Home Improvements Chapter 9: Bathrooms

440 440 Velvet

Well hello there! Finally, I decided that it’s time to continue my home improvements thread. This time it’s about beautiful bathroom improvement ideas – for the kind of bathroom that looks good enough to live in! Bathrooms like that, whose size is of no real importance, have all something in common; their design is based on a seamless continuity with the rest of the house. So, time to fuel up our inspiration with an assortment of different bathroom styles. After all, spring and fall are the best two seasons for carrying out home improvement projects, so this might be just the thing you need right now.

Dark poetry prevails in this beautiful bathroom with black details (faucet, sink, mirror frame). The brass accessories compliment the dark setting in the most elegant way. Image by Argos.
Image by Argos Brass accents against a black sink. Just beautiful.

We all love a well designed bathroom in our homes. So what makes a good bathroom? Is it the tiles? The accents? The wallpapers? Its super expensive: ‘this is why I’m broke’ tub? Or its trendy bronze/copper/midnight black accent faucets? Actually none of the above, AND yet, all of the above at the same time. Huh?? I know I probably just lost you, but bear with me for a minute.

A bohemian styled bathroom with a free standing tub, a cactus planter, vibrant color pattern textiles and a blue chair is a real charmer. Image by Georgehome at ASDA.
Image by Georgehome at ASDA A quality of freshness brought by the pattern soft textiles that surround this old tub.
How gorgeous is a long rectangular marble basin with a wooden shelf for storage under it. The details of this urban chic bathroom with the pineapple accessories even on the blue face towel or the bathroom mat really add a funky upbeat to it all. Image by George Home at ASDA.
Image by Georgehome at ASDA

What makes a good bathroom

A good bathroom has to be first of all user friendly based on its given size! Therefore, good planning ahead for the right layout is a must. If we then combine that attribute to its complimentary finishes (i.e. flooring, wall coverings, sanitary ware, lighting, accents) and decor, then we can have a super awesome bathroom.

Bathroom improvement ideas: A modern all white minimal bathroom interior.

It helps to know if you are a “tub” or a “shower” person. We used to have a tub, till we decided that a walk-in shower would work best for us. To be honest, it doesn’t really matter. Both can look equally good in a bathroom. It mostly depends on what suits you best and your lifestyle needs.

Bathroom improvement ideas: A contemporary shower with black finishes and wooden board flooring and wall tiling.
Updating your taps and faucets in another bathroom improvement idea that won’t cost an arm and a leg.

The next big thing to consider is the wash basin. Choosing one ahead of time will definitely help in finalizing all the detail planning that is required for a proper plumbing installation. Just like the tub, the wash basin is a style setter. And it’s fun choosing the right one with so many possibilities in plain view at a showroom.

Bathroom improvement ideas - a statement washbasin. A stone wash basin atop a wooden counter.

Hence, replacing an old worn one with an eye-catching washbasin is an affordable way to update your bathroom. In every case, coordination with the tiling or wall covering, the flooring including the grout color is of importance. So, plan ahead (I don’t think I can emphasize this enough).

A contemporary bathroom with a white wall mount wash basin and toilet, a round mirror, white wall tiling and a decorative black pattern accent wall tiling zone and flooring to create that pop effect.
A decorative pattern tiling can create a strong focal point.

Bathroom Improvement Ideas

Design is in the details and there are no rules to the “design risks” you should take. Be bold. Be creative. Who says that ceilings must always be white? Create focal points and accents if that’s your thing. And don’t underestimate the power of black accents for they create drama. It could be a black roller, or a black industrial shelving unit or even a black radiator. Work with what you got and improve your bathroom so that it’s both functional, user friendly and aesthetically compatible to your style.

This stunning minimal contemporary bathroom really captures your attention because of the charcoal blinds. Image by English Blinds.
Image by English Blinds. The statement color of charcoal on the blinds turns this minimal bathroom into a stunner.

Some bathroom improvement ideas to consider are: a blend of different tiles and materials to create zones and highlights/accents. Use more lighting (i.e. pendant lights can make a very stylish design statement in a bathroom). Pick the grouting color with overall coordination in mind. Nothing wrong with a brass grout. Consider adding organic elements for juxtaposition. Shelves and cabinets can accommodate your storage needs (try to incorporate enough of them in your design). Invest in a beautiful mirror. Round ones are definitely trending now, but you can’t go wrong with a statement vintage one either!

Suggested read: How to Choose the Perfect Mirror – in this post I include a cheat-note with the ideal dimensions of a mirror over a vanity.

A pink and white bathroom is always a head stunner with white marble flooring, white subway tile, pink walls and a statement white pendant light. A round mirror over the porcelain white basin is a must. Image by nest.co.uk.
Image by nest.co.uk. The pendant light in combination with the round vanity mirror as stunners.

A word of advice from a professional:

Avoid any bathroom remodeling until all the details have been sorted. That means, select your sanitary ware, tiling, flooring, lighting and accessories while you’re still in the design process.

Almost any bathroom remodeling can be completed within three to seven days provided that your design plan is in order. Now remember, that plumbing installations have a usual lifetime span of 20+ years (for galvanized steel) and 40+years (for brass and copper) piping. So if you’re considering remodeling, then be sure that the key plumbing components are still in good order. Always check for possible leaks. And consider replacing any plumbing if its age is anywhere near the end of its expected lifetime.

Suggested read: Top 6 Bathroom Design Mistake to Avoid and the Ceramic vs Porcelain tiles. These two posts cover all the fundamentals.

Bathroom improvement ideas: A one of a kind black wash basin - furniture with a table lamp as one piece in front a white marble wall tiling.
A one of a kind wash basin and table lamp as one uniform piece.

And one more thing before I forget: a typical “overlook” that I notice in bathrooms is insufficient lighting. But the truth of the matter is that The bathroom lighting is just as important as in the rest of the house. Therefore, I do not recommend a single light source, unless it is a really small bathroom or WC. That’s because it creates an awful lot of shadows and a shady bathroom is never a great one. Similarly, two sconces on either side of the mirror is not always sufficient lighting, if a bathroom is huge. Also, tray ceilings with ambient lighting create a beautiful ambiance – something to keep in mind. Hence, the best approach for improving a bathroom lighting that I want you to keep is: “the more, the merrier.”

Suggested read: 55 Bathroom Lighting Ideas for Every Design Style 

Bathroom improvement ideas: An all white modern bathroom interior.

The upshot

The good news are that great bathrooms don’t have to break the bank. There are many bathroom improvement ideas, some of which I haven’t even mentioned because they are not all very budget friendly. Yet, many of them are and since bathrooms have righteously become a vital part of our homes it is well worthwhile to invest in a good and proper plan and design. The bathroom size can range from tiny to huge, but their “user friendliness” and overall design is what makes them stand out.

Bathroom improvement ideas - a statement washbasin. A stone wash basin on a rough rustic style counter and copper faucet.
Replacing an old washbasin with a statement one is definitely a bathroom improvement idea that works like a charm.

If you have stayed with me this far, then go an extra yard and tell me what is your dream bathroom like. Would you go for a uniform, clean, crisp, white on white design? Or perhaps, add brass/copper accents for a more rustic or chic glamorous style? Better yet, have your copper piping out for open viewing for an industrial style. So many choices! So many possibilities!

Remember, I’m always available to answer any “technical” questions you might have; just drop me a line.

xo, xo

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