It’s no surprise that in its recent trend report (first quarter ending March 31), Google identified “DIY” as one of the topics with increased interest levels, with Australia among the top 10 countries.
“When the reno season starts, we traditionally see an increase in people searching for information on how they can do projects, such as a bathroom renovation by themselves,” says Beaumont Tiles design specialist, Christie Wood.
“This year, the levels have peaked more as people are more inclined to try new things.”
According to Wood, there are several design rules that even the most novice renovator can easily employ to achieve a bathroom comparable with a professionally styled version.
“The key rule is to keep it simple and not skew too far towards design, or functionality,” she says. “Balance and utilising what you already have is the key to a successful project. And with the footprint of Australian homes at their smallest in nearly two decades, how and where space is utilised in a DIY project more important than ever. You’ve got to make the most of what you’ve got.”
To help, here are Wood’s three key rules to follow for a perfectly balanced DIY bathroom.
Style with storage in mind
If you live in an apartment, chances are your bathroom is not necessarily as spacious as you would like. The good news is there are small DIY storage projects that are a quick way to add value to your home.
From wall recessed cisterns through to in-wall built cupboards, and floating vanities, there are a plethora of nifty DIY projects that will give the illusion of more space and provide more storage.
For those looking to free up floor space, a quick project is the installation of invisible cabinetry that sits flush in the wall cavity and if needed can be tiled over.
“Invisible cabinetry is a wonderful way to provide streamline storage that helps eliminate clutter like toilet rolls and bottles from valuable bench space and creates a lighter feel within the bathroom,” says Wood. “Floating vanities such as the Fingal 900 are a great one-person project, as they come pre-assembled and the end result helps free up floor space and give the illusion of room. It’s the perfect balance of form and function.”
Often a bathroom’s existing layout are fine, whereas the fixtures and fittings that need refreshing and for this reason Wood recommends using the existing plumbing profiles to streamline your choices and importantly, save on overall project costs.
“When we speak in store to DIYers, we often find that it’s the details in the fixtures, fittings and coverings that are dating the space and creating unnecessary bulk. Ultimately weighing down the overall look and feel,” she says.
“Not reinventing but merely refreshing the ‘wheel’ through strategic choices can add the illusion of space more than you realise. I like to replace old archaic tapware with fresh contemporary models, and when in doubt opt for a clean thin model such as Vivid Slimline wall top assemblies and basin outlet.
“A key thing to remember when swapping tapware is to keep the configuration the same. So if it’s a splitter tap, keep it the same – this also goes for shower heads. Older homes also have wall set bathtubs which are great for streamlined site lines and complementing wall cabinetry. Both of which are simple weekend projects that can add value.”
DIY-ers often choose too many features or patterns in their projects. So when selecting your wall or floor tile, consider a tile with movement, colour variation and texture in the design, as opposed to a solid pattern.
“My go to tip is to select one stand out feature and then build the broader room around that element and consider other non-movable structures in the room like toilets, bathtubs and windows,” says Wood. “If you want a one-day project, create a bathroom feature by installing a coloured basin or new wash area splashback. They’re easy to do and there are loads of online how-to videos available if you need.
“For those with a little more time up their sleeves, a beautiful hand pressed subway feature wall is a simple project that will add value and appeal to any bathroom. Anything in greens or pale pink patinas will sing to 2020 styling.”