Transform your bathroom from shabby to chic

Transform your bathroom from shabby to chic

Your bathroom is not just a functional space, it’s the sanctuary where you start and end your day. So, if you’re tired of your shabby bathroom and dreaming of a chic upgrade, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll take you through the steps to transform your bathroom into a stylish oasis, perfect for all the relaxation and rejuvenation you and your family need.

The first thing to do is define your style. Yes, before you start renovating! Luckily for us, New Zealand offers diverse design inspirations – from coastal or rustic to contemporary or minimalist. Consider the kind of mood you want to create in your bathroom, then select colours, materials, and fixtures which align with that vision.

Bathroom renovations can range from a few modest updates to full-scale makeovers, so your budget will play a significant role in determining the extent of your transformation. Allocate your budget wisely, prioritising any essential upgrades, such as plumbing, fixtures, and quality materials. And don’t forget to leave room for the inevitable unexpected expenses which will crop up. 

A chic bathroom often features a stunning focal point. This could be a freestanding bathtub, a luxurious shower with a rainwater head, or a beautiful vanity. Invest in a statement piece which not only adds functionality, but also elevates your overall design.

Sometimes a simple rearrangement of the fixtures within your bathroom can make a significant difference. If your home has limited space, maximising your bathroom’s space is essential. Draw up your bathroom space to see if moving features around, such as the toilet, basin, or shower, will create a more functional and aesthetic space.

Bear in mind, if you’re on a limited budget, shifting fixtures can be an expensive decision, particularly if you have a concrete foundation. In those instances, switching out fixtures for different sized ones, or ones with better storage, can be just as effective. Fixtures play a pivotal role in the functionality and aesthetics of your bathroom and, generally speaking, there’s a wide range of options to suit various styles, from classic tapware to sleek, modern designs. Choose fixtures that complement your chosen style and invest in quality to ensure longevity.

That advice stands across the board, actually – always choose the best quality materials you can afford. We recommend you choose sustainable, locally produced materials. Products available in New Zealand, such as natural stone, timber, and ceramic tiles, will not only add a touch of luxury but also connect your bathroom space to the stunning landscapes just beyond your doorstep.

Light is key for a sense of luxury. If possible, add windows or skylights to your bathroom to invite and embrace natural light and scenic views. If privacy is a concern, consider frosted or textured glass. But don’t forget to get the necessary consents for any new windows! Proper lighting can also transform the mood of your bathroom. Consider layered lighting with a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting to create a spa-like atmosphere. Dimmer switches can also help adjust the lighting to suit different occasions, from a relaxing bath to a quick morning routine.

Clutter can quickly diminish the chic factor of your bathroom, so embrace smart storage solutions such as recessed cabinets, floating shelves, or vanity drawers to keep your essentials organised and out of sight. If budget allows, consider custom storage to maximise efficient use of your space.

Once the renovation is complete, don’t forget the finishing touches. A fresh coat of paint will tie the entire look together, and don’t forget the small details – replace outdated outlets and switches. Another alternative to add a refreshing, natural element is incorporating greenery. Choose low-maintenance indoor plants, such as ferns or succulents, which thrive in humid environments.

Invest in plush towels, high-quality bathmats, and elegant accessories, such as soap dispensers and trays. These small touches can make a significant difference in the overall ambiance of your space. If you have a smaller budget, even those small touches can make a difference. Or you can get the larger items sorted, then add the finishing details slowly over time, as your budget allows.

Transforming your bathroom doesn’t need to be a large-scale renovation to create a rewarding result. By defining your style, planning your budget, and carefully selecting materials and fixtures, you can create a bathroom that not only meets your functional needs, but can embrace the natural elements, optimise your space, and add luxurious touches, elevating your bathroom into a chic, everyday retreat.

For help with your next building or renovation project, use the Find A Builder search function on

Latest News

Kainga Ora's urban village

NZCB In The News – The Dominion Post – 22 May 2024

May 22, 2024

Kāinga Ora shake-up causes uncertainty for builders Reducing the amount of building work carried out...

NZCB In The News – April 2024

April 29, 2024

Joining NZ Certified Builders beneficial for busy West Coast building firm A decision to join...

NZCB in the Media – North & South Magazine, 01 April 2024

April 3, 2024

BUILDING’S dirty secrets Brand new homes are sold as warm, dry, energy efficient and sustainable,...
Business people negotiating a contract. Human hands working with documents at desk and signing contract.

Understanding variations, payment claims/invoices and deposits during your build or renovation

February 20, 2024

In New Zealand, the process of building or renovating a property has several key financial...
Female businessperson signs contract. Close up of female hand signing formal paper on the office table

Essential things to know before you hire a property lawyer

January 23, 2024

When buying property in New Zealand, whether it’s land to build on or a home...

How to breathe new life into your old deck

November 28, 2023

As summer draws near, and along with it the promise of hours of barbecues and...