Bathroom Update Tips For First Time Buyers | Porcelain Superstore

Abbas Youssefi
Abbas Youssefi
16th May 2017
Looking to get on the property ladder or have just signed on that dotted line? Congratulations! As a recent first time buyer myself, I’ll tell you one thing; there’s be a smile in your step and a spring on your face when you pick up those keys. Oops, got my words mixed up there - you can see how giddy I still am! And if you’re anything like me, then you’re probably incredibly excited and a little overwhelmed at the same time. The days of dodgy flat shares are now replaced by dizzying makeover ideas; no doubt you’ll want to stamp your personal taste on your home as quickly as you can, starting with the kitchen and bathrooms.

Priorities first

Unfortunately, with house prices at all time highs, those of us just getting onto the property ladder can find our finances are pretty stretched. Here’s where it pays to prioritise - you can probably live with a naff but functional living room for a year, but a mouldy ensuite will need some immediate attention. Sadly, with the average cost of a new bathroom in the UK being around £4500, that can easily be off-limits. After all, that’s 60 years of Netflix or nearly 40 years of Spotify! However, you don’t have to splash out to make your mark. With a little thought and creativity, boring bathrooms can be transformed without breaking the bank. Better still, your home is an investment and a few updates here and there can make a big difference to the value. So don’t waste any time - here’s a round up of our favourite ways to update your bathroom on a budget.

Master Stroke

I’d hazard a guess that most first time buyers pick paint colours before picking up the keys. With good reason - painting can be a relatively straightforward and inexpensive way to freshen a room. So if you’re a dab hand with a brush, then don’t waste time watching your bedroom walls dry. Put those rollers to good use in the bathroom! Think about adding a pop of colour to your walls - baths, basins, trays and toilets tend to be white so a contrasting colour can really stand out. If you want to tone things down a little, why not test a sample of olive green or lighter greys? These stylish tones offer a more calming finish but will still stand out against your fittings. Hot tip - Be sure to use a good quality waterproof paint. Bathrooms can get pretty steamy after all!

Curtain Call

Got a traditional shower bath with glass screen? Then rejoice! Replace the boring screen with a funky shower curtain and hey presto, you’ve just found one of the quickest way to update your space! Bathrooms are often fairly neutral, so a colourful curtain can be a inexpensive way to add a dose of character. Take it from me, a bright and bold design can really help you hit the high notes during your morning shower sing-a-long. Hot tip - Look at different ways of hanging your curtains. We’re big fans of rods hung from the ceiling.

Strip Off

We’re just love wood effect tiles in the bathroom - they’re a practical, waterproof way to give your space an easy natural style. But if you’re on a tight budget and want the look, why not strip instead? Rip up that nasty carpet and there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find some original floorboards which are just perfect for today’s vintage style. If you’re in luck, a quick sand and a few coats of stain might be all the sprucing up your floorboards need. Otherwise, why not paint them for a chic coastal vibe? And if you live in a period property with original doors, why not strip them back to match as well? Hot tip - Gaps between floorboards? Make sure these are filled in so there’s no leaky surprises downstairs!

Modern Metros

When it comes to maximum style for minimum bucks, there’s a clear winner - humble metro tiles. Not only are they inexpensive to buy, with a little patience and the right tools they’re also relatively easy to lay yourself. And there’s plenty of choice when it comes to personal style. Keep things classy with simple white subway tiles or add splashes of colour with timeless teal metros. If you’re not yet ready to tile a whole wall, why not start by tiling your basin splashback instead? Hot tip - Use a contrasting grout colour to add detail and highlight the joints

Play and Display

Heart set on some gorgeous patterned tiles but your budget just won’t stretch? Why not consider a feature wall? They’re a fantastic way to introduce decoration and get the wow effect, without going all out. When it comes to adding accents, don’t just think about the traditional shower walls or splashbacks. Feature floors are a current hot trend, keep your walls simple and they’ll pack a punch! So why not order some samples and have a bit of a play? Hot tip - Bathrooms are personal spaces, so don’t be afraid to be a little bolder than you would be in the kitchen. Keep the rest of the space simple so it doesn’t overpower.

Go Green

Looking for a quick fix to cheer up your bathroom while you save for a new suite? Houseplants are the way forward - they’ll add a pop of fresh green, boost your morning moods and better still, can help clean mildew and mould from the air. There’s no need to turn your room into a rainforest just yet, a well placed pot or two can easily take your mind off that peeling paint or leaky shower. Hot tip - Stuck for space? Hang your pots from the ceiling for a bit of Palm Springs panache!

Vanity Fair

Bathroom cabinets a little low on character? Wish your pedestal would just sink away? Then don’t worry - just make your own! This doesn’t have to be as wacky or difficult as it sounds. In fact, it’s remarkably easy. All you have to do is find some antique furniture, a basin (use your existing one to save extra pennies) and a plumber to put the two together. Mixing the old with the new is a guaranteed way to add character and charm. So head down to your local flea market or check out eBay for unwanted dressers or console tables; one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, as they say! Hot tip - Add some mid-century chic with a teak sideboard. There should be plenty of space to hide the pipes and plumbing, too. Be sure to protect the top with a suitable, water-resistant coating.

Let There Be Light

Want to see your bathroom in a whole new light? Better get replacing those dated light fittings then. If you’re lucky enough to have a freestanding bath already in place, why not create a pretty focal point with a dramatic chandelier? Or for something a little easier on the pocket, install some LEDs to the underside of your cabinet and behind your mirror for a more subtle glow. Don’t be afraid to create different lighting circuits so you can change the mood at the flick of a switch - bright bulbs for the morning wake up, or a low glow for evening soaks. Hot tip - Ensure that any light fittings have a suitable IP rating and always get a qualified electrician to carry out work.

Mirror Mirror…

…on the wall, who’s the thriftiest of them all? Mirrors are great way to give your bathroom quick update without having to empty the piggy bank. And if you’ll excuse the pun, they’re a great reflection of our personal style; keep it clean and classy with a circular mirror or add a little extra pizzaz with an illuminated design. Vintage mirrors are pretty easy to pick up and will add instant character. Better still, hang an assortment of different sized mirrors behind your bath to create a quirky feature wall with a difference!

Not Yet Ready To Spend The Pennies…?

Just moved in but not yet ready to tackle the bathroom head on? If the brassware’s in good nick and the shower’s not too shabby, then a good, old-fashioned spring clean can spruce up your space like nobody’s business. Elbow grease is the order of the day here, so put your favourite tunes on and get scrubbing - most surfaces in a bathroom should come up pretty well. Applying a fresh bead of silicone can make a world of difference - if there’s a pet hate of ours it’s mouldy silicone! After admiring your handiwork with a good brew, it’s time to talk towels and bath mats. You’ll be using these every day, so it makes sense to invest in a design you’ll love. As with shower curtains, they’re a great way to introduce jazzy colour into the room, even if you’d normally stay clear of stronger tones. Complete the look with matching soaps and accessories for a well thought out bathroom on a budget.

And Finally...

Take a deep breath and relax! Everything you do in your home should be enjoyable - it shouldn't feel like a chore! Don't worry if things take a little longer than you think or you can't find that perfect pink - it will all come together just right. Here at Porcelain Superstore, we're dedicated to helping our customers decorate their dream homes. So if you need any assistance or advice, just get in touch and we'll be delighted to help.