We caught up with renowned property expert, businesswoman, TV presenter and writer Sarah Beeny, as she gives us an update on her new home and reveals her top 5 Victoria Plum bathroom products.
If you’ve been enjoying the latest Channel 4 series Sarah Beeny’s New Life in the Country as much as we have, you’ll be intrigued to find out how Sarah, husband Graham and her 4 boys are getting on, developing their new dream home in rural Somerset.
When I last chatted bathrooms with Sarah, she explained why she’d opted for a more traditional style and how they planned to be “off-grid” when it came to plumbing and power. She also provided some handy tips for anyone embarking on their own bathroom project. You can read the full and exclusive interview with Sarah here.
With the new year underway, Sarah kindly broke off from her busy, busy schedule to chat with us again.
We’ve watched your new home slowly, but surely, becoming a reality. Have you managed to move in yet? (And did you manage to spend Christmas there, as planned?)
We were in for Christmas but it still involved a bit of camping. We are lucky enough to have the house we have lived in for the last 3 years on site, so whilst we finish the house we can still stay there. It’s going to be really exciting when it’s finished and we are all finally in.
Were there any unforeseen (or perhaps even expected) issues you had to overcome fitting each bathroom?
The bathrooms have been joyous to do as they will make such a difference to our lives. We wanted them all to have a slightly different feel which we have managed to achieve with different tiling and paint colours, plus a slightly different choice of the fittings. I wanted them all to have cupboards so you could hide away all those unsightly products that collect dirt. Also, I didn’t want any pipework on display…it can be a real dust trap too. We also made a concerted effort to have 2 different lighting circuits and dimmers fitted, so we can continue to evolve the bathrooms. We want them to be more than just a place in which you wash yourself. They should be rooms in which you actually want to spend time.
As you mentioned the last time we chatted, your sons were quite involved in the practical aspects of bathroom planning and decor. Which tasks did you do yourself, as opposed to getting a plumber or electrician in?
The boys and us did the flooring and tiling in most of the bathrooms, as well as fitting the odd towel rail and the electric underfloor heating. In the end, I think we ran out of time and energy, leaving the actual plumbing to our brilliant plumbers!
How did you go about choosing the colour schemes for each bathroom? Where do you find your inspiration?
It began with the tiling—you have to ensure you don’t limit yourself too much by deciding on a “theme” that cannot be achieved with modern sanitaryware. It’s about using the best of the old and the best of the new. We were very keen to have bathrooms that didn’t date in terms of design or wear, so they are all pretty classic but really well fitted.
And, what made you choose Victoria Plum for your bathrooms?
They were the perfect balance between affordability, quality and variety of choice.
Thanks Sarah, I will let you go as I know you’ll want to get back to work. Finally, could you tell us which of your 5 chosen bathroom products you like the best?
1. Chartham slate matt grey vanity unit
I love the vanity units we picked out, complete with basins and cupboards underneath. They are really beautifully designed and well-constructed, giving you a ready-made cupboard for all your “stuff”.
Sarah picked out the Chartham slate matt grey floorstanding vanity unit and white marble basin
2. Dulwich bath shower mixer
I also love the bath shower mixer tap in Raffey’s bathroom—it’s got a great Deco feel to it and works brilliantly.
Sarah picked out the Dulwich bath shower mixer and standpipe pack
3. Dover province blue cast iron bath
Everyone loves a roll top bath and the ones we picked out are in the coolest of colours. They look sensational as a focal feature for each room.
Sarah picked out the Dover province blue cast iron bath
4. Plug & ball chain basin waste
I am a real believer in the old-fashioned plug and chain, as I think the fewer small parts, the better. These are just great.
Sarah picked out the Plug & ball chain basin waste
5. Santa Fe black traditional radiator
If you can possibly fit it in, a dual fuel towel rail with a radiator (which can run off the central heating or a heating element) will ensure your room stays warm and dry, plus your towels are always ready and welcoming. They encourage everyone to hang up their towels too!
Sarah picked out the Santa Fe black traditional radiator
Thanks once again for your time Sarah. We’ve certainly enjoyed taking a bit of time out from—let’s face it—a pretty rubbish year, to enjoy all the different aspects of your amazing home project. We can’t wait to see the finished article!
If you haven’t seen it yet, you can catch up with both Series 1 and 2 of Sarah Beeny’s New Life in the Country online at All4.