The classic family bathroom

I get it … renovating can be scary! And the room most renovators are reticent to tackle is one of the most expensive … the bathroom.

But it’s also one of the top two rooms to add value and instant equity to your property! Just like the kitchen, a stylish renovated bathroom is what buyers and renters alike are looking for. So, if you’re looking to increase the value of your own home or investment property, transforming your dated bathroom should be high on your hit list.

With the average Australian bathroom renovation costing between $10,000 and $15,000, my advice is to save is to steer clear of the bathroom renovation companies and manage your own renovation. Whether you’re planning a cosmetic upgrade, or a full bathroom renovation, you can expect up to a $3 return for every $1 you spend … as long as you don’t over-capitalise.

This reno in my own investment property is an example of how you can take simple materials and inexpensive fixtures and fittings… and with a few stylish additions, get the look of everyday luxury, perfect for the family home.

The materials used are simple and understated.

The wall tiles are inexpensive subway tiles with a classic beveled edge, laid in a brick pattern with light grey grout. To give the room a little drama, I’ve gone bold with a patterned floor tile and black taps and accessories.

The mirror and wall-hung vanity are ‘off the shelf’, but they’re made to look bespoke with butcher’s block bench tops cladding the outside edge. The warmth of the wood and gives a Scandinavian sensibility to the room. I’ve doubled down on the timber with open shelving. This gives me a great spot for styling items and all important extra storage.

The big change here is the layout. Removing the old spa made room for the toilet next to the vanity and greater floor space. My students often ask me whether to remove a bathtub in favour of a walk in shower and the answer in a family bathroom is a firm no. This is a perfect layout for a family bathroom.

  • Complete demolition of the old bathroom (no asbestos present)
  • Rubbish removal of old  materials in skip bin
  • Move timber stud wall 400mm out from existing line
  • Reinstall new bearers & joists in floor to building code standards
  • Install new compressed fibro floor
  • Internal wall & ceiling sheeting & plaster setting
  • Internal painting of ceiling & trims
  • Waterproofing (below & above sand & cement bed)
  • Installation of sand & cement bed, floor and all wall tiling
  • Fit-off of all PC items (bath, vanity, toilet, all accessories)
  • Update all electricals including new excel heat / light & fan lamp
  • Bathroom Ceiling: Taubmans Endure Kitchen & Bathroom – Ceiling Paint in ‘White’
  • Door & Door Architraves: Taubmans Endure Interior – Acrylic Semi Gloss in ‘Crisp White’
Clean and crisp with classic materials and the warmth of wood


Make a statement with one material or feature only in a small bathroom


These patterned tiles pack a punch and the black taps give great contrast

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  1. I love, love your work. Where can I find the complete “Scope of Work” itemized template as you showed on the Living Room.

    Also, If you have a budget for a project how do you set up a spreadsheet for each room. Is there a template for this.

    1. Hey there, all of the scope of works are above. The template and spreadsheets are all part of what I teach my students and are kept exclusive for them.

  2. Hi Cherie,

    I really enjoyed watching your bathroom renovation on The Living Room last night, but I misheard the total cost of the project – was it $13000.00 or $30000.00? Great job, anyway!

  3. Hi Cherie what a stunning transformation! I like the floor tiles the retro look mixed with the scandinavian timber really works well!

  4. Was it hard to find all the different tradesmen to do all the work separately? I’ve been struggling to find people for different parts. Because it’s a unit we also have to get someone else to do the water proofing (to provide a certificate) and most tilers will only do the full project start to finish. Any way around this?

    1. Hi Liana – no not difficult to find tradies as long as you give them plenty of notice. Some areas can be harder to find tradies though like regional areas. When renovating a bathroom, you always should bring in a licensed waterproofer so you can obtain your waterproofing certificate. There’s plenty of them around. And no, tilers dont need to do your whole project from start to finish but you normally need a builder or bathroom company to sign off on your whole bathroom for home warranty insurance purposes. They’ll co-ordinate all of their tradies on your behalf. The only time you dont need home warranty insurance is if you’re not selling your property within 7 years of the works being completed. If you fall into that category, you could project manage all the trades yourself but I only recommend you do so if you need how to do all of this properly. Hope this helps. C x

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