July 15, 2024
Before and after: this small bathroom makeover is a lesson in space-saving design

It’s notoriously tricky to get your bathroom design right, especially when you’re dealing with a small space – and let’s face it, how many of us have huge bathrooms? If you’re looking for bathroom ideas for tiny spaces, you’ve come to the right place – because architects Emma and Ross’s family bathroom is packed with ideas to steal.

Part of a bigger renovation of their home, including a small two-storey extension, Emma and Ross had the chance to start from scratch with a smaller bathroom than before – but they didn’t let that get in the way of adding character to this tiny part of their quirky Victorian terrace. Notepads at the ready: here’s how they did it…

Before shot of bathroom with dark blue walls and white suite

(Image credit: Juliet Murphy)

The before


The owners Emma and Ross Perkin, who own architectural practice Emil Eve, and their children Jess, six, and Tom, three
The property A four-bed Victorian terrace in Stoke Newington
Project cost £8,000

‘When we moved in, the layout was completely different,’ says Emma. ‘The house had been rented out as bedsits so it didn’t work as a family home.’ The original bathroom was actually bigger than the new one, but it was dated and in need of some serious TLC. Emma and Ross agreed on a two-storey extension, with a small addition on the first floor used as the new bathroom and the old bathroom converted to a spare bedroom.

Bathroom with green wall tiles, white splashback tiles and matt black hardware

Sanitary supply, EC1 Bathrooms. Tiles, Johnson Prismatics

(Image credit: Juliet Murphy)

Letting in light

The couple made the most of having two outside walls by creating dual-aspect views across the surrounding trees. Maximising window space means the small room is flooded with light from two directions – plus, it makes for amazing views from the bath. Frosted glass keeps things private – and the windowsills offer a handy extra perch to display plants and curios.

Shot of sink with green tap, mirror and built-in oak shelving, white square splashback tiles and deep green wall tiles

(Image credit: Juliet Murphy)

Savvy storage

Emma and Ross designed the joinery themselves, and it’s been put to good use in the bathroom, where it maximises space and offers a bespoke storage solution for the family. The oak cabinets are recessed into the wall, so they don’t intrude on the room – creating the illusion of more space. A built-in mirror helps bounce light around and reveals a view of more joinery opposite.

Bathroom with monochrome pattern floor tile, white square tiles up bath, and deep green square tiles on wall

(Image credit: Juliet Murphy)

Tile style

A small bathroom doesn’t mean you have to play it safe, as this space shows. ‘Bathrooms are a really key space and should be as characterful as the rest of the house,’ says Emma. ‘We created a line following the bottom of the windowsill, below which everything is white, while above there are flashes of oak and the deep green Victorian-inspired tiles, which tie in with the era of the property.’

Close-up of open shelving in bathroom made from oak

(Image credit: Juliet Murphy)

Cutting costs