Before and after: see how this cramped bathroom has become a calm haven

Fed up with nightmare bath times and a feeble shower, the owners came up with a plan to supersize their small bathroom

bathroom makeover before and after
(Image credit: TBC)

When the owners moved into their four-bedroom 1920s semi in Oxfordshire, the loo and bathroom were separate. At first they thought this would be useful, but in practice it turned out to be a nightmare. 'The children kept banging into things in the small space and the shower was over the bath, so it was really inefficient,' they say.

Thinking through possible solutions to their cramped interior, the couple started planning out a new design on paper and consulted a builder. 'We wanted to knock the wall down between the two rooms,' they say. 'We also wanted to incorporate the airing cupboard to give us space for a separate shower, so the eldest children wouldn't keep using our en suite!'

In order to get the layout the owners wanted, a window had to be blocked in above the bath, so they enlarged the other one to get enough light.

bathroom with white wall grey designed floor and white bathtub

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Giles)

'Having chosen grey as the colour theme, we wanted to include all its shades, from light to dark,' say the owners. 'The charcoal vanity unit is a real focal point.' Above it is a demisting mirror, which can be used even when the shower is running.

bathroom with white wall grey designed floor towel rails wash basins and cabinets

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Giles)

To give the look of a walk-in shower, the metal edges of the glass enclosure were kept to a minimum. Wary of spoiling the tiles by putting up shelving, the couple set a handy ledge into the false wall for toiletries.

bathroom with shower glass cabin grey brick wall and shower

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Giles)

Going for quite a plain scheme meant the owners had to work out how to stop the room looking boring. Texture was the solution - the glossy vanity unit is reflective, stone wall tiles add a rustic quality, and wood-effect flooring gives the space a Scandi feel.

bathroom with white wall grey designed flooring and wooden chair

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Giles)

Tiles help to highlight the three main zones (bath, shower and basin), and a very pale grey paint has been used in between to let the tiles stand out. 'The bathroom is very tactile,' say the owners. 'The rough-look marble wall tiles just encourage you to reach out and stroke them.'

bathroom with grey brick wall and white bathtub

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Giles)

Storage hasn't been forgotten about in this bathroom. A double vanity unit with different inserts for the drawers keeps bits and bobs neatly stowed and easy to find. It also ensures that clutter doesn't build up in this tranquil scheme.

storage drawers in bathroom grey flooring and products inside drawer

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Giles)

In total, the work took a month to complete and cost around £6,000. Now that it's finished, the family are thrilled. 'It's so nice to have a decent bathroom that finally works for us,' they say. 'We all adore it.'

Get the look

Buy now: Flint Intelligent Matt Emulsion, £47 for 2.5ltr, Little Greene

Buy now: Grigio tumbled marble wall tiles, £69.95 per sq m, and Cumaru Glam Cinza porcelain floor tiles, £39.95 per sq m, both Original Style

Buy now: Miniluxe ER shower, £456, Mira Showers

Buy now: for a similar enclosure, try the Playtime 1200, £599, Bathstore

Buy now: for a similar bath, try the Freedom, £239, Bathstore

Buy now: for a similar loo, try the Orion, £99.95, Victorian Plumbing

Buy now: for a similar vanity unit, try the Hudson Reed Quartet double basin, £550, Victorian Plumbing

Buy now: for a similar tap, try the Vellamo, £260, Tap Warehouse

This bathroom originally appeared in Ideal Home, March 2017