Ask the experts
Home South Africa|August 2021
Keen to turn your bathroom into a sanctuary on a budget? Just ask – we’ll find the answers.
Shané Barnard

A blissful bathroom

Louise Karsten of Pretoria writes My husband and I recently bought our first home and we’re renovating it, room by room. The accessories and tiles are all still in excellent condition, although the finishes are a bit outdated. While we’d love to give the bathroom a complete overhaul someday, for now I’d like to make it feel a little more like a retreat. Where do I start?

Kim Williams, interior creative and behaviour specialist, replies With intuitive and carefully considered design, bathrooms have the potential to be functional, beautiful and instrumental in reducing anxiety. The aim is to create a soothing environment in which you can relax and feel revitalised after a long day. Consider these easy, budget-friendly tips:

STORAGE is essential if you want to avoid clutter, particularly when it comes to all those toiletries. Identify the items you use in the shower and install in-shower storage, such as a built-in recess, to suit your needs and space. A linen cupboard for dry items like toilet paper and towels, as well as the regular vanity storage, is always a bonus if one can find a spot for it.

PLANTS work so well in bathroom spaces and the naturally occurring ambient humidity from the steam of a shower is perfect for a wide array of tropical and subtropical plants including orchids, peace lilies, ferns and even air plants (see page 102 for more suggestions). They add a wonderful connection to nature, soften materials such as marble or tile and add a gentle aspect of colour.

SOFT TEXTURES underfoot protect feet from cold tiles and add a touch of luxury. Every bathroom needs a bathmat; depending on the size of the bathroom, don’t be afraid to use more than one, or explore different shapes such as a round mat in the middle of the space.

ACCESSORISE Simple elements such as small decorative shelves for face cloths, diffusers and plants can make the world of difference. Decanting oils and salts into pretty bottles arranged around the bath can create a unique feature and add a spa-like element.

MIX ’N MATCH A combination of tiles adds interest, even if they’re all in one colour. Use different shapes for a subtle effect. It’s also a great way to create a focal wall on a budget – you can combine cost-effective and expensive tiles to create an elegant look without breaking the bank.

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