Planning a bathroom renovation? Top 10 tips for getting it right.
Updated: Jul 16
Did you know that you need to make 60+ decisions when planning a bathroom (yes I counted them!). And that’s just basic planning decisions without including deciding on a look and colour palette.
Even as a professional I spend 15-20 hours planning one of these complex rooms. That’s 2-3 full days of planning. And that’s without managing the build (and builders!).
If you don’t want to spend your precious time deciding where you want your toilet roll holder or how far your tap should project into the sink - and trust me you do want to choose carefully if you don’t want to be annoyed every day you use your bathroom - then bring in a designer who can help take away the overwhelming choices and save you from expensive mistakes, not to mention the discounts a designer can access on materials and furnishings. The cost of a designer is more than recouped by the pain avoided and builder’s extras that result from inexperienced planning.
Here are my top tips for getting a bathroom right:
First think about how you use the bathroom and what isn’t working for you now. Do you only take showers? Prioritise a separate shower, or at least a good shower over the bath. Fighting for the sink in the morning? Look at a double sink if you have room, or a larger sink if not. Bottles piling up on the windowsill or toys around the bath edge? You need more storage.
How do you want it to feel? Dream of a spa like space to unwind in? Want an efficient and bright space to refresh you in the morning? A riot of colour to make you smile
How do you want it to look? Start browsing pinterest and pinning anything you like to a board, then look over the board and see the common theme (there will be one). Take note of what the bathroom elements are (tile, lighting, hardware, floor).
How much storage do you need? Are there bottles out that you’d like to see put away? Do you have to bring things in from another room to clean? Got toys out that really harsh your relaxing bath buzz?
Now you have the elements you can start looking at layout. If you don’t need to move anything because it works then keep it (cheaper), but if something annoys you then move it, there is no point spending substantial amounts on a renovation and still feeling annoyed. Toilets and soil pipes are usually against an outside wall but don’t have to be if they would be much better in another place.
Ventilation! It’s not sexy but it really is essential. Plan in where it will go and don’t forget the ceiling as a good option on the top floor (can vent out the roof).
Multiple Lighting Sources. I always have 2 sources of light in a bathroom, overhead and smaller wall/over mirror. The layered light is so much more flattering. Plus in the evening you can just put the small light on to have a relaxing bath or prepare for bed and it won't jolt you awake before sleep.
Get things off the floor Float sinks and vanities to make a small room feel more spacious.
Box in for seamless lines This is especially important in small spaces, where the clean line with toilet and sink hanging off will fool the eye into thinking it is larger than it is.
Always add in a plant That little bit of green will make all the difference. If your bathroom is windowless get a good quality artificial one - Dowsing & Reynolds do lovely affordable ones.
And lastly… Don't be afraid to have a little fun, use a crazy floor tile or paint the inside of your cupboard lime green. If you keep the rest of it calm it will bring life and fun. But if all this seems a little daunting, never fear, I can help!