Considering these are the smallest room in the house... under the stairs loos are a big deal. They are so useful to have as they are quite often the only toilet on the ground floor of the house, saving the trek upstairs every time you need to spend a penny, so when we built our house, we made sure to include one.
As it’s a modern house, and a compact one at that, we have an unusual L-shaped stair layout with half landings, meaning the space under the stairs is very tight.
Coming in at a tiny 114 by 68 centimetres it was a huge challenge as I had to source the smallest items possible to go inside it and painfully plan every centimetre of space. To make things even trickier, the ceiling slopes steeply down as you enter the small space.
To make the absolute most of the space, I pushed out the left hand side wall by adding two recesses, stealing space from the adjoining cavity wall that forms the stair banister. The WC is so narrow, that without the recess, the small marble basin would not even have fit into the space, so this tiny bit of extra space was essential to making the room functional.
Because the WC leads off the main living areas, where I’ve used a strong palette of black, brass and marble, I decided to carry it through into this area as well, using Harlequin’s bold black and gold Tessellation wallpaper and painting the sloped ceiling in Off Black by Farrow & Ball.
The Floor Plan
To make the most of the tiny floor area, I sourced a wall hung wc with a short projection – Rak Ceramics’ Metropolitan Wall Hung Pan was amongst the shortest I could find. Even though the basin had to be tiny to fit into the recess, I still wanted it to be beautiful and unusual, rather than standard white ceramic, so after weeks of research I sourced the Kaloo white marble Stone Basin from Living Roc and tiled the surrounding triangular recess with a large format marble effect porcelain tile.
Carrying the brass theme through the interior from my brass island in the kitchen and the Flos wall lights in the living room, I chose the brushed brass MPRO Monobloc mixer from Crosswater, it has a tactile knurled lever, which is exactly the kind of little textural detail that I love. The flush pate was originally chrome, but I spray- painted it in matte black to blend in with my scheme. And always staying true to my mission of adding warmth, character and texture to modern homes, I chose the handmade Black Siham tiles from Bert and May for the floor and half way up the back wall. The simple black, gold edged round towel hook is from Ferm Living and the modern touch light plate is by Ilumos.
The Space Enhancing Tricks
I had to go into overdrive with visual space trickery in the area! Besides the wall hung pan and the basin recess, the additional square recess is a much needed storage pocket for toilet paper and a couple of pretty things like a candle or room scent and small plant (faux of course, because there is no natural light in here!)
I’ve used clean lines to maximum effect in this small area, designing the door to be taller than is standard, giving a sense of height, there is also no trim or moulding around the door, removing any extra visual clutter. Usually these tiles would be laid horizontally or in a brick pattern, but I decided to have them laid vertically on the floor, so that the room appears deeper than it actually is. All these little details give the visual effect of the space appearing larger than it actually is.
Interior design, styling and photography by Tash South.
DETAILS: Mirror, Laura Ashley. Candle Malin & Goetz. Plant pot: Oliver Bonas. Hand wash, Ashley & Co (gift)