Make a splash

Renovating your bathroom may require a complete gut-and-rebuild or small changes that make a big difference

WORDS: DEBBIE LOOTS & SARAH MARJORIBANKS – IMAGES: SUPPLIED

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here are more ways than one to spruce up your bathroom. Major renovations usually involve unforeseen costs while small and simple changes are often all that’s needed for a smart makeover.

Blank canvas

Form Interior’s Erica Schalkwyk says the best place to start is the floor and walls. “These are the canvas of a bathroom and set the tone,” she says. 

As tiles can easily date your bathroom, she suggests choosing neutral tiles that are timeless. 

“When in doubt, go white. It’s the only place in the house where you can use white freely as it’s easy to clean and buyers like it,” she says. White also creates an illusion of spaciousness.

Tap out

Poor quality tapware can be spotted a mile off, and is a major determiner of your bathroom’s style. Joslyn Goodale Pickering of Victorian Bathrooms agrees. “Upgrading the tapware can change the appearance and improve the functionality of the space,” she says.

Make a splash

Tiles give a room personality, with the added benefit of being easy to clean and maintain. Neutral options abound, but consider expanding your horizons with textured tiles that beg to be touched. 

Inspired by the decorative inlays crafted by Italian artisans in the 13th and 14th centuries, the Intarsi range of ceramic tiles from Ceramica Sant’Agostino combines the contrasting looks of marble and wood.

Also from Sant’Agostino, the slender porcelain Colorart tiles evoke worn, weathered timber planks. Both ranges are distributed by Italtile and can be used for walls and floors.

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Vanity fair

Balancing beauty with function, the vanity – a combination of a sink and the storage structure around it – shows off your personal style while creating surface space and storage. 

Lisa Millbacher of Bespoke Bathrooms says in a modern bathroom the vanity should be hung on the wall and include drawers in various sizes. 

A vanity works best with an engineered stone countertop that complements the wall and floor tiles. “It’s one of the only bespoke products in the bathroom and will therefore reflect the owner’s personality and style,” says Millbacher. 

If you’re trying to sell your property, it’s wise to keep the appearance of the bathroom as neutral as possible, focussing on quality products and finishes.

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Fix it up

Cailin Wandrag, interior stylist and owner of Studio Cailin shares quick and inexpensive tips for giving your bathroom a fresh look. 

1: Declutter

Get rid of personal items on the countertop. Instead, place a fragranced candle, liquid handsoap and a small plant or a vase with a seasonal bloom on a small tray. 

2: Keep it simple

Fluffy white towels, a few works of art and a basket or two will add to the overall appeal.

3: Hang a new mirror

A large mirror makes the space seem bigger and better lit. Choose a style and shape that suits the overall look.

4: Change the hardware

Replacing the vanity, shower door handle or towel rails with modern ones can make a significant difference.

5: Update countertops

There are many new options available for bathroom countertops, so if you have a dated granite top it’s relatively simple to change it to quartz, for instance.

6: Paint

When repainting bathroom walls, experiment with colour and take a few risks but steer clear of polarising choices. 

7:Lighting

Ambient lighting is relatively easy and inexpensive to install. Consider backlighting around your mirror and wall lights on either side of it. 

8: Flooring

If your floor tiles are outdated, a beautifully crocheted or cotton rug that can be thrown into the washing machine is a clever solution.

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