By Jan Dowling July 22nd, 2014. Comments Off on Beautiful Bathroom Ideas – Luxury Bathroom Designs On A Budget

Ever visited a luxurious hotel or spa and vowed to yourself that one day you’ll be able to indulge in a bathroom just like that in your own home? The great news is it can be done. The challenge is getting the luxurious oasis you want without stretching your budget to oblivion. It takes a perfect balance of fine fittings, clever décor, and knowing which key pieces to invest in.

In this two-part blog, we’ll show you some of our favourite bathroom products and ideas to suit any and every taste. From the petite powder room to the home spa retreat, you’ll find plenty of inspiration for creating your dream space. Sure, there are a few pieces that might stretch the budget, but every bathroom needs at least one luxury item!


Selecting your bathtub can be the difference between a space that simply blends in and one that has a real “wow” factor. For some, a bathtub is an opportunity to truly splash out and create a powerful focal point. For others, it’ll always be second place to the luxurious walk-in shower. But whether you’re a bath or a shower person (and everybody is one or the other), the huge choice available from global and local manufacturers means there’s something for everyone. Take a look at the following styles to work out which is best for you:

Freestanding baths: As the name suggests, freestanding baths are not attached to a wall and won’t need a frame or extra tiling for installation. They’re great for larger bathrooms and family bathrooms where space is not an issue, or you want to create immediate impact. For an on-trend look, the egg shape will add round, soft beauty to modern bathrooms. The Kado Lure bath echoes the natural curves of the human body and makes a bold statement. It comes in two sizes, which both provide ample room for a blissful soak. For something more traditional, why not go Victorian with classic clawfoot styling?

Platform baths: These baths are not tiled directly against a wall, but sit on a tiled or timber platform in your bathroom, much like a stage. The best thing about platform baths is that you can use them to create a contrasting feature. Experiment with different coloured walls from the rest of the space to draw the eye to the bathtub.

Stone, steel or acrylic baths: The style of bath you choose shouldn’t just come down to shape or how it is installed; you also need to consider the material. Acrylic baths are a popular choice as they provide the look of stone without the hefty pricetag. However, for something a little more luxe, why not consider a stone composite bath? The Clearwater range, available from Reece Norwood BathroomLife SA presents highly sculpted forms and organic shapes that ooze tranquility and sophistication. Crafted and hand-finished in Great Britain, these alluring baths are well worth the indulgence!

Looking for something ultra-luxe? This work of art from Omvivo might stretch the budget but we promise you it’ll be worth it when you sink down for that first soak…


Never underestimate the power of good basin design. Think about it: how many times a day do you come in contact with your bathroom sink? Your basin choice needs to consider not only the aesthetics, but also your lifestyle and how your family will be using the bathroom space. Whether you’re renovating a petite powder room or a grand master bath, choose your basin wisely for maximum effect:

Inset basins: Perfect for boutique spaces, inset basins are installed into a vanity so that half the basin is below the bench top and half is above. Similar to this is the vanity basin, which is designed to fit into the benchtop, leaving a slight lip. The Alape range of basins feature several classic styles that are both chic and budget-friendly.

Alape X-Plicit vanity basin Alape Tangens Semi Inset Basin


Wall-hung basins: Fixed directly onto the wall, a wall-hung basin is perfect for the much-desired contemporary look. In fact, it can help you achieve an all-out minimalist bathroom with minimal effort (perfect!). We love the Zen-like ambience of the White Stone ‘Om’ basin and the simplicity of the Neo range – both available from Reece.

Under-counter basins: These are ideal for those who want to showcase the benchtop, not the basin. Unlike the inset basin which is halfway into a vanity, under-counter basins are installed with the whole basin underneath the benchtop. We love these for family bathrooms and wet rooms where you can never have enough bench space! Because this is a growing trend, you’ll find under-counter basins come in a medley of shapes and sizes to cater for all bathroom spaces.

Above-counter basins: Installed on top of the vanity benchtop, these basins have the potential to create a bold visual statement. Round, square or rectangular – there’s a choice for everyone.  The Alape and AXA Above Counter basins are beautiful and practical choices for modern bathrooms.

Alape Unisono Above Counter Basin AXA Above Counter Basin


Freestanding basin: Move over freestanding baths, the freestanding basin has arrived – and it’s making a splash! Simply perfect for powder rooms and spaces where you don’t need cupboards.  If you’re looking for something truly remarkable, check out the Laufen Ilbagnoalessi One basin, available from Reece – a beautiful balance of architectural form and function.

LAUFEN Freestanding Basin

Wash planes:
Looking for something a little bit special? Discover the wonder of wash planes. The wash plane is a celebration of all that is visually and texturally alluring, and range from a slice of glass balancing gracefully on a counter top to opulent stone slabs protruding from the wall. Think subtle rippled textures, concave surfaces and waterfall effects. You can also look for accent colours to create a standout visual masterpiece, like the bright red Omvivo ‘Onda’ washplane basin from Reece. Simply stunning.

Have you thought about overflow? Most basins today come with an overflow, which is an outlet point located just under the lip of the basin to release water if the tap is left running. This is must-have for family bathrooms, especially if you have young children.


It may have once been the most overlooked element of the bathroom, but now it seems that everywhere we look there are new styles and possibilities for tapware. From classic mixers to architectural wall installations and floor mounted bath taps, there’s something quite special for every bathroom. And the best news is, you can achieve a stunning style at a very reasonable price. We won’t list every type of tap here, but here are some firm favourites:

Mixers: When it comes to aesthetics and practicality, mixers (or lever mixers) give a modern look and are easy to operate.

Wall-mount taps: These are more popular than ever in Australia. From curved to razor-like and everywhere in-between, you’ll find a wall-mounted spout to suit your space. While they will work in classic bathrooms, wall mounted taps are typically more at home in modern environments where strong lines reign. If you were inspired by the Zen-line basin, this is where you’ll find a tap with the purity of form to match.

Dorf Crystal Wall Basin Mixer with Outlet

Floor mounted bath taps: There is truly nothing as luxurious for bathing as a freestanding bath tap beside the bathtub. But despite how they look, you’ll be amazed how budget-friendly they can be – like the sassy Milli Axon floor mount bath mixer in chrome from Reece.

Sussex Pol Floor Mount Bath Mixer RAM Yeva Floor Bath Mixer / Handshower


Have you thought about water economy? One of the key factors to consider when choosing your tapware is how economical it is in water usage. The WELS rating (Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards) will help you choose the best fit for your lifestyle. The more stars, the more efficient the tapware.

Are you inspired with lots of ideas? Dowling Homes can help you bring these ideas together in your own dream bathroom. We’ll work with you to create a layout complete with fixtures and fittings that suit your lifestyle.  Make an online enquiry or give us a call today.

Stay tuned for our next blog where we’ll explore sensuous showers, the greatest grates, vanities and surprisingly stunning toilets. We’ll also highlight our best picks for petite spaces.

Can’t wait until then? Sign up for our monthly newsletter for all the latest news, inspiration and stories from our design team.

Images courtesy of Reece Norwood BathroomLife SA