Before and after: this bathroom went from dated to statement

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  • Inspired by the Victorian origins of the house, the owners gave this dated bathroom a modern makeover

    Buying their first home together was an exciting adventure for this young couple, who couldn’t wait to get started on the renovations to their three-bedroom Victorian terraced house. ‘We decided to begin in the attic and focus on the bedrooms, as the kitchen and living area downstairs were more liveable. The bathroom was the fourth room we tackled and we knew we’d have to redo the entire scheme to get the room we both wanted.’

    ‘The bathroom was very plain and lacked any character or standout features. The flooring was covered in water stains and overall the room felt unloved and in need of a little TLC. It was a great size though so we knew it had potential.’ explains the owner. ‘We hoped to bring our personal style into the decor of the room while complementing the Victorian era of the property. Adding drama to the room was important to us and we knew from the start that we wanted statement tiles.’

    Luckily the layout was already well designed, so the home owners were able to save time and money not having to replumb or change the configuration of the room. Keeping the existing roll-top bath, radiators and toilet meant the couple could spend a little more on the other details of the room. They found a recommended local builder to do the bulk of the work, but decided to do some of the less technical jobs themselves to stay within budget.

    The wood panelling around the room looked very dated, so they decided to sand it down to remove the varnish and give it a new lease of life with a dark on-trend shade of paint. This took a lot longer than expected, as it had to be done completely by hand because of the grooves on each panel. The panelling then required two coats of primer to help prepare and protect the wood, followed by two coats of the paint to finish it off. It was a real labour of love but the couple are thrilled with the outcome.

    Does your bathroom need an update? Read: Upgrade your space with these bold bathroom colour schemes


    Image credit: Oliver Gordon

    Having chosen to keep most of the rooms in the house bright by painting them in colours that maximise the daylight, the owners decided to take the plunge when it came to the bathroom by going for a dark choice with the paint. With its large window, they both felt it could handle a strong dark colour. The overall scheme was based on the floor tiles as a starting point, ‘I knew I wanted to have statement flooring. We must have looked at over a hundred tile designs before going back to the first ones I found, but I’d done a lot of research online first!’

    Get the look
    Buy now: Walls painted in Dulux Rock Salt matt emulsion, £16 for 2.5L, B&Q
    Buy now: Wall panels painted in Dinner Jacket matt emulsion, £21.98 for 2.5L, Valspar at B&Q


    Image credit: Oliver Gordon

    With such a bold pattern on the floor, the decision was made to paint the wooden panels in a simple block colour and the remaining walls in crisp white to open up the space.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Similar Berkeley Charcoal Floor Tiles, £67.95 sq m, Topps Tiles


    Image credit: Oliver Gordon

    ‘We took out a rounded shower enclosure to fit this large rectangular design. It feels much more spacious and we love the traditional-style fittings’ says the owner. The wall tiles have a real luxury feel to them, ‘The marble metro tiles in the shower enclosure have a high-end feel but were a budget buy from Topps Tiles.’

    Get the look
    Buy now: Vyne White Matt Tiles, £49.78 sq m, Topps Tiles
    Buy now: Edwardian 610 basin, £159, Bathstore 
    Buy now: Savoy grey cabinet, £249, Bathstore 


    Image credit: Oliver Gordon

    The builder had originally estimated that the project would take four days to complete, but several issues cropped up along the way which meant it took nearer to 10 days in total. When the existing shower was removed, they discovered that there had been quite a serious leak which had to be left for several days to dry out and then be sealed before the new shower enclosure could be fitted.

    Another hitch arose when the wrong basin taps were delivered, along with a few other parts for the shower, which set the project back by a few days. Luckily, the couple had another shower in the en suite upstairs, this is worth considering when undertaking your own bathroom makeover.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Grand thermostatic exposed shower valve with head and hand shower, £629, Bathstore


    Image credit: Oliver Gordan

    Positioning a freestanding bath near the window means you get plenty of light and can enjoy the view while you soak in the tub.

    ‘The caddy from Marks & Spencer fits perfectly on the roll-top bath and its chrome finish coordinates with the taps,’ says the owner of the bathroom accessory.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Bath Bridge, £55, Marks & Spencer


    Image credit: Oliver Gordan

    Idea to steal, position a mirror opposite a window to reflect light and open up darker corners of the room – especially if you have chosen a dark interior. When it came to choosing accessories and styling the space, it felt important to keep the look pared back to avoid clashing with the floor and making the room feel busy. The flamingo print adds a pop of pink, while a rustic wall shelf was hung to display small trinkets.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Round wall mirror, £35, Dunelm
    Buy now:  Flamingo print, £30, Etsy


    Image credit: Oliver Gordon

    Get the look
    Buy now: Cast Iron Bracket Shelf in raw oak, £24, Garden Trading

    ‘From this project, I’ve definitely learnt not to be afraid of going bold with my decor choices – even small bathrooms need a standout feature.’ said the homeowner. ‘The space we’ve created is somewhere I love to relax after a busy day, and having a luxurious roll-top bath is the perfect finishing touch!’

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