‘When we fell in love with a cast-iron Victorian canopy bath at a salvage yard,’ says Joanne Ross, ‘we were disappointed to see that its price tag was £500 more than our entire budget for the bathroom! We were absolutely determined to have it, though, so we embarked on an extensive selling session on eBay.’
In preparation for the bath’s arrival, the walls were stripped back and the floor joists were reinforced to take the extra weight. The sizeable bath also dictated the layout of the room, so the position for the new high-level cistern toilet had to be moved. This caused some problems because the room potentially featured dangerous doors leading to a small balcony. To rectify this, Joanne and Andy had a floor-to-ceiling sash window made. In addition, the plumber renewed all the plumbing, including a new tank, pipes under the floor and an efficient pump in the loft.
Even more careful planning was required to actually get the bath into the house. ‘We decided that a mini forklift would be the safest option as the stairs are much too narrow,’ explains Joanne. ‘Our builder had the unenviable task of operating the forklift to raise the cast-iron bath from our driveway up over the conservatory and on to scaffolding erected at the back of the cottage. It was then winched up on to a ramp that went over the balcony and down into the bathroom.’
Finishing touches in the room include blue-painted tongue-and-groove panelling to tone with the bath, reclaimed pine for the floor, an old armchair and an advertising print of a canopy bath.
FEATURE NAOMI JONES PHOTOGRAPHS BRENT DARBY
Featured in the February 2010 issue of Period Living