Even with only a modest footprint at your disposal, you can transform your bathroom into a stunning oasis – as this beautiful Art Deco-inspired project by Joanne Tudda and Michael Graveston proves.
Of course, it wasn’t easy: from totally gutting the room, building a new wall, plastering, completely retiling and installing new fixtures and fittings, the couple completed the entire project on a DIY-base. A masterclass in small bathroom ideas, you wouldn’t believe these two spaces were the same room.
Art Deco bathroom renovation
When Joanne Tudda and Michael Graveston moved into their 1920s semi-detached, they were faced with a huge renovation challenge – a challenge they have documented on their Instagram @renovation.nightmare.
‘The house needed a full renovation, which is still ongoing – we’ve rewired, added central heating and stripped everything back to the brick,’ explains Joanne. However, one of the most significant parts of the project was the bathroom renovation.
From learning practical building skills to deciding on the best small bathroom tile ideas for the space, the couple quickly put their stamp on their new home.
The first step was to gut the space – taking it back to bare bricks and floorboards. The couple also had to rebuild the wall that divided the bathroom from the adjoining bedroom. With a blank canvas, the couple then had to decide on the best small bathroom layout – incorporating a bath, sink and toilet.
‘Michael plumbed in the bathroom and I plastered and tiled. This was my first time plastering a ceiling. I’m only 5ft 2” so it was a bit difficult, but I have since gone on to plaster other rooms in the house, too,’ explains Joanne.
‘The bathroom was completed in the middle of the renovation to enable us to move into the house. Due to lockdown, we have had to do most of the work ourselves. We have had some renovation experience, but it has been a huge challenge,’ says Joanne.
With everything structurally sound, Joanne turned her hand to interior design. ‘We fell in love with these emerald green hex tiles and just had to have them. We wanted a small space to look glamorous, in keeping with the 1920s style, but also to have a practical modern feel,’ added Joanne. The choice of tiles also defined the small bathroom color scheme, ‘we were inspired by the bold Art Deco colors of the 1920s and decided to go for green tiles which shone against brass fixtures.’
However, as with every renovation, everything wasn’t plain sailing.
‘The first little hiccup was when we fitted the new window. We accidentally cracked the glass and had to live with it for a month until the new pane arrived,’ explains Joanne.
‘Then when we had fully tiled the room and were ready to attach the shower and taps, we developed a leak behind the newly fitted tiles. We had to remove them, repair the leak and then retile. Luckily it all worked out in the end.’
In addition to plastering, tiling and plumbing, the couple also turned their hands to upcycling.
‘We knew we wanted to upcycle an old vanity for our bathroom but we had trouble hunting down the right one. The room is very compact, so it was difficult to find a chest of drawers small enough to fit the space,’ explained Joanne.
‘On a trip to Edinburgh, we spent a day trawling around charity shops and there it was: a perfect-sized, well-loved chest of drawers that we knew we could convert into a vanity unit. We sanded it all down, primed, painted and varnished it. We purchased the basin online and Michael plumbed it all together.’
If you’re hoping to undertake a similar upcycling project be sure you know how to upcycle old furniture and that you use the best paint for furniture to ensure a professional finish.