and calm. My husband was worried it would be too clinical, but adding plants helps to make it feel more ‘lived in’. Our oak door, the shelves on the circular wall unit, and the rope and faux leather on the mirrors also adds warmth and texture.

HOW OUR MONOCHROME BATHROOM STARTED OUT

When we moved in, we inherited a fairly hideous bathroom, which was not family-friendly at all. Our bathroom before we moved inThere was a tiny, grotty shower cubicle, a sink on a pedestal, a toilet and a bath, and no storage at all.Bathroom before we moved in It also had a very sloppy floor and awful beige speckled lino. And the tiles. Don’t even get me started on the tiles! It also had a horrible (and dangerous) wall light.

When the shower started leaking through our (freshly painted) kitchen ceiling, we realised that our bathroom renovation would have to come sooner, rather than later.

HOW WE CHANGED THE LAYOUT OF OUR BATHROOM

I knew from the start I wanted a monochrome bathroom, but the layout was the first issue we needed to tackle. We originally had a large airing cupboard next to the bathroom. We realised that if we could knock this through, we could create a big walk in shower. It turned out to be a fairly easy job, as it was only a stud wall. It has made a huge difference and is a much better use of the space. Here is my only ‘in progress’ shot:

Bathroom mid-renovation

The step ladder on the left is in the shower area and the pipes are from the old sink. You can just see the door frame of the airing cupboard, which was eventually plaster boarded up.

The shower is the same size as a bath, so we have a nice big space to dry off without getting water all over the floor. The old shower was a tight squeeze, so having a lovely big walk in shower is a real luxury.

Having such a large shower has balanced the bath on the other side of the room, making it seem bigger, and more symmetrical.

BATHROOM SUITE AND TILES FOR OUR MONOCHROME BATHROOM

We got all of the bathroom ‘furniture’ from NP Plumbing & DIY as we had met the man who ran it and he was so helpful and reliable. He visited the house to help us design the new layout. I would really recommend this step if you can, as it helped to maximise the space. The only thing we didn’t buy was a toilet. The existing one was absolutely fine, so we kept that but got a new seat. Adding storage was essential, so we chose a large sink on a vanity unit, with two large drawers. Because we lost the airing cupboard, we store towels in there, and keep toiletries in the cylinder storage unit. This helps to keep clutter under control, which is key to a minimal monochrome look.

All of the tiles are from ToppsTiles, as they were working with our bathroom supplier and offered a discount.  We chose very dark grey ceramic floor tiles, white metro wall tiles and mid-grey grout. We also got underfloor heating, as we knew from our old house that tiled floors get very cold in winter. I would recommend going into the shop to choose your tiles, especially floor tiles, as you want to make sure they feel nice and are non-slip. The large-format tiles we chose help to make the space look larger, and we had our tiler make a bath panel too, to create the illusion of a bigger floor area.

Our fitters were DC Carpentry & Building Services, who also fitted our kitchen in our old house. They had a nightmare with the uneven floor and ceiling, and they had to do a lot of plastering to get it straight. But they got there in the end and did a great job.

ACCESSORIES TO PULL THE MONOCHROME BATHROOM TOGETHER

I found the gorgeous circular shelving in Tiger.


I spotted the mirror on Instagram and went to find it. There was also the smaller mirror so I got both, intending to take one back, but ended up keeping both. Luckily they were from B & M, so were really cheap. They don’t sell them any more but I found a similar one on Amazon*, or there are loads of tutorials on Pinterest if you want to make your own.

The white circular storage unit was from BHS before it closed, and I love how modern it is. You can find a similar one at Houseology. I think it goes well with the white bin and matching toilet brush, which were £5 and £3 respectively, from Wilko.

The Simple Human extendable shower caddy is from Lakeland or Amazon*, and is a pricey £99, but has a five year guarantee and is really solid and stable, so hopefully worth it.

I added the mini cacti and aloe vera from IKEA, and got the plant spritzer from Waitrose.

The shiny white plastic boxes are also from IKEA and help to keep clutter hidden away. They are not dishwasher friendly though, I discovered to my cost! So this is the second set.

I chose plain dark grey towels with turquoise edges for Ryan, and coral edges for me from Dunelm.

The monochrome beakers are my MissPrint at John Lewis. They go in the dishwasher so are great to use as toothbrush mugs.

We actually got different shower heads from these originally, but were given water saving ones by Anglian Water as part of their drive to reduce water wastage.

What I would do differently

In retrospect, it wasn’t the best idea to have the sink next to the shower. Water gets splashed over the glass all the time, and leaves water marks. We have also had the occasional toothbrush casualty, when they fall off the windowsill or sink into the toilet. But this was the best layout we could get without moving the toilet and all the pipework.

We have three lights in the ceiling, and I think we could do with an extra light on the wall above the sink. We did think about it, but as there is a window, it would have looked a bit odd as it wouldn’t have been centred. Two of our lights are a warm tone, and the one above the shower, which also has an extractor fan, is a white tone, so that slightly grates on me as I want things to match.

We paid extra for special glass for the shower enclosure, which was supposed to mean it was easier to clean. But I don’t feel it makes the slightest bit of difference to normal glass, unfortunately!

And finally, we got an extendable shaving mirror from IKEA. And it hasn’t stood the test of time really. As much as I love IKEA I have to admit it was a false economy, and in this case we got what we paid for.

So what do you think of our bathroom? Would you have done anything differently? I’d love to know what you think, please leave me a comment.

Not ready to create your dream bathroom? Why not pin the details to Pinterest for later?

How to create a light, bright monochrome bathroom, with white metro tiles and grey grout and circular black mirrors and shelf. See more pictures at pinkscharming.com

*Affiliate link.

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31 thoughts on “How We Created A Light, Bright, Monochrome Bathroom

  1. maria | tilecentre says:

    Hi becky…!!!! I can understand the storage problems in bathroom.I have faced them too.And so I recreate my bathroom.I like your round shelve looks lovely.

    • Becky Pink says:

      Thanks so much Helen. I had the shelves rolling about our house waiting to be put up for ages. I knew they were perfect but it took me a while to find the right place. Then I spotted the mirrors and got the lightbulb moment! Let me know when you get yours up! xx

  2. Julie Davies says:

    Love the bathroom Becky – it’s got a lovely hotel bathroom vibe. We used similar tiles in our makeover – in hindsight I wish we used a dark grout. We don’t seem to be able to get get rid of the mold that creeps into our white grouting – despite keeping the bathroom window ajar for air circulation …
    Happy New Year,
    Julie x

  3. Clare says:

    I’m sure you just enjoy making me jealous 😉 Gorgeous bathroom Becky and pleased it is finally finished and just how (pretty much) you want it! xx

  4. Vickie Neave - INPOLife says:

    I love this transformation. Just about to have similar tiles in our Utility room update which will be finished some time in 2019 I expect!!!! Everything takes forever when life gets in the way. So beautiful though I just called the Hubster in to look at the tiles just as a bit of a kick up the backside for him to pull his finger out!!
    Great work Becky. I bet you love sitting in the bath and just enjoying the bathroom. Bliss. Vickie X

    • Becky Pink says:

      Thank you Vickie, we are so pleased with it. I really recommend the tiles, they look so smart and won’t date! I look forward to seeing your utility room (even if it is in 2019) xx

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