What costs the most is relocating fixtures as this means moving the plumbing around. However there are lots of other things you can do apart from getting a new sink, bath or toilet.
- First of all clean it up. Not just a twenty-minute number but a thorough showdown with all the elbow grease you can muster.
- Areas to focus on are the shower curtains, tile grout, bath sealant, plugholes and the rim of the toilet.
- Then deal with any small maintenance issues, such as cracked tiles and leaking taps. For a couple of hundred Euros, you can have your tiles re-grouted and sorting out your taps should be fairly inexpensive.
Decluttering is the next step. Throw. Out. All. Your. Old. Lotions! I know it’s hard but if you have not used that fake tan in two and a half years you are not going to suddenly start slathering yourself in it today. If you have bottles and tubs all over the place you need some good storage solutions.
How about a bathroom trolley (widely available in all large department stores)? Or you could buy a set of wicker drawers that sit on your shelves or even better buy a neat cabinet with a mirror and built-in shelves to reflect light back into the room.
If you do happen to have a big budget then how about switching your toilet? Modern ones tend to be slimmer than the old-fashioned chunky type and swapping one will add a few inches to your room.
Also if you don’t want a traditional towel bar, chrome and porcelain you can use hooks on the shower wall for easy access or anywhere else in the room. Make sure you have a couple on the back of your door.
Updating the paint colour, a new shower curtain, towels and accessories all are quick makeover options.
- To make a small room larger, paint it a lighter colour or have everything the same colour – just don’t pick a very dark one as it will feel claustrophobic.
- Or you could go for a mixture of shades: grey on the ceiling, a soothing khaki on the walls and clean white for the trim. The rule of thumb is to keep it bright but not fussy and if you have loud tiles then keep the walls simple and vice versa.
- For a nautical feel and to add height why not paint the roof of your bathroom blue – so you can lie back in your bath and pretend to float away – and hope someone doesn’t start banging on the door! Plain white tiles around the shower area are a good idea combined with a handful of pretty, rose patterned tiles to jazz up the sink.
- Ditch your mouldy old shower curtain for immediate results- a pale gold one will add a touch of glamour or a bright patterned one is nice if your room is mainly white. Shower curtains start at around €20. Try and hang them as close to the ceiling as possible to give the room the illusion of height.
- Or, if your budget allows, you could ditch the curtain completely (they are annoying when they stick to you) and opt for a sleek, glass shower screen instead to go around your bath or shower.
Combine the lighting with the mirrors to create the illusion of more space – there are plenty of nice vanity units with integrated lighting in the shops that start at around E130.
For the main lights what about recessed downlighters with a dimmer switch – if you are having a relaxing bath a soft light is perfect though sometimes a harsh spotlight is just what you need in the bathroom.
- Laminate flooring can look impressive, and costs around €16 a metre.
- Carpet does not really work in a bathroom especially around the toilet for the obvious reason of bad aim – If you do have carpet you should lay down some tiling around the toilet and the bath.
- If you have a vinyl floor why not swap it for tiles for a more luxurious feel. If you use large tiles, then four by six inches, laid horizontally it will give a sleek looking finish.
- Invest in a fancy bathmat. Like towels spend money here as the cheaper ones will stay lovely for about a week and won’t look the same after the first wash.
That Hotel Feeling
It’s the small things that make all the difference such as really fancy hand soaps and hand cream.
- Never skimp on towels as you want them to last and the cheaper ones turn crispy quickly. Keep an eye out in the sales in good department stores as many are reduced by 50%.
- If you want to splash out, a heated towel rail in a smart chrome finish hung neatly on the wall is perfect for creating that hotel feeling.
- Remember, emerging from a scented bath into a fluffy, huge, soft towel feels the same whether you are in the king-size suite in the Beverly Hills hotel or in your modest one bed apartment.