Bathroom Renovations

Before and after: Small bathroom to stunning sanctuary for under $10k

With a serene, nature-inspired colour scheme.

Before Lucy Glade-Wright, expert renovator and founder of Hunting for George and her partner Jonno completely gutted this bathroom, it looked like pretty much every small bathroom renovation ‘before’ shot you’ve ever seen: white gloss everything, standard, mass-produced vanity, mould and discolouration in every crack and crevice, a showerhead hanging by a thread and a dysfunctional layout that made it difficult to keep clean.

To say it needed an overhaul was an understatement, so Lucy set about creating a design scheme that would make the room feel bigger as well as pay homage to the cabin’s glorious location in Victoria’s Otways. “Overall, I wanted the style of the bathroom to be nostalgic and welcoming, embracing the small scale of the bathroom to make it feel as indulgent as possible,” she says. 

After all of the foundational elements of the room were completed – including the addition of underfloor heating, new gyprock, fresh waterproofing and the installation of a bigger window salvaged from a previous project – Lucy’s vision of a cosy, compact bathroom began to take shape. 


In contrast to the old bathroom, which was ‘all-shiny-everything’, the new bathroom features matt tiles, tactile tapware and timber cabinetry.


“The moss green tiles on the walls tie into the surrounding environment and complement the trees that can be seen through the bathroom window,” says Lucy. The pair kept highly-reflective surfaces to a minimum, right down to the silicone, which was also matt white.

Lucy’s colour palette was inspired by the cabin’s location. Wall tiles ‘Fika’ in green and off-white, floor tiles ‘Boston’, Academy Tiles. Lucy and Jonno sealed the bathroom with Selleys Wet Area Matt White silicon to keep the matt finishes in the room consistent.
Lucy introduced timber to create a warm ambience in the room. ‘Kado’ timber twin drawer vanity, Reece.

To keep bathroom renovation costs down, the pair worked with the room’s existing layout, and instead focussed on small but effective changes to modernise the space and make it easier to clean. This included removing an awkward ledge above the bath and installing a floating vanity to create better vacuum and mop access to the entire floor. 

All in all, Lucy and Jonno spent just under $10,000 on hardware and product and saved big by doing most of the renovation themselves. “This look could easily be achieved with a $5000-6000 budget by mixing and matching different timbers, tiles or vanity items,” says Lucy. 

“To add depth, I chose brushed nickel hardware and a timber vanity to lift and elevate the predominantly matt finish,” says Lucy. ‘Kado Era’ tapware, Reece.
Lucy Glade-Wright, founder of Hunting for George, in the completed room.

Small bathroom renovation tips

Lucy and Jonno are no strangers to renovating, but here’s what they learned during the makeover of this compact bathroom: 

  • Product samples are worth it: “Matt surfaces do not reflect light the same way as satin or gloss finishes, so it’s always a good idea to choose from a physical sample in the natural light of the space.
  • How to make a small bathroom feel bigger: “Be considered in your placement of decorative items and use colour to help make the space feel bigger, especially if you’re working with small windows and limited natural lighting.”
  • Create a moodboard: “Think of finishes and colours holistically to ensure the colours, tones and textures will thrive in your space.”

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