Five ways to refresh your bathroom for under $500

As one of the busiest spaces in the home, the perfect bathroom should be robust and efficient, as well as beautiful.

“It should set you up for the day,” says Heather Hart, interior category manager at Dulux. “A great bathroom is functional, stylish and exudes calm, serenity and strength.”

While typically one of the most complicated spaces to renovate, a bathroom refresh no longer requires a full overhaul on a large budget.

Reimagine your space with these five under-$500 insider tips to transform it into the bathroom of your dreams.

1. A lick of paint
“It’s amazing the difference a fresh coat of paint makes,” says Jayne Graham from Cranmore Home. “New formulations make doing it yourself easy, and it’s a cost-effective option because no trades are required.”

“Overhauling can be an expensive exercise, especially if you are ripping up tiles and replacing cabinetry. Now using paint, you can give new life to an existing space on a budget.”

Dulux’s new interior Renovation Range of paints makes rejuvenating tiled floors, walls and cabinet doors easy.

“It’s a cost-effective solution for any home,” says Hart. “In older houses, those drab 1970s tiles are instantly transformed, allowing you to start afresh and introduce your own style into the room.”

While white and neutrals remain the go-to for a contemporary bathroom, bolder colours can also be effective.

“There are no right or wrong colours,” says Hart. “Look to the Dulux Colour Forecast 2020 for ideas and inspiration, or refer to nature using the landscape that surrounds you as your palette. It’s a wonderful way to bring the outdoors inside.”

2. Statement fittings
“Replacing dated fittings and old tapware can turn your room into a contemporary space,” says designer Lisa Koehler. “They add instant sparkle, shape, style and colour – just like jewellery for a bathroom.”

Matt black fittings remain popular, and on-trend metallics like graphite, chrome and brushed brass provide the perfect upgrade while resonating with most palettes.

“Make sure all your fittings are in the same colour,” advises designer Camilla Molders. “It is visually pleasing and provides perfect balance throughout.”

3. Lighting
Considered lighting can instantly transform a tired space. For effectiveness, both forms of lighting should be incorporated – strong for functionality, and soft for creating tranquillity.

Install effective overhead lighting with a dimmer, and to counteract its shadows add sconces next to the mirror that allow for everyday tasks like applying makeup.

“I like to include a pendant light for its organic shape,” adds Koehler. “It contrasts perfectly with a bathroom’s straight lines and edges.”

4. Clever storage
For Molders, a beautiful bathroom is an efficient one.

“It needs to tick the functionality boxes before I’ll consider it stylish,” she says. “A bathroom without storage is simply a room with tiles and water outlets.”

Place beautifully packaged soaps and creams on a ceramic tray by the sink, roll up towels and stow them in a rattan basket, and find a designated place to store hair tools so they are well out of sight.

“Extra towel rails and cool hooks are inexpensive and an easy DIY,” says Brett Renouf from MMD Contractors. “Or buy an old ladder, paint it up, and lean against a wall. It looks great, is a useful hanging space, and doesn’t take up much room.”

5. Personal touches
In a small space, details matter. Little luxuries like French soap as well as essentials such as plush linens impart sophisticated polish.

“Replace old towel rails with wall hooks, or place a stool next to the bath,” says Graham. “Both are practical and look beautiful.”

While the bathroom is not the obvious place to add greenery, its humidity makes it perfect for species like ferns and orchids that provide beauty, calm, and oxygen to your room.

“It also adds a lovely sanctuary feeling to a utilitarian room full of hard surfaces,” agrees Koehler.

Decorative additions, like artwork and mirrors, add instant flourish.

“Hang a single painting or arrange in a group, and update your mirror shape for a rectangular shape with lovely curved edges,” she says. “Both provide a good update and a warmth to your bathroom. Easy.”

Source: Domain
Image: Dulux
Author: Elizabeth Clarke