When it comes to bathroom interiors, planning a revamp can often feel a little daunting. Creating a new bathroom can seem like a specialist job perhaps best left to the experts, however there are many ways that you can add DIY touches that will have maximum impact, for a minimal outlay. What is true, is that sometimes the smallest DIY swaps can often make the biggest design difference.
Before making any changes, consider updating your bathroom with sustainable, responsibly sourced materials that are easily recyclable in the future. – Materials such as wood, glass and metal are readily accessible and recyclable for when the time comes to update your look again in the future.
So, where do you begin when you want to quickly refresh your bathroom yourself, without spending lots of time or money?
Here are some of our top tips on how to style up a beautiful bathroom on a budget:
1. Update your hardware, fixtures, and fittings
Simply swapping your taps, shower heads and even small details like cupboard handles for a different finish will dramatically update the style of a bathroom without the need for a full fit out. Consider water saving shower heads and taps that are not only better for the environment, but that will also be easier on the wallet too in the long run.
Sanitary ware/ceramic ware such as toilets, baths and basin will rarely date if they’re white, so investing a little on smaller elements such as new taps and other fixtures instead, can really help elevate a bathroom interior and will easily change up the look.
Current trends for fixtures and fittings include matte black hardware, and brushed brass taps, which also provide an industrial look but with a little elegance thrown in too. Brushed brass as opposite to polished, is more forgiving in that it won’t show fingerprints as readily, so it’s a win-win for both the style and cleaning stakes too!
2. Pick up a paintbrush
Repainting just one or two walls can go a long way when it comes to refreshing a bathroom.
Though commonly an afterthought when it comes to interior design, because they’re smaller and used in shorter doses when compared with living spaces and bedrooms, bathrooms are the rooms in the home that can take more trend led styles and colour updates. – They’re the place to be a little bolder in the style stakes!
Top tips when it comes to painting walls in bathrooms:
For eco-friendly paints, try looking for natural bathroom paint with no VOC’s. These paint types are better for the environment and help improve the air quality too.
It can be a more difficult task to find the right tiles for your bathroom, so if you’re changing those too, source the tiles first and then choose the paint colour afterwards, to complement.
For a striking effect, opt for a painted complementary or triadic colour palette (this is where the colours contrast for a bold, poppy scheme).
Or for a more muted look and feel, choose an analogous palette by selecting colours that sit adjacent to one another on the colour wheel. Tonal designs work by selecting various shades of the same colour for a more cohesive look.
For a bold style, consider painting the walls the same colour/a few shades lighter or darker than your tiles or cupboards, for a colour drench effect. This type of colour blocking is currently very popular and creates a striking, monochromatic scheme.
In terms of the paint itself, we’d recommend opting for kitchen and bathroom paint, as this will help prevent mildew and mould from forming. It will also be more durable and can be easily wiped clean without removing the colour from the wall.
3. Give your tiles a glow up
If you have a vast expanse of tiles in your bathroom, but don’t want the upheaval or the associated costs of having to retile, one option for a quick and inexpensive revamp is to use tile paint.
Before painting, ensure that your tiles are both clean and dry, and sand them so that the paint applies better. Using primer underneath will help the painted tiles last longer, and if your grout lines aren’t looking tip top, try using a grout pen for a quick refresh!
If you do enjoy a little tiling, seek out tiles made from recyclable materials such as metal for an industrial look, ceramic for a more natural, modern look or glass for high end sophistication.
Tiling just a splashback with more unusual tiles can quite quickly renew a bathroom space with a little colour or texture. When tiling a smaller space, smaller or mosaic tiles work well, and you can often find statement options for added impact.
4. Consider aqua panels
An easy-to-install alternative to tiles are aqua boards. These provide waterproof décor for walls with a seamless look and feel. Popular finishes are marble, sandstone, quartz, and terrazzo finishes, and they’re a great, quick, and cost-effective way of covering large spaces.
5. Add drama with a focal feature wall
If a little theatre is your interior objective, then it’s worth looking into wallpaper to draw the eye, create drama and a talking point, too!
Often more affordable than tiles and with illustrative designs that you can’t always find on aqua panels, we are seeing the trend for more wallpaper in bathrooms of late, where any print goes, from ditsy to jungle.
Whilst some may be quizzical about using wallpaper in a bathroom, it’s generally acknowledged that a wallpaper will be happily at home in a well-ventilated bathroom.
You can opt for vinyl wall coverings, designed to be used in more humid spaces, or finish your wallpapering off with a layer or two of decorator’s varnish to keep it splashproof. We’d also recommend only papering in areas unlikely to see major splashing!
Cladding is another way of adding interest to bathroom walls inexpensively. There are so many ready-made panelled boards available in local DIY stores, so it’s really a case of picking your favourite, attaching it to the wall, and painting in situ.
Particularly suited to period and country style properties, half panelled bathroom walls can really give an instant sense of grandeur and will enhance any traditional bathroom.
6. Light it up
In recent years we’ve seen a surge in the use of ambient lighting in bathrooms, as we spend more time there for rest and relaxation.
Elements such as wall sconces and illuminated mirrors help add hints of mood lighting and luxury, as well as elevate the overall bathroom design. Clever lighting can draw attention to certain aspects of the bathroom and detract from others.
Other accessories such as scented candles help add a serene, calming glow to the bathroom for a spot of R&R in the evening. When sourcing eco-friendly candles for your bathroom, opt for natural soy/coconut wax with wooden wicks, and choose colours that help tie your whole scheme together.
7. Add beauty with botanicals
Whether real or artificial, plants are a very easy way to add some oomph to the bathroom space.
Real plants are best for enhancing the air quality in the room and they also love the humidity of bathroom spaces but opting for artificial can be more environmentally friendly in the long run and are also more budget friendly.
The key to positioning plants in bathrooms, is in creating interesting groupings that vary in height, and draw the eye around the room.
Use trailing plants in hanging planters and position them in corners for high level impact. This type of plant can also be used on the tops of shelves too.
If opting for the real deal, some of the best plants for bathrooms include:
Ferns: They love low light and moisture, and can mostly tolerate cooler rooms – they also make for fabulous trailing plants
Spider plants: Again, they love humid environments, and look amazing when hung up
Snake plants: Can cope with fluctuating temperatures and are easy to keep and grow. They’re also great air purifiers!
Fiddle leaf fig plants are a great option for those with a little extra space in the bathroom. They look great positioned on a little wooden stool, or even directly on the floor in a corner. They love warm, damp rooms so bathrooms are perfect for them!
For a sustainable planter option, consider a macrame hanging planter to add interest and texture to a nature inspired space.
8. Introduce tactile textiles
Sprucing up your towels in a bathroom can add a soft elegance to what can otherwise be a bit of clinical space. A basket of rolled up towels is a welcoming touch that’ll help to create a warm interior.
With the rise of eco-friendly manufacturing methods, you can source sustainable towels that are great looking as well as being good for the environment. For a natural aesthetic, seek out organic cotton waffle towels in earthy, muted tones.
Hammam towels with GOTS certified organic cotton are also great for bathrooms with a rustic/artisanal vibe and you can find options with different patterns to add more interest.
If wall space allows a simple wooden rack with hanging storage baskets/pegs for towels is a great way of fusing storage with an interesting feature.
9. Accessorise to moderise
Little finishing touches like towel colours, soap dishes and dispensers can really help lift a bathroom scheme and can completely change the overall look and feel of a space quickly and cost-effectively. It’s also a great way to consider styling sustainably.
Gold accessories help give a feeling of luxe and grandeur and reflect the popular boutique hotel vibe that is currently in vogue. As well as traditional bathroom accessories, candlesticks and diffusers in charcoal grey and gold also help add a sophisticated touch. Consider selecting materials that can be recycled in the future.
Colourful glass bottles and accessories can help add a pop of colour for a bold look and feel. Mix teal, emerald and amber for a tropical, summery style and add palm leaves for a more authentic decorative touch.
Pinterest (see board link)
Bamboo wood dispensers, trays and shelves are inexpensive and work well for schemes inspired by nature. Wood tones can sit happily alongside earthy hues and botanicals for a more subtle, raw, and rustic scheme.