Downstairs Cloakroom 

The Problem

  • A reasonably sized, but dated and awkward existing downstairs cloakroom. 
  • Inward opening door left little space to manoeuvre in and out of the room. 

The Brief

  • Design and oversee the installation of an updated modern cloakroom with new fittings and a tiled floor.
  • Make better use of space.
  • Leave walls free for hanging pictures.
  • Minimise disruption as far as possible.

The Design & Solution

I produced three designs using a selection of space saving fixtures.

Better use of space  The short projection close coupled toilet and a slimmer basin in the wider part of the room makes more space in the centre.

Display space  I planned tiling only behind the basin and toilet, and I added shelves to the alcove, making space to hang pictures and display objects.

Minimise disruption  No significant plumbing works were necessary as I kept the toilet in the same position and moved the basin only a short distance.

Extra suggestion  I recommended underfloor heating as there was no other heating in the room and otherwise ceramic tiles feel cold to touch.

HINT: A ‘close coupled’ toilet, where the visible cistern is closely connected to the pan usually offers the shortest projection when the pan and cistern are considered together.

HINT: When choosing tiles, always consider the size of tile and how it will be laid in the space to avoid awkward patterns and odd strips of cut tiles.

HINT: When laying ceramic floor tiles consider underfloor heating. Electric heating can be installed without adding much height to the floor and a low wattage will keep the chill off your feet without needing to change your existing heating.

The Execution

Other people involved – a plumber, a tiler, and an electrician. The tiler and electrician were sub contracted by the plumber who specialised in bathroom installations.

My role in the execution


    • I provided plans and elevation drawings of the cloakroom and a detailed specification of the work.
    • I invited different people to quote for the work based on my specifications and walked them through it in situ.
    • Once a contractor was chosen, I programmed the work to fit in with other work I was organising in the house which was undergoing full refurbishment.
    • I supervised the work while it was ongoing. As the people carrying out the work had not visited the house in the first instance, I briefed them at the start of the job to make sure they understood the designs and specification, and monitored the ongoing work for quality and to check that the designs were being followed.

The Result

  • A new contemporary cloakroom, filled with my client’s own pictures and objects, reflecting their style, life and personality.
  • A warm cloakroom (no cold feet).
  • Space to get in, close the door, and then get out again!

The Cost

This was part of a larger whole house refurbishment, but as a standalone project this would probably cost in the region of £3000 – £5000.

    • Alice Clare Studio: Design, quote gathering and project supervision, about £1000
    • Cost of installation and materials: about £3000 

You can read more about how I might be able to help you and your home by reading my Services page.