5 things making your bathroom look cheap

And what to do instead.
Photographer: Nathan Van Egmond via Unsplash

Updating or renovating a bathroom is not only a pricey project to undertake, but it’s also a very emotional one. If you have the opportunity to design a modern bathroom, then it’s natural to let your emotions lead the way when it comes to selecting tapware, fixtures and tile colours. But it’s important to think practically about the layout of your bathroom and how the space will be designed, in order to achieve an end result you love.

We’ve put together a list of things that can make your bathroom look cheap, so you can pull together a luxe look you’ll love forever.

1. Old and worn vanity

One thing a bathroom can never have too much of is storage. However, old or worn vanities and shaving cabinets can cheapen the overall look of a bathroom.

Do this instead: When renovating or updating this space, be sure to invest a little more time and money into providing beautiful bathroom storage options and durable, easy-to-clean benchtops.

stone homestead central victoria bathroom wooden vanity
Beautiful bathroom storage is always worth investing in. This double vanity, in a central Victorian homestead, is an Eveneer Parisian Oak vanity. (Credit: Photography: Armelle Habib / Styling: Heather Nette King)

2. Poor lighting

Lighting can make or break a bathroom and overlooking it can be detrimental to the overall design of the space. Not only that, but poor lighting in a room where you apply makeup, shave or do your hair can be hard on your eyes and even worse on your appearance.

Do this instead: Think beyond basic glass ceiling fixtures and layer your lighting. Try a gorgeous pendant or a minimal wall sconce that doubles as bright task lighting.

3. A busy colour scheme

A bathroom that has multiple patterns on tiles and different finishes across the tapware and other fixtures looks messy.

Do this instead: To create a calming, harmonious bathroom, select just one statement feature and ensure all other elements support and complement the statement. Another way to achieve a coordinated look is to avoid mixing metals when selecting fixtures (ensure tapware and accessories are all chrome, all brushed nickel or all brass, for example).

european farmhouse style build brisbane bathroom
A simple colour and materials palette adds to this bathroom’s relaxing atmosphere. The room also features plenty of natural light (from the obscured glass window and a skylight) as well as a statement ‘Coral’ wall sconce from Soktas. (Credit: Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

4. Incorrect toilet placement

It’s always best to have the toilet hidden from immediate view of the door of the bathroom.

Do this instead: Consider placing the toilet towards the end of the vanity so it’s hidden. Another option is to place it to the side of the door or behind a small dividing wall.

5. Lack of personality

A bathroom is a room like any other. It can be accessorized, styled and dressed up to represent your personal style. A bathroom that is completely bare except for the necessities can look unfinished.

Do this instead: Incorporate greenery such as foliage plants, a trinket tray to hold the bare essentials such as everyday beauty products, and purchase some great-looking soap and moisturiser dispensers.

Family bathroom with inset bathtub and blue painted bathroom vanity
This bathroom, designed by Amy Spargo of Maine House Interiors, is filled with personality, thanks to an Early Settler vanity finished in Porter’s Paints Hailstorm. (Credit: Photography: Lisa Cohen / Styling: Amy Spargo)

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