Before and after: downsizing has paid off in this country bathroom

Stealing back space for a walk-in wardrobe has created a much more charming bathroom

Being first-time buyers, the couple hit a steep learning curve when they bought their house in 2009. ‘Our renovations ended up taking years to complete and we had to live off site some of the time,’ says the owner. ‘We didn’t tackle the bathroom straight away as it was usable, so it wasn’t as much of a priority compared to the kitchen and living areas. We finally got around to redoing the bathroom in 2014.’

Because it was originally 
a bedroom, the bathroom was 
a good size. However, the existing layout didn’t make the most of the space. 
’We decided to reduce the size of the bathroom and create two large cupboards on the upstairs landing by installing a stud wall and moving the doorway several feet into the bathroom,’ the owner explains. ‘This still left us with plenty of space in the bathroom but it also gave us an airing cupboard and small walk-in wardrobe.’

Makeover heaven: Before and after: A dressing room is transformed into a glamorous bathroom

They also rejigged the layout, moving the toilet and sink to the far side of the room to create space for a roll-top bath to sit against the internal wall. ‘The bathroom renovation was a big project, so we moved out for two weeks while the work was carried out. We also found a local plumber who was happy to project manage it all for us.’


Image credit: David Giles

‘I wanted a bathroom that felt homely and warm, but I also needed it to look bright and fresh. The white metro tiles create a classic look while the lemongrass paint shade stops the space being completely white, says the owner.

Get the look
Buy now: Walls painted in Zoffany Lemongrass flat emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5ltrs, DesignerPaint 

Buy now: Cambridge roll-top 
bath, £699, Bathstore


Image credit: David Giles

‘I loved the idea of using wallpaper as it’s a wonderful way to add character and wow factor to a white or neutral scheme. But I found the choice limited for bathroom papers. So we decided to use 
a regular wallpaper for the feature wall and seal it with matt varnish. Friends were sceptical at first but it’s worked really well and, so far, the paper has stayed in great condition. It’s not bubbled or peeled in three years.’

Get the look
Buy now: Hummingbird Trees Wallpaper, Multi, £25 per roll, John Lewis


Image credit: David Giles

To complement the wallpaper, the owner picked out splashes of green and red in the rest of the decor and included interesting trinkets. Vintage glass bottles and bird ornaments add personality and she switches things up regularly to keep the look fresh.

Get the look
Buy now: Mosslanda picture ledges, £4.95 each, Ikea

Another stunning transformation: Before and after: a showstopping roll-top tub and patterned
 floor tiles add wow factor to a family bathroom


Image credit: David Giles

‘I knew I wanted metro tiles on the walls before we even started decorating as I love their clean finish and they won’t go out of style. We added dado and skirting tiles 
 above and below the metro ones
 for a more traditional look.’

Get the look
Buy now: Similar Quater Bisel Cotton wall tiles, £68.45 per sq m, 
Tile Giant


Image credit: David Giles

The slim Ikea unit fitted in neatly at the space at the end of the bath and is ideal for stashing away unsightly toiletries and spare towels. The owners customised it with heart-shaped handles, and also hung a large wall mirror above the bath to complete the feature wall and help bounce light around the room.

Get the look
Buy now: Hemnes chest 
of five drawers, £115, Ikea


Image credit: David Giles

‘I love this traditional Burlington-style basin as 
it matches the bath and adds period charm’

Get the look
Buy now: Savoy round basin, £60, Bathstore

Get the look


Image credit: David Giles

Inspiring do-overs: Before and after: marble tiling turned this dated bathroom into an Italian-inspired haven

‘We decided to have a small alcove built into the shower unit to store shampoos and bottles, rather than having them cluttering the shower floor’

Get the look
Buy now: Grand thermostatic exposed shower valve with hand shower, £629, Bathstore
Buy now: Monito Smoked Oak flooring, £32 per sq m, B&Q

Investing in a few statement pieces, 
like the roll-top bath and period-style sink, has paid off for the couple. They cut back on the budget elsewhere when they needed to stay on track. ‘We love our new bathroom – it was well worth the wait!’

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