Dressing up the Dunny

I was recently asked to make an ex water heater cupboard, tiny toilet, seem a bit more…well you know. Classy.


Generally the smallest room in the house is also the least decorated.

But with the current trend to separate toilets and bathrooms why not consider these little rooms as personalities in themselves. Give them a bit of that, je ne sais quoi.

Here is what I did.

smallest roomThe extractor fan that is installed in most toilets is likely to be a typical 15-20litres per second fan. They are designed for your average bathroom and make a real racket. I decided to try to tone it down a bit and provide myself a platform to add some mood lighting.

First of all I took a piece of board(you can use ply, MDF or chip board)6mm or thicker is fine for most small rooms. I used a bit of 12mm kitchen carcase because that’s what I had. The board should only fill about 2/3rds of the ceiling or less. You can cut a nice scroll or simple indent curve in the open edge.

I drilled 3 holes to suit the low voltage down lights I picked up cheap as they were a set of three(for most applications you need 5 to make decent lighting). 3 lights are more than enough for a little room. The Regs don’t have a mention of lighting over a toilet. I guess they figure you’re not going to try to shower or wash your hands in it. However with the risk of having to re-do it I suggest you ask your electrician. I used low voltage Zone 2 lights to make sure I was inside the Regs and they don’t cost much more than zone 3.

smallest roomI mounted two pieces of timber to the wall at a height just below the extractor fan. I left the fan on the wall pointing horizontally rather than duct it downwards through the board. The reason for this was to block some of the noise of the fan. Leave yourself enough room to get to the fan if it needs cleaning or replacing later. The walls are unlikely to be square. Don’t worry about it. Lift your board up to the wood battens and screw up from underneath. The gaps etc around it from the out of square room will be covered by the cornice.
With the board in place go ahead and put up the cornice with some quick set liquid nails, and fair it nicely with filler(known as “instant tradesman”). I used white paint as the tiles are a sandy colour and I wanted to keep the room bright. So the walls and ceiling are brilliant white.

Once it’s all dry you can fit the lights into the holes. Make sure you are really finished painting before you push the lights in on 12mm board or you will have a hard time getting them back out.

The slight delay from the low voltage lights when you switch them on gives a real sense of ceremony.


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