I recently bought a house; not in the perfect place, and not in the perfect shape, but certainly with perfect potential. The very first room for improvement was, without doubt, the bathroom. The exceedingly expensive price of the house generously included one of those 1960s bathroom extensions with a leaky roof, manky loo flush and dribbling shower which make visiting the gym vastly preferable to visiting one’s own facilities.* The plan to convert a bedroom into a bathroom was heavily cautioned by some; the wanton abandonment of a whole room was considered so drastic you’d think I’d announced the sale of my first new born or were partial to eating barbecued kittens for tea. Nevertheless, the bathroom was installed. The thing about an entirely new room in a house is that everything in it is so, well, new. But if you are anything like me, you will need to take certain measures to ensure the newness loses its sheen, much like I feel the need to tug strands of hair out of the perfect ponytail. With a new canvas, a few carefully placed old pieces look better than hidden among their ilk. Against the perfect new flagstone tiled floor, an old desk, stripped of white paint but still harbouring a few pale flecks, looks majestic, as well as serving as a vessel for cleaning products and razors. An antique stool splashed with hundreds of years of life’s stains is no longer a thing to stand on to reach shelves but an object of beauty. The only rule here is simple; stick to freestanding objects and keep everything else super clean; allowing a new sink, toilet or bath to be splashed with hundreds of years of life’s stains is definitely tantamount to barbecuing your cat for dinner.
*Which is really saying something because the showers at my gym are the kind that need restarting every five seconds, like playing a fruit machine in light drizzle