You can’t talk about a beautiful and practical bathroom without considering tiling, and luckily, beautiful, high quality and durable tiles can be found in any price range. Wall and floor tiles can either serve as a neutral canvas for your fittings and styling to shine, or be a statement piece in themselves. These days we are spoilt for choice with tiling options, so finding a stunning feature tile doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. Big brand tile stores like Beaumont Tiles source current trend materials at affordable prices, so selecting a coloured or textured tile to make your basin splashback or shower area stand out doesn’t have to be pricey. If you pair these feature tiles with simple tiles elsewhere in the space and you create a distinctive and inviting space that doesn’t cost the earth.
Strip lighting underneath a mirrored cabinet or feature wall create ambience and a calming mood. Beacon Lighting has some great affordable options. And never underestimate the impact of simple styling items such as textured towels, fresh greenery, or a statement hand wash and lotion beside the basin (like our al.ive body Wash & Lotion Duo).
Wicker baskets are a great way to add texture and natural materials to what is often a largely shiny, white space, and also a very practical way to store spare toilet rolls rather than filling up your limited cabinetry.
Open shelving can be another way to incorporate extra storage in your space without taking up room on the floor. Use this highly visible space for your most beautiful essentials – that luxe candle you light when relaxing in the bath, the indoor plant that thrives in the humidity of the bathroom, or a carefully folded fluffy towel or two.
It may not sound very exciting, but the most important aspect to prioritise with your budget is ensuring good light and ventilation in your bathroom design. Either of these elements will have a dramatic impact on the aesthetics of your space, how functional it is, and its longevity. Something as simple as installing a skylight can seriously elevate a bathroom and help to make time spent there relaxing and rejuvenating.
Some may consider underfloor heating a luxury, but we consider it an investment that will pay you back for many years to come, not only in comfort, but in energy efficiency, too. It is a feature that cannot be installed or upgraded easily later, so it’s worth considering and budgeting for in the early stages of your renovation plans.
Quality tapware is worth the extra investment, as these fixtures work hard day in and day out as they are used so often. Choosing items that will function perfectly as well as look great for years to come will really enhance your enjoyment of the space. ABI Interiors have a range of classic fixtures in various finishes to suit everyone.
A bathroom renovation is a significant investment for any household, and not something that you want to be redoing every few years. Practicality should be at the forefront of any design; with our professional design projects, we always ensure we tick off all of the practical and functional needs of our clients first, before considering style. A bathroom that looks beautiful but is a frustrating space to get ready in each day is not a sound investment, and will not serve your home’s value in the future.
Knowing when a total renovation is necessary versus only needing to make a few minor or cosmetic updates is key to creating a realistic bathroom upgrade budget. If your current layout works but you don’t like some of the fittings and fixtures, then a simple cosmetic update may be all you need. If core elements of the design (such as the colour of the wall and floor tiles) need to be updated, then you are looking at a bigger budget. And if both cosmetic elements and layout needs to be changed, meaning you are making structural updates and moving plumbing, that has a much higher price tag.
Built-in mirrored cabinets would have to be the most practical storage solution for beauty items. The ability to store your items at eye level means you know at a glance what you have, and minimises the risk of products being forgotten and languishing at the back of a drawer. Cabinets also commonly come with adjustable shelves, so that products can be arranged by height and minimise wasted space.
If possible, opt for a deeper cabinet than is standard, which can be just 75mm deep. If your space allows, go with a 120-150mm deep cabinet, as this will allow you to store bulkier items such as toilet paper and large bottles of shampoo and conditioner. You can often recess larger cabinetry like this in to the wall to minimise the projection in to the room.
Ok, so we admit this one is tricky, and something we struggle with ourselves. If anyone has any hacks for being strict with how many products make it into the bathroom, please share!
We find it particularly hard to keep beauty products to a minimum with jobs like ours – not only do our media appearances require comprehensive makeup kits, but as Managing Directors of our personal care brand al.ive body, we are always trying new products and formulas in pursuit of creating the best products possible.
We have come to accept that our collections will always be larger than we’d necessarily like, so we know first hand that it is important for you to really consider all the items you may want to store in your bathroom when designing an upgrade. It’s no use designing a magazine-worthy, minimalist bathroom with zero storage if you own a zillion products, as it just won’t work for you day to day. You may need to prioritise function over form if you’re a product hoarder with a small space. Go for practical storage solutions, including a mirrored cabinet above the basin and as large a set of drawers as will reasonably work in your vanity. Don’t just select your vanity based on aesthetics alone – its storage capacity is important, as well as how said storage is laid out. For many, a mix of drawers and doors is ideal, so that you can store different-sized item in an accessible way.
Storage specifically designed for small makeup products is crucial if your collection is larger than a few items. The ability to keep everything in order and in clear view means you will make the most of the products you own, rather than constantly buying new because you can’t find or have forgotten about an item.
And do consider your available space when adding to or editing your beauty collection. That huge one litre shampoo bottle may be more economical, but it does not serve you if you trip over it every time you shower, or if it’s a pain to clean around. And if your mirrored cabinet is only the standard 75mm deep, don’t buy that hair mask which comes in a huge tub, as it will drive you mad.
Our top beauty pick has to be our own al.ive body Wash & Lotion Duo. We took great care developing these formulas to feel luxurious, be beautifully scented wit natural botanical extracts, and to be great for your skin. The fact that we both use them daily is testament to how happy we are with them (Alisa loves Applewood & Goji Berry, and Lysandra can’t get enough of Mango & Lychee). And naturally they look beautiful on your vanity, so you can keep your daily essentials close to hand while ensuring your bathroom looks stylish.
We both love a bold lip for events, media appearances, or even just days when we may not have gotten a full night’s sleep and need a little lift. MAC Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo is a classic for a reason, and we find it suits a diverse range of skin tones.
As mums and business owners our weekdays are pretty busy, so products that multitask are key. We both reach for the Vani-T Luxe Elixir Face Oil morning and night, as it serves as a skin hydrator, a make-up remover and a solution for dry cuticles and flyaway hair.
One of our most longed-for ways to relax is by lighting some candles and soaking in the bath. These moments are few and far between, but when we do get to indulge we love high quality scented candles in beautiful vessels. That way they can serve as attractive décor in our bathrooms day to day, and as a relaxation device in those precious moments of calm.