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A Pandemic Remodel: A Family’s Only Bathroom Gets an Update During Lockdown

Ferren Gipson's white-tiled bathroom remodel, London.

Last month, Remodelista spotlighted Ferren Gipson’s Ikea hack kitchen that she designed herself. The existing kitchen had been encumbered by a washer/dryer and giant boiler that needed to be moved elsewhere—which is what led Ferren to overhaul the family bathroom first. An American art historian in London, Ferren finds visual inspiration all over—for the bath, she looked to Victorian public restrooms for ideas and started sketching plans.

Ferren worked with local contractors Palali Construction on the bath and kitchen, and managed to get both done in the midst of the pandemic—while she, her husband, and their five-year-old son were all holed up at home. And that wasn’t the only challenge: this is the sole bathroom in their row house in Peckham. During the five weeks of construction, at the end of most days, the crew were able to set up the toilet and tub so they could be used after-hours—and as-needed during working hours.

Suffice to say, it wasn’t easy. The existing bathroom “wasn’t terrible,” Ferren tells us, “it just didn’t work well: there was a tub at one end and a shower stall at the other that didn’t make sense.” The finished space manages to incorporate the washer/dryer and a new boiler, all almost unnoticeably. Join us for a look.

Photography by Ferren Gipson (@ferrengipson).

Ferren Gipson's white-tiled bathroom remodel, London.
Above: “We were going for Victorian public bath meets a modern boutique hotel,” says Ferren. Subway tiles with black grout now pattern the walls and run up the side of the existing tub, newly fitted with a shower (the Arezzo Brushed Brass Showerhead and Bath Knobs are from Victorian Plumbing). Ferren considered black fixtures but liked the warmth of brass. The matte-white Hexagonal Mosaic Tiles are from Topps Tiles.
Ferren Gipson's white-tiled bathroom remodel, London.
Above: Ferren saved the existing toilet. The wall-hung radiator, a discontinued Arezzo design, doubles as a heated towel rack: “In the UK, we don’t typically have forced-air heating, so it’s a necessity to have some sort of heater in the bathroom,”says Ferren. The Round Tasseled Bathmat is from H&M and the Turkish towel is from House of Luf.
Ferren Gipson's white-tiled bathroom remodel, London.
Above: The existing sink turned out to be cracked, so it was replaced with a Rectangular Wall-Mounted Stone-Resin Basin and Brushed Brass Mixer Tap, both by Arezzo from Victorian Plumbing. The mirror is the Jamison by Made.

Note that Ferren hangs eucalyptus in the shower as we like to do, for An Instant Spa Bath. That’s devil’s ivy hanging from the wall.

Ferren Gipson selfie in her remodeled bathroom, London.
Above: Ferren took this selfie to celebrate the finished work. Her dress is by L.F. Markey. Go to @ferrengipson to hear  her mini lecture on the hidden meaning of eggs in art and other surprise topics.
Ferren Gipson's laundry cabinet in bathroom remodel, London.
Above: To squeeze in a stacked Hoover washing machine and Electra dryer, Ferren had her crew replace the existing shower stall with a painted wood cabinet. The hinged door enables it to work in the space, and there’s also a cupboard, next to the sink for towels and toiletries. An existing storage area to the right of the entry holds the compact new boiler.
Ferren Gipson's laundry cabinet in bathroom remodel, London.
Above: Thanks to the convenient cupboard, Ferren says, most days she and her family manage to keep the surfaces clear of stuff. The Industrial Outdoor/Bathroom Light is from Urban Cottage Industries.

More inspiring bathrooms:

On Bob Vila, read about Quick and Easy “Green” Bathroom Updates.

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