Zenoyise Madikwa

Zenoyise Madikwa

With the slump in the market, selling homes as fast as they used to is proving to be a tall task.

Kate van Niekerk, marketing manager at Tile Africa, says revamping your bathroom can increase your chances of selling your house in a reasonable time.

"An economical way to bring a touch of style to a tired-looking bathroom is to add an attractive piece of furniture, such as a vanity or a new wall cabinet," says van Niekerk.

Van Niekerk advises people to keep in mind that they are revamping their bathroom to add value to their house.

"You are not necessarily designing your dream bathroom and your personal taste may not necessarily be appealing to potential buyers. Do not overcapitalise on the bathroom as you may not be able to recoup your money or time."

She adds that bathroom vanities and cabinets come in a range of beautiful designs and finishes that include walnut, maple, white and cherrywood. These, she says, can be used to great effect to influence the character of your bathroom.

Another option is to replace outdated tiles with new porcelain or ceramic tiles.

"If you don't want an expensive make-over, installing new accessories and fixtures such as a new wash basin, shower head, heated towel rail or toilet paper holder can change a look significantly. Changing the taps on your basin can also add a fresh touch," says Van Niekerk.

Make sure that new fittings and fixtures fit in with the rest of the bathroom decor. If you've got a bigger budget, a new bath, shower or attractive countertops such as stone, granite or marble will add value to your bathroom.

Replacing a bath with a spa bath is also an option. Above counter basins and free standing baths are very fashionable and also functional.

Finishes and fixtures that potential homeowners are looking for in a bathroom are:

l A clean look. Even if the tiles and fittings are old, they are acceptable if they are clean and in a relatively light colour, particularly white for fittings. But, if your bathroom suite is dark brown or green then it is much harder to give a modern feel to the bathroom.

l Keep the look simple, and if you are re-tiling use light-coloured neutral tiles, keeping use of colour to your towels and accessories. Stone and marble finishes are classic looks and will not date.

l Some older houses do not have showers, but installing a shower above a bath is an option. Most buyers, especially young people, will require a shower. Another solution is to redesign the bathroom to include a corner bath, making room for a shower cubicle.

l Storage is important, and either a vanity or a mirrored cupboard above the basin can add valuable space in which to hide the clutter.

·l If the bathroom is in a relatively good condition, then adding a few rows of mosaic will give an instant design lift to the room.

If you are not planning on doing the makeover yourself, find a contractor who comes highly recommended by friends and family or alternatively ask around and get testimonials from references.

Choosing the right colour for your bathroom is important. Helen Spreemann, marketing manager of Dulux Interior Design, says you can create the right feel for your bathroom by simply choosing the best mix of colours.

"The colours selected will add to the overall statement you are trying to create in this important room in your home. By using more than one colour, for example two shades of blue, you are able to create a features wall - a contrast within the room which can then be balanced by simple accessories such as mirrors and so on."

What are the perfect colours? Spreemann says with a calming effect and ties to water, blue is a top colour to consider for the bathroom. If you would like to create a relaxed retreat, blue is a good choice.