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HELP- I’ve made my new bathroom look dated. what can I do?

Sally W
last month

I’ve had my bathroom done from scratch and seem to have made it look very dull and dated. I’m going to have a back to wall toilet as I think it looks more modern but will have to box it in. I’m not sure what material to box it in with, any suggestions are welcomed. We did a mock up with some cardboard, it looks quite odd but definitely better than the standard toilet with cistern showing. I look forward to hearing your ideas. Thank you!

Comments (47)

  • Daisy England
    last month

    My pet hate is toilet cisterns. We have 3 loos in our house and none of them have a cistern on display. The one downstairs in the cloakroom has the original cistern still working and similar to what you are considering we boxed it in and had a long handle internally so it reached through the boxing in. We then had a deep window sill. We boxed it in with MDF and painted it the same colour as the walls. The window sill is the same colour as the top around the basin. Here’s mine ….





  • PRO
    colourhappy
    last month
    last modified: last month

    You could consider using a material like this. If you were to box it in as you have suggested,then incorporating some storage on the left side for unsightly things may be a good idea. Cool coloured wood with plain tiles could look very stylish.

    https://www.naturewall.co.uk/products/acoustic-deep-walnut







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  • kazzh
    last month

    Does it need to be boxed all the way to the wall? What if it was boxed just around the cistern, so it is balanced to the centre - with maybe enough room to the side for some soft close narrow cupboards either side for cleaning items or toilet rolls?. Or like a single column wine rack either, except for toilet rolls?

  • HU-556520790
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I'd switch the basin and toilet position. Then the toilet isn't a feature in the middle and also would be next to the wall where it's easier to reach for the toilet paper. If the windows were the same size it would look better. If you had a high level cistern as well perhaps it would look sort of retro.

    If thats too drastic then as the toilet seems to be the feature then perhaps you could make it more attractive, see images below.

    The boxing does seem to improve the look, if the boxing was white it would be even better.






  • HU-556520790
    last month

    The toilet does kind of look like a face looking at you though, the two little slots at each end of the cistern look like eyes and the seat/lid looks like the mouth (but not in the picture with the boxing obviously). I really like the basin, it looks modern to me, nice and wide and I like the low profile of it.

  • Sally-Ann
    last month

    I think it looks a very nice bathroom so far. I think your idea of boxing in the cistern will be neater and more slimline. Do you have room to continue the boxing all the way along past the back of the bath? And possibly take it up to window cill height?. Then it will look like a continuation of the wall and youwill have deep window cills to put ornaments on? It will make the bathroom smaller, but might justmake it look less boxy on the whole?

  • 88wj88
    last month

    I would suggest a wall hung vanity and wall hung toilet to modernise instead of boxing in a back to wall. ( it is also much easier to clean ) as in colourhappy's second pic.. The bath looks great - its just the sink that looks odd in my opinion, with all the exposed pipework. Are you committed to this layout, as you appear to have done all the tiling already and pipework is in place.

  • Jen
    last month

    Agree that boxing in the cistern, with storage to the left may look more streamlined, but your bathroom is quite the opposite of dull and dated. Your tiles and the bath are wonderful, and best of all is the bright, leafy, open sense of the bathroom with both the windows open. Love it!

  • arc3d
    last month

    Loool. I absolutely love the toilet doily idea!!😂.


    Oh that's really made my day.

  • Sonia
    last month

    Those poor goldfish though 😱

  • Sally W
    Original Author
    last month

    Thank you for all of your comments. Unfortunately it is bad design. I had the bathroom layout done with a few “designers” and wasn’t impressed so through trial and error came to this layout myself.

    I did consider having the slatted wood but I’m not sure if it will look good or if it will just stand out even more in a bad way?

    Unfortunately the window closest to the bath now doesn’t open fully as the freestanding bath tap is in the way- very annoying as it’s already fixed into the ground and tiled over.

    The reason I didn’t have the sink where the toilet is, is because I wanted to have a mirrored cabinet above the sink and it wouldn’t have worked to have that between the 2 windows.

    I can’t box in just the cistern as the pipe work will run along the floor to the toilet so I may aswell box in the whole thing.

    Unfortunately there isn’t enough room to box the whole way along the wall as the free standing tap is in the way again- didn’t think that one through properly. Damn.

    The sink I loved when I first got it, now not so much, I think it looks odd. The pipework underneath is temporary. I will either have a chrome bottle trap, or I will get the carpenter to build a vanity unit underneath the sink. Or I could buy a unit to stick underneath it.

    I will have a large mirror cabinet above the sink.

    There will also be a shower cubicle, so that might change the look of the bathroom too.

    I’m planning on putting a lot of plants in there to try make it feel a bit nicer.

    Loving the idea of the red frilled toilet to make it a feature. Not sure it’s quite my style though 😆. My goal was to create a calming space!

    What do you think of something like this on the boxed in area? The white ridged wood? I don’t trust my own judgement with interior anymore as I’ve got it so wrong! I look forward to your responses.

  • Sally W
    Original Author
    last month

    Also as the boxing in will just be made off wood it won’t be structurally strong enough to hold a wall hung toilet

  • PRO
    Carla Mackay Interiors
    last month

    I would suggest cladding on of the walls in the room with wood - naturewood slats perhaps. I would use black as my signature colour and find an oval mirror with a slim black frame. I would dress the big window with black shutters or if that is to costly get dress with Roman blinds. Add a few black framed prints. Get a vinyl floor rug with black in the printed pattern. Consider adding a shelf above the bath and don’t forget to add some on trend trailing plants!

  • tracy384
    last month

    I think ‘boxing in’ is the way to go. It may help within the ‘boxing in’ to create some recesses vertically, near the side of the wall to put some multi-coloured towels/plants etc.

    Good luck and don’t be too hard on yourself!

  • Sarah L
    last month

    I'd clad the boxing in with the same tiles as the rest of the room, so it doesn't stand out. Unless you ask your carpenter to build in a storage cupboard to the left of the wc that is. You could have a wall hung toilet since it it fixed to a steel frame that is attached to your wall.

  • Eo Eo
    last month

    Definitely box in and wood panel the toilet- how you’ve done it with cardboard looks great- wood colour slats/panels would looks fab

  • Anthony (Beano)
    last month

    Tbh i think it looks good with the fully boxed in to the wall idea, incoperate some box holes to the lhs as a nice feature, dressing the top with some plants, a nice mirror and possibly a floating cabinet to the lhs of the sink could help,


    possibly some hidden warm led lighting in the boxes as a feature?


    my floating unit and mirror i made to give my for feature



    My Home So Far · More Info


  • viv holliday
    last month

    Anything that's half way through building work will look like it's going to be awful.

    Have patience and let the professionals finish the works.

    Post a photo when it's finished.

  • PRO
    Lhl Property Renovation
    last month

    Box in the toilet, with the same tiles. Use as shelf/shelves as people have previously said. Personally I would bring that beautiful view inside with plants and splashes of colour. There's nothing wrong with the tiles and bathroom. You can use the finishing touches, plants, towels, pictures and ornaments to finish it off.

  • PRO
    Blyth Designs
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Bless you, bathrooms are trickier to get right than you expect. I think you said the basin is yet to be plumbed in, if so then swap it now with the toilet. The toilet should never be the first thing you see when entering a bathroom. Your vanity mirror can be a gorgeous wall mounted bar mirror in between the two windows. To modernise, both windows could be painted black. And if you have to keep the toilet in that position (because of budget for retiling around basin) then choose a feature accent tile for it and have it at window sill level so it doesnt look ’caravan’ like, also keep lines clean so move toilet left and end box at right hand window line. You’ll get there, jump on pinterest or find a designer you click with for the final touches. Mel


  • HU-29309451
    last month

    Everybody who hides a cistern regrets it eventually. If anyone tells you they don't regret it, then that particular adventure is still in their future.

    Remember, how things work is much more important than how they look.

  • Su Esse
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Just wondered if there are any downsides to boxing in a cistern - eg accessing it if you need to repair it or suchlike?


    You could swap the loo and sink, either boxing in all along the LHS wall or add a freestanding shelf/cabinet to the left, mirrors etc? If the windows don't open fully, can a small change allow the windows to open outwards, rather than inwards (with a latch or something)? Can you install an extractor fan?


    Good luck - I actually think it's perfectly nice!

  • P Robinson
    last month
    last modified: last month

    You could consider boxing-in the toilet (as you illustrated) with tongue and groove, and then continue the boxing around to box in the sink also. You could use waterproof MDF, stone or whatever to create a shelf (I left the shelf unattached so that it can be lifted off for maintenance). Your toilet and sink are both good, and the bathtub is lovely. A large mirror or bathroom cabinet above the sink and then a picture to the left of that to add some interest and Bob's your uncle.


  • HU-556520790
    last month

    @ HU-29309451


    Boxing in the cistern is only a problem if you don't include sufficient access panels or means of opening the boxing. I agree the last thing you want is the type where the boxing is tiled and you have to break the tiles to get to anything which of course means making good after doing the repairs to the plumbing.


    However, there is a much cheaper alternative to boxing in which also provides good accessibility. You could simply put a sticker on the cistern, like this one for example:-


    (you can find them pretty cheap on ebay I think).



  • HU-556520790
    last month

    I like P Robinsons idea, you could form a shelf round the whole room even with cuboard holes perhaps, sort of like kitchen units but shallower, cistern depth.


    Or, moving away from boxing to the height of the cistern you could just get pipe boxing as below.


    I personally wouldn't box anything in as you won't spot a leak till its been leaking for ages and has done lots of water damage and new installations are sometimes not perfect. However if you made it removeable then you could inspect it periodically but you still won't catch a leak as quickly.


    If the toilet leaks at the back for example and it is boxed in then you won't know about it and those rubber toilet waste connectors don't last forever.








  • Sarah U-S
    last month

    We’ve had a boxed in cistern for years and We don’t regret it!

    We made sure to buy a decent brand (Geberit) and it can be accessed via the flush plate. Also, we made sure a couple of tiles on the boxed in bit were secured with silicone in the same colour as the grout (instead of grout) - this means they can easily be cut out if needed. (So far, this hasn’t been needed!)

  • Margian
    last month

    I would box in the toilet & washbasin with something easy to remove for maintenance. One continuous unit would be ideal to look at but unwieldy to remove. No plumbing lasts forever and as others have said you need to know as soon as there's a problem.

  • juliehanna59
    last month
    last modified: last month

    The first thing that hits me is the plastic sink waste trap, I'd change it for a chrome/cooper/steel one - the plastic looks cheap and detracts from the lovely tiling which you have clearly spent a good deal of money on. Secondly, if there is sufficient space, I would continue the boxing in along the entire wall - remove the freestanding bath tap and replace with wall mounted taps set into the boxing in. The front of the boxing in could be covered in matching tile (my preference) with a concealed cupboad (with a spring loaded catch so no handle needed) or drop forward laundry bin, the top of the boxing in could be whatever you wish marble, glass, natural wood, painted wood - the top to act as a shelf for towels, plants, candles, fancy toiletries etc . I think the effect would break up the expanse of wall between the floor and existing window sills and distract the eye from the different size windows. I hope you find a solution which suits you, happy DIY.

    Sorry Sally just realised most of the above is out of date as you've posted responses to others. As the bathroom is probably not going to get another major overall for many years its worth getting it how you want it. If you can reposition the bath/move it up/down the room so that you can accommodate boxing in along the whole wall do it now otherwise you will continually wish you had everytime you go in the bathroom (I speak from experience). Also removing the floor standing tap and replacing with wall mounted would solve the window opening problem Like others I too would make any boxing in removable for maintenance purposes - fixings could be hidden in any concealed cupboard etc.

  • HU-556520790
    last month

    I agree that if you go with the boxing it should be all along the wall. I'd make it into a shelf/top as discussed previously.


    However, I'd make sure its completely openable all the way along so you can briefly inspect it daily as it is a new installation. If it leaks undiscovered and is boxed in it could do a lot of damage.

  • PRO
    Staged Homes Company
    last month

    Hi Sally, it would be great if the toilet can be pushed to the left a bit so that it's centred between the two windows. Also if you go with a brightly-coloured vanity unit and a matching box for behind the toilet with a beautiful mirror on top of the sink and black tabs for contrast, couple of examples below:



  • HU-556520790
    last month

    I'd be careful with that as if the toilet were any closer to the basin then it may be too close for when you are using the basin and you might fall backwards over it.

  • Tara Rodrigues
    last month

    If you add a concealed cistern, I would add another colour to the scheme or bring in some texture, to create a more contemporary look. I would consider adding a really bright white or if you like colour using some teal or duck egg blue. I would also add some hanging foliage and a nice feature mirror - with a more contemporary wall hung basin (if you have the budget to do so?). Using black hardware instead of chrome would add more definition to the space and make it look more modern.






  • PRO
    The Kitchen Lady UK
    last month

    Hi Sally,


    Any update on the bathroom and the feelings towards it now?

    I think the whole boxed in cistern etc will just make the renovation more costly and just become a bit of headache as it will restrict space, access to the cistern would need to be considered and instead I think the biggest thing that would help modernise would be accessories and key lighting.


    In the photos you attached it looks like a fairly dark space even with the two windows, so I would consider adding in more ceiling spots, perhaps changing to a different type of white light.

    The tiles seem matte and this in itself will prevent there being any reflection to add more light around the room.


    You could look at getting a nice large mirror, perhaps a circular one to compliment the curves of the bathroom suite - add some very thin LED strips to run around which would boost light in that area. Some nice plants (real or artificial whatever suits your household) perhaps a nice mid height one to go in the corner of the wall by the toilet run. Nice complimentary modern style blinds for each window would help and then if you in corporate in your bathroom accessories like soap dispenser, towels etc etc you could definitely enhance the space and it would look really modern.


    Charlie @The Kitchen Lady UK

    www.thekitchenladyuk.co.uk

  • Phindintombi Veli
    last month

    I think your bathroom is big enough to have both bath and stand alone shower for choice

  • Luke Mortimer
    last month

    The box off breaks the flow of the room and the shape clashes with the georgeous bath. Something like a small wood cabinets with legs. Would look nice. You could go art deco in that room nicely with the sand stone colour you have as a base. So some furnature with some depth and then a nice contrasting colour to the sand stone. A light blue or perhaps a sage green could really help the room

  • anthea page
    last month

    some colour and run the boxed in area all along the wall and into the window sill so it dosn't look so messy. would be better without the toilet though on that wall as lovely green effect of the windows. you could paint th ewhole wall and the boxed in area green.

  • Jacq Chan
    last month

    Dunno, seems to me that you already have the foundations for quite a modern toilet? A lot of how a room looks is in its trims/ furnishings decor - adding in mirrors, cabinets, decor etc would go a long way towards creating the look you want. Agree with previous commenter about using metal pipes under your sink. Alternatively it might not be too late to put a vanity cabinet under it….

  • Sally W
    Original Author
    last month

    Hi Everyone, thank you for all of your suggestions. I haven’t done anything yet as I’m still thinking about it. I regret having the toilet in the middle of the room, but I did try all of the options before it was all fitted and that was the best way to maximise space in the bathroom. The sink in the middle of the room also didn’t feel right but in hindsight it would have probably looked much nicer. I decided to go for chrome as I feel black hardware is something I will go off very quickly. I get easily bored, so would rather add colour in with towels, accessories and plants so I can change it up without having to commit for many years. I like the idea of boxing the whole wall in with wall taps for the bath but I don’t think the space is there and the bath is already as far into the corner as it can go. The plastic waste trap on the sink is only temporary, I was going to have chrome but there’s more pipe work on show than I thought there would be so I might get a unit under the sink. I have a vanity mirror going above the sink and a cubicle around the shower tray. The vanity mirror isn’t the most stylish but I wanted it for storage and it’s practical. I will post photos once I complete it, but in the meantime I’m still open to ideas. Who knew a bathroom could be so complicated and stressful. Thank you!

  • Sally W
    Original Author
    last month

    I have 3 spotlights in the bathroom and won’t be able to have anymore as the electrics are all complete now. I will definitely be adding some nice plants to bring the room to life too. I still have hope!

  • Sally W
    Original Author
    last month

    Some more photos of the bathroom now from different angles

  • Sally W
    Original Author
    last month

    I wonder if shelving under the sink like this would work...

  • PRO
    Marma Interior
    last month

    The shelving you just showed us looks really good! I would use some hanging shelves in the same wooden finish, or simple black shelves, on the wall above the bath - if you add some plants there it will look great! You can get many faux plants that look super real.

    I would love to share with you some wood effect tiles you could use around the toilet. Let me just find the links:)

  • PRO
    Marma Interior
    last month

    LINK That's the one that I absolutely love! But I must admit it looks sooo much better in reality than on the picture.


    Also you might have a look at the latest project on my profile, where I used another wood effect tiles, I think something like that would also look good and would warm up your bathroom

  • Anna G
    last month

    I think your plan to include loads of plants is spot on. Maybe see how that looks before doing any permanent changes?

  • Sally W
    Original Author
    last month

    Thanks for all of your input, I appreciate it. The mirror and shower have been installed along with the towel rail, the room is slowly coming to life. I will wait until the shower glass and door is installed before I make a decision with the toilet and sink.

  • PRO
    The Kitchen Lady UK
    last month

    Hi Sally, I think the room is looking great!


    I bet once youve got some accessories in there and given the room a touch of your personality/style it will look incredible and you will no longer feel like it looks dated.


    Thank you for the updates, I hope you are feeling more positive about the changes made.



    Charlie @ The Kitchen Lady UK

United Kingdom
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