Bathroom makeover project – Art deco style

Meet the renovators

Interior designer Laura Hall lives here with husband Chris, who works for a renewable energy company, and their two children Ben, 7 and Rory, 5.

Laura Hall - Art Deco bathroom
Laura Hall Image Credit: Katie Jane Watson

Makeover brief

To re-jig the floorplan, creating space for a freestanding bath and separate walk-in shower, incorporating colourful, contemporary elements with vintage touches.

Project costs

Shower & screen £2,730
Sanitaryware £2,242
Bath £1,238
Tiles £750
Basin taps £345

Total spend


What was wrong with your original bathroom?

The walls were covered in backgammon board wallpaper that reminded me of a casino, the lino floor was peeling, the shell-shaped sanitaryware looked old fashioned and the door didn’t lock because the frame had swollen. I could go on, but it was all pretty grim.

As a quick fix I put down black and white lino and gave the room a lick of paint, but during our renovations elsewhere the builders cracked the bath, and then the room got seriously neglected.

Art deco bathroom - old and new
Laura Hall’s bathroom before and after. Image Credit: Katie Jane Watson

Did you have any big ideas for the new design?

A roll-top bath was top of my wish list, and although the space is small, I wanted to avoid a tub with an overhead shower and have the luxury of a walk-in shower instead.

I would have loved the bath to be under the window but because of where the soil pipe is, and because the room narrows towards the end, it wasn’t possible. As a compromise, I chose a small-sized bath to go opposite the basin and then a compact quadrant shower, which fitted perfectly into the corner.

Shower - Art Deco bathroom
The quadrant shower was a practical choice as the curve allows plenty of room for showering but takes up less space than a square version. Image Credit: Katie Jane Watson

How did you decide on the overall look?

I wanted a touch of luxe, but it was also important that the room feel fun, so creating a moodboard on the Canva app helped hone my ideas.

We live in a quirky, hexagonal- shaped house and the rest of our home is colourful, so I wanted the bathroom to reflect that. I love the colour schemes of the thirties and forties, but wanted a modern feel, and the current trend for pinks and greens straddles both looks.

After initially searching online for vintage sanitaryware, I decided to go for a more classic vibe and discovered the Burlington Bespoke collections of colourful classic designs, which hit my brief perfectly.

Art deco bathroom - blue toilet and pink tiles
Laura originally wanted the bath under the window, but moving the soil pipe was too tricky. Black tile grout offers a low-maintenance industrial accent. Image Credit: Katie Jane Watson

What sort of budget were you working to?

As nothing had fit the bill when hunting for reclaimed sanitaryware, taking the leap to go for a bespoke basin and toilet definitely wasn’t the cheapest option. But after waiting so long for my dream bathroom I didn’t want to compromise, and we’d had plenty of time to save.

Were there any challenges to overcome?

There was a moment when we had the bath in place but the sink wouldn’t fit because the room isn’t a perfect rectangle. The plumber had to move the already-installed radiator a couple of inches so we could shift the basin to the wider part of the room.

We also ran out of pink tiles because the tiler covered more wall than we expected, so there was an empty run along the bottom. But we had loads of the floor tiles left over, so decided to use them as a border; it’s now my favourite part of the room and looks really considered even though it was a total accident!

Art deco bathroom - sink and radiator
A black and chrome radiator complements the period look, while the wall lights are battery operated and can be adjusted via remote control. Image Credit: Katie Jane Watson

How do you feel now it’s all finished?

After so many years of having a horrible bathroom, I didn’t believe the final result would look so good. Even though there are lots of different elements, I love the way the finished look feels cohesive, and I finally have the luxurious, relaxing bathroom I’d been dreaming of.

Art deco bathroom - toilet and bath
Image Credit: Katie Jane Watson

Shopping list

Windsor 150cm double-ended bath with luxury feet, £1,238; bespoke Cosmic Green Standard close-coupled toilet with 520 lever cistern, £1,288; bespoke Cosmic Green Edwardian 61cm basin with standard pedestal, £954; Birkenhead angled deck-mounted bath shower mixer, £783; Birkenhead basin mixer with click-clack waste, £345; Bloomsbury radiator, £845, all Burlington Bathrooms.

Belgravia thermostatic shower kit, £1,625; Clear 6 Quadrant single door, £1,105; Quadrant 25mm stone resin shower tray & waste, £445, all Crosswater.

Napoli Rosa gloss porcelain brick tiles, £27.37 per sqm; Cascais Mix 6 matt porcelain tiles, £34.80 per sqm, both Easy Bathrooms.

Lindbyn mirror with storage, £60, Ikea. Howell LED battery operated wall lamps, £45.99 each, Amazon.