Before and after: mixing old and new has created a bright and beautiful bathroom

  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • There's some cool and clever upcycling going on here

    ‘We moved in 18 months ago knowing this place needed plenty of love and attention,’ says the owner of this three-bed Victorian semi i in Lincolnshire. ‘My partner and I wanted to stay in the area as we love it and were brought up here. Previously, we lived in a Victorian two-
bedroom terrace on a busy road. We were planning to have children, so we needed more space.’

    ‘We’d been looking for a while when we heard about this house,’ she continues. ‘My partner wasn’t very sure, as it was dark and dingy and needed so much work done 
to it. But I managed to convince him 
that it had everything we wanted.’

    Get your space in order with more of our bathroom ideas

    ‘In the bathroom at the back of the house, the layout was awful. The big problem was that you were staring at a brick wall from the doorway. There was no window in the back wall overlooking the garden and just a tiny one at the side of the house, where there was a small shower.’

    ‘The bath was on the back wall so when we opened the door, it banged into the tub. The loo was straight in front of you, so that’s all you saw from the hall. The tiles were all dated and the floor tiles were brown, plus there was an enormous mirror, which just made the whole thing feel even more weird.’


    Image credit: David Giles

    ‘We ordered a window in keeping with the age of the house for the back wall, to add some light. It’s not a bad-sized room, so we realised we could fit everything we wanted if we just arranged the layout differently.’

    ‘There was space for a bath under the new window, and, if we blocked in the little window at the side, we could fit in a bigger walk-in shower. The loo could slot in next to that, with a basin unit on the opposite wall.’

    Get the look
    Buy now: Leap divider shower panel, £320, Mira Showers
    Buy now: Flight shower tray, £175, Mira Showers


    Image credit: David Giles

    ‘Once the new window was in and the old one was blocked up, it made everything much better. We ripped out the existing fittings and it took us a day to smash up the mirror, as it was stuck to the wall.’

    ‘I like an eclectic mix of old and new and didn’t want a contemporary look because of the age of the house. So we started with a roll-top bath, then we added a modern shower with retro-style fittings and a classic loo.’

    Get the look
    Buy now: Petite Millbrook bath, £875, The Cast Iron Bath Company


    Image credit: David Giles

    ‘I decided to go for dramatic floor tiles, smaller off-white wall tiles and a matching paint colour for the rest of the walls, as white would have been too stark. We bought loads of floor tiles, as they were great value. They were the key to the colour scheme.’

    ‘I looked at the colours within the tiles – blue, pink, cream, yellow and black – and picked out the deep rich blue as my main colour.’

    Get the look
    Enquire online: Floor tiles, £81 per sq m, Mosaic del Sur


    Image credit: David Giles

    ”I love Little Greene paints, so I found the nearest match, Marine Blue, and painted the outside of the bath with it, as well as an old mirror and the legs of the vanity unit.’

    ‘A bath tidy is so useful on a roll-top tub,’ adds the owner. ‘I fill it with all my favourite things before I get in.’

    Get the look
    Buy now: Bath tidy, £49, The White Company


    Image credit: David Giles

    For the vanity unit, the couple wanted to do something different, so they found an old desk at an antiques market and fitted a bowl to it. The taps are set into the wall, which they were tiling, so there was room to hide the plumbing.

    Related: How to upcycle a vanity unit – to create a super-stylish piece of furniture

    Get the look
    Buy now: Walls in Whitening intelligent matt emulsion, £48.50 for 2.5ltrs, Little Greene
    Buy now: Vanity unit and mirror in Marine Blue intelligent eggshell, £62 for 2.5ltrs, Little Greene
    Buy now: Perrin & Rowe table bowl, £293.53, Just Perrin
    Buy now: Brooklyn cone wall lights, £79 each, Industville


    Image credit: David Giles

    The owner saved one of the old kitchen cabinets to mount on the bathroom wall and just changed the knobs. ‘It makes things personal and unique,’ she says. ‘That’s what I like 
to see in any space – a bit of individuality.’


    Image credit: David Giles

    More solutions: Wet rooms – the essential guide to creating the perfect shower space

    ‘We’ve created a lovely, light-filled space with room for a proper walk-in shower and lots of our personality everywhere,’ says the owner. ‘We love it.’

    All the latest from Ideal Home