Work on the re-design at the Didsbury Flower Lounge is complete and I’m thrilled with the results. Owner Siân Wild’s ideas for the space her award-winning business occupies were so exciting that I simply couldn’t say no when asked to help turn those ideas into a reality for the main shop area and office. However, there was one little corner of the store which needed some extra thought…. a somewhat dark and damp basement cloakroom which required the Moregeous treatment.
It’s all very well and good being a super sized retailer with a super sized budget but small independents deserve the best value for money and clever design to ensure even the teeniest space work brilliantly. Here, we’re definitely talking teeny. The basement cloakroom is only 0.8m wide and 3m long with an plinth for the loo, elevated to allow proper drainage. How do you make a space this narrow both a) glamorous and b) work as a usable space?
Well, clearly you work on the damp first, a problem almost universal in untanked cellars. We built a new plinth with treated, wrapped timbers thus ensuring a good solid structure for the new WC. The pipework and water heater needed to stay in situ but everything else could change so we worked a bit of design magic. Just look at the difference!
If you’re working on transforming a room of similar dimensions, try some of these tips:
GO SMALL BUT GO STYLISH
Just because a room is small, doesn’t mean it can’t tick lots of design boxes. You most certainly don’t have to compromise on style when compromising on size, so make sure you shop around for suites designed for teeny rooms.
I bought this suite from online store Soak, who I’ve used before, primarily because it’s specially designed for cloakrooms. The basin is only 235mm deep from the wall to the front edge, meaning it protrudes less into the room than a ‘normal’ sink, and has a appropriate tap size to suit and also has the bonus of cabinet storage for Andrex and spare soap. The loo is also more compact than average, so fits perfectly in smaller rooms, yet has a traditional style so looks more expensive than some small contemporary loos.
WHITE HOT – PRACTICAL AND BRIGHT
In small rooms with no windows, white paint add brightness and light. Here I used a gorgeous soft shade called White Hot from Valspar, a real favourite of mine as it’s warm without edging too far towards cream. White paint is also very easily touched up to cover the inevitable marks created in narrow rooms.
EMBRACE HIGH IMPACT
There is absolutely no rule to say you can’t have bold impactful design in a small space, just like this amazing wallpaper we chose from Graham & Brown. How could we not chose an incredible succulent paper when working in such a beautiful florists?
Think about using your chosen paper in a very specific and intentional way in smaller rooms. Instead of simply papering one wall, I created a frame using painted 3″ architrave and then wallpapered inside it, giving the impression of a giant painting.
ADD A TOUCH OF THE ORGANIC
In small rooms with no natural light and white walls, there can be a tendency towards things feeling a bit clinical. To avoid that – on top of the spectacular wallpaper obv – I used a lovely piece of waney edged oak as a shelf behind the loo and also a cute little wicker shaded pendant. You knew the 70’s were coming back right? Both these items are from B&Q, brilliantly affordable as well as looking great.
COUPLING THE LUXE WITH THE LINOI know, it’s a dreadful image (sorry!) but you’ll get the vibe. For undersized basins, you’ll only need a small splashback and here we used a solid piece of white marble bought as a single sample tile – clever huh?
Vinyl floors have come on in leaps and bounds recently and a Scandi grey washed-timber effect was just perfect in this room. In small spaces you can sometimes even get away with offcuts from your local carpet warehouse. Always ask what they have if you’re on a very tight budget, if you don’t ask and all that 😉
Lino or vinyl flooring is also excellent in cellars as they’re products unaffected by damp, unlike timber, laminate or carpet.
Betcha din’t think of that did you? Nope, and that’s why you keep popping to the Moregeous blog for tips x
Disclaimer. Er, none. We bought the suite, wallpaper, paint, flooring, light, shelf and accessories. I just name-checked ’em because they all worked so well together and made me a very happy lady builder 🙂