Bathrooms, like bedrooms, are often little sanctuaries in the home. Bathrooms, like kitchens, are also popular candidates for makeovers. “Time and again we see buyers put off by the bathroom of a property that would otherwise have really appealed to them,” Michelle Cohen, Principal at Leapfrog Johannesburg North East and Sandton, shares. “Because it’s such high-volume spaces and the place where we start and end our days, it has an unaccounted emotional impact on how we view a property as a whole,” she believes.
But as far as updates in the home go, bathroom renovations are among the most costly as it typically relies on the skills of more than one artisan, including plumbers, builders, electricians and carpenters. “A modern, well-maintained bathroom is an asset to your property but there are a number of clever ways to breathe new life into the space without breaking the bank,” Cohen says.
Start where you are
If you’re on a tight budget, a good place to start is by looking at what can be refreshed with some imagination, a trip to the hardware shop and a bit of effort.
“There are a variety of options for painting everything from tiles and cabinets to fixtures like taps and bathtubs – and it will be far cheaper than replacing them outright,” Cohen advises. The secret to a good paint job is taking the time to properly prepare and prime the surfaces before painting as this will ensure a more professional final look.
Upcycle, reuse and repurpose
The savvy renovator’s best-kept secret is that you don’t always need to buy everything new. Whether it’s sanware, fixtures or accessories you’re after, consider buying second-hand. Online marketplaces like Gumtree and Facebook offer all sorts, often at significantly reduced prices.
Similarly, consider how you might repurpose the shelves from an old bookcase into floating shelves for a fresh decorative element in the bathroom or how an old planter can be cleaned, painted and moved to the bathroom to bring in some greenery.
Speaking of greenery, renovating is the ideal time to bring more environmentally “green” elements into the bathroom. “Things like low-flow toilets, sinks and shower heads are a simple and not very costly way to save water, and one of the first steps to making your home more eco-conscious,” Cohen says.
The difference is in the detail
One of the most certain ways to make a space feel welcoming is to pay attention to the details, in the form of accessory and accents. Add a touch of playfulness – or luxury – to your bathroom with a wallpapered accent wall, or a creative pop of paint colour behind the toilet. Frame the mirror or window in an expected way, or paint a mural on the ceiling.
“Have fun with it and remember that accessories can easily be updated, in line with trends, seasons or simply your taste,” Cohen concludes.
Article written by Delia de Villiers