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1930s house transformation: Bathroom remodel hints & tips

May 25, 2020


This is my first post since, God knows, how long. Life has been busy with our little one and we got caught up in it. Instagram became my first port of call if I wanted to share any interior and lifestyle tips. Don't blame me, everyone is on it ha ha


I thought I'd make the lockdown count (coronavirus pandemic) and start blogging again, especially that we moved house last year and we are doing up a full of potential 1930s house (aka Secretgreendoor to keep with the theme).

Trust me, after living for 9 years in a Victorian house, we fully appreciate the size of this palace.


Our first project was to create a large and stylish family bathroom, which would take us through the extension project later on (now likely to be postponed until 2021).



Before: why on Earth did people used to have a separate toilet to the main bathroom?

As you can see from the picture below, the loo was separated from the main bathroom. Nightmare! We ended up cruising between the two all the time.


We knew from the start that we would need to connect both rooms somehow to create a larger size family bathroom.

We knew that the wall between the two spaces would need to come down and it is not a cheap job, but it seemed the only way to create what we wanted. 

The bathroom's window is east facing, so plenty of light coming through to light up a much bigger space. Winning!

Also, we always dreamt of a walking shower and a freestanding bath (don't we all?), so these two features made our wish list too. 


How to create your dream bathroom step by step


Step 1: Do your research

I'm a researcher by day, so this phase is always super exciting for me.

Go down the Pinterest rabbit hole, lose yourself on Instagram, go to any showroom and DIY store in your area, visit your friends and check their bathroom. The options are endless.

Ask your friends for recommendations and don't be afraid to approach people you follow on Instagram. I contacted Meera from First Sense Interiors who kindly gave me a list of her top bathroom retailers. Thanks Meera.


Top tip: Create a moodboard to visualise what you want from your new space. It's your guide and your shortlist.





Step 2: Measure and figure out your layout

Get yourself a decent measuring tape and go. Write it down (you will forget) or even draw on a piece of paper. 

Check standard sizes of shower and baths etc. and plan your layout, you might have a few options, which you can verify later with your builder.

We emailed our measurements to a designer at Easybathrooms who kindly sent us some suggestions about how big our bath and shower could be.


Top tip: Check one of a free design tools online. We used B&Q bathroom planner, which was easy to navigate and helped us visualise the space after the transformation.



Step 3: Go shopping

This is when having your research (knowing how much things cost) and the moodboard (knowing what you want and having a shortlist of retailers) will pay off.

Get tiles and paint samples, take them home and live with them for a while. Check them in different light, compare and contrast. Ask for advice if in doubt.

We went to Topps Tiles to get our concrete effect, grey tiles (they are always very helpful there and you can get a great deal), but our feature shower tiles were sources online, from Porcelain Superstore. It took us ages to decide, but we are super happy with our final choice.

Grey tiles are called Abrasio steel and the green, geometric ones are called Palm Springs.


Top tip: Wait for a sale if you can. January or Easter sale, summer sale etc. . Most of retailers have one. Also, sign up to a few newsletters from your favourite brands; you can count on 10-25% off. 



Step 4: Find a trusted builder who shares your vision

I can't stress enough how important this stage is. I keep hearing horror stories about dodgy builders, so we didn't want to find ourselves in this type of situation.

Word of mouth is of course the best, but don't hesitate to visit, for example, Check a Trade site or My builder, but always, always check the references and ask to see pictures.

The other advice is to always ask for at least 3 quotes. We got 4 and the range was crazy £4k-£15k (I know, avoid the chancers).

At the end we went with Daren and Jack from DRS Carpentry. I can't praise them enough. Hard working, resourceful, full of ideas and fun to be around. Did I mention that we started the project one week before the lockdown...They worked super hard to make sure we have a working bathroom before this whole pandemic hit the fan.

It took 2 weeks to complete the work.



Top tip: Get everything in writing and discuss the progress daily with your team to avoid any mistakes. A skilled builder who listens is like gold dust!

Step 5: Enjoy it and have a bath

After 2 weeks without a bath or shower, you can only imagine how much we crave jumping into this bath. All bathroom sanitary ware (bath, sink, toilet) and the vanity unit are from Soak, which, unfortunately, went into administration. Otherwise, I would recommend buying from them.




Shower tray and enclosure (120x80cm - we could have gone for 140x80cm even) was from Royal Bathrooms. The glass was a wrong size (we noticed pretty late into the job), so I don't recommend shopping with them.

Luckily, we found the solution with our builder and the shower looks great, don't you think?

Wall mounted basin mixer for the bath in chrome and the toilet roll holder came from Tap Warehouse.



Top tip: Add a plant to your bathroom. We currently have one, but it's not totally happy there, but I ordered a cheese plant from Patch. Check out their selection of plants for your bathroom. A very pleasant shopping experience.



If you have any more questions about how to create your perfect bathroom, please let me know. I'm always happy to share any hints&tips with you.





Just before you go, let me show you two, exceptionally beautiful bathrooms I spotted on Instagram, which have a slightly different take on 1930s bathroom remodel layout.


The first one belongs to Alice Hawkins @Renovating_Parkhouse. Check this green (love this shade) and black combination. Alice knows better than me which plants to use when decorating her bathroom.


And the floor tiles are incredible. Definitely an investment buy. 


The other bathroom I wanted to share with you belongs to Mackayla Colwell @housenumberone_1930s The monochrome perfection. I love everything about it.

The floor tiles, again, are super stylish, especially the border going around the room. I think Mack used Walls and Floors and Topps tiles to source her tiles.

The bath is from Lusso Stone.


I love the use of art work in this bathroom. We are still debating how to decorate ours. Also, we haven't nailed the storage yet, but it's a work in progress, as always.

Hope you enjoyed this post and let me know what you think. So when are you transforming your bathroom?





Photography: Monika Pick, Alice Hawkins and Mackayla Colwell.


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