Mad About . . .

Beautiful Rooms: Scallops and Checks

16th May 2022
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A lovely selection of rooms for you this week even if I do say so myself so pour yourself a cup of something (tea, coffee, ambition) and let’s go for a wander starting with this gorgeous bathroom.

stunning bathroom by Bianca Hall @frenchforpineapple

stunning bathroom by Bianca Hall @frenchforpineapple

I have featured the work of my friend Bianca Hall before and once again she’s pulled it out of the bag with her new bathroom. She converted a bedroom into a bathroom to make a generous, luxurious space and then converted the former, smaller bathroom into a utility room with adjacent narrow storage cupboard (perfect for the vaccuum cleaner and spare linen etc).

Now I know she spent a long time searching for the right bath and, as someone who can be impatient when it comes to details, I would probably just have settled for a standard freestanding tub. But Bianca never settles. She wanted an arch – so she had to find the right builder and she wanted a beautiful bath and both decisions have paid off handsomely so there’s a lesson in there for the impatient among us – and I say “us” advisedly.

stunning bathroom by Bianca Hall @frenchforpineapple

stunning bathroom by Bianca Hall @frenchforpineapple

The vanity was custom-made and has masses of storage and the pink marble tiled shower is just a thing of beauty. I have included a shot from inside the shower so that, with the three images you get a full sense of the room. Yes it’s big but hell it’s beautiful.

stunning bathroom by Bianca Hall @frenchforpineapple

stunning bathroom by Bianca Hall @frenchforpineapple

And because you will ask – here’s the utility room. The cupboard is painted in Attic by Little Greene and the floor is from Mandarin Stone. For more details on this you can visit her blog and I think the bathroom is due to be uploaded soon but there is, of course, her instagram.

utility room by Bianca Hall of French for Pineapple

utility room by Bianca Hall of French for Pineapple

Now staying with bathrooms, this is a grand use of the fashion for checks. I love how the patterned floor has been picked up in the square wall tiles but in a plain colour and am very much coveting a pink and white check floor like this for a kitchen. Or a bathroom. I’m not fussy – I’ll take either!

 Photo by @timhirschmann, design by @sallybreer, styling by @melibbey

Bathroom of Rebekah Bowling Photo by @timhirschmann, design by @sallybreer, styling by @melibbey via @dominomag 

We’re not done with bathrooms yet; the soft pink colour is present in all three we have looked at so far but here now is the scallop detail as seen in the lamps either side of the mirror and the pretty jute rug on the floor. Now Josephine @sundayandstory did have several of these so if you like them it’s worth getting in touch with her and if you’re into the checks she has just launched a very pretty range of check rugs as well. Definitely one for the address book.

The other common denominator – apart from generous spaces is the inclusion of a little wooden stool. I have long said that bathrooms should be decorated like any other room in the house and adding wall lamps, rugs and vintage wood is the perfect way to achieve this and create a space that’s warm and not too clinical. If you haven’t got space – and I appreciate that most bathrooms don’t – then consider a vintage shelf – more storage is always needed and that will do the same job.

bathroom by @goodboneslondon

bathroom by @goodboneslondon click link for all details

Last week I showed you the Susie Atkinson wallpaper borders which is such a clever and this week I bring you wooden trim or edging. Not everyone has panelling and not every house suits the more traditional style of cornicing but Camilla Hampton Interiors has come up with these lengths of pre-shaped MDF edging which you stick on and paint any colour you like. Another great solution for adding instant character to a room no matter what the period.

edging strips by celia hampton interiors

edging strips by camilla hampton interiors

And here is the same thing in a bedroom created by Sandra Baker, of @the_idle_hands, has used a similar idea in her newly redecorated bedroom – because, of course, it also works perfectly in a period property if you want a modern twist on cornicing. Sandra bought hers on Amazon – where a quick search reveals that the first one that comes up is by Camilla Hampton anyway. I think it’s such a great idea – between the wallpaper borders and the wooden trim let’s go. But maybe not all in the same room.

scallop wooden trim in the home of Sandra Baker of The Idle Hands with Sandberg wallpaper

scallop wooden trim in the home of Sandra Baker of The Idle Hands with Sandberg wallpaper

And if you’ve read this far: A few weeks ago you may remember I wrote a post about storage which segued into a conversation in the comments about living with dementia and future-proofing your home and it, as it turned out, I was already writing about this very subject for The Sunday Times Home section. Now, as is often the way of these pieces, it had no publication date fixed. Until the Queen missed her speech at the opening of Parliament due to “episodic mobility issues” and suddenly there was a deadline. The piece came out yesterday and I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to both Elaine and Jane, whose comments on the original post contributed greatly to the final feature. You can read it here – there may be a paywall but I think you can have a free trial.



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  • Liz 22nd May 2022 at 6:27 am

    One of the pleasures of childhood was trying to ‘accidentally’ spit your toothpaste onto the hand of a sibling reaching for the tap, but maybe we were particularly revolting children 🤣 My sister and I still share this bonding moment when we share an occasional sink in our 50s!

  • Ash B 20th May 2022 at 5:30 pm

    Funnily enough I have a pink checked floor in my kitchen!

  • Lenore Taylor 16th May 2022 at 2:07 pm

    The Bianca Hall bathroom is perfect – and easy to clean under sinks and toilet. Except glass shower, I hate always cleaning the water spots. Cheers from Canada!

  • Elaine Fraser 16th May 2022 at 1:08 pm

    I love the wooden scallop trim idea Kate. especially in the lovely green bedroom. Wondering better in a big room with height and if it would bring a small room in?
    We converted a bedroom into a bathroom and changed existing small bathroom into a utility room. More than happy for guests to see the new bathroom but the door to the utility remains firmly shut .. very practical space but (unlike one above) not quite Instagram ready and tbh probably never will be! I did start off with best intentions , placing a vintage sewing machine on the counter top as decorative item ( I can’t sew) but alas it’s beauty is hidden behind a jumble of laundry and odd socks.

  • Anna 16th May 2022 at 12:12 pm

    Well of course Bianca Hall had to choose her builders with care. Getting that very heavy looking bath up the stairs took some effort and patience!
    My deceased parents in law installed a lift from their kitchen up to a bedroom. To them it was invaluable but when it came to selling their cottage, the lift in position, proved to be a disadvantage, diminishing the selling price. So if planning a lift ensure that it can be removed with little disruption should the house go on the market. The expensive lift had no takers second hand and so a lift is not an investment, but it’s an invaluable aid to the elderly.

  • Mandy 16th May 2022 at 10:26 am

    The custom-made vanity in the 2nd photo is exactly like the IKEA ones we have put into our new renovated homes !

    • Mandy 16th May 2022 at 10:27 am

      *home. Just the one 😮

  • Janet Whincup 16th May 2022 at 8:46 am

    Very interesting, I love seeing the new ideas such as borders of either wallpaper or MDF.

  • Silvia 16th May 2022 at 8:43 am

    Anyone please enlighten me on the need of two basins in a bathroom. I sincerely don’t get it: you lose counter space; unless you have an enormous vanity, the counter will look too busy (see the third bathroom and remember this was styled for a photo shoot); do couples really brush their teeth, shave, or whatever they need doing, at the same time?
    I think one day we’ll look back and say ‘do you remember when we thought it was a great idea to have two basins on a small vanity?’.
    I’d be happy to have his and hers bathrooms, but two basins, never understood it. But I might well be wrong and would be happy to be corrected!

    • DrS 16th May 2022 at 10:13 am

      Two sinks are useful in a family bathroom when you are nagging children to brush their teeth/wash their hands etc before school.

    • Cheryl 16th May 2022 at 11:40 am

      Silvia, I don’t get it either. Comedian Simon Amstell said he moved into a property that had two basins – one to brush his teeth in and one to cry into!

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 16th May 2022 at 12:26 pm

      We have a long counter with lots of storage and two basins and yes we do often clean our teeth at the same time so it works for us and can be useful if you are trying to hustle people out of the door to school for example. It’s not a necessity but it works for some people. As always it’s about thinking about how you live and the times you need to use certain rooms and making sure that works for whoever needs it.

      • Silvia 16th May 2022 at 1:35 pm

        Oooh, thank you all so much for replying! Now I get it why for some two basins are important: it’s the “children factor”, not husband and wife (or any other combination!) sharing a cramped and often times smelly space out of love!
        As I have only one child and enough bathrooms in the house, the obvious never occurred to me, thank you.

        • Cathryn 16th May 2022 at 4:21 pm

          A sleeker alternative to the two sinks is one large one, with two mixer taps. We have one in our shower room, by Duravit. It’s rectangular, but with curved moulded edges, and a rim big enough for toothmug, soap dispenser. A large mirror , cut specifically to size,runs across the full length of the sink, so two can clean their teeth, put in contact lenses, generally pfaff about, at the same time. Built in storage beneath the sink which clears the floor, so you can clean easily. Can’t take credit for the excellent choices and design, as this was all installed by our vendors but will certainly be taking this idea with us whenever we move.

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