Before and After: We built a calm bathroom oasis in our loft

A tiny wasted loft space has been transformed into a spacious and light bathroom full of lush touches and luxe surfaces

before after bathroom makeover
(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

The owners wanted to extend into the loft of their four bed, mid-terrace Victorian house in London to add an extra bathroom and bedroom. The loft areas were perfect to extend, but head height was limited, and they didn’t have the option of large windows because of the pitch of the roof and planning regulations. 'It was such a small space – had we not seen similar conversions, we wouldn’t have thought it possible' explains the owner.  A quantity surveyor drew up structural plans and building began nine months later.

On the bathroom wishlist was an airy, modern and bright bathroom oasis that felt luxurious and was sympathetic to the Victorian style of the house. ‘I love plants so we sacrificed some floor space to create a stud wall to use as a ledge. I found my dream bath at BC Designs. It’s acrylic and comes in a variety of bespoke colours and sizes. I think a plinth is better than feet, as you don’t have to clean under the bath.

Modern grey bathroom makeover

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

TOP TIP: Bathrooms are wet, humid and, at times, hot, so pick plants that thrive in this kind of environment. Ferns, orchids, succulents and other tropical varieties are good options.

Once we had the structural drawings, my husband and I sat down with a ruler, a tape measure and graph paper and considered a number of different layouts to give us a functional, spacious room. My husband came up with the idea of building a partition to separate the shower from the vanity and the stud wall behind the toilet and bath indulges my love of houseplants.

bathroom with shower

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

The Built-in niche in the partition gives plenty of storage for products so they don’t clutter the shower and brakes up the block of metro tiles. ‘Mixing glossy and matt finish tiles added interest and contrast’.

grey bathroom Hall makeover grey tiled shower cubical

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

The owner wanted a vintage-style boat bath from the onset and had seen the wall mirror and loved its modern, vintage/industrial style. These were the starting points for the scheme. 'I sourced almost everything online, which definitely saved us money. It was important to us that everything was stylish, practical and made to last, but within our budget. We also saved money by doing all the painting and decorating and we had our original dining room door resized to fit the bathroom.'

‘The false wall behind the vanity unit was a late addition when I realised the mirror shelf would protrude too far out’ The decision to add allowed streamlined taps to be installed which suit the scheme and look smart.

grey bathroom with vintage vanity unit

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

'The lighting has been a great success too – having a bath at night with just the soft glow of the pendant lights is wonderful and they are great to hang in front of a mirror, as you get lovely, even light.'

grey bathroom with vintage bathroom mirror

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

'Putting so much effort into this room has been well worth it, and we wouldn’t change a thing. We love the shower with its huge head and the roof light, through which we enjoy daylight and starlight.'

Get the look

Buy now: Walls painted in Normandy Grey, £47 per 2.5 ltr, Little Greene

Buy now: Compton pendant lights, £117.50, each, Jim Lawrence

Buy now: Black carriage mirror with shelf, £125, Doris Brixham

Buy now: BC Designs 1700 acrylic boat bath painted in Farrow & Ball Mole’s Breath, £1,269.75, Sanctuary Bathrooms

Buy now: Elements Panna wall tile, £40.66 per sq m, Tons of Tiles

Buy now: Devon concrete feature tiles, £29.56 per sq m, Tons of Tiles

Image credits: Lizzie Orme


Rachel Homer has been in the interiors publishing industry for over 15 years. Starting as a Style Assistant on Inspirations Magazine, she has since worked for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines and websites. After starting a family, she moved from being a content editor at to be a digital freelancer and hasn’t looked back.