Bathroom makeover – a bedroom becomes a tropical oasis inspired by travels to Asia

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  • Why play it safe with your bathroom when you can create a more interesting, inspiring space?

    ‘Our old main bathroom was, frankly, horrible,’ says the owner of this 1950s end-of-terrace in southwest London. Located downstairs, it was far too cramped for the couple and their three growing children.

    Looking for inspiration? See all our bathroom ideas.

    ‘It didn’t have a separate shower, so hairwashing and bathing was laborious,’ the owner adds. ‘And it was a pain going all the way downstairs at night. The tiling was bland and the grout was stained. The whole lot needed axing.’

    So the couple looked at ways they could incorporate a larger upstairs bathroom. ‘We got planning permission for a two-storey rear and side extension, which meant we could finally tackle it, the owner explains. ‘We decided to use some of the new space, as well as part of one of the larger bedrooms. That created an L-shaped room, with space for a bath and a separate shower.


    Image credit: David Giles

    ‘When it came to the style, I wanted it to be slightly masculine, but with an organic feel – so it’s like showering in a jungle waterfall,’ says the owner. ‘Travelling in southeast Asia in my twenties was a great inspiration for the bathroom, particularly with the colours and greenery.’

    ‘My favourite place was Indonesia and I took plenty of photos, which I went through when I was planning the scheme. Mixing stone-effect 
and concrete-look flooring with vivid paint colours 
has given me the tropical feel I wanted.’

    Get the look
    Buy now: Amtico Signature Stone Alchemy Atmosphere flooring, £49.99 per sq m, Lifestyle Flooring


    Image credit: David Giles

    The vanity unit sits in the space taken back from the bedroom. ‘I was concerned the view back to the window was a bit dull compared to the other walls, so I’ve painted the space a vivid green to really lift it.’

    Get the look
    Buy now: Walls painted in Indian Ivy 3 emulsion, £1.79 for a 30ml tester, Dulux


    Image credit: David Giles

    ‘Fitting a deep bath with a tap in the middle rather than at one end was part of the plan,’ says the owner. ‘As the pipework is hidden behind false walls, we added a niche shelf behind the bath.’


    Image credit: David Giles

    ‘To differentiate the bath area I opted for small white hexagonal mosaics as a contrast,’ says the owner. Against them, the bright green foliage in the planters really stands out.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Bijou hexagonal mosaic matt wall tiles, £8 per sq m, Walls & Floors
    Buy now: Similar large hanging planters, £24.95 each, Graham & Green


    Image credit: David Giles

    ‘We splashed out on the shower tray,’ says 
the owner, ‘and used a bifold door to give the wide shower some extra space.’

    Get the look
    Buy now: 
Mira Leap bi-fold shower door, £386.95, Heat & Plumb


    Image credit: David Giles

    ‘The vanity unit adds texture and keeps things tidy,’ says Jo. ‘This part of the room looked 
dull compared to the other walls, so I painted it vivid green to really lift it.’

    Get the look
    Buy now: Mino 600 vanity unit in Nebraska Oak, £359, Bathstore


    Image credit: David Giles

    ‘Going for one wall in wallpaper in a dramatic print enhances the exotic feel of the room but keeping it in one place makes it feel fun rather than oppressive.’

    Get the look
    Buy now: Palmeral Midnight Green House of Hackney Mural, £166.50 in sale, Wallpaper Direct


    Image credit: David Giles

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

    ‘A space behind the door was the right spot for a wall-mounted radiator, and above it I’ve put some hooks so my designer towels get the benefit of the warm air.’

    Get the look
    Buy now: Margot Selby bath towels, £22 each, John Lewis

    The bathroom took three weeks and cost around £5,000. ‘I’m just so surprised at how much we’ve managed to fit 
in our little jungle!’

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