We’re used to the idea of making our living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms ever more comfortable, with soft cushions, throws and pillows, as well as soft lighting and over-sized sofas. The bathroom, however, is often thought of as a hard, cold and even sterile place. You go in, perform your ablutions under harsh, downward lighting and then come back out, cleansed but shivering.

It doesn’t have to stay this way, though, as the drive for comfort and sanctuary is extending to every room in the house. You may be aiming for comfort, style, or increased efficiency, or a combo of all three. You might be in the middle of fitting a new bathroom suite from Better Bathrooms or you might just be fiddling with the décor a bit. Whatever your goal is, here’s some brilliant ideas to mull over (while you’re in the tub, maybe) to make your bathroom your favourite place in the house.

Make a natural bathmat from smooth sea pebbles

It’s surprisingly easy to do. You just need a doormat with drainage holes, some silicone sealant and a collection of smooth round pebbles. Oh, and a trip or two to the seaside…

Use wicker baskets instead of shelves

Wicker baskets are just as good as shelves (as long as they’re turned 90 degrees so the bottom is fixed to the wall). They’re lightweight, so you’re not restricted to drilling huge holes into stubborn brick in order to put them up.

Install a shower ledge

This is a cheap and easy fix – use a rail or a lightweight ledge next to or in the shower so that you can hang bottles, sponges, brushes and so on. It’s both storage for them and it keeps them to hand.

Use spice racks to hold smaller bottles

Following on from the wicker basket idea, attaching small, lightweight spice racks to your walls is a great way to organise and store smaller bottles without spending all day with a drill and rawlplugs.

Use attractive jars for those smaller bathroom items

Instead of looking at that ratty-looking cotton bud tub or that crumpled bag of cotton wool balls, move the contents into nice-looking decorative jars. It’ll keep them drier too.

Use a magnetic strip to secure metal hairpins

Easy to fix to a wall or even the mirror, a magnetic strip means you’ll have easy access to metal hairpins, earrings, nail scissors and other ferrous-but-fiddly objects.

A towel ladder

The quest to avoid the drill is never-ending! Use an old bunk bed ladder or similar, propped up against the wall, to hang towels from.

Get in the frame

If you have a mirror or two in the bathroom, make it stand out more by painting the frame in a vibrant or metallic shade. It’ll add interest and a splash of colour to your daily routine.

Use a bath shelf

The old-fashioned bath shelf has a lot to say for itself. Just choose a smooth plank of reclaimed wood, or even slate – anything but flimsy plastic – and rest your glass of wine and your book on it while you soak.

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