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How to create a luxury bathroom on a budget, from the UK's leading online auction house.
4 Mins

How to create a luxury bathroom on a budget

Jess Gibson
Jess Gibson

If you’re anything like me, chances are that you relish any opportunity you have to wistfully scour through the likes of Pinterest and Instagram to feast on ideas for your next home DIY project. From images of the best ways to subtly style and accent that vivid, jungle green statement wall to those demonstrating innovative ways of furnishing a small space, there’s some inspiration out there for everyone and anyone.

And it seems that, whether you’re someone who has a decades’ worth of home improvement jobs piled up ready to tackle or you’ve decided to have a bit a refresh and revamp of your living space, the pandemic – and its knock-on effects, including increased time working from home – has kickstarted the nation’s desire to get down and dirty with DIY projects. All that time subjected to staring at the same four walls has helped people to realise the benefit of having a home they can enjoy and relax in, yes, but also one that they find visually appealing, that draws their attention and admiration daily.

Stats from 2020 show that, while garden landscaping was the most popular home improvement project in the US and home decoration was the key priority of those in France, UK homeowners were more focused on fitting themselves a swanky new bathroom! This might seem unusual, given that fitting a new bathroom is deemed a pretty expensive, time-consuming project requiring a variety of skills, but the crucial factor leading to this UK trend is the knowledge many savvy homeowners boast regarding the most budget-friendly means of acquiring said swanky bathrooms.

If you’ve been dreaming of ways to convert your mid-2000s-style, mould-infested, weary-looking bathroom suite into one with a luxury, forest-inspired spa feel (à la modern plant trends) so you can once again sink into a relaxing bubble bath, but have held off due to concerns over cost, then it’s time for you to pay attention – we’re going to let you in on some secrets to help cut the costs whilst still obtaining the luxury you crave!

Shop around, auction-style

Bathroom suites are, in short, pricey. From costly accessories like taps and towel rails to the bigger bits, like the bath, sink, and shower, you’re sure to spend a pretty penny on the basics before you’ve even ventured into the realm of styling and decoration – right? Wrong!

Sure, purchasing these items can be expensive, if you look for them in the wrong places; but this is where auction sites, such as William George, can come to your rescue. Ending every Wednesday at 11am BST, we hold a no reserve designer bathroom stock auction that features a whole host of bathroom fittings, from freestanding baths and shower cubicles to ceramic tiles, mirrors, and chrome fittings with brand-name tags! As well as being quality designer stock sourced from liquidated businesses, these items go for well below their RRP, saving you bundles of money.

These weekly auctions are supplemented by regular no reserve auctions featuring pallets of raw returns from John Lewis, the stock of which you can sift through to, on occasion, find some bathroom bargains.

Seriously, what’s not to love?!

Teach an old dog new tricks

Alongside the cost of the actual bathroom suite and accessories is the cost related to employing tilers and decorators to jazz up your space and make it look visually appealing. But this is another area in which you can cut costs, too, if you’re willing to take on the role of student and learn some new skills! The internet is awash with videos and instruction manuals that will help you to learn the skills required to create a beautiful, yet functioning, bathroom – including basic tiling and painting techniques.

Shortcuts and favours

Employing a qualified plumber to install your bathroom suite is often one of the more expensive aspects of the entire bathroom remodelling process and there’s not really a viable way of avoiding this, as such – particularly if you want to avoid future expenses. The only real way of potentially saving money here is, if you know a decent plumber (friend, family, or family friend), to call in a favour and ask for their help! They’re less likely to hike up their daily rates and are thus potentially less expensive in the long-run. Alternatively, your best bet is to shop around and obtain quotes from different local companies to compare their costs.

When it comes to painting and decorating bathrooms, many of us are tempted to use the most expensive paint brand with the assumption that this means better quality. Many professional painters will, however, dispute this assertion and state that a range of colours and a fancy price tag don’t always equal quality. Instead, it’s recommended by many in this biz to choose a colour you like from one of the brands with more clout (and a price tag reflecting this) and then have this colour mixed up in a shop - it’ll be much cheaper, but with the same (if not better) overall effect. Genius!

When we think of luxury bathrooms, the connotations are often replete with skyrocketing costs and out-of-reach aesthetics. There are, however, ways to avoid this and get yourself the luxurious bathroom of your dreams on a budget – you just need some patience and a sprinkle of insider knowledge.

Have a look at our current bathroom items in auction now and find everything you’re looking for at a snip of the retail price!