Bathroom renovation industry professionals

Andrea Davison

Owner-Designer
Jemden Interiors

Ryan Sullivan

Paul Coulson

Interior Designer
Earthborne By Design

We asked them:

I want my bathroom to feel spacious but also be practical, where do I start?

Andrea Davison

Whenever I design a bathroom I always like to start by selecting the tiles first and then the vanity colour and bench top to co-ordinate. If you want to create a spacious feel then I would generally choose a light to mid coloured tile and white vanity. I also like to use the same tile on the floor and walls to make the room feel a lot bigger. My top tip would be to tile the walls all the way to the ceiling so the walls appear higher. This is also very practical as it creates a water proof barrier.

Ryan Sullivan

Creating a bathroom with a feeling of space is all about smart placement of the key items and also selecting the right fixtures and fittings for the space provided. For example, if you want a smaller bathroom to feel spacious then using a 1.5m long bath instead of a 1.8m bath will make a significant difference. I always find freestanding baths feel like they take up less room than built in baths. Glass shower walls also help with the feeling of open space and are more cost effective than tiled walls.

Natural light is a huge plus in a bathroom to create the illusion of space - but if you don’t have the benefit of natural light - stick with lighter colours on the walls, and a solid base colour on the floor, to ground the space.

Paul Coulson, Earthborne by Design

Paul Coulson

The layout of the space needs to be considered carefully - thinking specifically about what needs to fit into the space e.g. bath, shower, vanity and toilet, if there is not a separate powder room. Where possible - the visual focal point of the bathroom should be the "features" i.e. vanity, or perhaps a free-standing bath for example. The toilet should also never be the first thing visible when you walk into the bathroom. Natural light is a huge plus in a bathroom to create the illusion of space - but if you don't have the benefit of natural light - stick with lighter colours on the walls, and a solid base colour on the floor, to ground the space.

How do I choose a colour scheme or materials that I know I'll still love in 10 years time?

Ryan Sullivan

Most neutral tones seem to last the test of time quite well. Whites and natural looking materials like stone tile features and timber accents will always be on trend. Avoid the trendy colours like the pale greens and pinks. Bring these trendy colours in with things like towels or small pot plants so you can change them in a year or two if your taste changes.

Bathrooms are a place for relaxation so I generally use neutral colour schemes like grey or beige because they are easy to live with and they stand the test of time.

Andrea Davison, Jemden Interiors

Andrea Davison

I believe good design is timeless and this is very important in bathrooms so they can be enjoyed for many years as they are very expensive to change. Therefore, I don't use trendy tile styles or colours that will date quickly but I prefer to choose tiles that have a look of a natural stone. There are many porcelain tiles that have a marble or sand stone look that have timeless style but are practical too. Bathrooms are a place for relaxation so I generally use neutral colour schemes like grey or beige because they are easy to live with and they stand the test of time.

Paul Coulson

The trick is not to be a "slave to trends" - spend money on quality fixtures and fittings, and keep things simple. I work with a maximum of three colours in a bathroom i.e. wall tile, floor tile and cabinetry. The more "neutral" the colour palette, the longer it will last and remain relevant.

I really want these changes to increase the value of my home, but I want to be savvy. What can I do that will make a difference, but won't cost a fortune?

Andrea Davison

I think lighting and mirrors are very important in the design of a bathroom and they are items that are often overlooked. I like to use wall lights on all my bathroom designs because they don't have to cost a lot but they can create a wow factor and are a great extra light source. I generally have wall lights on either side of the mirror. I select mirrors that are bevelled and if we have a double vanity I like to have two separate mirrors that are a similar size to the width of the basin, rather than one boring large mirror.

Paul Coulson

Kitchens and bathrooms are the value add spaces in a home. They are also the most costly areas in a home to renovate/update, and the areas that you shouldn't take any shortcuts with. Bathrooms (particularly older bathrooms 10 years +) will show signs of wear - especially fittings and fixtures, tiles, cabinetry, leaks etc. The challenge with bathrooms is that once the waterproofing has been compromised, it is not an easy fix. Providing there are no leaks or structural issues in the bathroom - replacing the fixtures and fittings and a coat of paint are an inexpensive way to update a bathroom.

Smart choices are the key here. For example, taps that come out of the wall tend to look more expensive than those that stick straight out the top of the basin. Really there isn’t a great deal of cost increase to do this.

Ryan Sullivan, Real Living Homes

Ryan Sullivan

Smart choices are the key here. For example, taps that come out of the wall tend to look more expensive than those that stick straight out the top of the basin. Really there isn't a great deal of cost increase to do this. Just some more careful planning. Other tips are to use floating basins, laminex and stone top vanity. Then use a mirror shaving cabinet for storage. The cost ends up fairly neutral but the room will have a more designer feel.

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