Fashion

Before and after: the best bathroom makeovers to inspire your own tranquil haven

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Sejal Kapadia Pocha
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Consider the time you last stayed at a luxury hotel or dined at a upscale restaurant. You make your way into the washroom and are suddenly filled with warmth and glee as your eyes scan the printed tiles, the warm lighting and the perfectly folded towels.

You slowly peruse the facilities and then rush back to tell your friend she has to go to the loo. 

A pretty bathroom can lure you right out of bed, give you a boost and even kickstart your creativity. 

We turn to Pinterest and the very talented blogosphere, to see how to bring a little 5-star luxury into our own personal powder rooms. 

  • After

    Interiors blogger Carmel wanted to inject a little more character into her windowless, small bathroom. She painted her vanity cabinet a fun, pink hue which matched the artwork on her wall. "It was like the cherry on top of this little makeover and really lightened the mood while upping the personality factor in this little space. It’s always amazing to me how much paint can do to completely transform a space."

    Top tip: She also applied ceramic white tiles from bottom to top and painted the ceiling a dark grey to create the illusion of taller walls and an overall larger space.

    Image: ourfifthhouse.com via Pinterest

  • Before

    Image: onekingslane.com via Pinterest

  • After

    "By focusing on a few simple upgrades, I was able to transform the space without the bathroom ever being out of commission or breaking the bank," says interiors designer Megan Pflug. In a few days - and without the help of a builder - she transformed the room into a bright and airy haven.  

    Top tip: If your tiles are in good condition but look a little lackustre, try paint-on grout dye to darken the existing white grout lines. It instantly adds "a little graphic oomph" to a space. On the floor, use patterned linoleum tiles. 

    Image: onekingslane.com via Pinterest

  • Before

    Image: abeautifulmess.com via Pinterest

  • After

    Blogger Laura Gummerman didn't like very much about the bathroom in her new house but had little money to spend on it. So she opted for classic white paint, a funky DIY-wall print (yes, they're lots of eyes) and gold and pink accessories. 

    Top tip: Swap your silver faucet for one in gold, and replace cheap-looking cabinet handles with chic brass pulls. "The bright white feels so much cleaner with the pretty brass accents, and it creates a nice contrast with the existing black stone countertop," says Gummerman. 

    Image: abeautifulmess.com via Pinterest

  • Before

    Image: pinkhouse.co.uk via Pinterest.

  • After

    Lifestyle journalist Emily Murray completely gutted her previously shabby and uninspiring family bathroom to create her dream sanctuary from scratch. "Although the new bathroom had to fulfil its functional purpose, I also wanted it to feel like a bathroom at, say, Babington House."

    She suggests investing in good-quality, natural materials such as brass, marble and ceramics. "When it comes to home renovation I reckon it's worth investing in the basics, as they lift the look of a room in a way no accessory ever could. Not even a Tom Dixon copper candle."

    Top tip: Only display the stuff you want to look at. That means beautiful products, candles, flowers, books and artwork. Create storage for your toothpaste, toothbrush, razor and other unsightly toiletries. 

    Image: pinkhouse.co.uk via Pinterest.

  • Before

    Image: amberinteriordesign.com via Pinterest

  • After

    "Paint is the most budget-friendly way to update a space," says interior designer and blogger Amber Lewis. "But sometimes it can feel a little flat." She used nailed long wooden panels into the wall and painted them white to bring some texture to the room. "Take what you have and make it better," adds Lewis. 

    Top tip: Plants can instantly bring life and colour to a room. Whether it's a mini collection of succulents, a large palm plant or a dramatic aloe, there are plenty of options that work well in a small bathroom. And, thankfully, these varieties are nearly impossible to kill. 

    Image: amberinteriordesign.com via Pinterest

  • Before

    Image: stylebyemilyhenderson.com via Pinterest

  • After

    "I wanted it to feel fresh and clean, with a midcentury vibe," says Emily Henderson on her bathroom. She found the medicine cabinet at a market and covered it with a clear, protective, matte sealant to make it easy to clean. 

    Top tip: When looking for accessories, try to think about a group of tones rather than one set colour. Henderson chose a mirror with a caramel-coloured leather border in order to not overdo the white and gold in the room.

    Image: stylebyemilyhenderson.com via Pinterest

  • Before

    Image: designindulgence.blogspot.ca via Pinterest

  • After

    It's hard to believe this is the same room, but trust us, it is (we've studied the photographic evidence thoroughly). Interior designer Sherry Hart was given the task of transforming a dated bathroom into a spa-like haven with a combination of ceramic tile, wood and granite materials. 

    Top tip: If you've always dreamed about a roll top bath, but don't have the space, why not try a smaller circular Japanese soak tub? It won't be cheap but it'll dramatically change how you view and use your bathroom. 

    Image: designindulgence.blogspot.ca via Pinterest

  • Before

    Image: jennasuedesign.com via Pinterest

  • After

    Blogger Jenna Sue says, "In the initial stages of my renovations I like to choose a handful of adjectives to describe the style/atmosphere I hope to achieve with the end result. It helps me stay on track when looking for inspiration and planning the details. For this room, I went with "natural romantic vintage boho.""

    Top tip:  "Lighting is also critical, especially in a space where the mood is essential. These candelabra bulbs on dimmers will make the perfect glow for evening bubble baths."

    Image: jennasuedesign.com via Pinterest

  • Before

    Image: amberinteriordesign.com via Pinterest

  • After

    Interior designer Amber visualised an "eclectic boho beach pad" when it came to decorating a couple's new home in California. Using white as her base, she added a pops of pattern using printed tiles, towels and a rug. 

    Top tip: Try not to overdo it and let there be enough blank white space. Sometimes a few statement pieces - like this belt mirror and cactus - do enough to make a room interesting. 

    Image: amberinteriordesign.com via Pinterest

  • Before

    Image: abeautifulmess.com via Pinterest

  • After

    Even smallest bathrooms can make a statement. This one situated under a set of stairs boasts a bright yellow door, star-printed wallpaper and a black floor. And yet it's still "fresh, airy and simple" says Elsie Larson.

    Top tip: Bathrooms are typically clinical, but remember you can have fun with them just as you would in your bedroom, be it a bold colour or quirky wallpaper.

    Image: abeautifulmess.com via Pinterest

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Sejal Kapadia Pocha

Sejal Kapadia Pocha covers stories about everything from women’s issues to cult foods. She describes herself as a balance between Hermione and Luna Lovegood.

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