Before and after: from dated, damp bathroom to flexible, family space

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  • Shots of mustard bring the fun in this smart makeover

    This homeowner and her husband had been looking for a property that would be a good project, and they got it with this four bedroom house in Staffordshire, where they live with their two kids. 

    ‘The house needed a lot more work than we originally imagined,’ says the owner. ‘It hadn’t been decorated since the Eighties. The electrics and pipework were almost retro and the walls were in really bad condition. The bathroom was a top priority as I was desperate for a proper bath and a space I could relax in.’ 

    Related: Before and after: a derelict kitchen becomes a light and sociable space

    As well as being dated the room was damp, with a rotten window. The bath has been removed to make room for a double shower, plus the floor sloped so nothing was level. ‘not having a bath was a big deal,’ says the owner. ‘Using the shower to bathe two small boys was a struggle.’


    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    She started the renovation process with a great deal of research on Pinterest, Instagram, as well as magazines. ‘I’d seen a bathroom renovation on YouTube with floor tiles that looked wooden. I fell in love with them and knew they would be the basis of the room. From there I planned to have dark wood with grey walls and a pop of colour.’

    Get the look: 
    Buy now: Chatsworth Graphite Bath Panel Pack, £184.95, Victorian Plumbing

    The couple went for a traditional-style sink and toilet, choosing a dark wood bath to give the room more depth. ‘With a lot of planning we managed to work out a layout where we could have everything we wanted, including the new suite and shower cubicle’. 


    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    ‘My large wall mirror reflects light around the narrower part of the room and doubles up as a small shelf too’.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Stockholm mirror, £75, Ikea 

    The couple added frosted glass panels in the bathroom door to allow light into the hallway. Using an old pine door, they also made new airing cupboard doors. 


    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    ‘Our shower may be smaller than some, but it’s perfect for us and 
its simple design 
works really well with the traditional shape of the sink. We needed a big wall cabinet to store our toiletries. I found one in dark wood that worked perfectly with the scheme.’

    The homeowner originally wanted brushed brass hardware but the budget wouldn’t allow it. In the end she was pleased she had opted for chrome, which worked better with the rest of the room.


    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    Plants add a bit of natural decoration while also absorbing moisture.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Havana yellow planter, £14, Sainsbury’s Home


    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    ‘The dark wood bath rack complements the room’s theme – plus it holds my glass of wine at the end of the day!’.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Egyptian Cotton Mustard Towel, from £1.25, Dunelm
    Buy now: Washed Wood Bath Rack, £15, Dunelm

    Although the couple had previously taken on a lot of renovation work themselves, they hired a local builder to tackle the bathroom – they needed minimal disruption. ‘He did everything from changing pipework to tiling with our gorgeous new floor tiles’.


    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    ‘It has been such a pleasure finally being able to open the new window. I can display accessories on the ledge too’.

    Get the look
    Buy now: SAXBORGA Jar with lid and tray, set of 5, £12, Ikea

    They did encounter one problem – the house is over 150 years old and the walls and flooring needed a lot of correcting. That took an extra day and slightly extended the homeowner’s two-week plan. ‘However, it was so nice to have someone else do all the hard work’. 


    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    The bright accessories help to break up the parquet-style wooden-effect flooring. ‘Finishing touches can really transform a space, and I wanted to add a little pop of colour, so we introduced the mustard towels and bath mat.’

    Get the look
    Buy now: Andira 
Rural Oak floor tiles in smooth brown, £46.52 per sq m, Topps Tiles


    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    They created a bracket with a hook to hang a plant, and added a large round mirror from Ikea to create space. A shelf from La Redoute to provide additional storage for accessories. 

    Get the look
    Buy now: Roots Wall Shelf, £79, La Redoute

    The couple are thrilled with their contemporary, flexible family bathroom. ‘I think my favourite item has to be the bath,’ says the owner. ‘We went two years without one, so it’s a real luxury to have a hot bath with a nice glass of wine.’

    ‘The boys love bathing together and playing in the water and after two weeks of borrowing the neighbours’ bathrooms during the renovation, I really appreciate how much I love the room and will never take it for granted.’

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