THE bathroom is a space where you can have "me time" and luxuriate. You can soak in a bath, sing under a hot shower and prepare for a fun evening ahead.
A well-designed bathroom is a haven, a place to reflect. For that reason, homeowners place a great deal of effort in their bathrooms, incorporating fragrance diffusers to create a positive smell and soft lighting, or candles, for mood effect.
But bathroom renovations can be expensive and tricky. They're often tight spaces and so challenging to design.
Expect to pay anywhere between $15,000 and up to $60,000 for a bathroom renovation, and beware, cost overruns are common with bathroom renovations because of unforeseen plumbing issues.
If you are renovating a bathroom in an older home, be guided by your plumber and interior designer as to best practice.
Many older homes have outdated drainage diagrams, making it difficult to trace leaks and source older pipes (which can be made of lead) for replacement. Also, they can come with a plethora of problems, including lack of waterproofing and leaks.
Bathroom revamps in more contemporary homes will probably be cosmetic and may be suitable for DIY.
Leading designers advise keeping bathroom accessories, such as vanities and cupboards, to a minimum to create more open spaces.
A good example is a clear shower enclosure (rather than curtains) that swings, creating the illusion of more space.
Other clever tricks to create a bigger space in your bathroom include:
- Placing floor tiles on a diagonal (large tiles with slim grout lines also create a larger illusion);
- Install a recessed vanity;
- Use hooks in place of towel rails, and
- Use just two paint colours, preferably lighter shades.
Leading bathroom designers tend towards more contemporary styles, with fibreglass-reinforced polyester tubs replacing enamelled cast iron ones.
Recessed walls in showers are on-trend and have the added benefit of hiding pipes.
Rain showers that have a lighter water pressure are becoming standard. They can create a calming effect as they reflect a downpour or rain shower.
Consider a skylight in an ensuite. While providing natural overhead light, it also ensures privacy.
Barn sliding doors, often made from recycled timber, are an emerging trend for ensuites. They provide security and need less space, unlike a swing door.
The fun bit of any bathroom renovation is the accessories.
Many designers encourage greenery in bathrooms, with orchids and succulents a popular choice.