Before & after: the smallest room in the house

7/22/2016 09:10:00 am HELEN STILES 0 Comments

Well, the first week of the school summer holidays is drawing to a close and despite having the trio of trouble at home I've managed to blog 3 times, so I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself! Right now the children are attacking Grandad with water pistols in the garden, so I'm stealing an hour or two to bring you the 3rd room from my recent client project.  This time it's the smallest room in the house, the downstairs loo/washroom/WC/powder room/cloakroom (or whatever other euphemism you care to use).

The great thing about decorating the loo is that you can go a little wild without worrying too much – you aren't going to spend very long in there, it's generally small so you aren't going to spend a fortune, and if you do something a little daring it's easy to change.

In this clients'  house, the loo is under the stairs – pretty common in period homes which would not have been built with one originally – so is small and windowless. Here's what it looked like before (forgive the bad phone camera shot) ...pretty uninspiring!

On the right hand side is the moodboard – dark, feminine and glamorous. I wanted to make this room unexpected, a nice surprise under the stairs. I was fairly confident that House of Hackney's prints would appeal to the owner's love of vintage fashion and Victoriana. The wallpaper shown above is their Midnight Garden print (if you don't know House of Hackney, they specialise in traditional English fabrics and wallpapers with a modern twist – think rich, dark palm print velvets and traditional florals in unexpected colours).

When I presented this to the clients it would be fair to say that she absolutely loved it, whilst he took a little more convincing. It's feminine, floral, dark and glamorous, with a definite vintage vibe. The touches of glass add light and contrast – antiqued glass metro tiles for the splash-back plus the clients' own vintage 1930s mirror. The whole scheme thoroughly embraces this room's small, windowless position – which I often find is the best way to go when faced with a small space, don't fight it!

The decorator thought I was crazy when I asked him to wallpaper the ceiling as well as the walls (and paint the doors and skirtings black). But if we'd left areas of white it would have ruined the overall effect. As it is, the combination of black floor tiles, woodwork and that amazing wallpaper is dark, dramatic and totally fabulous. Far better than playing it safe!

It's a small room, so pretty difficult to photograph, but here is the after...

Like a secret garden under the stairs!

If you missed the previous posts, then check out the dining room here and the living room here. The last room is still to follow, see you next week!