Give your bathroom a new lease of life. From pops of colour to crafty storage solutions, interior design experts share their top tips.

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It might be the smallest room in your house, but that’s no reason to neglect your bathroom. In fact, having a stylish and practical bathroom is key to your family’s wellbeing and comfort. 

On-trend bathrooms also maximise home value. They are a key selling point for any buyer because they are used so regularly. If you’re selling, revamping your bathroom for a viewing is recommended (even if it’s just with a lick of paint). 

“Bathrooms can be expensive to remedy so the logic is often to keep it simple and stick to all white, or not think about it at all,” explains Lisa Roberts-Goldner, founder of The Open Plan, an interior design practice based in North London.

“But thinking needs to change on this. Apart from your reception rooms, the loo is the other space that guests will inevitably see, so it should be given as much thought. 

“The bathroom should be considered a haven that you can inexpensively turn into your personal spa space”. 

From touches of colour to ingenious storage solutions, there are many ways for you to give your bathroom a revamp. And you can do plenty of them on the cheap.

All you need is a little inspiration...

Nail the basics

In a bathroom, functionality has to come first, but that does not mean it has to be boring. In fact, switching up bathroom essentials can be an easy nod to current interior trends. 

If your shower fitting is above a bath, then you’ll likely have a shower screen or curtain. A new curtain is an easy way to add character in seconds. 

Simply pick a design and hang it up using the hooks provided. Choose a bold print or select something subtle and simple for a luxurious spa vibe.

You can pick up surprisingly chic curtains from supermarkets and high street stores from as little as £6. A more swanky number could set you back about £50. 

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It’s possible to install a new shower screen yourself, but you may want to call in the help of a professional if you’re not DIY savvy. 

A very simple screen will set you back about £35 plus your tradesman’s fee, and will look crisp and clean. 

According to Roberts-Goldner, coloured taps are another way to update tired looking bathroom fittings. 

“From brass and black to copper and rose gold, replacing old taps with these new metallic touches will bring an expensive look to any bathroom suite,” she explains. 

Some swish looking new taps will only cost around £80. Just make sure you follow the instructions for installation closely or call in a plumber to help you out. 

And while it’s not the most glamorous topic, a good toilet seat is critical for comfort. They’re easy to replace yourself with just a screwdriver and you can buy one for around £20. 

Match it to other wood in the room or pick a pattern for a wink of humour. 

Consider colour

One of the easiest ways to brighten up your bathroom is to give it a lick of paint. 

“Use neutrals,” suggests Roberts-Goldner. “Forget harsh, bright white tiles and walls. Instead go for softer off-whites and natural pebble colours. 

“This way you can have a bright, light-reflecting bathroom which again gives the illusion of space, but it won’t look cold and stark”. 

Blues and greens are classic yet intense maritime shades. While unconventional colours such as pale pink and sunny yellows are growing in popularity. 

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Want the best of both worlds? Neutral walls with a statement painted floor or ceiling is a stylish option. Each tin of paint should only cost about £20, so it’s cheap too. 

And you don’t have to stop there. 

“The biggest new trend is coloured sinks, baths and toilets from beige to pink and mint,” says Roberts-Goldner.

“To achieve this look on a budget you can paint the side panel of your bath or look for a second hand roll-top bath and paint that.”

A pretty patterned wallpaper can also take your bathroom to the next level. If ventilation in the room isn’t great, then a wallpaper specifically designed for bathrooms will look better for longer.

Maintaining your existing wall tiles is a good way to keep costs down.

Give them a new lease of life by regrouting the areas between that can often get grubby. Grouting pens can cost as little as £2. Although the most common choice is white, there are other options to tie in with your colour scheme. 

Storage solutions

When considering your storage options, the most important factors to consider are “costs and clutter,” says Katie McCarthy, owner of Design Equals, an interior design practice based in Cheshire. 

“The best option for a bathroom is a balance of both open and closed shelving.”

Open shelving is a pretty and practical storage solution. 

If you’re a beauty junkie it allows you to make fancy products into a feature of your bathroom, or you can show off a few specially selected trinkets.  

“Just use open shelving for your essentials, or dress it with a few little vases, plants and incense sticks or candles for a grown-up space,” suggests McCarthy. 

Putting up shelves is a straightforward task as long as you take care. Measure up where you want your new shelves to go and keep your spirit level handy.  

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If you’re putting up a couple of rows, then make sure there’s enough space between them to hold your items. 

Or if you’d rather avoid the DIY route, repurposed ladders can be made new with a lick of paint. They’re a ready-made, eco-friendly option for open shelving. 

On the other hand, closed cabinets give you the option to shut the door on any clutter. Great if your items are more functional than pretty. 

“Avoid cheap bathroom cabinets as they tend to swell when water gets in, can chip and peel easily quickly making your room look scruffy,” warns Roberts-Goldner. 

And do not forget about storing waste in the bathroom. 

“A bin is essential,” she says. “Opt for a small, lidded bin which can be tucked away and won’t reveal all of your bathroom secrets to visitors.” 

You can buy a basic bin for around £10. 

Make space a success

The bathroom is part of your daily routine, so it should be intuitive and easy to use. 

Ask yourself these questions to help you plan your space:

  • Can I reach my most used items without struggling?
  • Does the door open without crashing into shelves?
  • Is there space for me to move around? 

These issues will only become more annoying at 7am when you’re getting ready for work. 

“Baskets, simple shelving and hooks are the three things I would immediately suggest that are widely available and cost-effective, to help you get organised and declutter the space,” says McCarthy. 

Hooks should only cost a few pounds each. You can also buy a basket to keep your loo roll supply tidy and accessible for about £5. 

Your measuring tape is your best friend during this process. There’s nothing worse than realising that your new pieces will not fit. 

Remember, it’s better to buy something smaller than squeeze something larger in. Even if the dimensions look okay on paper. 

Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise

Now that you have the functional essentials and sorted your space, it’s time for the fun stuff. 

Do not underestimate the importance of a few carefully chosen accessories to elevate your bathroom from dull to desirable. 

“A great way to breathe life into a space is by introducing living plants,” says McCarthy. 

“An additional benefit is that plants are a great way to naturally oxygenate your home.” 

Pick up some leafy friends at a garden centre for a few pounds each. Just make sure they’re the kind that thrive in humid environments. 

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But if you do not have a green thumb, you can still make your bathroom into an oasis of calm. 

“If you feel you just wouldn’t manage to keep a plant alive, there are so many amazing quality fake plants available at the moment,” says McCarthy. 

“These can give you the same look yet look good all the time, with no maintenance other than a wipe down every now and then!”

Chances are you use the bathroom mirror for shaving, applying makeup or styling your hair, so it’s essential to have one.

 “Introduce more than one mirror,” suggests McCarthy. 

“Put one above the sink, and a larger one on a wall or above the bath can really help to make your space look bigger as well. I like big, bold textured mirrors that introduce wood or metal.” 

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Mirrors vary greatly in price, so decide whether you want something practical or avant-garde. 

Scruffy towels are not a good look, but luckily fluffy new ones can be picked up at the supermarket for as little as £4 each. 

And do not forget a cheerful bath mat to treat your feet. Striking patterns add some joy, block colours can tie in with your theme and bamboo textures add a touch of zen. 

Then all you need are the finishing touches. 

Spend the rest of your budget on some classy soap dispensers or dishes, storage jars, candles and a toothbrush holder. You can easily buy them for just a few pounds each from high street stores.

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