5 Tips for a Simple Bathroom Makeover

Although I wouldn’t call myself a slave to interior trends, I love to update things on a fairly regular basis. Richard would roll his eyes at this point. I think ‘fickle’ might be a good description. But things don’t always have to cost a lot. You can always update on a budget. For example; our ensuite has had a simple bathroom makeover, more times than I can count on one hand.

That said, they’re not huge renovations. We just don’t have the time — or the money — to give it a complete overhaul. Even though I’d like to, eventually, give it the same kind of wow factor as our downstairs loo.

At some point (when funds allow) we will give our ensuite a proper makeover. But until that point, I’ll just keep switching things around.

5 tips for a simple bathroom makeover by The Listed Home
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

How Do I Update My Basic Bathroom?

A bathroom makeover doesn’t have to be expensive and, if you follow these 5 simple tips, you won’t have to re-tile or change the hardware every-time you want to alter the feel of the room.

Before you know it you’ll be able to easily give the smallest room in the house an inviting new look, as often as the seasons change.

Here’s how to update bathroom on a budget…

1. Give yourself a neutral backdrop.

I love colour but I also get bored easily.

Painting a room white — or choosing classic, plain white tiles — means you can regularly update the space. And introduce new key colours or patterns, simply by changing the accessories.

If fixed elements — like walls and tiles — are bold, patterned or bright, it would be so costly to alter them; every-time I felt like a change.

This is also a great tip if you plan to move house.

Prospective buyers can sometimes be put off by overly personal colour-schemes. By sticking to a neutral back-drop, they’ll more easily able to imagine their own belongings in there.

5 tips for a simple bathroom makeover — mirrors are a great way of doubling your space
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

Plus, a neutral backdrop is the perfect canvas for colourful accessories.

Changing the towels or shower curtain is a lots more cost effective than re-tiling or repainting.

Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

2. Where to find bathroom ideas and inspiration.

There are so many places to find amazing home inspiration these days.

The Highstreet — you’ll often see trends in stores on your local highstreet; Moroccan, nautical, rustic etc.

This is no coincidence; buyers will be looking at the trend forecasts months before the product actually hits the shops.

But, whilst the high street stores offer a wealth of ideas, also look to hotel and café decor for inspiration too.

5 tips for a simple bathroom makeover from The Listed Home
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

Very often they’ll have been created by an interior designer and will be chock-full of clever ideas that you can emulate at home.

• Magazines — still one of the best places to look for home inspiration. There’s an abundance of magazines available on the newstands, to suit all tastes.

Whether your decorating style is country cottage or loft-style living, you’ll be able to find loads of bathroom ideas in the editorials.

5 tips for a simple bathroom makeover from The Listed Home
Gather up those magazines and put them in a wall mounted rack
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

• Pinterest — possibly  one of my favourite resources. When I’m looking for a particular thing I type the word — or phrase — into the Pinterest search bar (for example — ‘small bathroom makeovers pictures’) and am always amazed by the number of gorgeous pictures that come up.

It’s such a massive time thief though! I often go with the intent of searching for one thing and end up being totally sidetracked by something else.

• Pantone — As a designer by trade, I’ve been using the Pantone colour system for the whole of my working life. But it’s not all about colour formulations  for print or cute mugs and homewares! Not on your nelly.

The Pantone Colour Institute releases their trend predictions each year, in the form of a colour palette. You’ll often see these colours filtering down to the high street and Pantone also name one of these shades as their Colour Of The Year’.

In 2016 it was Rose Quartz — a soft, blush pink — and the shops were absolutely bursting with lovely accessories in that shade.

For 2017 it’s the turn of ‘Greenery‘ — a fresh vivid green — and I’ve seen so many references to it; both in magazines and on the highstreet.

It’s been translated into botanical and tropical trends and there are lots of gorgeous examples in the shops at the moment.

But if a bight grassy green isn’t your thing though, you can still bring the colour into your space in the form of actual greenery; add a couple of pot plants to your bathroom and you’ll be bang on trend.

5 tips for a simple bathroom makeover from The Listed Home
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

3. Declutter

To give your bathroom a lovely welcoming feel take on board some of the simple design tricks used by spa hotels.

Decant soaps or hand-creams from plastic bottles and use pretty glass or ceramic dispensers. This is such a simple trick but gives a bathroom a luxe feel.

Reducing clutter is such a simple fix but can really make the difference to how you feel about the space.

5 tips for a simple bathroom makeover — decant soap into pretty bottles
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

Stack piles of magazines in pretty baskets. Use wall-mounted magazine racks if you’re lacking in floor-space. This has the double advantage of adding colour and texture to the room.

Banish bags of loo rolls, bottles of bleach and toilet cleaner from sight.

If you have a large enough room add a lovely floor-standing cupboard or, if not, a wall hung cabinet is perfect for toilet rolls and other bathroom essentials.

Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

Finally, cover up ugly radiators with radiator covers.

You can buy ready made ones from most large DIY stores. They’re really easy to fit and give extra shelf space as well as streamlining a room and making it appear less cluttered.

I wrote about this a couple of years ago. Adding a radiator cover to our ensuite has really transformed the look and feel of the space.

Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

4. Add texture

Bathrooms can often feel cold and clinical; shiny metal taps and cold hard ceramic tiles and sanitary-ware can feel very stark and uninviting.

By adding texture in the form of plants, towels, rugs and other accessories, you can easily add interest to a room; and make it feel homely and inviting.

Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

And finally, if you want to add one thing to your bathroom to really make a difference to how it feels: —

5. Add light and space with mirrors

Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

For DIY bathroom ideas on a budget, this is definitely one of my favourite tricks. I’ve written on many occasions about adding mirrors to indoor spaces — as well as adding mirrors to gardens too.

Bathrooms can often be small and poky but — to give the illusion of more space — add a mirror or two. They will really bounce the light around; and trick the eye into believing that the room is much brighter and more spacious.

If you position one opposite a window, it will reflect the natural light around the room and also give a glimpse into the outside world.

Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
My circular mirror came from Rockett St George
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

And if you don’t have a window, don’t despair! Choose a mirror with built in lighting.

Again, it will bounce the light around and make the room feel larger.

Bathroom Ideas Made Easy

Et voila. Five easy tips for a simple bathroom makeover.

These pointers can work well for any room in the house but are particularly useful in bathrooms; where space is often at a premium.

By decluttering — and maximising light and space — you can turn a small, unwelcoming space into a little sanctuary. The perfect place to unwind and soak off the stresses of life  at the end of the day.

5 tips for a simple bathroom makeover
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

If you’re looking for ways to refresh a bathroom for cheap, these 5 simple tips to update the bathroom are a winner.

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Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.

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