Ideas for Improving your Bathroom

You need a new bathroom, but where do you start? No matter what your budget there are some very good design tips and ideas out there.
A stylish bathroom is a great investment; not only does it help to sell your home but it also increases the value of your property. So where do you start? Do some research, decide what you like. Search the internet - some of the bespoke bathroom design websites are great for ideas - browse through the home style magazines, go to home shows watch TV shows like Grand Designs and visit bathroom and plumbing stores.

Once you have your dream list, decide what you can afford and whether you have the space. Then measure and graph out the area so you can experiment.

Design tips

- Make your bathroom as flexible as possible. If you don't have much space it's tempting to opt for a shower instead of a bath but future buyers will always want a bath.
- If you have the space, use it. Double sinks are stylish, fashionable and practical. Create as much built in storage as possible. Similarly, vanity areas are popular.
- Make a small space seem bigger by using large mirrors, mood lighting, pale reflective flooring and minimal window treatments.

Style tips for a luxurious bathroom:

- If there's room; position the bath centrally on a wall rather than pushing it into a corner.
- Be creative with storage. Hire a carpenter to create hidden storage or to build space-saving wall-to-ceiling units for towels and bottles.
- Bowl basins are fashionable and will give even the cheapest bathroom a designer look. Put some thought into the bench that the bowls sit on, make it as big as possible to maximize storage space.
- If there is space a separate shower will add to the feeling of luxury. Buy the biggest cubicle you can, add a low-rise shower tray, and fit clear glass doors rather than frosted.
- Fittings are important, simply styled contemporary taps add to the up market feel.
- Hide the pipework!
- Decoration: less is sometimes more! Use real tiles on floors and to create splash back areas - bigger tiles help to give an illusion of space, for walls use egg shell or satin finish water resistant wipe able paint; colours need to be calm and relaxing, which doesn't necessarily mean that they have to be light. Darker colours will look good if you keep other colours neutral.
- Install plenty of lighting and include some mood lighting
- For real luxury, add surround sound!

But more importantly, find a good builder and plumber this will ensure that the project is provided professionally and never compromise on installation.

All too often, building contractors will simply take out your old kitchen or bathroom and replace it without putting any planning or thought into layout, functionality or design. To avoid a bathroom disaster make sure your contractor looks at the existing layout of your bathroom, discuss what you'd like to achieve, take precise measurements and produce drawings that will help you to decide on the best layout and use of space. This level of planning will help you to achieve your dream bathroom and avoid a DIY disaster.

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