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Make a small bathroom appear bigger with these tips

11 Jul 2019

If you’re trying to sell, most real estate professionals will tell you that the best rooms to update are the bathrooms. Sadly, if you have particularly pokey bathrooms, the cost to renovate these spaces can be extensive. Luckily, there are inexpensive ways to make this space look and feel larger without resorting to construction or over-extended lines of credit.

While over-cluttering the space will only make it feel smaller, adding strategically placed décor pieces can help the space feel more functional and inviting.

“The key consideration when renovating to sell is the return on investment on whatever project you choose to undertake. It may sometimes be necessary to inject some capital into your home to give it a fair chance of selling, but sellers should try and keep these costs as low as possible in order to avoid negative returns,” says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

As a simplified example, if a seller pays R50 000 to renovate his or her bathroom, but the value of their home only increases by R10 000, then the seller would experience a negative return of R40 000 on that investment.

To help sellers avoid overcapitalising on their renovations, RE/MAX of Southern Africa suggests the following tricks to make the space appear larger:

1. Don’t retile, repaint

Instead of spending a fortune on new bathroom tiles, simply repaint the existing wall tiles in a more neutral shade to make the space appear larger. Just be sure to buy high-quality bathroom tile paint and prepare your bathroom properly before painting.

2. Don’t skimp on décor

While over-cluttering the space will only make it feel smaller, adding strategically placed décor pieces can help the space feel more functional and inviting. Utilise the empty space above the toilet by adding floating shelves with neat storage baskets. You can also create the illusion of higher ceilings by installing a curtain rail closer to the edge of the ceiling. Also avoid dark, heavy curtains.

3. Let there be light

The quickest way to make a space look larger is to make sure that it is well lit. Upgrade your light fixtures to make sure there are no corners hidden in shadow. You can also add scented candles to create a cosy atmosphere.

“Many sellers make the mistake of thinking that their bathroom needs to be fitted with the most expensive fixtures and fittings to increase the value of their home. Often, the simplest bathroom designs do far better than the bespoke designer bathrooms,” says Goslett.

“This is based on a simple principle of mass appeal: the more money you put into the bathroom and the more unique you make it, the more buyers you exclude based on affordability issues or matters of personal taste. The best changes you can make are the ones that make a space feel spacious, practical and inviting.”

If you are struggling to decide how to renovate your bathroom, Goslett recommends that you reach out to a real estate advisor.

“Based on experience, a real estate professional has learnt what buyers want in a bathroom. They can therefore guide sellers on how best to renovate the space to secure a sale,” he says.

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