The Loft

The Home Base blog

Just Add Water

Achieve a WOW factor bathroom without draining your savings


Picture: Dale Alcock Homes


Make mirrors as big as possible and don’t be afraid to use more than one.

Mirrors reflect light and give the illusion of space. They also create the feeling of opulence. Choose a beautiful frame and turn it into an eye-catching feature.

Select your Splurge

You don’t need over-the-top everything. An upgrade will already be a massive improvement on what you have. Choose one item (or two if you must) that defines your dream bathroom and splurge there. The rest can be done using thoughtful design and classic selections.

Picture: Zephyr and Stone

Do a Stocktake

You may be keen to get cracking on your new bathroom but renovators should first take the time to do a thorough inventory of what you’ve already got.

Maybe there is nothing to save (but we bet there is) but knowing exactly what you have and what you could keep will lead to better decisions about the new room.

Think about each element and make note of what works and what doesn’t.

If you are on a tight budget, it may be a good idea to keep the layout or at least the plumbing set-up.

If you can work with what you have, you will save a tonne of money. And that means there’s more to spend on other items.

Minimal Concerns

Don’t be fooled, a minimalist bathroom is never an inexpensive bathroom.

What most people mean when they brief their designer for such a bathroom is that they want less joins, less grout, less drains and less walls.

But that means there is a hell of a lot more going on behind the scenes.

You can’t achieve the look of water that seemingly miraculously drains away into thin air without investing a pretty penny.

You won’t be able to get tiles that are one single sheet without deep hip pockets.

No grout means specialist tiling and tiles and that is expensive. So budget carefully if you plan to go the minimalist route.

Picture: Town & Country Designs

Go Big

A common design trick used by lots of savvy bathroom designers is to go big.

The concept involves using oversized accessories to create wow factor and the good news is it actually can be an inexpensive move.

Choosing oversized feature lights, door handles and tapware or a giant decorative mirror will inject a lot of personality into the space and draw attention away from the stuff that isn’t so speccy.

Be Dramatic

Take a risk. Use pattern either on the floor tiles or on the wall. Consider a bold wallpaper.

Do something that grabs attention and choose that something with your heart, rather than being influenced by design trends.

That way it won’t become outdated and you won’t hate it in a few years time.

Picture: Zephyr and Stone


Feature lighting can transform a bathroom but don’t stop at only a ceiling light.

If you want to create a beautiful sanctuary for relaxation, splurge on a decorative pendant light or even a beautiful modern chandelier.

Stone Age

Natural materials are coveted in the design world – they bring charm and beauty to a space like nothing else can. It’s easy to see why marble is so coveted, it is elegant and as beautiful to look at as any artwork.

A Star is Born

Many of us crave sunlight, even when we are tucked away in the sanctuary of our bathroom.

If privacy is an issue in your bathroom, which rules out big windows, you can bring light in from the roof in the form of gorgeous skylights. If you can position the skylight above the bath, even better, because who doesn’t want to gaze at the stars while kicking back in a relaxing warm bath.

Picture: Oliveri

Make a Splash

Feature tiles are big in the bathroom, just like they are in the kitchen.

Whether you plan to make a statement in the way the tiles are laid or in their design, don’t forget you can also make an impact by either eliminating the need for grout and using tiles with a vitrified edge or you can make the grout lines the hero, especially if you choose a colour that contrasts with the tiles.

One of the big reasons we love tiled splashbacks is because if you play your cards right, you can create a truly unique piece of functional art that reflects your personality.

Urban Sprawl

If you’ve got the luxury of space and want to create a bathroom with a resort-like feel, spread it all out.

There is something super luxurious and inviting about a bathroom that’s cavernous. However, just because you have the space, doesn’t mean you have to fill every inch. Give the bath plenty of room to breathe, make the vanity feel like it is floating. Conceal clutter and introduce lots of natural light.

Walk-In Showers

Besides being incredible to look at, walk-in showers feel luxurious because they’re so minimalistic.

We love them because they make even small spaces feel more open and they have that distinct resort-like feel to them, especially when paired with an oversized rain showerhead.

Add some floating cabinetry and some floor-to-ceiling tiling and we’re pretty sure you’ll feel like you’re holidaying at home.

Picture: Veejay’s Renovations

Go All Out

Express yourself, even in the bathroom.

If riotous colour and intricate design details float your boat, then don’t hold back.

When thoughtfully executed, a bathroom that features unique pieces can truly make you feel like you’re on vacation and in the current climate, who would say no to that?

Designers will commonly tell you that if you want a home that never dates, don’t follow trends, follow your heart instead.