Hit refresh on your bathroom Hit refresh on your bathroom

Simple ways to beautify your bathroom without remodelling.

Updating your bathroom can breathe new life into the mundane; however, not everyone has the time, experience or budget to carry out a full renovation. If your tub and tiles are in good shape, you can refresh your bathroom without too much effort – there’s no need for permits if you don’t move your bath, toilet or sink, or change the wiring.

Towel rack
Bathroom sink and mirror
Black light fitting

Handrails and towel racks

A simple change can make all the difference. Consider updating your towel racks or adding some new ones. Alternatively, check out heated towel racks; you might need to consult with an electrician, especially if you choose a model that is hard-wired, though plug-in models are available too.



Updating your lighting can transform the look and feel of your bathroom. If you’re using existing electrical, you should be able to change it yourself, but always check with your municipality or strata scheme for local codes and bylaws. There’s a ton of different styles and options available, but remember, don’t place lights near a water source. Electricity and water don’t mix!


Sink and storage

Pull out that tired old sink and replace it with a new vanity and a fresh set of taps. If you’re short on space, a vanity will provide you with extra storage, or consider adding floating shelves or a cabinet above the toilet for even more space.

Modern toilet
Bathroom sink with plant
Towels and pump dispensers

A new loo

Replace your old toilet with a new low-flow or dual-flush alternative to save on water consumption. If it’s a simple update and the plumbing doesn’t need altering, a seasoned DIYer should be able to do the job.



Scrape, remove and replace old, broken or missing caulking with a new application. Make sure the surface is clean before reapplying and go for mould- and mildew-resistant options.


Add colour or texture

Modernise the space by adding artwork or funky wallpaper. Similarly, changing up your shower curtain, towels and bath rugs can transform a bathroom from plain Jane to Pinterest-worthy.


Do your homework

Before changing fittings and fixtures, think about what your ideal bathroom looks like. Find inspiration and learn as much as you can by scouring Pinterest and speaking to friends or family who’ve undertaken a similar project. It’s also important to have a toolbox and the proper safety gear, and always consider the necessary safety precautions before starting any renovation. Finally, if you think you’re in over your head, call in the professionals. It’s better to be safe than sorry!


Renovation plan

Before getting started, consider these points!

White hard hat

Plan early

Try to avoid busy seasons. For example, waiting until December to replace your air conditioner could become a scheduling challenge! Planning months ahead is crucial.

Design key

What you have in mind might not be achievable. Ask your contractor, builder or architect to suggest the best solutions, and get a range of options to choose from.

Know what you want

Have a clear understanding of your needs and make a list of questions for the contractor. Know what they will do and won’t do. Many will provide a time line estimate, but you should always factor in extra time to allow for the unexpected.

Get permission

In many cases, your project will require a council permit, or permission from your strata committee or building manager. If so, allocate extra time for this process.

Quality is everything

Opt for the best solution, not just the cheapest. Renovations can contribute to the resale value of your home in the future, so it pays to invest in quality.


Originally published in The Costco Connection, Sep/Oct 2020. Pick up the latest copy at your local warehouse or read it online.