Top tips to revamp your bathroom
Of all the rooms in the house, it's the bathroom that tends to be an afterthought in terms of design. For rentals, the opportunity to re-plumb and revamp is limited and means that many people just make do with a design that doesn't exactly express their style. For homeowners, the sitting room or kitchen often takes precedence when it comes to budget and the bathroom is placed on the backburner. Neither situation is ideal - especially when your bathroom is the room you use every single day.
The only solution is to get stuck in. Nowadays, the bathroom isn't just a functional space that we spend a little amount of time in. Updated add-ons and contemporary designs allow us to create spaces that exude luxury and give a much-needed home spa vibe that promotes relaxation after a long day.
No need to call in the plumber - there are ample ways to give the bathroom a revamp, says Catherine Treacy of Versatile Bathrooms (Versatilebathrooms.ie): "Updated taps and brassware will always give a dated bathroom an instant facelift - as will removing an old-fashioned basin and pedestal and replacing it with a new piece that has even more storage," she suggests. "If space is an issue, look to wall-mounted pieces that free up the floor - there really is a style, a colour and a look to suit everyone."
Speaking of colour, Helen Shaw, marketing manager of the Laura Ashley Bathroom Collection, suggests paint to give your wash space an air of cleanliness and freshness: "Bathroom furniture, hand-painted in a neutral colour, such as soft white or pale grey, will help make your bathroom seem lighter and brighter, unifying the space you have available. Similarly, gloss white furniture can reflect and make the most of natural light. Neutral colours are also more likely to stand the test of time and will help you to create a calm, tranquil environment," she says.
The bathroom can be overlooked, but the toilet is even more ignored. Modern designers have taken this on board to produce features that move away from the more traditional-looking models. "Updating can be incredibly easy with the addition of a monolith toilet (where the tank is covered)," says Catherine, suggesting models by Swiss manufacturer Gerberit.
See if you can change smaller features such as the loo-roll holder, handrails and mirrors. It may require some DIY, but it will up the ante when it comes to a quick revamp. From Scandinavian stores Sostrene Grene, Tiger and IKEA to more traditional brands like Chadder & Co and Heritage, bathrooms no longer need to be bland. Put aside an afternoon, think about your budget and create a space that doesn't make you cringe every time you have guests over.
- Anna Shelswell-White is editor of House and Home magazine