How to Plan Your Bathroom Design & Renovation

Bathroom Renovation

When it comes to fully renovating your bathroom, many of us turn to professional bathroom designers, choosing to purchase an entire suite from a single brand. In choosing to create your own bathroom design and source products from a variety of brands and manufacturers, you can save yourself a lot of money and create a more unique and personalised scheme. 

If you’re thinking about renovating your bathroom and you want to create something really unique, or if you’re on a tight budget this guide is for you. You can also gather some ideas and tips if you are simply looking to breathe life into a tired bathroom, without having to rip everything out and start again. 

Read on to discover money saving tips, space planning advice and design inspo, to create your lust worthy bathroom…



Why Renovate?

Bathroom Decor

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The first step is to think about why you want to renovate your bathroom in the first place – what do you want to achieve? For most of us, a tired and uninspiring bathroom can create great dissatisfaction. The bathroom in the home should be a place of tranquility, somewhere to escape the pressures of everyday life, a place to feel good in, at ease and get that moment of much needed privacy. For many a tired and badly laid out bathroom does quite the opposite – creating a space that we aim to spend as little time in as possible.

The easiest way to add a little luxury to your home is with a well planned and well designed bathroom. This goes for studio flats, penthouse apartments, terraced houses, new builds and cottages – all homes can greatly benefit from a bathroom that’s been specifically designed to create calm and satisfaction in your everyday life. 

Once you have established what you want to achieve, you will be well equipped to start your research and begin to plan your bathroom design. It helps to have lived in and used your bathroom for some time – this will ensure you gain an understanding of the space, how it works now and how it can be improved on. Think about practicalities, but don’t forget about style and how you want to feel when you step inside the room.


Where to start…

Bathroom floor tiles

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Jot down your objectives for remodeling your bathroom and keep them in mind at all times, to ensure you achieve what you set out to do in the first place. Your objectives may change a little as you do research, but pinpoint three main areas in which you want to improve, such as better use of the space, increasing light levels, or creating a more relaxing space.

Begin by gathering information and inspiration, using social media sites such as Instagram and Pinterest. Search for terms such as ‘contemporary bathroom’ and ‘bathroom inspo’ and start to establish what you do and don’t like. As you go curate your own inspiration boards, by pinning images on Pinterest, or saving images on Instagram. After just a short while you will start to get a clear picture of the style you want to create.

Check out things like tiles, flooring, lighting, wall colours, sinks and units, mirrors, shower enclosure/bath style, taps and shower heads and toilets to start to pin down what you like and the style you want to achieve.



Monochrome Bathroom

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Once you have gained an understanding of the styles that you like, start to research products. This will help you understand how much you might need to spend on your dream bathroom, where you can splash out a little and where you can pull back.


It’s likely you’ll already have a budget in mind, but once you start doing a little research into prices you’ll quickly gain a better understanding of what’s achievable. Don’t be afraid to shop around – it might seem like the easier option to order everything from one brand in  matching styles, but if you do your research you can make your money go a lot further. In doing this you can also create a unique look that won’t be the same as everyone else that purchased that same bathroom suite, from that same brand.


Start to save the products you like and make note of the cost. If you’re ordering everything online, an easy way to do this is via an email draft – just copy and paste the product link and pop it into a draft – you can easily come back to the products later, or simply bookmark the pages.


Tot up different price options so you can better understand how much everything will cost and if it is in budget. This will help you understand how much you have to spend on labour and where you might be able to cut back a bit. When it comes to budget planning, consider all fixtures and fittings, including your bathroom suite, tiles, floor tiles, radiators/towel rails and lighting. Mirrors, shelving and accessories can always be added later, although if you want a completely finished space from the word go consider mirrors and shelving in your budget too. You can add accessories later, once you have spent some time in the space and are better able to see how to style it.



Space planning…

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Once you have a few products in mind for the main fixtures, such as the bath/shower, toilet and sink it’s time to check what will fit well in the space. It is important to consider how you use your bathroom at this stage – are you typically in the bathroom alone, or might you and the two kids need to be in there at bath time? Think about the space that you have and how much floor space you will need, as well as what’s more practical in terms of a bath or a shower etc.

Consider whether you might need to reconfigure the space, therefor potentially moving the pluming around, or whether you’re happy to keep the current layout. If you do decide to move pluming around this will require a little extra in the budget for labour.

If you’re not sure about whether to move things around or not, try one of the many free online bathroom design planning tools. Brand such as Victoria Plum and Bath Store have tools that you can use online for free. Simply put in your bathroom measurements and drag fixtures around to see how you can best use the space. 

At this point it’s important to refer back to your original objectives, to check that your plans still align with what you wanted to achieve. It’s easy to get carried away creating the most beautiful bathroom design you can possibly imagine, but it’s important to make sure you’re creating a space that works for your lifestyle.

Once you have your plan in your mind, it’s time to measure up and make sure the suite you have chosen fits the space well. Measure your options for baths/shower enclosures/shower trays, sinks and toilets – you should find the product measurements on each product listing. Then take your tape measure into the bathroom to check what fits in the space and what doesn’t. This will probably help you whittle down your possibles to a more final list too, as you knock some options off when you discover they won’t fit as well as you thought they might.



Now you’ve established your main bathroom design and floor plan it’s time to consider labour. If you are planning to have your bathroom fitted by a professional you will need to obtain quotes to be able to choose the fitter that’s right for you.

If you’ve got a fitter you’ve used before then great, but if this is new to you try asking friends and family for recommendations. It is best to get several quotes if possible, so try posting your job on MyBuilder to find interested tradesmen. With my builder you can also view reviews from previous clients as well as experience and qualifications, so that you can be sure you’re choosing the right fitter for you.

Agree a start date with your fitter, and also discus when they will need everything ready to fit. The first day or two of work is likely to involve gutting the bathroom and moving pipes around, so you might not need everything ready for the start date. 

Now it’s time to start ordering your products. Make sure you check delivery costs and look at where you can save here.


Finishing touches…

 Monochrome Bathroom

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It is also key to consider the finishing touches to your bathroom, including wall and floor tiles, heating and lighting. Ideally you will have a good idea of what you want to achieve when you get quotes from fitters, but it’s OK to take a little more time over the finishing touches, as long as everything has arrived in time for your fitter.

There are a variety of floor tiles available, and what you go for really depends on your overall scheme. Patterned floor tiles are very on trend, and if you opt for classic shades such as black or grey they won’t become quickly dated. Try the Laura Ashley Wicker Grey Floor Tiles at £35.44 per square metre for a statement floor tile that won’t date.

Plain floor tiles work well if you’re going for a bolder tile on the walls. Try the Southbank Grey Floor Tiles for a natural stone look – this unpolished look is ideal for teaming with a high gloss suite to create contrast. 

When it comes to wall tiles, metro tiles have been on trend for some time now, and work in both period and modern properties. You can also create a simple and paired back look with metro tiles, or a more eclectic and statement look. If you’re opting for patterned floor tiles, try teaming these with white metro tiles in a brick pattern, using white grout to keep the scheme simple.

For plain floor tiles, add interest with metro tiles. Try white with grey grout to make the pattern standout more, or go for a coloured tile such as dark grey, blue, sage green or blush pink.

When thinking about towel rails, radiators, mirrors, taps and shower fittings think outside the box. With so many options available, you no longer have to opt for the standard chrome design unless you particularly want to focus on chrome within your scheme. With matte black, copper, brass, gold, antique gold and of course chrome all on offer, think about what best compliments your wall colours, tiles and fixtures to pull the whole look together.

Consider a monochrome bathroom with white fixtures and black accessories, lifted with brass taps, shower fittings and mirror and a black towel radiator. Or compliment sage green wall tiles with copper and a hint of blush pink in textiles. Use Pinterest to help you establish a colour scheme and use this to choose your finishing touches.



Small updates…

 Bathroom Decor

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If you feel like your bathroom design could do with an update to make it more relaxing or bring it into the 21st century, but you don’t have the budget to completely redo it, there are a few simple ways to transform it without having to get the builders in…

1. Change your textiles

Sometimes a pop of colour is all that’s needed to take a bathroom from bland to brilliant. Try adding printed textiles in complimentary shades to your scheme. Choose a statement colour such as sage green or pale pink and add a few complimentary accessories – candles and diffusers work well in bathrooms. Take the look one step further by investing in a few ‘display’ products in matching shades.


2. Add some greenery

There are very few interior schemes that wouldn’t benefit from a house plant or two. Choose planters in contrasting materials to your scheme, such as concrete or unpolished ceramics.


3. Update your mirror

A wow factor mirror can make a big difference in an otherwise simple bathroom. Try a round mirror in copper or black for an on-trend look, such as the Metal Mirror in Black from Maisons du Monde. Update your soap dispenser and toothbrush mug to match, or introduce a few accessories in the same materials to pull the look together.


4. Add a print

A statement piece of art can really finish a room off. We love the selection from Desenio – they also have a range of stylish and contemporary frames in copper, gold and black, which you can add to your order when choosing your prints.


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