Before and After: A DIY Overhaul Made This Old, Dirty Bathroom Totally Unrecognizable

updated Oct 10, 2019
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Claire Kennedy and her husband are renovating their entire UK home—and the bathroom in particular needed lots of help. “It was really dirty, as the house had been rented to numerous people for 20-plus years, so we were desperate to start from scratch,” Claire says.

With help from their fathers, the couple took the whole bathroom down to the studs. To make more space, they moved the boiler downstairs and knocked out a cabinet and a wall. But what actually gave them the most trouble was the tiling. “The walls are super difficult and wonky, which meant tiling them wasn’t so easy and the pattern gets lost slightly at points,” Claire says.

Because the couple is completely renovating their entire house, they set strict budgets for every room. Claire put a ton of time and work into sourcing items for the bathroom within their price point, including brass accessories on eBay and a slim toilet to make sure there was enough space for a double basin sink (“An absolute game changer!” she says). In the end, the entire bathroom renovation cost around £2,500 to £3,000.

“I love how we completely transformed the space and were really clever with what we could fit in,” Claire says.

She also has two pieces of strong advice for other people undergoing an entire house redo. Number one: “We wish we’d separated the house into two parts, so upstairs first and then focused on downstairs,” she says. “We jumped straight in with doing little bits all around the house, and that made it super difficult. We are learning now to just focus on one room or section at a time.”

Number two: “Take lots of photos so when it gets tough you can look back and see how far you’ve come—that’s really helped us during the tough times,” Claire says. If we hadn’t seen the before photos of this room, we’d never believe it had been anything other than chic!

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