Can you create a luxury looking bathroom makeover on a budget!?

Updated: Mar 11, 2021

High quality bathroom makeover on a budget! Would you consider a Wetroom in a bathroom renovation?

When Rachel and James asked me to help them with their bathroom, I knew it was going to end up being a beauty. They had just moved into their new house and wanted to start making it a home. It’s a beautiful Semi-detached Edwardian property with lots of original features.

I absolutely love designing bathrooms because everyone is so different with their wants and styles. Plus, I have a real thing for tiles! Rachel and James’ brief was to create a stylish family bathroom, with practical storage for their growing family. They were keen for the style to be in keeping with the period of the property, whilst bringing a modern twist.

Designing a beautiful, fit for purpose bathroom which meets all of the client’s needs is one thing, but achieving this within budget is where the challenge begins! Through experience I have developed an understanding of how to make best use of the budget, where to spend more, and also how to make clever savings. I like to shop around and source items from different places, this I find helps keep the budget down. Also, sourcing second hand items is far more friendly for the planet as well as the budget, which is really important to me.

I absolutely love designing bathrooms because everyone is so different with their wants and styles.

As you can see from the before pictures it was a lovely shade of beige/brown! It was in desperate need of some love.

With an old property there are a few things you need to consider. For instance, due to the age of the house, you may find that once you start ripping things like tiles out, you might take the wall with you! So, you need to factor this into your budget as this will probably lead to additional costs such as re-plastering.


Bathroom layouts can be really tricky. You might want to move something but then you need to think about the pipes, where they will go. Can you hide them, or will you have a big box? This bathroom is a good size as it can comfortably fit a four piece suite in. The original layout had the sink, toilet and bath all bunched up down one end of the room. The bath was not free standing so looked absolutely huge, dominating the space (but not in a good way)!

I decided to move the shower to the opposite wall to free up some space on the window wall, this also made use of the once empty space. The radiator was originally on that wall and it wasn't really practical. This moved the bath along up to the wall. Now where to put the toilet? This is where compromises need to be made as the final layout wasn't what was best for the room but you need to work with tradesman to ensure it remains practical and within budget. Just by making a few tweaks and with the bath being freestanding too, this gave the sense of more space even though the new bath was the same size as the original.


After our consultation, I had a little look on Ebay as you can sometimes find treasures or something exciting, and I was right. I found the blue roll top bath with brass feet, (you won’t believe it) for only 50 blooming pounds! I was so excited I immediately sent it onto Rachel. After having a word with her hubby, they bid and won! This was the start of our colour scheme. As you can see its a beaut and the saying is true, 'one man's trash is another (wo)man's treasure!'


Working within a budget, you can spend money on important, high traffic items such as the taps. We went for modern brass taps from Crosswater for the sink and in the shower. I managed to find brass bath taps that fit the holes on the bath from another supplier. You do have to be careful mixing brass from different companies as they are not always the same colour. Some are a yellow gold, some are a brushed brass, some are called gold and some normal brass, so making sure they work together can sometimes be a challenge but works amazingly in this bathroom.


I produced a few concept boards to show some different ideas of patterns and wall tiles, this way they can visualise how it would look to help with deciding. I suggested to Rachel that we go tile shopping at Casa Ceramica where we explored their amazing range. Who doesn’t love a bit of shopping? I do have a thing for tiles so it was a real treat to visit their store and be surrounded by such pretty things!

We eventually fell in love with the Moroccan Monastery for the floor tiles. They are a beautiful blue and white tile that made up the pattern out of 4 tiles. I knew James really wanted a hex tile somewhere so when we saw the blue ones that are in the shower, we both said yes! They have such beautiful ranges so we took our time exploring. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns and shapes as this can really create a wow factor.


Originally Rachel and James wanted a shower tray and were not sure about the shower being a wet room style. They felt it would splash water too much. I discussed the benefits of using a Wetroom, in particular that it would make the shower area feel much more spacious which was one of their objectives so agreed to go for a Wetroom.

I used Sean from HEH Home Ltd for the plumbing and Impey for the Wetroom products as their range they offer is impressive and also they are really flexible.

As you can see from the pictures you get a flat tray that creates a base that goes under the tanking and tiles. You then add what’s called tanking which is a layer that adds a barrier to avoid water getting through. Basically, making that space waterproof. I would say it is a great investment to make in a family bathroom. The finished area just looks amazing and you don’t loose the effect from the floor tiles as they are cut to form the shape of the base.

For more details on Impey and their wonderful products and a little interview with me! check out their website.


An important part to think about in any room is lighting. In the bathroom, I would always suggest task lighting which can come from the ceiling and wall lights. The term ‘task’ relates to you performing an action like brushing your teeth or going to the loo. Get them in the wrong place and you won’t see what you’re doing! The other important bit to look out for, is if your lights are suitable for the bathroom? The lights below are IP44 which are bathroom compatible and used in the correct lighting zone for the space. Lucky for me, I have a very good Electrician Michael from Stellify Electrical who will double check them for me! The wall lights can also double as ambiance/mood lighting. Perfect for enjoying a relaxing soak in the bath!

We opted for some beautiful black and brass wall lights that had a large frosted dimming bulb. I found these lights on Lighting Direct they have such a great selection of affordable, stylish lights to suit any home. I think these fit perfectly with the scheme. They were also super helpful when I had a few questions about the product and the delivery was timely. Excellent.

Vanity unit

I really wanted to up-cycle something for their room. Why? Well, to find a beautiful vintage vanity unit can cost hundreds. Adding in a vintage wooden piece adds some warmth and another texture to the room. I searched for chest of drawers or vanity units and eventually found a beautiful set of drawers on Facebook market place for £15! When I went to pick the them up the man told me they were his sister’s drawers (not the underwear type of course!) and it had been part of a wedding gift. I knew I had to give it some love. I lightly buffed it down and gave it a wax finish. I found some marble and brass handles in Homesense.

I managed to get the tile for free (an old off cut from a tile shop) they also cut the size to fit perfectly on the top around the little lip. This made sure that the top was water proof. Finally I needed to find a sink, this I got from a local plumbing supplier and it looks great on there. I will soon be adding another blog on how I did this, so watch this space!!

I hope you have enjoyed reading my first blog!? If you have any questions or would like to leave some feedback, then please leave a comment below.

Thank you for reading :)

Charlotte x

Photography - Emma Boyle Photography

Accessories - Edit & Oak


Jarega Interior & Designs

07930 634636


Here at Jarega Interior & Designs I turn rooms into distinctive spaces that say something about you.

Interior Designers in South Manchester and The North West