Before-and-after photos show how a couple transformed a small, dark bedroom into an Instagram-worthy bathroom

  • Leah Holden and her boyfriend Grant transformed a small, dark bathroom in their fixer-upper home into a light and airy bathroom on a tight budget. 
  • The couple, who live in Huddersfield, England, spent less than $3,500 on the renovation by doing much of the work themselves, including plastering, paneling, and painting. 
  • Holden also found the $103 (£80) clawfoot tub — which she painted pink — with the help of eBay alerts. 
  • The couple are completely renovating their Victorian home and documenting it on Instagram. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

When Leah Holden and her boyfriend first moved into their fixer-upper Victorian home, they didn't even have a real bathroom. 

The couple, who live in Huddersfield, England, set out to renovate their home from top to bottom — and the transformation has been incredible. 

They turned a small, dark bedroom with dated brown tiles and a mattress that had seen better days into a light and airy bathroom complete with a tub and walk-in shower. 

When they first moved in, Leah Holden and her boyfriend Grant decided to transform this small room into a bathroom.
Leah Holden

And they did it all for less than $3,500. 

Holden told Insider that she and Grant — her boyfriend of eight years — first moved into their home in May 2019 and knew it needed major renovating. 

Holden and Grant wanted to buy a fixer-upper house that had plenty of character.
Leah Holden

The three-story house hadn't been occupied for over two years. The previous owner had lived in the house her whole life — for a total of 90 years. 

There was no heating and almost no electricity. 

"We wanted a challenge," Holden said. "Originally not as big as this one, but we fell in love with the house and its character when we viewed it." 

With only a toilet in a tiny cupboard — and no shower or tub — the bathroom was the couple's first priority.  

Holden and Grant only had this toilet in a cupboard, and no tub or shower, when they began renovating.
Leah Holden

They began by ripping all the plaster off the walls where they wanted to put in the shower as the "walls weren't in very good condition," Holden said. 

This is how the bathroom looked when the renovation process first began.
Leah Holden

Then they had to add hot and cold feed pipes, a hole for bathroom waste, and install all the necessary pipework. 

"We did most of the work ourselves and had a lot of help and advice from my dad," Holden said. "I think he's sick of my phone calls!" 

They also painted the bathroom ceiling and boarded up the area around the shower so that they could tile it. 

Holden tiling the bathroom.
Leah Holden

Holden said her father taught her how to tile so that she could do it with him. 

As they were renovating, Holden and Grant also began searching for bathroom furniture. 

After fresh paint and paneling had been added to the bathroom.
Leah Holden

They found a tub online that they liked, but the $1,291 (£1,000) price tag was far too steep for their budget. So they decided to go the DIY route, setting alerts on eBay to search for a bath instead. 

After one month, they found a white clawfoot tub for just $103 (£80). Holden painted it baby-pink. 

Holden spent $645 (£500) on the shower, which she bought from Heat and Plumb, and purchased the floor tiles from Tons of Tiles. 

The walk-in shower in Holden's newly renovated bathroom.
Leah Holden

She bought additional bathroom accessories from eBay and Asda, as well as sale items from the British department store House of Fraser.  

In total, Holden and Grant spent just $3,230 (£2,500) on their new bathroom. 

After showering at the gym for months during the renovation, the couple's transformation was finally complete.

The couple transformed the bedroom into a light and airy bathroom.
Leah Holden

While she loves the whole bathroom, Holden said her favorite part is definitely the tub. 

"I love the bath," she said. "As it's quite a small room, to have a bath and separate shower is a dream!" 

Holden said she plans to add shutters to the bathroom, and the room still needs a door. 

And there's plenty more work to be done in the rest of the house. 

The couple, who have been documenting their renovation on Instagram, are also currently in the middle of transforming the basement into the kitchen of their dreams. 

While there have been some bumps in the road (like Grant needing a tetanus shot after stepping on a nail), the renovation process has also been filled with incredible moments. 

The couple discovered postcards from 1935 hidden behind the light switches. They were written by the home's previous owner. 

They have also spent many mornings soaking up this beautiful view. 

And, while Holden's dad is a master renovator, neither she or Grant had any DIY or decorating experience before the remodel began. They have learned a plethora of new skills from the process. 

For those who want to take on similar renovation projects, Holden recommends having a "clear idea" of what you want each room to look like. 

"We love saving ideas on Pinterest," she said. "And make sure you're constantly checking eBay and Facebook Marketplace for items that you could use." 

Holden also recommends trying to do a lot of projects yourself to save on costs. 

"There's so much information on how to do things yourself via Google, DIY books, Instagram, and pages such as the DIY Facebook page, so it's quite easy to teach yourself how to do things," she said.

"Even if they don't go perfectly, you get the satisfaction in knowing you did it yourself."

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