Bathroom design ideas for renovations and makeovers

Ideas to suit every style and space.

Whether you’re planning a full-scale renovation, or a simple weekend makeover, bathroom design ideas need to suit your family and lifestyle, while making the most of the space, resources and budget available to you.

According to recent data collected by the Housing Industry Association (HIA) in the 2017/2018 Kitchens and Bathrooms Survey, the average cost of a bathroom installed in a new home is $16,430 on average, while a bathroom installed as part of a renovation cost $17,522 on average. However, those figures can change depending on what stage of life you’re at. A study by Houzz Australia found that people aged over 54 typically spend $11,900 on their bathroom design ideas, while people under 35 years of age spend about $9,100 on theirs.

Now that you have a ballpark figure of what bathroom design ideas for renovations and makeovers can cost in Australia, it’s time to examine the trends, styles and colours that are popular right now.

We spoke to interior designer Lydia Maskiell, of Lydia Maskiell Interiors, for her advice on bathroom design ideas, and the trend experts at Pinterest about what bathrooms ideas are most searched for and pinned right now.

Bathroom design ideas #1: Layout

Interior designer Lydia Maskiell likes to make a bathroom feel functional yet intimate, rather than long, spacious and sprawling.

“I once designed a large bathroom for a client who had too much space, especially if everything was pushed to the parameter of the room. This was a great opportunity to design tiled partitions in the centre of the bathroom to divide up the space, and separate the vanity from the shower, the shower from the bath and toilet. It was highly functional and looked amazing,” says Lydia.

“Layout is such an important element in bathroom design ideas. I like to group the wet areas and the dry areas. This is most effective for small bathrooms and gives you scope to change the materials to zone the wet and dry spaces.”

“My cardinal rule is: don’t let the toilet be the first thing you see in your bathroom. If you have the space, use a tiled partition to separate it in an open bathroom or look at tucking it behind a vanity in a smaller space with the larger bathroom design.

(Credit: Getty) (Credit: Getty)

Bathroom Design ideas #2: Function

Understanding circulation in a bathroom design is very important, and will influence how functional your bathroom is. “You need to know the comfortable circulation for each part of the bathroom, such as how much space to allow for a shower or the space to allow around a toilet,” says Lydia.

“It’s also really important to consider how you will ventilate your room. Do you have opening windows, or will you need an exhaust fan to prevent mould occurring? A well-ventilated bathroom is a healthy one.”

Bathrooms Design Ideas #3: Visual Effects

Lydia likes to make small bathrooms feel more spacious and large bathrooms feel more intimate, while keeping them functional and stylish.

“I like to visually expand the height and/or length of the bathroom with floor to ceiling shower screens, niches that span the full length of the room, bath ledges that extend past the bath, wrapping the same vanity top over a toilet area, or using huge mirrors that go to the ceiling,” says Lydia.

Lydia suggests bold patterns using mosaic or 3D tiles to make a small bathroom feel larger that it is. Lydia also recommends floor to ceiling tiles to visually extend the height of a room. “It bothers me when I see bathrooms that are tiled to two metres high all the way around, or even in a select area – such as a shower or bath hob – your eye will be drawn to where the tile stops and visually shorten the height of the room.”

When it comes to colour, cool tones such as blues and greens are known to be calming on the human psyche. Similarly, white and neutral tones will create a sense of cleanliness and order.

“Light and bright colours make a space more reflective, maximizing any natural light in the room, while bright colors also have the ability to create the illusion of a larger space,” interior designer Abbe Fenimore of Studio Ten 25 told Well+Good.

This works well with bright hues of yellow, orange and pink, like these tiles pictured below. 

Beaumonts is giving you an early Tax Break with up to 50% off all tiles. Shop Australia’s biggest and best tile range now at Beaumonts.

(Credit: Supplied.) (Credit: Supplied.)

Bathroom Design Ideas #4: Special Features

One strong feature design idea is all you need in a bathroom, as too many can make the eye jump around the room without ever coming to a rest.

“I often see people wanting to run a feature tile behind their vanity, another in the shower niche then another in the bath niche.” says Lydia. “I think you need to pick just one feature.”

Bathroom Design Ideas #5: Lighting

Getting the lighting right in your bathroom is critical to its functionality and ambience. Lydia recommends light is equally distributed over your bathroom vanity to make doing your makeup or seeing in the mirror easy.

Lighting is equally important when designing a bathroom. Ensuring you have adequate and equally distributed light over a vanity for that perfect make up light. “Installing wall lights or sconces on either side of a vanity mirror will also work,” says Lydia. “ I personally love a statement pendant light in bathroom design ideas, and another way to visually lengthen your bathroom is to use LED strip lighting that spans the full length of the bathroom.”

Bathroom Design Ideas #6: Practicality

In cold climates, consider how your bathroom will be heated. Floor heating might be suitable for chilly climates in Tasmania, while a heat lamp might do for areas that don’t feel such a harsh chill. In humid or warm climates, you need to ensure adequate ventilation, such as an exhaust fan or windows, so you don’t experience moisture buildup and risk mould growth.

 You can save money on your bathroom renovation or makeover by planning it out, purchasing everything in advance, deciding what jobs you will need to hire a professional for and what you can do yourself, and budgeting for those extra costs.

(Credit: Getty) (Credit: Getty)

Bathroom Design Ideas: the bathroom trends taking off in 2018/2019

According to the most recent pinning, saving and search data collated by Pinterest, these are the most popular new trends, styles, finishes and colours taking off in bathroom designs ideas in Australia and across the globe in 2018 and 2019.

“I’m a huge fan of both kitkat mosaic tiles and crayon tiles at the moment,” says Lydia. “I’m seeing more and more of these profiles coming through in natural stones, black marbles, carrara marbles, and soft pastels.”

Australian bathroom trends

People are showing renewed interest in simple, natural and traditional bathroom ideas this year, with a 40% increase of people saving images of black taps, a 100% increase in people saving copper taps, a 70% increase in people saving timber vanity ideas, and 120% increase in people saving floating vanity ideas. The popularity of monochromatic bathrooms also increased by 30%.

Global bathroom trends

Global trends are a little different, with many people favouring more bold and luxurious bathroom design ideas. There was a 238% increase in people saving geometric tile ideas, a 269% increase in interest of spa bathrooms, a 316% increase in saved ideas for terrazzo and a 131% increase in saved ideas for herringbone patterns.


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