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Smart Bathroom Makeovers in 6 easy steps

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Finding inspiration for an old bathroom is never easy. Faced with the prospect of leaking taps, hideous tiles and a chipped bath can be an overwhelming task. But fixing a bathroom, like fixing a kitchen is an easy way to add value to a home as well as make an older house feel more modern. The main choice to make when doing a makeover is whether to rip out everything and start over, or to work with what is already standing, saving some old elements and adding new ones for a unique finish. To do a makeover - which is a bit more recycle then rip - it is best to know what basics to save, what needs to go and what just needs a little tweak.

The bathroom above also functions as the laundry with a porelin basin and hide-a-way laundry appliances as well as a splash of colour.

Once the decision to go with the cheaper option has been made the rest is simple, keep the fundamentals of the bathroom and add some new designs and products for a contemporary flare. Here's our 5 essential tips to a smart bathroom makeover.

1. Be realistic

The approach needs to be realistic, don't hang onto every last towel rack in an attempt to cut costs, if something needs to go, get rid of it. The easiest way to change the look of a bathroom is to paint it.

2. Paint & colour

Forget the cheap tradie or your mates to do the job, get a professional house painter, someone who is excited about the project, someone experienced, someone that won't add to the mess but create a better space. Bathrooms shouldn't never be dark or outrageous in colouring, stick to nude and pale tones for a calming room. Pastels, oranges or greens are good colours to bring warmth into an otherwise cold room without over doing it, use these colours in easy to remove fixtures (bathrooms date incredible quickly). Having natural coloured walls also means a splash of colour can be added to blend with feature tiles and towels to tie the room together.

3. New sanitary fitments

A unique tap can make the most dated bathroom look modernA ceiling mounted shower rose is beautiful and functionalAnother quick and easy way to give a bathroom a quick lift is to add new taps, towel racks, shower head and even a toilet (don't move their location, this will send costs up).

Having matching and fresh chrome elements for example will draw the eye to a new shower rose and will reduce the focus on the not so pleasant old bath. The variety of shower heads, basins and taps is vast so there is something to suit every taste and budget. All good suppliers will have showrooms as well as extensive online catalogues to view their products, prices and latest technology. It's a good idea to know what you need before you go shopping see our essential article on Choosing Better Bathroom & Kitchen Fittings

4. Make your old tub look new

The most important feature of a bathroom is the bathtub itself, or more commonly the shower base. If the bath is chipped, worn out, leaking or there is a cracked shower base there is no need to buy a new one. Use the existing bath as a foundation which an acrylic durable bath can be fitted, ABS acrylic baths are finished in a high gloss acrylic surface that is easy to clean and can be used immediately with no disruption to the bathroom, which means the tub can be used that same day. This repair instead of rip out approach also eliminates the need for a plumber, saving big bucks to put towards something else. The same approach can be taken with a cracked shower base. Use a nonslip shower insert to cover the old base, an insert is a quick efficient way to fix a shower without using nasty chemicals or replacing larger elements such as screens or tiles.

Resurfacing a bath is cheap and fast, it changes the whole space without losing any.

Bathroom after makeover  

5. New glass screens & splashbacks

If you would like to install a new glass screen or need to replace an existing glass screen it too can now be quick and painless to install. A modern frameless shower screen is a chic way to update a bathroom. Clear toughened glass in an attractive way to increase the light and create the illusion of space in any bathroom. The same goes for splashbacks behind your sink area. Splashbacks are no longer just a functional element but an essential component of a designer bathroom. Splashbacks now come in fantastic colours and are a bold way to add some style to a bathroom. Again this piece of toughened, heat resistant glass can be the same colour as towels and other features to create a sense of harmony and flow in the room.

6. Pace yourself

If doing everything at once seems too pricey and time consuming don't underestimate the effect of just changing one thing at a time. Any new product or fix will have a positive impact on the room, whether it's as simple as adding a coloured splash back or as grand as replacing the loo.

Undertaking a bathroom renovatio (no matter how small) can greatly improve the aesthetics of your bathroom. Be sure to have a plan, know what colours and themes to use and stick to them – see our picking colours article. Choose what to keep, fix or trash and have a clear budget, don't be too cheap, be smart. Invest in timeless long term elements such as a double shower heads or a free standing basin. Don't waste money on pieces that can be cheaply replaced like shower curtains or handles, and get down to a showroom to be inspired by the experts.