Recently we were asked by a friend about a way to update her too old, too small, too 1980’s inspired bathroom. And while a full bathroom renovation may be in the cards for a lot of our readers, it isn’t always an option. Instead, sometimes the finances are just flat-out tight and come second to education, dance classes, braces, dog food and pretty much everything else. Regardless of the budget, it is our job as designers to find ways to create beautiful spaces. While we often get to help take a plan from conception to completion, we also occasionally get to offer our advice and let our clients take the reins into their own hands.
If you are thinking about doing your own bathroom remodel, here we provide a few quick fix concepts to help you start your planning:
Start with your vanity. A new vanity is a sure-fire way to break the budget unless you find one on major discount or at a vintage sale and re-purpose it. If keeping the one you have, simply remove the cabinets from the hinges, pull the drawers out and paint them yourself. A quick sanding and a few coats in dove grey or chocolate brown will instantly refresh your bathroom.
Replace the mirror. New homes often come with a massive, standard rectangular mirror and although they are large, they are typically less than appealing. Pull it off, do a quick wall patch and paint touch up and replace the mirror with an elaborate designed one with a unique border. Or instead of one, install two smaller mirrors for a double vanity. If replacing the mirror is not an option, create a border around what you already have with small tiles from the local hardware store. You can mastermind your own mosaic pattern as you create your border around the mirror. Another option is to frame the mirror much like a picture frame using 4 pieces of 1×4’s. Your local hardware store will cut them to the dimensions you need if you ask.
Update the hardware. Easily swap out the vanity handles for a bronze or nickel design and in time match the faucets to your picks. For the shower, a rain style shower head will instantly add a spa like factor into the room. Also, replace the standard plastic shower curtain rod with a metal, curved option that drills into the wall.
Add a backsplash. This is an easy DIY weekend project and will immediately change the landscape of your design. Go for mosaic glass tiles if you are after a more luxurious look or install a peel and stick tile for easy, mess free updating.
Replace the light fixtures. While this option can be daunting with all that electric going on, this is a must do for bathroom updating. Rid the bathroom of the one large fixture and use two 2/3 bulb fixtures over a double vanity. For a more elegant design, wall sconces and chandeliers are one of our favorite bathroom installs.
Rid the room of the standard towel bar and replace it with two to three robe hooks. By doing this, you’ll immediately create more vertical space and will emulate a more spa like atmosphere.
Strategically use your space. If it is a small room, aim to keep things off the floor. Install a toilet paper roll holder into the cabinet or wall instead of using a standalone version. Keep the toilet area mess free and hide trash and cleaners under the sink. Use floating shelves above the toilet for storage space instead of an over the toilet cabinet set.
Aim to keep most items off your counter and if you use something often like cotton balls or lotion, place them in a decorative vase or jar. Build under the cabinet shelves to keep your toiletries organized and out of site and use whicker baskets for a nice display of towels or washcloths next to the bathtub for easy reaching.
Update the linens. Nothing feels better than spa like bath towels and lush rugs underfoot. Indulge in these few items and you’ll see your bathroom in a whole new light.
Paint the walls a lighter shade. Greens and blues are often recommended for bathrooms for their calming abilities. Pair sage green walls with bamboo and white accents and light blue/grey walls with white linen baskets and a grey vanity.
Should you want more guidance, please reach out to us. We are happy to do a design consultation and can even provide you with a personalized design concept and decorating ideas to get you started.