Renovating our 1970s Avocado Bathroom

The bathroom was the first room that we renovated about eight months after we moved in.  The suite was a lovely 1970s avocado green and whoever installed the bathroom loved their stud walls and boxing in. The ceiling was boarded out Swedish sauna style with pine panels, the shower cubicle was about a foot off the ground (I’ve nearly broken my toe every time I’ve got in it) and the rest of the walls had about 8″ of boxing in all the way round.  Because of all this wasted space there was only room in there for a bath and shower, despite it being quite a good size space.  I knew that it was possible to add a basin and toilet as well as a larger shower cubicle.  Oh, and a radiator!

Below is the ‘before’ shot, taken just after we’d had the new double glazed window installed.

The ceiling light was some sort of space age style contraption with a heater ring built into it. It was probably really dangerous, but also nice to stand under when there’s no other form of heating!

Bathroom Before - Avocado Bathroom

First thing on the makeover plan was to get the sledgehammer out.  You can see in the photo below how much boxing in there was.  It was such a ridiculous amount of wasted space.

The bath was a cast iron one and was so heavy that we couldn’t lift it.  In the end Adam’s dad had to cut it up with an angle grinder.  I later, when we did the toilet, found out how much avocado suites are worth.  We could have sold it and saved ourselves the pulled backs by having someone pay us to take it away!


With the false ceiling down the room is now back to its full Victorian height. Sadly we didn’t find any original coving lurking under there, just a ceiling that needs re-plastering.


Removing all of the batons left a lot of holes in the walls. Thankfully it was just small bits in most places, but quite a considerable chuck came off of one wall.  Adam has plastered the other rooms we’ve done, but as we found someone to do the walls and ceiling for £80 plus materials it wasn’t worth him doing it.


As this room was originally a bedroom and the back of the house when it was first built there is a blocked up window on the wall between it and the bedroom that was added. We wanted to keep this as it’s a useful storage area, but much too big as it was so my dad built a frame to square it off and then lined it with plasterboard.


We did find a few interesting things in the room.  As it was a bedroom it would have had a fireplace, which is obviously long gone.  We found the original floor tiles, which I have taken up as it seemed shame to cover them back up again. Hopefully we can find somewhere else to use them.



We also found some pieces of a vintage wallpaper frieze running around the room above where the picture rail would have been. It had beautiful illustrations of people and from what I can make out said ‘Folks of Other Lands’ (there was a book, published in 1929, called ‘Little Folks from Other Lands’. I’m not sure if they’re related.)

Little Folks Vintage 1930s Wallpaper

Little Folks Vintage 1930s Wallpaper


We purchased the new suite from Better Bathrooms in their January sale.  We chose a large, 1200 x 900 shower enclosure which meant a compromise on the bath, installing a slightly narrower one to give us the floor space.  The new toilet was installed under the window and a basin on the left hand side.  We went for vintage style bath and basin fittings, but quite contemporary on the fixtures.
I recently added the shelf over the bath as it was just a big, blank space.  I was going to make a shelf, but found this one at B&M.  It is only wood effect, but looks quite realistic.  The blind is a Roman style one that I made from this tutorial.

A couple of months ago we went on holiday to Budapest and stayed in an amazing apartment with a beautiful basin vanity unit.  I’m now trying to work out if I can fit one in in the space that we have…

Bathroom White Suite Cream Walls

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