If you’re a young adult striking out on your own for the first time, this 3-part bathroom style guide is all about you. Helen Skelton and our creative team show you how to “Get the Look” and save cash by doing some of the work yourself.
One of the inescapable consequences of the current cost of living crisis is that an increasing number of young adults are opting to live with their parents. This has led many to rethink the layout of their home and, where possible, provide dedicated space for their grown-up children. In some cases, this even extends to an ensuite bathroom. And, for those taking that first, tentative step on the property ladder, a bathroom refurb will likely mean working to a strict budget. But never fear, help is at hand…
With our help, you can create a bathroom that reflects your own personal styles and tastes
Helen Skelton and Victoria Plum to the rescue
As a former youth TV presenter, Helen Skelton is no stranger to inspiring young adults to achieve their dreams and fulfil their ambitions. And, for any young person making their way in the world, a bathroom space that offers a relaxing retreat from everyday pressures is something worth savouring.
In this style guide, Helen has worked alongside the creative team here at Victoria Plum to provide you with all the inspiration and advice you’ll need to achieve the bathroom you’ve always wanted—whether you are still living with your folks or have moved into your very own first-time property.
TV and radio presenter Helen Skelton joined our team to lend a helping hand
Whilst we’ll be showing you how to style your bathroom effectively, we’ll also give you some cost-cutting DIY tips, to help you master the art of cost-effective design, without putting undue stress on your finances.
In the first of this 3-part guide, we’ll be looking at achieving an artistic, uplifting and feminine bathroom style.
Get the Look: Bathroom 1—Artistic and Whimsical
The first of our 3 bathroom designs is a bright and optimistic space with a contemporary, feminine theme. And while we’ve done all the styling ourselves, the emphasis is firmly placed on making this space your own.
Bright, uplifting and contemporary—be inspired by our Artistic & Whimsical bathroom
Some of the main things we’ve considered when designing this bathroom include:
- Plenty of space for product—makeup, skincare, haircare, perfume, etc.
- Drawer space that is neatly organised, to ensure every little thing has a home
- An oversized mirror or two, for those all-important final checks
- Floating shelves and creative storage solutions
- Space for cleaning products, laundry and clean towels, to keep your bathroom looking great
- Easy-to-care for plants, to bring life to your space
Styling your bathroom
Before we delve into the nuts and bolts (or should that be taps and pipes?), let’s take a moment to consider the overall look and feel of this bathroom design. A mood board is always a great place to begin…
Create your own mood board with your favourite colours, patterns, textures and products
Playing on the more artistic elements, we’ve gone for fun, almost whimsical, yet sophisticated patterns and wall coverings, with subtle hints of feminine colour picked out in the accessories. One of the big bathroom trends this year has seen Danish Pastels—Scandi-influenced light, candy-coloured pinks, mint greens and sky blue shades—become really popular, which is something we’ve incorporated into this design.
A dresser style vanity unit is a must if you enjoy spending time on makeup and contouring, while brushed brass, in the form of taps and accessories, is an on-trend metallic finish that’ll elevate your décor.
Next, let’s take a closer look at some of the individual elements which make up this bathroom and demonstrate where you can save money by doing tasks yourself.
A contemporary bathroom suite
Establishing a clean, contemporary look, your choice of bathroom suite is crucial to the overall feel of your bathroom. That’s why we’ve opted for the popular Tate close coupled toilet from Mode Bathrooms. Featuring simple shapes and distinct curves and angles, this beautiful toilet comes complete with a soft close seat, which cuts down on noise, plus a water-saving dual flush to help reduce your water bills.
Whilst you could, potentially, fit the toilet yourself, we would always recommend hiring an experienced professional for anything that involves advanced plumbing or electrics.
Instead of the traditional pedestal-type bathroom sink, we’ve selected a wall hung vanity unit and countertop basin. The pink-coloured basin adds a bright, colourful touch which complements the tiles and upper walls, and, when contrasting against the white of the vanity unit, it really pops. This set-up is highly contemporary, bringing that home spa feel to your bathroom.
To complete your countertop basin installation, we’ve gone with the Mode Calatrava brushed brass high rise basin mixer tap from Mode Bathrooms. New metallics like this are very much on-trend, lifting the overall look of your décor and allowing you to continue the theme with accessories and other brassware. While you could choose wall mounted taps to accompany your countertop basin, this will certainly add to your installation budget. With a deck-mounted design, like the one below, you can fit the tap yourself, helping to save money on installation.
To find out how to fit basin taps, check out our step-by-step video below.
We used the following products:
- Mode Tate close coupled toilet with soft close seat
- Mode Orion pink coloured countertop basin 355mm
- Mode Calatrava brushed brass high rise basin mixer tap
Luxurious walk in shower
If you have a hectic social life (I mean, it comes with the territory, doesn’t it?), a walk in shower could be the perfect choice for your bathroom. Much like dual flush toilets, showers can help reduce your water bills, using, on average, less water than a bath. And, there are plenty of stylish options to choose from, not least this gorgeous fluted glass screen, complete with brushed brass profile from Mode Bathrooms.
And, for those constantly on the go, a walk in shower is the perfect solution. With a simple glass screen, as opposed to doors, frames and moving parts, it’s easy to maintain with just an occasional wipe down. However, it’s not all about upkeep…
From a stylistic point of view, the fluted glass gives you that extra touch of privacy whilst providing an intriguing tactile surface. And, while we’ve opted for a wet room style design, which allows the striking patterned floor tiles to flow right to the wall, you could save money by choosing a conventional shower tray instead. To cut costs even more, you could consider fitting your own shower enclosure although, this may be a little daunting for a novice DIYer!
One area in which you certainly can save cash is your choice of wall coverings. Shower wall panels offer a quicker and more cost-effective alternative to tiles, and you can find out how to fit them yourself by following our instructional video below.
If you noticed the brushed brass profile and support bar of the shower screen above, you’re bound to realise a theme is forming. If chrome seems a bit boring, brushed brass offers a quite stunning alternative for your bathroom. And this is why we’ve continued the theme with our choice of shower.
The Brushed brass shower mixer system from Mode Bathrooms comes with cool-touch technology, meaning the valve remains cool to the touch—so no accidental burns, while the thermostatic control means water temperature remains constant and safe. With a rain shower head and handset, for more focused cleansing, it’s perfect for those on the go.
We used the following products:
Where would you be without your “product”? We’re talking skincare, haircare, shampoos, conditioners, makeup… the list goes on! With this many lotions and potions, they all need somewhere to live. Which is why our bathroom contains plenty of clever storage space.
First off, the vanity unit kills two birds with one stone, providing a countertop for your basin but also giving you ample storage with 2 spacious drawers. The style is sleek and contemporary with handle-less drawers and an easy-clean gloss white finish. To keep things in order, why not invest in some small, clear plastic containers (so you can see exactly what each one contains) and compartmentalise your drawers.
No bathroom should be without two essential items: clean towels and spare toilet rolls. However, they’re certainly not the sort of thing you want on display, which is where a tall storage cabinet comes into its own, making great use of wall space and providing you with a place to hide away potentially messy, clutter-inducing things.
Wall cabinets, no matter how big or small they may be, are relatively easy to fit, as you can see in this easy-to-follow video.
Another cost-effective way to increase your storage space is through bathroom shelving. Floating shelves can be purchased for relatively little and provide a quick and easy place to store those items you don’t mind showing off. Check out our bathroom shelving ideas for further inspiration.
Finally, for every fresh towel, there’s a used towel. A simple laundry basket will give you somewhere nice and neat to dump these. And, the great thing is, when laundry day comes around, you can simply pick it up and carry it to the washing machine. What could be easier?
We used the following products:
- Mode Adler white wall hung vanity unit and countertop 600mm
- Orchard Eden white slimline tall storage unit 1900 x 350mm
Whimsical walls and floors
One of the key aspects of this bathroom is the careful choice of floor and wall coverings. This space is all about expressing yourself creatively, which is why we’ve taken a maximalist approach to colours and patterns.
The 3 different patterns we’ve mixed and matched are:
- Hexagonal blush pink wall tiles—bringing those on-trend Danish Pastels to the fore
- Victorian-influenced patterned floor tiles—draw the eye across the room
- Botanical style wall panels behind the shower enclosure—for a more whimsical, artistic look
“Pattern Drenching”, which involves using several different patterns in the one space, is a growing interior design trend that’ll really add some drama to your bathroom.
Tiling is certainly something you can attempt yourself, saving a substantial portion of your budget. Check out our guide on how to tile for all the help you need.
We used the following products:
Choosing that all-important heating
If you’re planning your renovation during the summer months, one of the things that can often take a backseat is your bathroom heating. Of course, when it comes to those chilly winter months, when your teeth begin to chatter, you’ll be glad you put careful time and consideration into this all-important decision.
In most cases, you will only require a single heated towel rail or radiator. Just make sure it provides enough heat output for your particular room, by calculating your required BTU.
A towel heater will give you plenty of hanging space to warm your towels and, with space-saving, wall mounted designs like the white designer towel rail below, there should be no problem fitting one in. We’ve specifically opted for a white towel rail, as it complements our overall colour palette. A chrome or anthracite grey design may look a little out of place.
Whilst it is possible to fit a heated towel rail yourself, this is something that is best left to a professional.
Adding the finishing touches
Now comes the really fun part: accessorising! First off, let’s start off with mirrors. Whilst they perform a vital function, reflecting light and making your space feel bigger, they also need to suit your needs. It’s always wise to place a mirror above your sink area, for those times you need to apply makeup, put contact lenses in, etc. So, you can do all these things immediately after stepping out of the shower, we’ve picked out a large, illuminated mirror with demister. And, what bathroom routine would be complete without some tunes? Thanks to a built-in Bluetooth speaker, you can enjoy your latest playlist as you get ready.
But this isn’t the only mirror in our Colourful and Artistic bathroom. We’ve also added a beautiful gold framed “leaner”, which not only makes a style statement, but also allows you to check your outfit is just right before you head out the door.
One of the things we’ve been mindful of is the continuation of our brushed brass theme. That’s why many of the smaller accessories, including the robe hook and towel holders, are from the Accents Deacon brushed brass range.
For all those essentials around your basin, we’ve picked out gorgeous glass dispensers and tumblers from the Accents Renaissance accessories range and, while these serve a distinct purpose, you could just as easily craft and create your own accessories. For example, one of the handmade elements in this particular space is the Macrame plant hanger, and you can find out how to make this yourself in our step-by-step guide.
And, finally, we’ve also included a little basket of cleaning products, to help you keep your bathroom looking and smelling fresh (which is potentially something your parents always dealt with!). If you’re seeking a more sustainable, eco-friendly cleaning routine, why not discover how to make your own reusable bathroom wipes?
We used the following products and ranges:
Achieving this style in a small bathroom or cloakroom
If you love this style, but want to apply it to a cloakroom or downstairs toilet, we’ve got you covered! In this understairs cloakroom, we’ve used the same pink tiles and contemporary theming to create a space that is bound to wow your friends and house guests.
In a room this small, the use of space-saving products is essential, which is why we’ve picked out a corner vanity unit and wall hung toilet, with the cistern neatly concealed behind a false wall.
We used the following products:
- Mode Harrison white corner floorstanding vanity unit and basin 325mm
- Mode Deacon brushed brass cloakroom basin mixer tap with waste
- Mode Tate wall hung toilet with soft close seat
- Accents round bevelled edge drilled bathroom mirror 600 x 600mm
Part 2—Helen Skelton’s Warm and Sophisticated bathroom for young people
If you’ve enjoyed this, why not read part 2 of this 3-part style guide. We’ll show you how to “Get the Look” with another, distinct yet utterly achievable bathroom style.
#GetTheLook and #VPShareYourStyle
If you’ve been inspired by this style guide, you’ll be delighted to discover a whole back catalogue of creative bathroom ideas from the experts at Victoria Plum. Simply follow @VictoriaPlumUK on Instagram or X and search #GetTheLook, or click below to head to our “Get the Look” hub.
We hope you’ll go on to create the perfect bathroom or ensuite that reflects your own personal tastes and character.
More bathroom inspiration from Helen Skelton
Full of fabulous ideas when it comes to bathrooms, check out some of Helen Skelton’s other “Get the Look” style guides: