Before and after – a new layout has taken this bathroom from dreary to delightful

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  • Moving the loo has opened up the space

    When my husband 
and I first moved in, the bathroom was functional but dated, with lots of dark-stained wood and a small, tired shower bath with a shower curtain that would constantly stick to us. The only lighting was two ceiling spotlights over the basin, and the vinyl flooring didn’t fit the room properly.

    Get your makeover just right with our bathroom ideas

    We convinced ourselves it would only be a few months before we could get a new suite so we left it as it was. A year later, we’d finally saved enough money, and had a clear idea of what we wanted. We’d had an electrician in to do rewiring, so had swapped the poorly positioned spotlights for six evenly spaced ones.

    We also had to rip out our current suite, remove the wall tiles and re-plaster. As we have only one bathroom, we were using the facilities at the local gym – luckily it’s just down the road.

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    Image credit: Colin Poole

    I love a soak in the tub, but my husband was 
fed up with stepping over the side and battling with the taps to find the ‘perfect’ temperature for a shower, so we needed space for a walk-in shower and bath. We decided if we could move the loo a few feet along the wall, we could fit in both.

    Luckily my dad is a DIY whizz and offered to help, so we hired a scaffolding tower, took a sledgehammer to the outside wall and made space for the new waste pipe.

    We’d been into our local Bathstore to discuss ideas with the very helpful sales adviser and chosen a spacious shower enclosure, with a deluge showerhead
plus a hand-held one. We opted for a digital system, with no taps, to control the water temperature and flow at the press of a button. We also chose a boxed-in bath, to maximise space under the window and create a handy shelf.

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    Image credit: Colin Poole

    Dad plumbed in the loo, basin and shower, installed the bath and laid the shower tray. My husband and I were new to this level of DIY, but after watching him at work, we started to learn and helped as much as we could. Dad also helped us to install two wall lights above the basin to create some ambience when having a bath.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Cambridge basin vanity unit, £279.99, Soak.com
    Buy now: Blanc white gloss tiles, £22.95 per sq m, Walls and Floors 
    Buy now: May Fair floor tiles, £29.95 per sq m, Walls and Floors

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    Image credit: Colin Poole

    I found a black-rimmed mirror to match some black-edged shelves I’d bought, to hang over the loo. These display all our prettier everyday items at a handy height. For the untiled walls, we went for pale pinky-grey paint that was neutral, with a bit of warmth.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Walls painted in Farrow & Ball Peignoir modern emulsion, £45 for 
2.5ltrs, B&Q
    Buy now: Lucca single bathroom spotlight, £25, John Lewis

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    Image credit: Colin Poole

    Opting for a white rather than chrome towel rail helps it blend with the tiles and stops it visually dominating the room. We chose towels with texture rather than pattern as the floor was already the star of the show.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Qual-Rad 1200x500mm heated towel rail, £50, Homebase

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    Image credit: Colin Poole

    The only storage, initially, was the under-basin vanity unit, which soon filled up, so we hung a mirrored medicine cabinet above. It’s the perfect place to hide away necessities.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Similar Croydex Michigan Double Door Bathroom Cabinet, £79, Homebase

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    Image credit: Colin Poole

    Get the look
    Buy now: Surface 1200 x 760mm shower tray, £189, Bathstore
    Buy now: Atlas 1200 sliding door shower cubicle, £999, Bathstore
    Buy now: Mira Vier dual rear-fed digital shower, £769, Bathstore

    I’d always loved patterned floor tiles, and chose a fairly traditional monochrome design. We paid a tiler to lay them, and install underfloor heating. I wanted plants, too, so went for a mix of real and fake. The green really pops against the tiles and, so far, the real ones have all stayed alive!

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