DIY SOS star Mark Millar shares his tips for designing the perfect bathroom

The bathroom may be the smallest room in the house, but it’s the one space where you need to go big on style – and even bigger on luxury.

‘It’s a massive spend, yet most homeowners go super-safe,’ says Mark Millar in his new TV makeover show, Dream Kitchens And Bathrooms.

‘Get that free-standing copper bath if you really love it, have underfloor heating and those beautiful ceramic tiles,’ says Mark. ‘The bathroom is the one place you can be brave and go bold.’

Here, Mark shares his top tips on achieving the bathroom of your dreams, whatever your budget.

Create a sanctuary

It’s time to move away from stark white, says Mark. ‘Bathrooms need to be practical but not clinical. They should be luxurious sanctuaries, places to regenerate, relax and spoil yourself. And they should reflect your personality, like any other room in the house.

‘Rich, dark colours work beautifully with brass and gold fittings – always buy the best quality taps you can afford. Wallpaper one of the walls with something decadent to make a bold statement (not around the shower, sink or bath, obviously) and add framed pictures on the walls. Plants are also an affordable and effective way to add interest and serenity.’

Bathroom transformation – BUDGET: £5,000

This rainforest- themed bathroom was filled with plants and natural materials so the homeowners would feel like they were bathing outdoors in the tropics.

A chest of drawers and wood for shelving were upcycled.

BEFORE: The bare bones (Picture: PI Productions)

AFTER: A lush plant filled space (Picture: PI Productions)


The right mirror can add serious style and glamour. Most people go for a boring, bog-standard mirrored cabinet to store all their toiletries.

But you can get spectacular mirrors for the wall to add your stamp and personality.

There are some seriously stylish hi-tech bathroom mirrors out there that incorporate lights and demisters.

Or have a hunt around antiques markets for something more unique to make a statement. If you have an old picture frame you love, spray it and fit a mirror inside for an affordable but stylish update.

Bathroom transformation – BUDGET: £3,000

This dated bathroom was treated to a restful, Victorian-style makeover with a roll-top bath and an upcycled basin vanity unit, requiring some savvy budget online shopping by the owners.

BEFORE: Bland and beige (Picture: PI Productions)

AFTER: Mark filled the bathroom with colour and fun accessories (Picture: PI Productions)

Underfloor heating

Everyone wants warm feet when they walk into the bathroom, especially in winter. People think a heated towel rail will do the trick… it won’t, as it’s generally covered in wet towels. Underfloor heating is the way forward, says Mark.

‘These days it’s cheap to buy, easy to install and affordable to run. Check your floor covering is compatible first. Every bathroom needs underfloor heating, it really is a no-brainer.’

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