A bathroom renovation in a 1920s house

bathroom renovation

Remodelling your bathroom? Then you’ll adore this gorgeous bathroom renovation in a 1920s Sheffield house. For this month’s Been There Done That feature, Jen from @sheffield_1920s_renovation on Instagram explains exactly how she created it.

Bathroom renovation on the cards? Read about what Jennifer Hitchman did with her bathroom renovation in a 1920s house…

“When we moved in, we had a separate toilet and bathroom. The shower was over the bath and everything was salmon pink! The previous owner must have put in a superb quality bathroom suite because everything was in working order. However, it didn’t function well for us as a family and we wanted something more contemporary and practical.”

A bathroom renovation in a 1920s house

the old salmon pink bathroom before the bathroom renovation in a 1920s house
The old salmon pink bathroom was in perfect working order but not aesthetically pleasing.

Why Jen decided to undertake the bathroom renovation

“We decided to undertake the bathroom renovation as we are a family of four with two young children, so a bath was essential. We also knew there was space for a separate shower if we reconfigured the layout. The current layout used the space ineffectively.

“We decided if we knocked the two rooms together and relocated the boiler, we would have a superb space to work with. I created mood boards for the bathroom renovation design including the type of brassware, shower, bath and tiles I liked.”

A bathroom renovation in a 1920s house

a wooden toilet with a pink cistern in a WC with magnolia-coloured floral tiles and a salmon pink toilet roll holder
A bathroom renovation in a 1920s house: The toilet before the bathroom renovation was also understandably not Jen’s ideal model.

Meeting with a local firm

“Then we met with a local firm to help us work out the practicalities of the design. They provided a full project management and supply and install service. This was important to us because we had just project managed the rest of the house renovation ourselves. So it was really worthwhile having a single company coordinate all the trades for this element of the house. All of the bathroom renovation design and planning was done while I was heavily pregnant. Including ‘trying out the bath’ in the showroom at nine months pregnant before we placed the order!”

a space with stripped floorboards and exposed brickwork and wiring before the bathroom renovation in a 1920s house
A bathroom renovation in a 1920s house: The space with everything ripped out.

Selecting the tiles was tricky

“I found the design element quite simple, in the sense that I knew what I wanted for most of the bathroom renovation.  However I found selecting tiles quite tricky. It is such an expensive and important part of the project. Even though I was quite clear in my mind that I would like herringbone set wall tiles, it was surprisingly challenging to find the right white tile for the job and coordinate with a floor tile too!”

A bathroom renovation in a 1920s house

Running into a big challenge

“The company we went with, Joseph Bathrooms, were really patient while I deliberated. They were also great at obtaining samples for me and offering advice. The only element that really challenged us was when we started the rip out of the old bathroom. We moved the boiler in the corner of the old bathroom. When we removed the old boiler cupboard and tiles it revealed a structural, supporting section of brickwork in the back of the room.”

the bathroom renovation in a 1920s house after all the work is complete, with herringbone tiles, brass shower enclosure, plants, white toilet and white bath
A bathroom renovation in a 1920s house: The finished space is worth all the work and challenges.

“It would have been a significant cost to change this and consequently we had to build out a stud wall on the external wall which meant we lost 150 mm on the room. Luckily we could still make the design work, and we now have a beautiful deep feature windowsill which we have dressed with shutters, but it was a bit of a squeeze!”

A bathroom renovation in a 1920s house: What the finished space includes

“We have managed to squeeze in a freestanding bathtub, separate walk in shower, WC, vanity with mounted basin and a towel rail. I’m delighted we managed to get everything in the space and it really functions well for us as a family.  

“We are still only part of the way through the renovation on our home. We knew when bought the house that it would be a long-term project. However, having the bathroom renovation finished means that we have a really beautiful room that is of course used every day. It was worth the time and investment. We get to enjoy our bathroom renovation every morning as we start the day and every evening as we get our children ready for bed. I’m really glad that we spent the time, and extra budget, getting it right.”

the space from a different angle with a round brass mirror and a curved basin on a marble countertop with a white toilet, a freestanding bath and monochrome floral tiles
A bathroom renovation in a 1920s house: Jen’s so glad she spent the time and budget getting the bathroom renovation exactly right.

Tips for readers wanting a similar bathroom renovation

“For readers wanting to create something similar, I think the most important thing is taking your time on the design. Spend time beforehand really working out what’s right for you. Both in terms of practicality for how you need the space to function but also how you want it to look. One of the things I was keen to do was ensure the bathroom could be updated or aesthetically changed if we wanted to in the future. So I didn’t fully tile the walls. I also intentionally left large areas of paintwork we could either change or re-style with pictures or shelving later. At the moment we have painted everything in Farrow & Ball DeNimes. But if we wanted to change the look of the space in the future we can do that quite simply.”

herringbone wall tiles behind a brass shower enclosure and a freestanding bath and white toilet with monochrome floral floor tiles
A bathroom renovation in a 1920s house: The herringbone tiles were tricky to choose but look beautiful in the space.

A bathroom renovation in a 1920s house: Jen’s top tip for creating a similar space

“My top tip when it comes to a bathroom renovation is: really consider your budget before you start. I’ll be honest, our project cost more than we had initially budgeted. But now it is complete, I can say it’s worth every penny, as we really love it. And I didn’t want to compromise when we started on the design process. I think I would’ve regretted it had we pared back certain elements. A bathroom renovation is expensive but they are also, alongside kitchens, one of the rooms that can really add value and appeal to your house should you ever sell. So I think the bathroom renovation was the right move, as we get to enjoy it as a family now. And it is also a sound investment in our home.”

a bathroom with a white three-piece suite and a large brass shower enclosure featuring herringbone tiles and a niche in the wall
The family are all so happy with the finished bathroom renovation.

So, want to read another feature? Then check out this stunning kitchen pantry.

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