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Bathrooms on a budget
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Bathrooms on a budget

The bathroom has changed hugely over a relatively short period. Even in the mid-20th century, it was not unusual to have an outside toilet or no internal plumbing. The bathroom’s role is a relatively new concept, and how our attitudes have changed! The idea of going outside to the toilet, or having a wash in a tin bath in the kitchen, is alien to us in the UK. Showers, which we now take for granted, were not standard in new homes even as late as the early 1980s. Who remembers the rubber shower hoses that attached to the bath taps?

The property-building boom between the two world wars, and in the 1950s and 60s, saw houses being built with bathrooms as a matter of course. Now, we would expect at the very least a shower over the bath and perhaps an en suite adjoining the main bedroom.

The white bathroom suite is still the go-to colour for most people, after the 1970s and 80s fascination with coloured suites in fetching shades such as avocado. Bathrooms look much the same from house to house, reflecting very little of our personality; however, there is no reason you can’t make yours as individual as the rest of your home.

The easiest and cheapest way to inject some personality is to paint the walls; at the same time, you could refresh the grouting and sealants. It is worth splashing out on bathroom or kitchen paint, as this is far more resistant to steam and water splashes. Towels come in every colour under the sun and you will find a great range in most supermarkets and high streets stores. The key is to be bold. Towels are pretty inexpensive and if you get bored with the colour, it is not going to cost the earth to change it.

Perhaps you want to change the tiles, which can really transform the look of your room. There are some really beautiful tiles available. If your eye has been caught by some more expensive ones, why not use a single line as an accent among some cheaper plain tiles? If tiling is not your thing, you could always paint them or cover them with some simple tongue and groove panelling; however, this is obviously not advisable around a bath or shower!

We don’t tend to consider upcycled items in our bathroom but if you want to change the suite, don’t simply head for the local DIY store. Salvage yards often have baths, basins and taps that won’t cost a fortune and can look amazing. You can even have old metal baths re-enamelled.

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