Images: Paolo D’Agostino //


Where: Caterham, Surrey, United kingdom.

Bathroom’s size: 9 square meter / 29.5 square foot.

Budget: $3,300

Timeline: 3 weeks


About the renovator

”My name is Paolo D’Agostino Bowe, I’m 36 and I live with my cat Aldo and my partner Filippo (in order of importance lol), in Caterham, Surrey.

I’m originally from Rome, Italy and I have moved to London in 2010. I came to the UK thinking it was going to be a brief experience with my friends, but here I am 9 years later.”


HAHA! Isn’t it something that always happens to people who relocate? And what do you do for a living in the UK?

‘I work in hospitality, I’m a General Manager of a Restaurant & Bar in central London, and I have been working in this business since ’96 (while I was still studying Catering Management), but I have always been attracted by creativity and art in any shape and form. After I got my diploma, I have done a year of Uni in Rome, in Architecture and Interior Design. Unfortunately, I gave up almost immediately as I was young and wanted to have my independence and also I had zero background in artistic subjects, coming from a catering school.”


Why did you start with the bathroom remodeling?

”I have a thing for bathrooms. When I go to a restaurant, pub, bar etc. the first thing I look at is the toilet. I always like a toilet where someone has put thoughts and care into and I hate when they are neglected and treated just as a room to do your things in. Which they are, but they can be really much more than that. Treat them with love.”

I have a thing for bathrooms. When I go to a restaurant, pub, bar etc. the first thing I look at is the toilet.

bathroom makeover
The bathroom before.


The design process

As Paolo told us, the bathroom was the first room he redesigned. ”It was in desperate need of being rescued, but the bathroom ticked all the boxes for me. It has natural light, windows and a bathtub! Perfect.”

” When I started thinking about the design, I knew I wanted teal tiles (my favorite color), and gold taps/accents. So the challenge for me was to find the right stuff that would fit in our budget. I wanted to have a vintage vibe, but I didn’t want to go for a traditional style (taps/toilet/bathtub), which I love, but I would get tired of very soon.. Initially I wanted a freestanding bath, but since the space around was too narrow, it would lose the airy effect and the other option was to go for a standard bathtub covered with tiles.”

bathroom makeover before
The bathroom before.

”The design for the tiles I had initially in my mind, was a herringbone pattern, but the very inexpensive builder that helped us with the project was not giving me enough confidence. He insisted we’d go for a classic subway metro pattern, but I still wanted to have more “movement” and decided to go for the pattern that is now on the walls – which I am super happy the builder led me to chose! After the bathroom was finished, we lived with the white walls for a year. Don’t know how we survived that! But I knew that the walls needed some love.”

bathroom makeover after
After the installment of the new tiles.
bathroom makeover after
we lived with the white walls for a year. Don’t know how we survived that! ”


It looks like the white walls could use a little upgrade(: But why wallpaper?

”I thought initially of painting them, but wallpaper was always in the back of my mind. I wanted to go for a simple wallpaper, as in our previous flat, I chose a very bright and colorful jungle themed wallpaper for the living room (which I started questioning 5 minutes after we put it up), but I still wanted some “jazz hands” moment and when I found this wallpaper from Little Greene, I immediately fell in love with it (it makes me smile every time I walk in the bathroom). ”

bathroom makeover after

” It is a bathroom done on a budget, so up close there are many details that are not as perfect as I would like them to, but I am extremely happy with the finished result and I would do it again.”

bathroom makeover with walpaper


Materials and prices:

The tiles, both floor and walls, are from Walls and Floors, around £500. 

Toilet, bathtub and heater from Victorian Plumbing £450. 

Mirror and taps from all around £300. 

Wall and ceiling lights from Spark & Bell £150. 

Vanity unit from Ikea £260. 

Wallpaper from Little Greene £86 per roll.


You can follow Paolo and his renovation project in his Instagram account.

One Reply to “A Gorgeous Bathroom Makeover on a Budget”

  1. Always knew you had this “estro” in you.So happy for all your achievements, with small steps you’ve come a long way. Very proud of you! Daniela

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.