The bathroom should be more than just a functional space for ablutions. Sure, it’s often the smallest room in the house, but even small bathrooms can look tremendous with the right color scheme and some wisely selected furniture.
So, if your heart sinks a little each time you enter your water closet, think about how you might transform your space into something spectacular. And it doesn’t always have to cost a lot to get a lot.
This article is all about bathroom renovations, turning tired spaces into glamorous quarters that you’re not embarrassed to share with visitors.
Ready? Let’s go!
Working on a budget
Before diving in with some design ideas, it’s helpful to consider your budget. Ultimately, there’s a super-expensive path to a stylish space or a way to make a little money go a long way.
If you have no significant budget constraints, skip this section and jump into our style ideas. But, I suspect that most of us will want to know how to renovate our bathrooms without spending vast amounts of cash.
Stick with the layout
It’s easy to get carried away, dreaming of a total overhaul. Maybe you want to move the bath and the toilet? Perhaps you want the faucet underneath the window?
Well, one of the quickest ways to blow your budget is to move your existing bathroom furniture. Moving the furniture means new underfloor piping – or even worse, ripping up the walls for new pipework.
It doesn’t really matter so much if you damage your walls because you’re likely to be tiling them anyway – but moving bathroom furniture is expensive.
So, our top tip is to work with the layout you already have (unless you have to climb over the bath to get to the loo, of course).
Replacing your bathroom furniture
You can replace your toilet and washbasin relatively inexpensively (as long as you’re not moving their positions). And it could be possible for a competent DIYer to do it themselves.
So, it IS possible to get rid of that awful avocado suite.
And if you need to maintain a low budget, keep an eye out for bath store sales. Search online for bathroom sales – you’re sure to pick up some bargains.
Reuse whatever you can
And reuse whatever you can. Just because you hate the linoleum, it doesn’t mean that EVERYTHING has to go. White bathroom suites never really go out of fashion, so if everything remains functional, consider focusing on dressing rather than replacing it.
For example, if you have a concealed cistern for your toilet, there’s no need to replace it; unless it leaks, of course. You might rip out the old, chipped washbasin, but perhaps the vanity unit could be resprayed or painted?
A color transformation can be just as impactful as brand new.
Whether you’re ripping out the old furniture or not, tiling is a great way to transform your bathroom. If you’re working on a super-tight budget, consider tile paint to alter your aesthetic quickly. Be bold with color – don’t always play it safe.
But if you have a budget for new tiles, think about whether you want a pattern or just a new color. There are so many funky tiles out there that it can be hard to choose.
Sure, mosaic tiles are a pain in the neck to fit and grout, but it’s just a minor hassle for many years’ enjoyment.
The white tiles are probably the most basic you can buy, with a glazed texture that glistens in the light. But the genius decision here was to lay them in portrait rather than landscape. That gives a sense of height to a small space. But the fish scale tessellation on the upper wall segment provides interest and a little touch of luxury to this lovely space.
A two-tone triumph.
The super-sized wall tiles look slick and sophisticated. But a little warning – for oversized tiles, you need good, even, and level walls; otherwise, it’s challenging to get them to lay flat on the wall.
The leather-effect textured patterning on the deep, earthy tiles gives this lovely space a sense of spacious classiness, while those gorgeous feature floor tiles elevate this sleek bathroom to the heights of uber-elegance.
Go for unconventional
These stunning strip tiles from Claybrook Studio bring a striking aesthetic to any space while remaining sympathetic to uneven walls. Of course, it’s always a good idea to try to level out your wall before tiling.
These lovely strip mosaics add a gorgeous texture to your walls and come in a range of delightful tones, from this glistening aqua to jade or baby pink.
What a way to sparkle up a tired bathroom, hey?
Ideas for new washbasins
Washbasins come in a range of shapes and sizes. And updating your bathroom suite can really change the look of the room.
You could reuse your existing vanity unit and go for a bowl-style washbasin. This design remains stylish and straightforward, making great use of wood grain and glossy white.
The wall-mounted taps will most likely require professional fitting, but it is possible to fit these yourself – it’s time for those YouTube tutorials!
The white and wood against the deep denim blue of the wall tiles give this bathroom a welcoming, stately air.
Box (or trough) washbasins are straightforward to fit and enduringly beautiful.
This matte black box basin looks super-elegant and could be retrofitted onto an existing vanity unit. The suede-effect wall paint accentuates the matte effect, which juxtaposes with the gloss finish of the drawer fronts.
Plenty of storage is always a good thing for tidy bathrooms!
Or go for something a bit different
This unusual wooden pedestal has a zen-like asymmetry that would suit a minimalist bathroom design. The beautiful annularity of the clear glass basin contrasts against the right angles of the pedestal shelves.
You might think a double sink configuration to be a luxury, but for busy families, they can be absolute lifesavers in the mornings.
These perfectly rectangular washbasins look sharp and sleek, offering real simplicity in design. As long as you’re not moving your basin from another area of the room, you can create this configuration with existing plumbing.
Loos to die for
The design of your toilet bowl can make a massive difference to the overall aesthetic of your space. And while there’s generally less choice for toilet designs than for washbasins, there are still many exciting variations.
This gorgeous half bathroom is super minimalist, achieved – in part – by the hidden cistern and “floating” toilet.
You might think that black is a bad choice for a small space. But this image proves quite to the contrary!
Integrating the furniture
This integrated toilet/washbasin unit is neat, functional, and stylish. The grey and white tonal palette works to create a particularly warm and welcoming bathroom feel.
Alternatively, you might choose to dispense with a uniform look altogether and go for a mismatch effect.
Here, the toilet and the washbasin are from different eras style-wise, and yellow is a pretty brave choice for a bathroom suite. But this unusual combination works because the yellow tiling provides a striking platform for the clean white of the washbasin to really sing.
Create a mood board
Before you settle for a design, it’s a good idea to create a mood board, combining all of your favored styles in one place to help you make some informed compositional decisions.
If you use Pinterest, it’s an excellent platform to gather some ideas together.
Here’s what your mood board might look like:
Your mood board brings together ideas you like, and perhaps, you won’t have previously thought of. Here, the black frames are a common theme, which could be a driver for a new bathroom aesthetic.
Once you know WHAT you’re looking for, it’s easier to create an overall design that’s achievable for your budget.
There’s no time like the present. Get your thinking cap on and put together a mood board of your ideal bathroom, gleaning some ideas that you could turn into a reality!