During construction, the corner taken out of the room.
To refresh your memory or to explain if you didn't follow along with my renovation posts from all that time ago, the powder room was created from a tiny bit of the carved up original kitchen, pictured during construction above. The old kitchen was turned into one of my children's bedrooms (post here on the before and after of that), and this room was created by stealing a corner of it and knocking a new door in from the adjacent hall.
The new door was in fact old: we reused one of the original doors that had been rendered redundant during the renovation in the old part of the house a few years prior, and put one of the nicer old brass door knobs on it from another door.
This room was to be for guests, not children, and being in the older part of the house, I wanted to do something interesting in it. Otherwise it would really end up feeling like no more than a cupboard. I was keen to use wallpaper to create interest, and the wallpaper I really wanted to use was De Gournay. I figured that having lusted after it for nearly 15 years I could probably afford it in the smallest room in the house… however it was not to be. It was still just too eye wateringly expensive.
So my next choice was this Schumacher grasscloth with an overprint on it. It's hand blocked so it's not exactly a budget option, but it was still considerably less expensive than De Gournay. The main problem that I had was that it was sold on an 8 yard roll (American lengths), and not available in double rolls or in one continuous length which limited the number of drops you can get per roll. It also had a large pattern repeat, so the combination of the two factors meant that I was only able to get one wallpaper drop per roll due to my high ceiling heights. This caused it to start going into the pricing of the De Gournay due to the excessive waste, so my solution was to do a dado level panelling, which enabled me to get two drops per roll, and thus cut down by half the cost of the wallpaper.
I didn't panel this side to make it easy to clean. Now I think I probably should have still panelled it.
I designed the dado panelling, higher than normal to match the hand basin height and matched the style to the Victorian era door panelling elsewhere in the house. The other thing that I wanted to do due to the small space was to create a continuous flooring in from the hall, so that it didn't seem so separated an element with a change. I continued in the floorboards that we'd used in the hall (Spotted Gum), which also gave less of a 'bathroom' feel.
The toilet model was part of the job lot I purchased for the house 5 years ago along with all the other bathroom items at a warehouse sale in Melbourne, and is from Duravit. The handbasin was the big bargain in this room, coming from Recollections/ Early Settler and costing only $99 in a sale. Tapware and assorted fittings are from Astra Walker and are in the same style used elsewhere in the house, but in unlacquered brass, which has now aged down nicely to match in with the patina on the mirror.
And as for the mirror, well that was the part that took the longest. I wanted to find an antique gilt mirror. I like things with a bit of age, and didn't want something super shiny and new looking. Unfortunately supply in Australia of old mirrors is fairly limited. A lot that are available are far too large for this little space, or the ones that were the right size were very, very expensive. Additionally while I love old mirror glass, sometimes it starts to become so distressed or foggy that you can't see in it properly. This wouldn't be a problem hanging elsewhere, but in a powder room it wasn't so ideal. Finally I found the mirror at a local Estate Auction, and it's perfect.
As for lighting, I've kept it simple. There was wiring done for sconces on either side of the mirror, but I changed my mind when the wallpaper started going up, so they're sitting there behind the plaster. I thought they'd be just a little bit too much. The room is lit during the day by a fixed velux skylight (clear so you can see the sky through it). There are two LED down lights for night, and that's it.
So, the littlest room in the house completed at last.
Handbasin - "Manhattan" from Recollections/ Early Settler
Taps & accessories - Astra Walker 'Classic' range in unlaquered brass
Toilet - Duravit
Wallpaper - Schumacher Celerie Kemble "Hothouse Flowers" in Fog
Mirror - Small & Whitfield estate auctions
Floors - Spotted Gum wide floorboards
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