Bathroom case study: Glamorous vintage-style bathroom in a Victorian farmhouse

Anna-Marie Bennett and Rob Stannard created an elegant bathroom that’s perfectly in keeping with their charming period home

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Designing a new bathroom for your home? Be inspired by this opulent bathroom, created in a large spare bedroom to allow space for a statement bath – then check out our other case studies for more inspiration.

Project notes

The owners: Anna-Marie Bennett, an interior designer, lives with her partner Rob Stannard, an IT consultant.  Anna-Marie runs Finesse Interior Design  

The property: A four-bedroom, detached Victorian farmhouse in Tebworth, Bedfordshire

Total project cost: £31,600

When Anna-Marie and Rob moved into their period farmhouse, they knew the bathroom had to be the first room on their makeover checklist. ‘It  was definitely in need of more than a simple update,’ recalls Anna-Marie. 

‘It was inconveniently situated at the back  of the house at the end of a long corridor, and we weren’t utilising the overall space as well as we could. We both agreed that we wouldn’t be happy long-term if we made do with a compromise, so it was important to get any changes right first time.’ 

As the bathroom was smaller than the adjacent spare bedroom, the couple decided to switch the rooms to give them the space they needed for a statement bath and separate shower. Anna-Marie designed a new layout, aiming to create a bathroom that was functional but high-impact with a variety of luxurious fixtures and fittings.  

Vintage style bathroom with statement chandelier

Homeowner Anna-Marie opted for bespoke panelling painted in Hardwick White and walls painted in Down Pipe, both from Farrow & Ball. The blind, made with fabric from Lewis & Wood, helps to soften the overall look. The period-style graphite radiator is from Cast Iron Radiators and the Ruby nine-lamp chandelier, from Amazon, is a striking finishing touch

(Image: © Veronica Rodriguez)

The 10-week project required extensive work, so in order to keep the process simple, the couple employed a single contractor to carry out all the building work, including completing the plumbing, electrics, tiling and decorating. 

With her great eye for design, Anna-Marie couldn’t wait to transform the blank canvas into a smart and stylish space. ‘I wanted to create a look that was in keeping with the age of the property, but I was also keen to add individuality by giving it the feel of a boutique hotel,’ she explains. 

‘The joiner made bespoke panelling for the walls to work with the fittings I chose, and once it was painted in a traditional soft grey I instantly loved the feeling of warmth it created.’

Painted roll-top bath with wall panelling and a picture gallery wall

In keeping with the age and style of the house, Anna-Marie opted for the stylish Kensington bath and shower mixer and a wall-mounted radiator, both from Burlington Bathrooms. She repainted her existing bath using Farrow & Ball’s Off Black

(Image: © Veronica Rodriguez)

To suit her chosen scheme, Anna-Marie opted for traditional fittings to complement the existing roll-top bath. Wood-effect porcelain floor tiles add warmth and texture to the room, while underfloor heating ensures it’s comfortable underfoot. 

With the basics installed, she then used accessories to add a sense of drama to her new space. A large chandelier is the stunning focal point of the room, while an oversized French-style mirror above the pedestal basin adds a touch of glamour and the illusion of more space.  

Period-style shower enclosure with tiled walls and a vintage mirror

The new shower enclosure is generously sized for a luxurious feel, and it also complements the basin, both from Burlington Bathrooms. The Bianco Crackle Glaze wall tiles from Mandarin Stone enhance the authentic period scheme. Mirror, from Ayers & Graces

(Image: © Veronica Rodriguez)

 ‘We didn’t have any storage yet, so I was thrilled to find a freestanding vintage washstand that was completely in character with the style of the room,’ says Anna-Marie. ‘After adding some framed artwork to create a feature wall, the scheme had a hint of French style, so I finished off the look with a bespoke Roman blind in a pretty toile de Jouy fabric.’  


 Building work (including installation, panelling and decorating) £25,000 
Fixtures and fittings £5,000
Shower tiles £600
Flooring £500
Radiator £500

TOTAL £31,600 

Looking at the elegant room she designed from scratch, Anna-Marie says she’s amazed the project was fairly problem-free and completed almost on budget.  

‘We did overspend slightly because we had to fit some additional steelwork when we moved the supporting wall between the two rooms, which obviously added to our overall costs,’ she admits. 

The finished bathroom has given Anna-Marie a fantastic sense of achievement and she takes pride in the fact that it’s so original in style, thanks to the mix of old and new. 

‘The dramatic colour scheme and extravagant accessories are not what you’d expect, but I feel it reflects my personal taste,’ she says. ‘Now we’ve just got to get the rest of the house up to scratch!’  


Vintage style bathroom accessories on a decorative vanity unit

Both pretty and practical, the freestanding vintage washstand provides storage and display space; for similar, try Vinterior

(Image: © Veronica Rodriguez)

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