Restoring an Edinburgh Period Home for Modern Living

Restoring a rundown Edinburgh period property doesn’t mean that it should look the same as when it was first built. Of course, there are limitations on what can be done with the exterior which is, quite rightly, regulated to ensure that it is in keeping with the original construction era, whether it be Georgian or Victorian. For example, this could mean using lime mortar for repointing the stonework or replacing the sash and case windows with like-for-like but only if they are absolutely beyond repair. Decorative finials, guttering and downpipes should also follow the original design, and the colours chosen to repaint railings or entrance doors must follow a specific colour palette.

Keeping up with the times

However, if you stroll along the streets and lanes of the New Town and gaze at the uniformity of the buildings, there are two things which may surprise you. The first is that the grey exteriors were originally a honey colour, being the natural hue of the ashlar stone mined from Craigleith quarry. Secondly, what is outside may not reflect what is inside. Time has moved on since the New Town had just been completed and George IV visited Edinburgh in 1822. Period homes should to serve the needs of the modern family and the fast-paced lives they lead. 

To give you some examples period home restoration builder, Mackenzie Hughes will, over the next few weeks, give you a room-by-room tour inside some of the Edinburgh period properties we’ve had the privilege to restore. This week, we’ll view a small selection of our bathroom and shower room installations along with some tips that may give you some inspiration for your own home.

The modern bathroom

The modern bathroom, should be designed around you; somewhere you can feel comfortable and unwind from the pressures of the day. If you live in a period home and looking to upgrade your bathroom or shower room here are some things to consider.  

What is the purpose of your bathroom?

Apart from the obvious, what is the purpose of your bathroom? As it’s often the only room in the house that is guaranteed to have a lock fitted most people view it as a sanctuary where they can relax and clear their heads after a busy day and however you prefer to do this will influence the type of bath or shower room you’ll want to have. Another key factor is the size of the room itself and if space is at a premium you may have to compromise. For example, if you prefer a quick shower before heading to the office or enjoy a cool rainfall shower after your daily workout, but your partner loves nothing better than to unwind in a hot bath surrounded by mood lighting and candles, then you may wish to install a bath with an overhead shower. 

However, if neither of you particularly enjoy a long soak you could forego the bath and choose a walk-in shower instead but, bear in mind that if you plan to sell your property down the track, the lack of a bath may affect the value of your property, although that depends on how well designed your shower room is.

Of course, if you have the space for a bathroom and a shower room you can have one of each.

The spa bathroom or shower room

Do you like your bath or shower room to have a modern spa-like feel to it? Or, do you prefer a more traditional style. Perhaps you like a combination of both. Whichever one best describes your taste it will have an influence on your colour scheme and decor, floorcovering and tiles, sanitary ware and of course the style of bath and shower you choose.   

The modern ‘spa’ type bath or shower-room should be clutter-free and minimal so you may wish to think about storage solutions that keep your essentials out of site. The design could include natural materials such as wood, bamboo, stone or marble and careful consideration should be given to your lighting and colour palette. You may also wish to include an integrated sound system such as Sonos for mood music as you relax after a hard day.

minimal bathroom with standalone bath and walk-in shower

The traditional bathroom or shower room

By contrast, the traditional bathroom or shower room is less minimal in design. Although fitted with modern appliances it would probably have more personal touches – a picture here and there, or maybe some ornaments to give it a more homely look. Think manor home or country cottage but with a modern twist.

If you would like some guidance on planning your own period home bathroom speak to Mackenzie Hughes. Contact us on 0131 557 4966.

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