Decorating a bathroom as if it were a living space - in other words, adding large scale pattern on the walls in the form of wallpaper or tiles - will have the same effect as putting an armchair into a bedroom; it will make it more of a relaxing space than one that's purely functional. Victoria & Albert Napoli bath, with Bisazza Winter flowers Oro Bianco and Winter flowers Oro Nero tiles, Evitavonni (opens in a new window).
DIY Store Chic
You needn't spend a fortune to get an expensive look - just choose your pieces carefully and use them boldly - putting a freestanding bath at an angle in the middle of a large bathroom is an impractical but easy way to be stylish. Restful bathroom suite, B&Q (opens in a new window).
Fit A Rainfall Shower
Just as a good mattress is a must in a hotel style bedroom, a rainfall shower will give your bathroom an edge. If your room is otherwise water resistant, show if off - don't hide it behind a screen and never use a shower curtain. Ondus digital bathroom, Grohe (opens in a new window).
Use Colour To Be Surprising
Painting walls in a shade you'd not normally consider in a bathroom is another easy way to create an elegant feel, as is choosing a suite with splashes of colour rather than pure white. As for paint, choose one that's suitable for bathrooms and go for as matt a finish as possible. Zaar black suite, Bristan (opens in a new window).
Put In A Wetroom
If your cloakroom is big enough - or if it's a second bathroom - it might be worth putting in a wetroom. It will look more stylish than a classic shower room with a cubicle and make better use of space than if you just put in a loo and sink. Flight range, Mira (opens in a new window).
Be Adventurous With Materials
Choose a combination of tiles, glass and wood to create a room that's sleek and sophisticated. Stonehenge tiles, World's End Tiles (opens in a new window).
Make A Display
Don't forget to dress your bathroom. Hang pictures above the bath and loo, put vases on shelves, choose an attractive bath mat - any details like this that you add will turn a functional space into one that's decorative, too. Loop, Villeroy & Boch (opens in a new window).
Make A Feature Of Windows
Put an attractive blind at a window - whether roller or Roman, or even shutters. If you want to keep the scheme basically plain, this is a good place to add pattern and texture. Blind by Hillarys (opens in a new window).
Mirrors always feature in bathrooms, but why not use mirrors to create a decorative effect? The more mirrors you have, the bigger the bathroom will seem and the better the light. Look for pieces that aren't specifically designed for bathrooms - antique finds are the best. Eclectic bathroom suite, B&Q (opens in a new window).
Be Bold With Light Fittings
Ensuring you stick to building regs, some bathrooms will be able to feature pendant lights. Only attempt this if your bathroom's ceiling is very high and the room big enough, and choose a shade or fitting that's exuberant rather than apologetic. Villeroy & Boch (opens in a new window).
If you have the space, fitting twin basins (preferably with some storage below) will give your bathroom instant posh hotel chic. Don't make the mistake of squeezing them in - ensure there's enough elbow room for two of you to use them comfortably side by side. Atrio range, Grohe (opens in a new window).
Make Your Bath The Focus
Think carefully about the position of your bath - assuming you have the choice. Ideally, it will sit centrally on a wall (particularly if it's freestanding), or opposite the door so it's the first thing you see (rather than the loo) when you come into the room. Or, if you have a generous window, put it underneath it. Blinds by Hillarys (opens in a new window).
Sink Your Bath
If your bathroom is large enough - or perhaps you're converting two rooms on different levels into one - you might be able to sink your bath. Failing that, if you can build a false level into a room with an already high ceiling, you can also achieve this look. Duo Plus, Roca (opens in a new window).