The first thing that dates in a house is the bathroom and it is the very room we want to luxuriate and feel pampered in. Often thought to be expensive to remodel, old and shabby bathrooms stand around for far longer than they need to. Consider these tips for a budget-friendly, high-impact bathroom remodel.

Go glam: Change out a dated light fixture for something new and glamorous. Enhance the sparkle with glass, large mirrors and chrome accent shelves and towel bars.

Replace all hardware: Updating cupboard handles, faucets, toilet seats and showerheads freshens and modernises the look of a bathroom immediately. Add a few matching accessories such as towel bars and a toilet paper holder for a clean unified look.

Pile on the character: Add heaps of character to a basic bath with beadboard. You can also install beadboard on the walls for a fresh look. Install the panels from the skirting half way up the wall and paint the rest of the wall in a calming colour or a dramatic contrasting paint colour. Installing panels is quicker and more affordable than installing individual boards.

Add stylish storage: If your bathroom is too small for a freestanding piece of furniture, mount a vintage shelf on the wall or buy aged or distressed wooden planks and mount them on a wall with wrought iron brackets.

Renew with paint: If you are happy with your existing vanity, or if budget does not stretch far enough for you to replace it, renew the look with a fresh coat of paint or, for a previously stained cabinet, sand off the old finish and apply updated stain colour. You can also replace the surface of the vanity with new tile or a piece of granite for a luxury look.

Upcycle your furniture: If your vanity does not hold up to a remodel, turn an existing piece of furniture into a vanity by cutting a hole in the top of a small cupboard or table for a drop-in sink and faucet. Moisture-proof and protect the wood top with several coats of clear polyurethane.

Image: Irma Bosch

Image: Irma Bosch