Before and after – from dated but spacious bathroom into classy retreat

By taking on the work herself, blogger Chelsea Stonier saved a small fortune on this makeover

bathroom with bathtub mirror on wall with wash basin
(Image credit: @thehousethatblackbuilt)

All too often, we live with a tired room scheme because we don't think our budget will stretch to a proper makeover. But interior blogger Chelsea Stonier of The House That Black Built might just have proven that you can make a big difference on a relative shoestring.

Check out our bathrooms channel for more amazing makeovers

Granted, she was lucky enough to inherit a beautiful claw-footed roll-top bath, which was already in situ when she bought her Cheshire home. But her 'up for anything' approach to DIY made the real difference.

'We were willing to give almost everything a go ourselves, with no prior experience or knowledge,' she says.

bathroom with bathtub mirror on wall with wash basin

(Image credit: @thehousethatblackbuilt)

The existing bath led the way for Chelsea in terms of design. 'We wanted to be sympathetic to the Victorian era but give it a modern twist, and our choice of tiles really drove this forward,' she says.

'We chose a clean and simple elongated, white gloss metro tile for the walls, topped with a traditional border. By keeping it all the same colour, it was easy to apply a modern look to the classic room.'

And that was done with chocolate brown walls and crisp black accessories, including framed prints, towels, lighting and a handy bath rack.

Get the look
Buy now: Similar Triple French mirror, £185, Cox & Cox
Buy now: 
Similar Millenium White Gloss Brick effect Ceramic Wall tile, Pack of 6, £16.20, B&Q

white wall with wallpaper on wall and leaf

(Image credit: @thehousethatblackbuilt)

'As the wall tiles were so simple, we wanted to go for drama on the floor,' says Chelsea. 'We chose a beautifully patterned monochrome floor tile to add interest. It’s a way to wow without being overpowering.'

Chelsea refrained from bright paint or accessories in the bathroom, relying on house plants to add restful pops of green.

Get the look
Buy now: Similar Harlequin Decor 6 Porcelain floor tiles, from £40.80 per sq m, Mandarin Stone 

bathroom with white walls towel western commode

(Image credit: @thehousethatblackbuilt)

Ready for another? Be inspired by this dream millennial pink bathroom makeover

Chelsea picked shutters made of faux wood which makes them perfect for the wet conditions of a bathroom, since they are unlikely to warp or crack – a risk with some hardwood and MDF versions. 'I see plantation shutters as being an investment for resale too – they add extra value,' she says.

Get the look
Enquire online: Plantation shutters, from £75, 247 Blinds

As evidenced above, the DIY approach definitely paid off for Chelsea. 'What we saved on labour, we got to spend on products that we really adored instead, plus you get the added satisfaction of having done something yourself!'

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.