The bathroom might be the smallest room in the house but it’s one that deserves a designer’s touch.
And while many renovations can, and will, set you back thousands, this is one that doesn’t need to cost too much at all, according to renovations expert Cherie Barber.
Australia’s renovation queen explained how she transformed three bathrooms in three different properties and was able to do each for under $1,800.
Here, FEMAIL takes a look at Cherie’s bathroom makeovers and reveals her top five tips for creating a space that’s simple, stylish and completely affordable.
TIP ONE: SALVAGE WHAT YOU CAN
When embarking on a home renovation it can be tempting to think you need to break out the sledgehammer and start from scratch.
But Cherie doesn’t believe this is always necessary and said with a bathroom many features can be salvaged.
‘Before you do anything, make sure you look at the room and ask yourself what you can salvage,’ she said.
‘Because if you can salvage a bathroom it’s going to cost you less than a couple of grand, versus than the cost of ripping it out, and replacing it which can cost anywhere between $10,000 – $15,000 for a full refit.’
Bathroom A: Cherie revealed the cost of renovating this bathroom was $1,500. She left the original bath and created a design scheme around this charming feature
TIP TWO: THINK ABOUT PAINTING TILES RATHER THAN REPLACING
While ugly tiles can leave you reeling in horror and send you straight to expensive stores to replace, Cherie said its possible to paint these for an entirely fresh look.
‘Products like White Knight Tile Paint cost under $100 can cover a multitude of sins,’ she said.
‘It can completely revamp your bathroom at very little cost, and it’s particularly good if you have wild and wacky tiles from the ’70s that are structurally in perfect condition but are a terrible colour.
Cherie said one simple way of saving money is to use tile paint to refresh a dated look – products such as White Knight Tile paint are inexpensive and can be tinted to any colour
Cherie said one of the benefits of using this paint is that it can be tinted to any colour and it will completely transform a bathroom without too much effort.
TIP THREE: MAXIMISE STORAGE
Although a sleek bathroom is always an appealing option, its worth remembering that people need a place to store all manner of things.
‘Bathrooms are the smallest room in the house and because of this you need to be really clever storage,’ the expert said.
‘There’s no point putting in a little pedestal basin because that has no storage – where do you put your shampoo or toothpaste, all those things we accumulate.
Bathroom B: This makeover cost just $1,000 for its fitout. Cherie kept almost all of the original features and gave it an overhaul by painting the ceiling white and adding new flooring
TIP FOUR: MAKE A CLEVER COLOUR CHOICE
Making a clever colour choice can make a bathroom seem more spacious than it really is, said Cherie.
‘But be careful with your colour palette,’ she warned. ‘Because this is such a small room, you don’t want to use the wrong colours to make your space feel even smaller.
‘You want to be using colours that increase the sense of space. And choose colours that have a calming effect as well.’
Bathroom C: This makeover cost a total of $1,500. Here tile paint was used to freshen up tiles that were dated
She said that the trend in bathrooms is to create a room that’s more sanctuary-like so choose a colour that reflects this.
‘It’s one of the second most popular rooms in the house and a place where people go to unwind. You don’t want stimulating colours that aren’t going to create a peaceful effect.’
TIP FIVE: ADD ON-TREND ACCESSORIES
Taps, soap dishes, toilet roll holders, and towel rails can all be easily updated with very little effort, Cherie said.
Cherie’s budget bathroom makeovers
Bathroom A: Cost – $1,800. This entailed painting tiles, removing old vanity and installed mirrored shaving cabinets and a floating timber floor
Bathroom B: Cost – under $1,000. Plainer restoration in all white. The ceiling was painted and a floating flooring was added
Bathroom C: Cost – $1,500. Left original bath in pink, painted walls in blush, left pink and grey floor tiles, painted wall tiles, black fixtures and fittings all under $200
‘Old fixtures and fittings can be easily removed and new ones added very cheaply for that instant wow factor.’
She said one of the bigger trends in bathrooms right now is for black, copper and rose gold trims and accents to match the bathroom wall panels – (examples at Floors to Walls).
‘Adding these can take a very ordinary bathroom and make it look extraordinary and you only need to spend a couple of hundred dollars, not a couple of thousand.’
Cherie also reminds renovators to add a mirror – and to choose one that’s large enough to give the room a feeling of space.
‘Mirrors bounce light around the room and increase a sense of space which is really important in the smallest room in the house.
‘Be very strategic with where you place the mirrors and what size of mirror you use,’ she cautioned.
Cherie advised those considering a bathroom overhaul to be as imaginative as possible, and think about how design features could add a modern touch
The design expert also said sheeting one wall with floor-to-ceiling mirroring works wonders to open up a small and cramped space.
‘Don’t forget little design factors, you can hang a feature light in the bathroom, you can get creative with paint, you can add on-trend accessories,’ she said.
Lastly, Cherie advised those considering a bathroom overhaul to be as imaginative as possible, and think about how design features could add a modern touch.
‘You can hang a feature light, you can get creative with tile paint, you can get as wild as you’d like to get and do amazing things without having to spend too much money.’