Before and after – a compact study becomes a smart shower room

Clever design solutions make this room seem surprisingly spacious, despite its diddy dimensions

'Many homes have a spare room that can only be described as bijou,’ 
says the owner of this four-bed family home in Cheshire. ‘Despite rather grandly being called a study, ours was wasted space. But as we had just one bathroom between four of us, it was perfect 
for converting into a shower room.'

Get renovating! See all our bathroom ideas

Luckily, the study was close to 
the original bathroom, so laying and connecting pipes wasn’t a big issue. The work did create a lot of new exposed pipework, though, so the owners decided to sacrifice a few centimetres of the room 
to construct a false wall, against which 
we positioned the shower and loo. This also created two handy niches in the shower, as well as a ledge above the loo. Removing the low ceiling added character and opened 
up a rather boxy area.

study to shower room makeover

(Image credit: Future PLC/lizzie orme)

When space is limited, it's wise to go 
for a curved shower enclosure with a sliding door. It really helps make the most of limited floor space. 'Being faced with a blank canvas was 
daunting and we did make some rookie mistakes,' admits the owner.

'Fortunately, we had a very understanding supplier, so when the rectangular walk-in shower enclosure I chose first didn’t work, they were happy to replace it with a curved design that had the same luxurious proportions. 
Now, curves have become a definite feature of the room.'

Get the look
Buy now: Harmony Semi Flush To Wall Pan & Cistern (CHM003), £205, Premier Bathroom Collection
Buy now: Ella offset quadrant shower enclosure (1,200 x 800mm), £282, Premier Bathroom Collection
Buy now: Offset Quad shower tray, £151, Premier Bathroom Collection

bathroom with white tiles on wall shower and towel

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

For flexible yet stylish family 
showering, the owners teamed a luxurious fixed oversized 
 head with a child-friendly, hand-held shower 
that can be easily adjusted as their two boys grow. The inspiration for the cubbyholes came 
from a magazine.

Get the look
Buy now: Square thermostatic bar shower, £261, Premier Bathroom Collection

bathroom with tiled wall and toiletries

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

The owner's husband wanted to 
go for white tiling throughout. 'I wanted a less clinical look and made a last-minute impulse buy of some fabulous Ted Baker geo tiles,' she says. 'They weren’t cheap, but using them on just one section of the room meant we still came in on budget. Also the monochrome palette means I can use any accent colours I like.’

Get the look
Buy now: Ted Baker Multi GeoTile by BCT, £63.98 per sq m, Ceramic Planet

bathroom with white wall and white sink

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

A vanity unit looks stylish – choose one that’s large enough 
to stash toiletries and towels to avoid clutter.

'As it used to be a study, the shower room window is bigger than usual so as well 
as fitting obscured glass, we added a 
new waterproof, wood-effect blind for additional privacy,' says the owner. 'I spotted it online and even though it was made to measure, it cost less than £50.'

Get the look
Buy now: Parade 600 wall-mounted cabinet 
and basin, £427, Premier Bathroom Collection
Buy now: 
Bristan Quadrato Eco basin mixer tap, £67.54, QS Supplies
Buy now: Made-to-measure Venetian blind, from £14.95, Web-Blinds

bathroom with white wall and towels

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

‘Investing in this neat, space-saving pocket door system was one of the best decisions we made,' says the owner. 'When you open the door it simply slides into the stud wall.’

Get the look
Buy now: Similar Electric Towel Rail MTY152, £378, Premier Bathroom Collection

room with white wall and towel on table

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

A combination of soft grey paint, wood-effect vinyl flooring and contrast grouting helped to add warmth and texture. Laying the planked flooring diagonally has helped visually expand the floor space. ‘When I tell friends the flooring is vinyl, they can’t believe it,' says the owner. 'Not only does it look and feel like wood, it’s waterproof, too!’

'But my favourite find has to be the lovely little bench that we found on a quick shopping trip to Ikea,' she adds. '
It’s the perfect place to put your clothes when you’re in the shower.'

Get the look
Buy now: Karndean Opus Grano luxury vinyl plank flooring, £34.99 per sq m, Lifestyle Flooring
Buy now: Skogsta bench, £40, Ikea

We finished by adding fresh green accents and a fantastic wire sign – I’m delighted with our new bright and airy shower room. We managed to create 
lots of floor space and added plenty 
of decorative interest!’

Heather Young

Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and Editor-In-Chief since 2023. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.