Adding a second toilet to your home is a great idea – especially if you have a large family or regularly have guests. A lot of people convert cupboards under the stairs and utility rooms into downstairs toilets. But whilst some include a basic toilet and corner sink, others are a complete shower room.

Did you know that adding a downstairs toilet could increase your home’s value by as much as 5%? Because of this, the downstairs toilet is becoming more and more common – UK building regulations mean that today, new homes need to be built with a downstairs toilet.

Even better, a downstairs toilet does not need planning permission from your local council, unless it is part of a larger extension. However, the downstairs toilet will have to adhere to building regulations concerning power points and lighting.

Despite what you may think, it is possible to convert a downstairs toilet on a budget.

These downstairs toilet decorating ideas are perfect for making the most of your money whilst creating a space you can be proud of.

Choose the right fittings

The toilet and sink are the things that will take up the most room in the cloakroom, so saving inches here can really pay off in the end. You should leave around 76cm clearance to the front and sides of your toilet to leave adequate room.

Short projection toilets are a great space saving idea – they usually have narrower cisterns. Corner sinks can also save space.

Plan the space

An awkward space with a sloping roof can be transformed into a great little downstairs toilet. Simply block off part of the slope and add the toilet against the new wall. Once you’re sitting down, you won’t notice the lower head height, and the space behind the new wall can be used as storage.

If the space is too small for a full-sized sink, it’s possible to buy toilets with sinks over the cistern, corner sinks, or small sinks. It’s also possible to buy corner toilets and showers.

Maximise the space with storage

Storage is vital when creating any new toilet or bathroom. If you’re adding a toilet under the stairs, there may well still be room at the shallow end of the understairs space for storage behind the toilet.

Alternatively, choose a bathroom vanity or cupboard that suits the space. Mirrored designs help to reflect the light, whilst wooden ones can be repainted to suit the space as you redecorate over the years. You can also add recessed shelving or shelving above head height to store spare toilet rolls or hand soap.

Go bold with colour

Just because it’s going to be the smallest room in the house, it doesn’t mean that you have to go with an all-white look. Downstairs toilets are a great way to show your personality. Choose a wacky wallpaper, bright floor covering or bathroom wall panels. You could even go with the white subway tile wall panels to half height, then add a bright colour in paint or wallpaper above. The best colours for small bathrooms are often the boldest.

Finally, add the finishing touches with colourful accessories like blinds, soap dispensers, towels and even plants.