Renovating a bathroom is unlike any other room in the house. Because it is water-prone and gets a lot of traffic, you need to ensure that the bathroom is, not only functional, but meets the demands of a room which is used on a daily basis.

The bathroom is a well-used room. However, the actual time we spend in the bathroom can be quite short for many of us. Aim to create a room which induces memories and tickles your senses, and you may find yourself relaxing in the bathroom a little longer than usual. Remember to consider your lifestyle to determine the functionality of the bathroom that is personal to you.

Brick beautiful

If you're drawn to exposed brick, this can work well in an industrial or chic style bathroom. Working with exposed brick will create a warm feel and enhance your décor. You may opt to have just one or two walls of brick to set an accent and paint the rest of the walls white to soften the colour palette. If you like the look of bricks but not the colour, paint over it. Distressed white brick wall adds a touch of class.


Exposed brick walls are porous. If they are not sealed prior to painting a lot of paint can be absorbed into the surface. Use Resene Sureseal pigmented sealer over exposed brick or any porous surface in a bathroom situation. It hardens the surface so that any topcoats of paint can't be absorbed into it.

Wood is a good go-to material that complements a brick accent and creates a modern and urban look.

Simple and rustic

A modern rustic theme is a favourite in homes and retail spaces everywhere. It's easy to achieve a minimalist style topped with rustic charm.

Bathroom trends still favour the use of whites, but soft pastel watery-toned grey, blue and greens are being used more often as well, such as Resene Half Duck Egg Blue, Resene Half Emerge, Resene Half Gull Grey and Resene Quarter Frozen.

Natural texture reveals itself through the use of wood; reclaimed wood features, solid wood beams, sliding door, shelving and wooden bath caddy.

If you're feeling creative and like the idea of playing with dark and light colours, a monochrome theme can be dramatic and alluring if done well. Think: black wall paint broken up with a half wall of white subway tiles which leads to a stunning black geometric floor pattern.


Black painted walls (or ceilings) add drama and mood to a marble-themed bathroom, while copper, brass or gold fixtures add warmth, class and style. Play around with marble tiling styles, sizes, colours and arrangements: herringbone, oversized squares, delicate hexagon-shapes, subway tiles. Find your perfect design style that makes you say 'Yes!' out loud. And don't forget structural details including your bathroom door and window frames.

Indoor and outdoor

If a memory transports you to a place that brings a smile to your face, such as a tropical holiday, you can transform your bathroom to make you feel like a world away. The ingredients to bathroom therapy are earthy colours of green, grey and blue. Try Resene Half Eskimo, Resene Breathless, Resene Breeze or Resene Half Tasman. Remember good ventilation and steam extraction is a must-have.

Plants will help to create ambience. You can't go wrong with oversized plant pots with a towering large leafy plant or tree, hang plants from the ceiling at varying heights and if you're prepared to go all out, a plant wall will be a standout piece.

Wood, pebbles and concrete surfaces reinforce that outdoor-feel. Add comfort with soft furnishings, such as an upholstered chair, patterned floor rug and towels. A freestanding bath with a rustic wooden stool will add extra charm.

Romantic and sensual

Whether your bathroom goal is to achieve that French country, shabby chic or modern and fresh bathroom, a soft colour palette will quickly create that relaxing atmosphere. Choose colours that reflect the luxe appeal. Silky, lilac/mauve colours are expressed in Resene Essence and Resene I Do. For lush peachy almost nude pinks, go for Resene Sazerac or Resene Just Right. Try Resene Half Surrender or Resene Concrete for silvery hues.

The use of paler colours, larger wall tiles, decorative detailing and large mirrors make bathrooms appear larger and lighter than they might actually be.

Using an interior designer who is skilled in bathrooms can be of great help as they know just how to utilise space well and are up-to-date with newer fittings and fixtures, lighting and heating.

You can add romantic charm to a neutral-coloured bathroom with the addition of pastel colours in the form of decoration, including a vase of flowers, bathroom towels, floor rugs and wall art and decoration.

Bright and bold

Be brave and add a bold colour statement to your bathroom. Painting the ceiling is just one way to achieve this effect. "Bright and bold colours that are being favoured are Resene Red Red Red or Resene Hullabaloo – these are often adjuncts to zap up a white or grey bathroom or in a secondary bathroom for the younger members of the family.

Alternatively, leave the main walls neutral and add bright accents using furniture, such as cabinets and other details including window frames and shelving.

Painting a bathroom needs to take into account the unique function of the room and its close proximity to steam, water and a myriad of soapy products. A tougher type of paint that can tolerate all that a bathroom throws at it is required. Use Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen Kitchen & Bathroom waterborne enamel or Resene Lustacryl Kitchen & Bathroom waterborne semi-gloss.

These products have a finish that contains extra anti-bacterial silver and fungicides to resist bacteria and mould. The surfaces will need to be wiped after the first couple of showers to remove free moisture that can mist and trickle on walls causing marking on the paint to appear.

Once you've created the look that's right for you,
all that's left to do is sit back in a long hot bath and enjoy
your handiwork.