As a general rule, go for timeless instead of trendy. Bathrooms are difficult rooms to renovate, and you don't want to ...

Everyone agrees its good to channel your own personal style when it comes to renovations, but in some rooms there are foundation design principles that should be followed to avoid reno nightmares and create a liveable space. This is particularly true of bathrooms.

Award-winning bathroom designer, Natalie Du Bois, shares her top five tips for avoiding common bathroom renovation mistakes:

1. The number one mistake people make is forgetting to check when the items they have ordered will be delivered. Often items are ordered in from overseas and take several weeks to get to New Zealand, so if you wait until the day the builder starts to pick your bath or tapware there can be major repercussions.

Consider the light because the bathroom is used at all times during the day. Some natural light is always preferable.

2. Fixtures and fittings need to be good quality. You usually pay for what you get, and the last thing you want is leaking taps a couple of years down the line.

3. Be careful not to leave too little time for the renovation: always allow for longer than you think. A bathroom renovation involves more tradespeople involved than almost any other room in the house (builder, gib stopper, painter, electrician, tiler, cabinet makers, benchtop fabricators etc.) They all need to work around each other and be co-ordinated well.

4. Don’t underestimate the disruption. A thorough bathroom renovation means there will be dust, noise and a steady stream of people coming and going in your home. This can be quite stressful, especially if you have a young family. Planning a short holiday during part of the renovation can help, but make sure you keep your phone on as there may be a few questions from tradespeople. If you are doing a bigger renovation look at a short term rental.

5. If you are not using a bathroom designer, then there are many ergonomic issues you need to make yourself familiar with. One in particular is the distance between a basin mixer tap and a basin.  Heights and distances between fittings and fixtures need careful consideration, and it’s best to use the information from the people you have actually purchased your products from so that you are covered if anything goes wrong in the future.