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Case Study: Being bold with black in Georgian-style bathroom

When it comes to styling your bathroom interior, it helps to start with a key focal point – something you want to make a feature out of, which you can then build the rest of the bathroom design around. For Jenny O’Dwyer from Cork, this focal feature was her bath – a stunning freestanding black bathtub which she sourced from her local Bathshack showroom.

Daring to be bold by embracing the noir look – and subsequently delighted with the end result – she told us all about how she styled the bathroom and went about selecting her dream products.

“The bathroom is probably my favourite room in the house."

“I just love the classic style – and the way the tall panelling makes the already high ceilings look much higher.”

Freestanding bath a contemporary focal point

With a vision for a classic, elegant bathroom, the O’Dwyers were keen to create a distinctly adult bathroom for their home, with a separate one for the kids in a different style.

“The bath was the first thing we started with,” said Jenny. “We both wanted a freestanding bath and were looking at the Viktor Benson white one. Then we saw the black version on the website, while we were in the showroom, and we said, ‘Will we dare to try something different?’

The Viktor Benson Taha Freestanding Double-ended Slipper Bath in black is the centrepiece in the O’Dwyers’ bathroom.

“Every freestanding bath you see is usually white, but this one is just white inside, so it’s not all black.

“I would always be the person who will be brave and take the chance and see how it goes. I had never envisioned black in the bathroom, but we ended up building black around this bath.”

The bath they chose was the Viktor Benson Taha Freestanding Double-ended Slipper Bath, a designer freestanding tub with a gloss black finish which contrasts with the all-white interior. This includes a white central waste, with the bath being double-ended, so you can sit at either end. The white also extends up slightly over the top of the bath to give a thin white rim around the perimeter.

The bath is subsequently complemented by Bathshack’s Eliseo Ricci Noir Curve Floorstanding Bath-shower Mixer in Black. With a matt finish, the mixer has a sleek contemporary look which adds further elegance to the luxury-look tub, with a smooth, curved neck and lever-style handles, along with an extendable handset for added convenience.

As Jenny said: “We carried on the black theme with the taps and then went monochrome with the shower, the shower and tray both being from Bathshack as well.”

The main bathroom mixes a monochrome look with earthy, neutral tones.

The shower includes the Elements Square Slimline Shower Tray in white and the Hudson Reed Framed Wet Room Screen in Matt Black. With black frame detailing across the glass, along with a black overhead support bar, the shower screen adds texture and visual interest to the room and, of course, complements the black bath.

The shower kit itself is Bathshack’s Black Twin Thermostatic Concealed Mixer Shower Kit with Ceiling-mounted Shower Head, which has a contemporary style with square showerhead and valve handles.

“We carried on the black theme with the black frame in the shower,” said Jenny. “We were going to go with a slate tray, but we have very hard water here, so we just went with the white one in the end.”

Balancing out the black, the bathroom’s toilet is in a more traditional white, with Bathshack’s Legend Traditional Toilet and Basin Suite what the O’Dwyers opted for here. With a gloss white finish and bevelled edging detail, the toilet has a classic vintage style which complements the overall Georgian aesthetic of the bathroom. They’ve since replaced the basin with a larger floorstanding vanity unit with inset basin, which also continues the elegant, vintage theme.

“I was going to get a vanity unit custom-made but to carry us through in the meantime, we got the pedestal basin from Bathshack,” said Jenny. “Then we put in a large storage vanity.”

Designing the ideal interior

When it came to choosing flooring for the bathroom, Jenny said they were keen to stay away from tiles. When they visited Bathshack’s Cork showroom back in 2021, they subsequently spent a few hours browsing and found the perfect flooring in Pergo’s Premium Click Vinyl Floors. Their choice for the bathroom was subsequently the Pergo Premium Click Vinyl Flooring in Modern Coffee Oak Wood-effect Vinyl, which has a rich brown tone with authentic graining detail and is water-resistant.

“We ended up buying all the flooring from Bathshack,” said Jenny. “We have laminate floors in the hallways and bedroom – and the kitchen, sitting room and utility rooms are all Pergo, with all the underlay from Bathshack too.

“Then we said we would put in the skirting as well. The vision was to do some sort of panelling in the bathroom, but we weren’t sure what style.”

The laminate flooring in the kitchen, supplied by Bathshack.

To help bring her bathroom vision to life, Jenny sought help from an interior designer, which she said was a “phenomenal” experience.

The hallway also has laminate flooring from Bathshack.

“I think you can definitely save money by getting one,” she said. “She really listened to us about what we wanted. We were undecided about the panelling and she just fine-tuned all those decisions for us. It was the interior designer who decided to go with the long-style panel boxes at full height on the walls. She also suggested using wallpaper suitable for a wet room, which we now have above the panelling.

“We had a mood board and 3D drawings, as well as colour cards. I love green and we just thought those colours would work well.”

The colour palette for the bathroom is subsequently a calming mix of sage green with the wall panelling, complemented by a lighter green in the wallpaper border, which also features a floral pattern. With white skirting boards, this ties in with the bath’s white interior, along with the toilet, shower tray and window frame, while the black elements come in that feature bath, vanity countertop, shower screen, taps and accessories.

The bathroom lights add further visual interest and depth to the space, with the main light being a chandelier-style fixture with large white bauble-effect bulbs in an antique brass finish. These bauble lights are also replicated in two sidelights on either side of a vintage-style circular mirror above the vanity unit.

“The main bathroom is definitely about aesthetics – and the key focal point is the bath,” said Jenny. “That’s the one visitors use as well. The other one – the ensuite – is more functional and has Pergo Vinyl flooring, which is brilliant because it’s waterproof. We’re currently finishing that off and have gone for chrome in there. It’s the kids’ bathroom, so we want tiles there, to make it more functional.”

 

Having only moved into their home in July 2023, the O’Dwyers have completed a lot of interior design work in just two-and-a-half years, working methodically through each room. The overall style of the property, which is a newbuild bungalow, is subsequently Georgian with a modern twist.

“We have very high ceilings – over nine feet tall – along with a Georgian front door,” said Jenny. “There’s also ceiling coving and roses. We’re starting to bring in a more modern style with the bedroom designs.”

Reflecting on their bathroom renovation experience, Jenny said they had “found Bathshack to be a very good one-stop shop where you could get flooring and all sanitary-ware in the one place.”

“There’s great choice and various styles to suit every customer’s taste,” she added. “The customer service was brilliant and when things were out for delivery, I was updated about when they would arrive, with clear communication about checking products, in case you needed to do any returns.

“I would definitely buy from Bathshack again.”

Jenny O’Dwyer is delighted with her bathroom renovation and the products from Bathshack.

You can follow Jenny’s home renovation on Instagram at @ourhome_premierheights.

View our full range of freestanding online at bathshack.com

Alternatively, if you have questions about any of our products, just email our team at info@bathshack.com, call us on (028) 9077 0188, or use our online chat.