Spending a Penny : Downstairs Loo Revamp

September 12, 2016



As our upstairs bathroom has just been featured in a national interiors mag (slightly exciting!) I thought that today I would share some small vignettes of our downstairs loo which we did up a few months ago. The design brief was cheap and bold, I didn’t want to spend too much, but conscious that it’s a space most house guests will use I wanted to channel a bit of fun in there (maybe to detract from the slightly knackered fittings we inherited). First thing I did was put a good lick of white paint just about everywhere making good as I went so that I could eliminate the naff and see the space, once everything was neutralised I started to build the look around a fabulous wallpaper I found. I’m kicking myself as I didn’t take any before pics so you will just have to imagine baby blue walls, mismatched tiles and tired furnishings!  But, if you have a cupboard sized under-stair toilet and don’t want to spend more than £200 total, look this way:





In continuance of the brass theme in the house, I bought a new antiqued brass tap and waste on eBay. This was a bit of a challenge with a sink of such tiny dimensions but I’m glad I persevered as the space really wouldn’t have looked so nice (or blended in the vintage vibe to the old furniture) without this metal. The tiles which had been mismatched leftovers from other parts of the house decorated by the previous owners (literally purple mosaics followed by beige ceramic followed by multi coloured bricks!) cost us nothing as they were leftover Chalk Farm White Metro tiles from Walls & Floors which we had used in the upstairs bathroom.The child sized sink is functional and has to be this size because part of the cupboard space in here houses our meters. However the cupboard under the sink was one of my most hated plasticised finishes so I used one of those undercoat products that sticks to anything and once I’d top coated and added the quirky animal handles from Anthropologie (below) you really don’t notice that it isn’t wood at first glance.


Anthropologie Brass vintage style Lion and rabbit cupboard handles



The walls! Ok, so they are pretty bold for me. I knew I wanted something whimsical and eye catching, a conversation piece if you like, but a white background was a must in this teensy slightly dingy space. I saw this on American Anthropologie and fell in love (featured it here at the start of the year). It’s designed by Florence Balducci and it’s a really easy paper to install since its self adhesive. You just cut your sheet and immerse in water for a minute to soften the paper before fixing to the wall. This was the first wallpaper job that I’ve done myself and I really recommend self adhesive for rookies like me. We’ve been living with this paper for a while now and I love it, the bird riding the elephant is my favourite vignette with the seals a close second place. It’s a wallpaper that feels very American to me, it has a vintage quality in its boldness but it’s also very polished.




The wall art is about as near to design sacrilege as I can remember committing! It was a much loved cushion from Coral & Tusk that I bought 3 years ago. I love this raccoon in American headdress with ermine on his head so much, it makes me think of Wes Anderson (kind of Moonrise Kingdom meets Fantastic Mr Fox) and it obviously compliments the animal wallpaper perfectly. So I carefully unpicked the cushion backing from this front piece and have framed it with its selvedge folded within. The cushion back has been stowed away in case I ever want to remake the cushion!


Blush pink towel brass handle and holder, vintage modern bohemian bathroom


The towel and toilet roll holder are both Ferm Living from Amara and the brass and unpolished wood of them blend in really well with other elements in the room. A word about the hand towel, I love it! The blush pink texturised crosses are just so cute, they are designed by Mette Ditmer in Denmark and stocked by Cox & Cox over here. Combinations of brass and blush is one of my very favourites, so having them next to each other here is a small design detail that I adore. The handle is an old Art Deco one that I bought from Architectural Decor online.


copper Moroccan mirror, vintage bohemian modern monochrome bathroom


The mirror came from Rose & Grey keenly priced at £45 and adds a nice touch of irregularity to the space. The light fitting is from Industville and fitted with a rose tinted Edison bulb which bounces the most lovely light around the room. We bought the bathroom accessories (below) from H&M, the vintage pineapple was already owned, the alligator is Schleich, the soaps are from Lisbon, the elephant is a figurine I spray painted and made a headdress for in a previous post here. So that’s it, my slightly-braver-than-usual-playful-kind-of-glamorous-but not-glitzy downstairs loo! Sometimes it’s nice to step out of your style comfort zone, what do you think?


Vintage Modern Bohemian style monochrome and brass bathroom accesories



8 thoughts on “Spending a Penny : Downstairs Loo Revamp

  1. Jenny @seasonsincolour

    Another great job – you’re turning into bathroom pro!
    Love the wallpaper. Was it hard to put up around the corners and into the window recess?
    Also did you order it from the US Anthropologie?

    Love it, when am Invosotong your home?

    1. Design_Soda_Ruthie Post author

      Ah, thank you Jenny, praise means a lot coming from you ♥️ no it was genuinely super easy, I was always the kid at school that mucked up the tacky back when covering school books so neatness doesn’t come easily to me, but actually the job was a lot less daunting than I imagined. Yes, I got it in from the U.S, the only thing that slightly irked me was that they sent two rolls out in two different boxes so I had to pay higher customs for two packages to be opened, but I was super impressed with the quality…

  2. Jason Henshaw

    I agree with you about the brass taps – I much prefer them to standard silver ones. I really like black grout effect with the white tiles. I’ve been a plumber for 5 years now and never seen that before. Is it just special grout or is there some other way that you did it?

    1. Design_Soda_Ruthie Post author

      Hi Bryony,
      Thanks for your comment. You’re quite right, they were leftover from the upstairs bathroom. They came from Walls & Floors (on offer at the moment) I’ve popped the link in the post 🙂


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