Before and after: homeowners transform bland bathroom to chic retreat

When the time came to redecorate their bathroom, the owners used what they already had – making small changes to create a fabulous new scheme
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  • ‘When we moved in, we weren’t keen on the bathroom, but it had some nice features,’ say the owners. ‘We liked the shape of the basin, the bath was comfy and the big window kept the room bright.’

    The couple decided to live with the bathroom for a while to give them time to think of all the different ways to change the space.

    ‘We realised it would be crazy to spend thousands of pounds ripping it all out,’ they say. ‘The basics were fine and we were sure it could be revamped beautifully.’

    Feel inspired: Planning a bathroom – everything you need to know about designing your perfect washroom

    The savvy owners worked with what they had. Making smart changes to create a fabulous new on-trend bathroom scheme.

    After: regrouting bathroom tiles

    Image credit: Rachael Smith

    Poring over websites for hours, the couple fell in love with the industrial feel of white brick tiles with grey grout. As they already had white tiles, the DIY duo got stuck into scraping out the old grout.

    ‘We found matching tiles to cover the bath panel, which made the room look sleeker and less ‘country’,’ they say. And once the new grey grout was done, the room looked so smart. If this has inspired you to have a go at grouting yourself, our how to grout tiles guide has all the advice you need.

    Related: How to clean grout in tiles – get wall and floor tiles looking as good as new


    Image credit: Rachael Smith

    To blend the untiled wall with the white tiles, the couple were torn between two paint colours – white and grey. ‘We thought grey would look bolder,’ they say, ‘so we used Mole’s Breath by Farrow & Ball, which has a warm tone.’

    Buy now: Mole’s Breath Estate Emulsion, £57 for 2.5ltr, Farrow & Ball at Designer Paint

    Replacing shower curtain with a glass screen

    Shower social media SAH April p98 Rees bathroom

    The owners couldn’t wait to get rid of the ugly shower curtain and replace it with a more solid-feeling glass panel. ‘Having a curtain flapping around was really annoying,’ they say.

    The pair also treated themselves to a fixed rainwater shower, which creates a spa-like experience and injects a bit of luxury into the space.

    Buy now: White Metro Tiles, £20 per sq m, Topps Tiles

    Regrouted bathroom tiles after

    Image credit: Rachael Smith

    Next, the taps were replaced. ‘It’s amazing how much difference such a small change has made,’ say the owners.

    Buy now: Topaz basin taps, £59.95, Hudson Reed at Victorian Plumbing

     bathroom makeover with glass shower screen

    Image credit: Rachael Smith

    With regards to storage, the couple found a tall mirrored cabinet at Ikea, which fits behind the door and is great for keeping everything neatly tidied away.

    The mirrored front also reflects light from the window on the opposite wall, making the room feel really bright.

    Using plants in the bathroom

    before and after bathroom with plants

    Image credit: Rachael Smith

    On their online search, the owners had seen some glass spheres with plants inside hung on walls, and they loved the look.

    ‘We bought some glass orbs and vases on Etsy, and set to work, deciding on exactly where to position them on the wall. Cutting pieces of paper to the size of each vessel and taking our time as we stuck these to the wall to see where they looked best,’ say the crafty pair.

    ‘Once we’d got them in a position that we felt was just right, we fixed the vases to the wall and filled them with plants and flowers from the garden.’

    Window detail SAH April p98 Rees bathroom

    Image credit: Rachael Smith

    On the windowsill, glass bottles also play their part. The owners have arranged a few here to add a quirky apothecary element to the scheme.

    With the bathroom makeover complete, the owners are really pleased with their industrial-chic bathroom. ‘We’re thrilled that we managed to make use of so many existing pieces,’ they say.

    Related: Shopping edit – best bathroom mirrors to enhance beauty, on every level

    ‘It just goes to show how a few changes can completely transform your bathroom.’

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