BEFORE & AFTER : Small Family Bathroom Makeover

Our small family bathroom makeover was a bit of a French interior style blog triumph to be honest. When we bought our little house many moons ago, the little old lady who lived in our house had next to no hot water, a clog bath ( later recycled as a horse water feeder up the lane!) and a very precarious toilet that sometimes flushed and, well, sometimes did not. There was a door with an inch gap all the way around onto the garden…nice, and also a concrete floor with a few fag buts around the loo. Hardly the French dream.

This made the transition from pretty English country cottage with all mod cons for this Virgo girl very hard indeed. Funds were short and we had to live with this bathroom like this for several years. Hard to imagine now I must admit.

Choosing the Right Paint Colours In A Small Bathroom

One of my main concerns, once the loo flushed and you could take a bath was which colours to choose in a small bathroom space. I chose for this project to paint some existing wooden items in Farrow and Ball Railings which is a very elegant dark midnight blue. I’m so pleased with this choice, it looks really lovely against the flooring and paler walls. For the walls we chose Shaded White, another warm white from Farrow and Ball and the contrast is warm and smart. I also really like the combination of Strong White in a small room with either Ammonite or Purbeck Stone. I think these are great neutral colour combinations that achieve that lovely faded French country style beautifully. We wanted something a little bit more modern this time and I think it works! 

But Before The Painting…..

Here is part of the story of our little bathroom in pictures. I don’t seem to have any of the original ones with the water trough clog bath but you will probably find these bad enough! I hope if you are currently in the process of living in a French wreck that these inspire you – whether that is to crack on with the works or run for the hills. Both options are perfectly acceptable.

Hell on Earth!

Small French style bathroom with veluxBy adding a velux window and removing the old wood panel ceiling, we let in so much light!Small bathroom inspirationBathroom velux french style bathroom

Oops, when you take off a tile and the wall crumbles to pieces…Small French style bathroom with velux DIY bath panel french bathroom

The joy and saving grace of plasterboard!Small French bathroom makeover

Here are a couple of things to consider when redesigning a small bathroom.

1. Layout

We the moved the loo up by the sink…couldn’t seem to fit my bottom on it anymore where it was! In fact I have no idea why on earth it was so close to the shower before anyway, you had to practically step over it to get out !

2. Storage

If you can I would thoroughly recommend fitting a wall unit preferably with doors to store all your beauty products. Don’t forget a loo roll holder and a nice basket to keep towels in for the hotel at home feel! 

3. Drying Towels

Ever a problem in a small bathroom. I would recommend a heated towel rail but if you can’t afford it, how about a stylish towel ladder or freestanding rail to add a little charm? 

4. What fittings will actually fit?!

Do you need a bath or would a good walk in shower suffice? The bath, in our case, while not a clog bath isn’t the full deal in order to fit our space but with a small child I wanted a bath so we fitted one in that measures 150cm instead of the full size. It came with a dodgy woodchip panel and we couldn’t afford a new one so I set about constructing a DIY bath panel…DIY bath panelFarrow and Ball Railings French bathroom

With the pieces glued on, out with the Farrow and Ball Railings paint!DIY Bath panel Farrow and BallDIY Farrow and Ball Railings Bath Panel

Nearly there, just the floor to go next!

5. Which Flooring?

I used to have a house with carpet in the bathroom. I’m not sure if I preferred the comfort of it or not but I think in an older house where you might have more damp, Lino or tiles could be a better option. We chose a cushioned lino to lay straight over the old quarry tiled floor. I have absolutely no doubt that a brightly patterned floor actually makes things look and feel more spacious so don’t be shy! Small french bathroom renovation

A Word on Laying Lino Over Tiles

Possibly not the recommended way to lay lino but actually we found that because we chose a nice padded one that it’s actually ok! There are areas where you can on a sunny morning see the form of tiles underneath but it certainly doesn’t ruin the overall effect. So, I would say it is doable but OMG is maneuvering several metres of lino all rolled up in a small space stressful with an old French workman cussing through his cigar !!!! 

Neutral Walls

I really do think that in a small bathroom, a nice warm white is a lovely choice unless you want something super dramatic for a period property, I just find the whites by Farrow and Ball really peaceful. So, I painted the walls in Farrow and Ball Shadow White, in Estate Emulsion for a chalky finish, because our walls are wonky as anything and a sheen only highlights this further.Small French bathroom renovation Small French bathroom renovation Small French bathroom renovation Small French bathroom renovation Small French bathroom renovation Small French bathroom renovation


All in all, on a shoestring it’s a vast improvement! Don’t you think? X

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