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FMB Award Winning Bathroom - 2015

In 2015 Mr & Mrs de Sousa traded under the name 'Doozer Construction', and won the Federation of Master Builders Regional Award...

Originally published in Federation of Master Builders | The Essential Guide to Home Improvements

A Modern Classic

When off-the-shelf fails to inspire it's time to look further afield. That's exactly what Samantha Coxhead did when recruiting the help of Doozer Constructions (now Mr & Mrs de Sousa) to refurbish her two bathrooms on time and within budget; the transformation is incredible.

Sam's self-confessed madhouse is a detached four bed in Bromsgrove, Worchester and is me to husband John, two daughters Milly 21 and Chloe 9, and Pomeranian dog, Joey. Both bathrooms were in desperate need of a little TLC having not been refurbished since the house was built 14 years ago.

Because of the nature of John's work the couple have spent a lot of time in hotels over the years, consequently becoming bathroom connoisseurs. After honing their dream of the perfect bathroom they just needed to find the right person to make it happen and that's when Nicola from Doozer Constructions, listed building developers and bathroom design specialists, came into it.

Sam met Nicola at a local networking event for small businesses and was wowed by her bathroom designs so kept in touch. Nicola explains the importance of "working with the right customer" when taking on a project, stressing that "personality match is essential”. Nicola listened to Sam and was able to interpret her vision right away whilst allowing freedom for her own creativity, such as suggesting ideas like the star ceiling that Sam may not have chosen herself but loved.

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"In terms of a brief it was very brief,” Sam explains. "We knew we wanted to keep the large feature mirror in the master bathroom, but that was about it." Nicola took this as a starting point and chose beautiful large stone tiles to adorn the walls and the floors in both bathrooms.

Thin horizontal stone tile strips of varying shades were applied to the wall behind the mirror. "That wall is the first thing you see when walking into the bathroom,” Sam explains. " It has really got that wow factor; the tiling is absolutely immaculate.”

Having had bad experiences with builders in the past Sam admired the technical expertise of the Doozer Constructions team. "Nicola doesn’t employ Jack-of-all-trades types; instead she recruits subcontractors who specialise in tiling, plumbing, etc, so that the job is done perfectly.”

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The natural surfaces create a feeling of warmth and comfort and offset the white appliances allowing them to take pride of place, like the beautiful minimalist bath in the master bathroom. Sam fell in love with a bath she had spotted in a hotel years ago and Nicola managed to source an exact replica but at a snip of the price. The standalone luxury bath adds a subtle elegance to the contemporary feel of the bathroom.

It was important to the family that the master bathroom be a place of total relaxation and comfort and how better to relax than under a sky of twinkling stars. Well almost - the tips of tiny colour changing fibre optic wires were painstakingly fed through drilled holes in the ceiling to give the illusion of a starry sky. Modern storage cabinets have been installed in both bathrooms, perfect for allowing the family to retain the minimalist, uncluttered look.

The whole family (even John in Germany) wanted to be involved with the design of the bathrooms. Pinterest was used as a centralised point for them all to share images they liked, as well as for pinning images of the bathroom’s progress.

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Sam was able to completely entrust Nicola and her team with the design and installation as well as relying on them to leave the house in a liveable state for the family's return each day. The Coxheads were never left without a functioning bathroom and Sam admits that the house was often left tidier than when she left it. What more could you want?

When asked what she thinks of her new bathrooms Sam explains, "Well I now give guided tours to guests. I love them. Especially the master bathroom, it's perfect and a pleasure to use. I really do have the bathrooms of my dreams.”



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