BATHROOM ON A BUDGET
If there’s anyone who can renovate on a shoestring, it’s Cherie Barber. This month she gives two bathrooms an instant, affordable facelift.
Cherie transforms two bathrooms with amazing results, for around $2000 each.
EVEN THE MOST SEASONED renovator might question how much of a bathroom transformation can be achieved for a tad over $2000, considering it’s not hard to spend
$1000 on a vanity, and a big chunk of budget on tradie costs. If it’s an older bathroom, you also run the risk of uncovering serious remedial work once you go ripping off tiles and moving around plumbing. So the trick is to stick with cosmetic changes that solve all the dated features without actually penetrating the surface of anything.
It’s amazing what you can achieve with this proven formula.
DITCH THE BROWN
One of the biggest issues with this bathroom was its dated beige colour scheme, from the peachy wall tiles to the speckled brown mosaic floor tiles. You can’t paint over floor tiles, and removing them could open up a can of warms – not least of which could be waterproofing issues – so the solution here was floating merbau timber decking. If it’s robust enough to withstand the outdoor elements, then it’s certainly a winning option for a bathroom, with the added bonus of an element of resort feel.
TILE TOUCH UP
Rather than painting the wall tiles all plain white, I opted for a splash of colour using White Knight laminate paint, which protects against mould and mildew, tinted “Caribbean Green”. This colour works particularly well with the warm timber tones of the decking and also conjures a light and airy beach feel, playing to the abundance of natural light the bathroom receives courtesy of its big window.
ADD CLASS WITH GLASS
Like most ‘70s bathrooms, this one has the old mottled glass, sliding shower screen which, apart from looking ugly, is almost impossible to keep clean. We retained the shower base, then added a pivoting made-to-measure frameless shower screen. At $910, it was one of the biggest indulgences in the makeover, but what a difference!
The old basin was next on the hit list. Apart from offering zero storage in a small bathroom that needs to take advantage of every bit of space, the exposed PVC pipe was hardly a showstopper. A slimline floorstanding vanity and new taps from Bunnings, at just $150 total, meant we could slot it into the existing plumbing, and create some underneath storage.
BRAND NEW SPACE
A great device to visually lengthen a wall is to run one piece of joinery or furnishing along its length, and mirrors open up a small space. By running two mirrored bathroom cabinets side by side, it visually opened up the compact bathroom and introduced new storage.
WHILE THIS BATHROOM LOOKS like it’s had major surgery, the magic ingredient in its overhaul was paint. We were blessed by the fact the floor tiles were actually quite cool, so it was a case of working around them.
OUT WITH THE OLD
The vanity was definitely beyond salvaging, so out it went, along with the rickety old mirrored cupboard above. However, as that was the only storage in the bathroom, I chose a new floor-standing vanity with ample storage, and a generous mirror above.
BIG PAINT JOB
The ghastly wall tiles and peachy bath were actually in good condition, so it was a case of reinventing their good looks. White Knight came to the rescue with its tile paint and bath tub epoxy enamel, deftly concealing the offending colours beneath. Suddenly those floor tiles looked almost funky. Wall paint in a pale grey hue provided a subtle contrast in colour.
END OF AN ERA
As with the other bathroom, this old timer demanded a modern shower. An aluminium framed shower replaced the original walk-in shower and shabby glass divider. New tapware was the final touch in a miracle makeover.
All up, the new bathroom cost $1903 and was completed over a weekend, proving that creativity and hard work can triumph over a meagre budget.
Cherie Barber is a renovator on TV’s
The Living Room and runs renovating-forprofit workshops. Cheriebarber.com.au after From drab to fab! A lick or two of paint, a new floor and fittings – and this bathroom is transformed. FROM THE EXPERT
after Smart choices Robust timber over tiles is an affordable new flooring update. total cost: 2249 a
TLC required A new colour scheme and more storage are clearly needed! before
before Hard work These dated screens never look clean.
Just like new The new glass screen and divider add a touch of shiny class. after
before Make me over! The old fittings looked cheap and nasty.
What a mixture of colours and patterns!