10-step Bathroom Makeover (without having to re-tile)

When it comes to easy and affordable bathroom makeovers, it’s important to work with what you’ve got. By selecting complementing accessories that work with your bathroom’s enamel colour, tiles, and fixtures (the ‘hardware’, so to speak), you can revamp your old, tired bathroom, and give it a fresh lease on life… without having to renovate.

Step 1. Clear the clutter

First things first: prepare your canvas. Clear surfaces, critically analyse your furniture (is it time to find new shelving?) and make space for new and elegant storage solutions (this part comes later).

Step 2. Pare-down

Recall the well-known proverb: ‘less is more’? Sometimes, the biggest difference you can make to a room is letting the existing features breathe. This works particularly well if you have statement tiles, an interesting bathtub, or unique fixtures. Remove old furniture, cabinets, and consider whether the doors on your old vanity are necessary.

Step 3. Choose a colour palette

Look around. What colours can you see? Is the grout contrasting? Is it monochrome? Are the window frames an interesting stain? Decide what kind of bathroom do you want to have: Modern or Rustic? Invigorating or calming? Then choose a complementing colour that will help you achieve this. For tips on how to decorate using a colour wheel, read our how-to guide.

If you’re serious about renovating your bathroom, the one thing that can turn a room from drab to fab is the lighting.

Step 3. Redo tired walls

A little paint can go a long way. Make sure to work with the existing elements in your bathroom, whether complimentary or contrasting. If you want to add texture or depth, consider wallpaper. With so many gorgeous designs to choose from, it can do a lot to spruce a space.

Step 4. Tend to your storage

It’s now time to replace the furniture... bathrooms are utility rooms, after all. Aside from any furniture that needs replacing, invest in baskets, hampers and trunks for storing linen, cosmetics and electric razors and hair dryers. They’ll look beautiful, and keep the bathroom looking clean and tidy.

Step 5. Find the best bath mat

Patterned, textured, extra long, flat, fluffy: the world of bath mats is vast and diverse. Select one that fits your colour scheme and place it in front of the basin and sink area. Then select a second one for the bath and shower in a complementary colour. It’s a little slice of luxury that makes a big difference to the feel of the room.

Step 6. Replace the linen

Invest in matching towels. Even if you store them in a cupboard, there’s always at least one visible hanging up for use… and that makes it a decorative item. Make them matching and love the colours - and notice how much more you’ll love your room. (Note aside: when your towels match the bathroom, consider displaying them: they can help tie the whole room together, and add a soft texture to your space.

Step 7. Add a side table

Side tables aren’t just for beds. Choose a stool or low side table and place next to your bathtub or open shower (hard wood works well in the bathroom, thanks to its antibacterial properties). This gives you space for decorative elements.

Step 8. Invest in a good shower curtain

An old, sad shower curtain can date your bathroom by decades. Get rid of it! Rather than plastic, there are beautiful linen shower curtains available that ooze style and understated elegance. They drape better, look more expensive, and add a touch of luxury to your bathroom. Plus, they’re extremely easy to wash and don’t show water spots, so they’ll look beautiful for longer.

Step 9. Accessorize

This is where the side table comes in handy! An extra flannel, a loofah, a collection of matching beauty products and a scented candle are simply sumptuous in the bathroom… especially for extended spa sessions. And don’t forget your soap dish and shower gel dispenser!

Step 10. The light fitting

If you’re serious about renovating your bathroom, the one thing that can turn a room from drab to fab is the lighting. Whether glamorous or modern, rustic or industrial, it’s the one-off statement piece that will communicate the idea of the room in the flick of a switch - so it’s undoubtedly worth the investment.

Last but not least...

Light the candle, prep your side table, ready your lotions and bath elixirs, and take a bath. Enjoy your new space. And besides, it’s a great place from which to admire that new light fitting.