When decorating an essential part of the house it can be pricey, so the aim is to decorate in a way that will stand the test of time. Rooms like the lounge and bedroom can be wholly re-imagined through a lick of paint. And even the furniture can easily be replaced compared to places like the kitchen and bathroom - where the appliances need fitting for you and aren't as simple as picking it up and popping in a new flat-pack bathtub. But as everyone has their own version of what looks good, creating a timeless look can be subjective. The best way to do it is to choose your influences carefully and keep it simple.
Most bathrooms tend to be the smallest room in the house, so using light colours is always the way forward. You can team white with blue for a classic nautical theme, introduce black or charcoal for a more masculine feel, or accents of gold for a polished look. If you choose to use colour, keep it minimal and never choose a coloured bath suite - that avocado green toilet that your grandparents had will never come back in style.
Tiles are extremely common in bathrooms and are a great idea to team with painted walls. If you are introducing colour with your pipes, then only tile a select area rather than the whole room - the best place is, ideally, where the wall is most likely to be splashed. You can contrast your tiles by having white on the walls and then black or charcoal on the floor. Or you can go vintage with Victorian-inspired blue patterns or black and white checked. Alternatively, you can replicate a tiled floor with well fitting lino which can be a lot easier to maintain.
Shower curtains are a classic aspect of the bathroom, mainly if you have your shower installed over the bathtub. But you do have the option of choosing between a glass divider or country shower curtains. If you have a classic claw-footed bath, then a divider won't really work with the tub or the aesthetic. Also, think of the space you have, a curtain can tuck away nicely, where a divider needs to be able to swing out or have the ability to be fixed in place, meaning that you need access to the other half of the bath with entering and exit. You might consider in a small bathroom getting rid of the tub altogether and installing a standing shower instead.
When you think about an outdated bathroom, you think of cheap strip lighting or mounted wall lights, which don't do much to lighten the room. And with a small room, you want to create the illusion of space as much as possible. Plus, if you use the mirror for applying makeup or shaving, you need good lighting to get it right. Use spotlights embedded into the ceiling and position one directly above your mirror. You can even use a dimmer or use two circuits to dim the room for relaxing baths.
Keep it stainless steel. The crisp silver finishes have been a classic part of bathrooms for years and will be for years to come. Taps, showers, flush levers, when matching, create a consistent finish to the room. It also matches the silver tone of the mirror which is a stable part of any bathroom.