Before and after: Wow-factor wallpaper has transformed this family bathroom

A simple, contemporary suite and wow-factor wallpaper gave a dated bathroom a new lease of life

renovation of family bathroom with wallpapers
(Image credit: TBC)

Before moving here, the owners were living in a two-bedroom Sixties house. But with their two-year-old daughter toddling they needed more space. Unfortunately, getting a bigger house in the area they wanted meant taking on a project.

'We could see this house had loads of potential,' says the owner. 'It had a tired galley kitchen and was generally in need of redecorating, 
but we bit the bullet and took on the challenge. As soon as we moved in, 
I became pregnant again, which accelerated the need for the planned kitchen extension. The building work was completed just before she was born. A year later we decided to go ahead with a loft extension, so that both the girls could have good-sized bedrooms, and finally we tackled the bathroom in the spring of 2017.'

More makeovers: Before and after: From boring bathroom to Oriental oasis

The owner's husband had proposed to her in Kew Gardens and they were given life membership as 
a wedding present. 'Kew is a very special place for us, and was the inspiration for our bathroom scheme,' says the owner. 'With botanicals being so on-trend, there was plenty to chose from, and I thought it would be a different approach to a bathroom which reflected something very personal to us.'

family bathroom with banana leaf printed wallpaper on walls

(Image credit: Claire Lloyd Davies)

As a starting point, the owner researched banana leaf wallpapers online and called in 
a number of samples from Wallpaperdirect. Although initially she was thinking primarily botanicals, when the sample with the parrots came through, she really liked the colour pops 
of pink and turquoise within the green. 
‘We used the wallpaper on the two walls that didn’t need tiles, bringing wow factor without overpowering the space,’ the owner adds.

Sadly the pattern has since been discontinued, but we've found something very similar.

Get the look
Buy now: Similar Parrot Jungle wallpaper from the Albany Tropical Wallpaper Collection, £23.99 a roll, Wallpaper Direct

bathroom with banana leaf printed wallpapers and tiled flooring

(Image credit: Claire Lloyd Davies)

To contrast with the busy pattern on the wallpaper, the owner decided on plain tiles in a pale green from Tons of Tiles. They've been used to clad the bath, and also as a skirting below the wallpaper.

Get the look
Buy now: Crackle Glaze Hyde Park Green subway tiles, £45.39 per sq m, Tons of Tiles

Love the wow factor? Before and after: this bathroom went from dated to statement

bathroom with banana leaf wallpaper on walls

(Image credit: Claire Lloyd Davies)

'I was keen to find a wall-hung basin and loo to open up the space as much as possible,' the owner explains. 'Looking for a neat simple design that incorporated storage, I was taken by a range by Twyford Bathrooms, because it incorporated the grey ash finish, which worked well alongside the botanical elements. My husband spotted the concrete-effect floor tiles at an end-of-line outlet. As we just needed three square metres, there was enough in stock and it only cost £120.'

Get the look
Buy now: Twyford Bathrooms E100 vanity unit for wash basin in Grey Ash Wood, £178.55, Taps Empire
Buy now: Twyford Bathrooms E100 square wall-hung WC, £101.90, Taps Empire

bathroom with banana leaf printed wallpapers

(Image credit: Claire Lloyd Davies)

Plants arranged at varying 
heights echo the trailing 
greenery in the wallpaper.

bathroom with banana leaf printed wallpaper tiled walls and bathtub

(Image credit: Claire Lloyd Davies)

Another inspiring do-over: Before and after: A dressing room is transformed into a glamorous bathroom

Fuchsia pink towels pick out the parrot design and bring in a lovely pop of contrasting colour. ‘John Lewis has such 
a great range of towels 
– I took a sample of the wallpaper and found 
a perfect colour match,’ says the owner.

Get the look
Buy now: Egyptian Cotton Towels in Fuchsia, from £2 each, John Lewis 

A good friend recommended a local builders, Preet Building. 'Their quote 
of £2,900 to remove the old suite, fit the new one, tiling and wallpapering was a great all-in price,' says the owner. Overall, the work took three weeks. Although it was disruptive with the dust and upheaval, the family wasn’t inconvenienced too much, as there was an en suite upstairs.

'The wallpaper gives the room the wow factor I had in mind, with the simple suite working beautifully alongside it. 
I chose hot pink bath towels to pick 
out the fuchsia parrots and plants to mirror the ones in the design. While I was choosing them I came across the perfect pink pots in my local garden centre! I am super pleased with the room – my only regret is that we didn’t do it sooner!'

Amy Cutmore

Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.