Cherie Barber bathroom makeoverHave you enjoyed watching beautiful bathroom transformations recently on TV shows like The Block, The Living Room and House Rules?

Feeling a little overwhelmed at the thought of transforming your own bathroom from twentieth century drab to twenty first century glam?

Don’t worry…

By following these five simple steps you’ll be relaxing in your stylish new bathroom in no time!

1. Know your bathroom budget

Would you like to retain your bathroom layout or completely revamp it?

Will you be carrying out the work yourself, hiring contractors, or a combination of both?

As a general rule of thumb, spend 1% of the home’s total value on your bathroom renovation. This means that if your home is valued at around $500,000 then a $5,000 renovation budget is a reasonable starting point.

If you’ve decided on a new bathroom design, keep in mind that the more walls that contain plumbing pipes, the higher the price tag. Limiting plumbing fixtures to one wall, or to suit existing, can keep costs down.

Whatever budget you decide upon, know exactly what you will be up for by planning properly.

2. Plan your bathroom design

Think about the answers to these questions before drafting your new bathroom design.

  • Who will use the bathroom? Will two adults be fighting for space in the morning rush? Are there young children who need to be catered for? Is the bathroom primarily for guest usage?
  • How will it be used? Think about what activities will be carried out in this space. Do you require a well-lit area for applying makeup? Do you need a separate shower and bath or can they be combined to save space? Do you prefer a separate toilet? Will laundry facilities need to be included?
  • Where will things go? What items need to be stored in the bathroom and where can they be located for easy access?

When you are clear on your bathroom requirements, compile a list of “must haves” and “lust haves”.

Make sure to include the essentials such as a good sized bath, water efficient shower head and appropriate storage before planning luxuries such as stone benches or under-floor heating.

Remember this phrase – less is more.

A pristine, uncluttered layout utilising clever storage will make your bathroom appear spacious and inviting. Make the most of every centimetre by adding recessed niches in the shower for storing shampoos. Mirror-fronted wall cabinets provide important storage while creating a feeling of space.

If you’d like more detail on including great design elements with limited space, check out Better Homes & Gardens’ Bathroom Layout Guidelines and Requirements

3. Choose your tradesmen

When choosing your builder and his team, cheapest isn’t always the best.

A person’s workmanship, dedication, management skills, availability and communication skills are the main priorities when making up your mind.

In my post outlining the four steps to a hassle free paint job, I provided a list of questions to ask potential painters. The same principle applies to any tradesmen you engage to carry out renovations in your home.

  • How long have you been in business?  Peace of mind can come from knowing the contractor is experienced in his trade.
  • What is your registration number?  Under the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011 a plumber is required to be registered.  In WA, the Building Commission provides a list of all registered plumbers.
  • Do you have public liability insurance?  This helps determine whether your builder and any hired workers are insured for injury and liability.
  • Can you provide references? Word of mouth and personal references are the best way to assess that previous clients were happy with the outcome.
  • Do you offer written guarantees of your work?  It’s handy to have something in writing if the need arises to question the work.

And NEVER cut costs on electrical or plumbing.

4. Choose your colour scheme and décor style

Is your home’s style modern, vintage, eclectic? If you want to include your unique personality in your bathroom makeover, make sure your new bathroom’s style is in line with the rest of the home. Or at least your vision of the home when your renovations are complete!

If your bathroom is small, keep your colour scheme light and neutral.  Add pops of your favourite colour in accessories and towels. When trends change, or you simply change your mind about your favourite colours, it is a lot easier to update accessories than your entire colour scheme.

I love the idea of treating accessories and cosmetics as works of art. This can be as simple as a grouped selection of exquisite perfume bottles, an assortment of soaps displayed in a glass jar or arranging colourful towels on an open shelf.

5. Enjoy!

After all, the whole point of revamping your bathroom is to create a space that makes life more pleasant. If the end result does not bring a smile to your face you may want to re-think your design. And be thankful that you realised this before starting!

Please share your bathroom renovation wins and challenges below. We’d love to hear them.