The Garage Transformation at Leat House

This is probably one of my favourite room transformations at Leat House, largely because this room now provides us with so much more than it did before! It was once a soulless garage with a concrete floor, breeze block walls and a make-shift ceiling. Now, it is a multi-purposed wet room with washing and drying facilities, kayak storage, a shower room and a fully accessible loft area.

It will no doubt be one of the most used room in the house as when we come of the beach, (which let’s face it, is most days when we are there!) it will be the first room we head to, to wash off the sand and to get changed.


The planning of this room stemmed (as always) from the desired core functionality of this space i.e. what we want this room to provide us. It has to be a space that makes leaving next to the sea, EASY. It’s as simple as that! We need somewhere practical for washing sand off, getting changed, washing clothes/drying clothes and storing water-sports equipment.

With our room check list in tow, I took to Pinterest to seek inspiration for the design. Below are the mood boards I created off the back of this.

From there, knowing our list of items/areas required in the room and an idea of the look and feel we were after, we planned the space. It’s always tricky to floor plan when you are not physically in the room, as it’s good to get a real feel for the flow of things (I will say here that lockdown made this particularly difficult for us!) but nevertheless, we put pencil to paper one afternoon here at our own home and played with a few ideas until we found the right design.

With the floor plan decided, work started at Leat House by stripping everything back in the room. There wasn’t, however, much to strip back on 3 of the walls as these were just breeze blocks anyway!

The old make-shift toilet room with plywood walls was ripped out and the window in the far corner was blocked up to provide a larger wall for the new shower room.

With the room cleared the next steps were to insulate and plasterboard, install new walls for the shower/toilet room, re-support the ceiling, fit a loft ladder and carry out first fix electrics and plumbing.

I had the pleasure of working with Karndean flooring on this room and installed their ‘Van Gough’ Country Oak wood effect vinyl. This was also installed in our upstairs bathrooms and utility/larder room.

I cannot recommend this flooring enough, it was quick and relatively easy to install and looks like real wood. There is no plastic, hollow sensation under foot, it feels solid and sturdy. It’s also an extremely hard-wearing flooring which is ideal for a holiday rental property such as Leat House.

Above all, I just love how it sits effortlessly with the paired-back coastal charm of this property.

For the shower room I opted for a fantastic alternative to traditional tiles. Working with Showerwall, I installed their waterproof panel system made from plywood core which you literally cut to size and fit with adhesive. So simple and easy to do, the whole thing was done in a day!

The boards even have the capability to fit over existing tiles which is fantastic if you are renovating an existing bathroom on a budget. Plus, there are no grout lines so in theory, there should be less potential mould build up! Thanks to their watertight Sureseal and trim system, Showerwall requires next to no maintenance with a simple wipe clean surface. Perfect for a holiday rental!

Showerwall have a substantial range of finishes to choose from and are available in a wide number of stockists around the country. I decided on their White Charcoal Concrete wall panels which have a lovely textured, matte finish.

We panelled all walls within the shower enclosure, the cistern wall and cut to size a splash back above the small sink. The trims and seals were in a satin silver finish to match the toilet flush plate and to provide a softened look to the edge of the boards.

The oak doors were from Howdens and the sliding barn door track set was from eBay. The drying pulley system I bought a couple of years ago from Amazon.

The heavy duty industrial hanging rail came all the way from Latvia via a seller on Etsy. I was recommended this rail by one of my followers and I’ve been really impressed with it. It does exactly what we wanted it to do plus looks good! The large plastic dip buckets were from Amazon.

So there you have it, our new wet room for our home by the sea! I can safely say that this room has now been truly transformed. This room will get so much use and is a great example of how the best ideas for transforming spaces often come after living in a property and realising what it is you want it to be…!

Hope you like the changes, if you do, please let a comment below.

Thanks, SJ x



  1. lesovitch
    August 19, 2020 / 7:24 am

    ‘Simply the Best’ transformation room(s) at Leat House. Very well thought out and planned.

  2. Anne Andrews
    August 19, 2020 / 9:16 am

    It is amazing. It appears to be the room that keeps on giving. Looking at it seems to be an area you could not have managed without living so close to the sea and being such an active family. No traipsing sand throughout your beautiful house which would have been a nightmare. Well done. As always your taste is so elegant but warm.

  3. EMMA Noonan
    August 19, 2020 / 12:20 pm

    Did showerwall fit for you, or did you have to employ a fitter? Looks great btw!?

    • justalittlebuild
      August 19, 2020 / 12:21 pm

      Thanks! No, our tiler did. Any DYI’er can fit them.

  4. P
    August 19, 2020 / 12:22 pm

    Can I ask, with so much sand down the’ll cope with it?

    • justalittlebuild
      September 6, 2020 / 5:39 pm

      I hope so! It shouldn’t be too bad as before we installed the downstairs shower, everyone used the ones upstairs and these have been fine.

  5. Clare
    August 19, 2020 / 2:46 pm

    Another amazing transformation SJ, I’ve followed them all! But we’re taking so much inspo from this and starting our own garage make over to store all our surf boards, wetsuits & bikes. Well done for everything you’ve done at Leat House, we hope to come for a stay soon x

  6. Lucy Sermon
    August 20, 2020 / 3:26 pm

    So carefully thought through SJ – Brilliantly practical and looks in keeping with the rest of the cottage!

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