How can I update my bathroom without renovating?
Decluttering your bathroom is one thing but there comes a time when even the cleanest and tidiest of bathrooms needs something more. So what are your options if you don't have the dollars to renovate?
With a little imagination and forethought, you can totally transform your bathroom with just a few new, carefully selected items and some small DIY tweaks. Within no time, you'll be loving your bathroom again.
Here are some simple (but effective) ways to do it...
IT'S ALL IN THE DETAILS
Little items add up to big things in the home, and the bathroom is no exception. Your bathroom accessories - caddies, dispensers, dishes, etc. - might seem inconsequential but updating them can be a huge improvement. This especially applies if you choose a coordinated design scheme across your accessories because, suddenly, all these smaller items en masse create an entirely different look.
Here are some of the details you might like to rejig:
- New shower screen or shower curtains - choose a shower screen or curtain with an updated pattern or even an entirely new colour scheme.
- Plants and greenery - if you're not much of a green thumb or the bathroom is too wet and dark, go with fake ones. They still look really good, and can give your bathroom a lush, tropical or jungle look.
- Mirrors - purchase a new centrepiece mirror for over the vanity/cupboards or be inventive and reframe an old one with something salvaged.
- Towels and bath mats - consider an entirely new colour palette with towels and bath mats (to match your shower curtain, maybe?) and coordinate right across the bathroom.
- Dishes and dispensers - continue the coordination across your accessories incorporating soap dishes, lotion dispensers, toothbrush holders, etc. Many dishes and dispensers come in complementary collections.
- Shelves, hooks and rails - use these items to spruce up dull spaces or walls, while also being functional. This is another opportunity to make something yourself, if you have the DIY skills.
- Candles - add to the relaxing atmosphere of a bathroom for your pamper routine. Scented candles ensure your bathroom smells good too.
- Wall art -you might not usually associate wall art with your bathroom but it can be just as effective here too. Whatever you choose, use it to accent colours in your colour scheme. And make sure you love it.
STORAGE IS YOUR FRIEND
Take a good look at the space available to you and then think in layers of storage - open shelves, baskets and hidden storage (e.g. you might have an antique item, like a pot belly oven, that you could stand in the corner of the bathroom and use to stash towels). These are all clever and attractive ways to keep your items in order. Baskets also add texture to soften all the hard lines and contrast against the smooth texture of tiles.
Storage isn't just about cupboards and sideboards either. Elements like towel rings, suction shelves, shower caddies, hooks, rings, rails, hampers and so forth are all simple bathroom storage solutions for optimising walls, doors and any number of tight nooks and crannies.
If you can't find the right thing, make it yourself - an old copper pipe, for instance, has great character and it can find new life refashioned as an industrial railing.
WINDOWS ARE WORTH DOING
One of the most overlooked ways of updating the bathroom is to add window treatments. New window furnishings can significantly change the look of a room, especially a small room like your bathroom.
Unless your bathroom has a great view, there's no reason not to add a finishing detail - something like a shutter or even gather plants outside the window if you'd like a serene outlook. If you need privacy and don't want to compromise on light, install a shutter, blind or curtain on the bottom half of the window only.
There are many curtains and blinds available online and in-store but, if you have an odd-shaped window, you might like to take the challenge of making your own. Just beware of the material you choose. Damp rooms, such as the bathroom, are more suited to blinds rather than fabric curtains.
CREATE A SURFACE DIVERSION
Painting or spray-painting the walls will give a tired bathroom an instant lift, and there are lots of hardy paints available nowadays that can also be used on wall tiles, the shower recess and even in your bathtub. Don't forget that deep cleaning or regrouting tiles might be just what you need. Your tiles could look as good as new once they've been properly cleaned.
Introducing accents of colour might be the way to work with garish tiles, rather than against them. If you don't want to paint all your tiles, just pick out certain accent tiles - such as the crown - and emphasise them even more in a contrasting colour. You can even paint the floor.
If you want to do something a bit daring, bathrooms are the perfect space to experiment. Add fun, eye-catching wallpaper to neutralise the effect of a bold tile design. Create your own wallpaper by using something like the pages of a vintage book or plaster maps across the walls so you can travel the world while you wash.
Those who have more cash could update the bathroom fixtures, such as tapware, or similarly replace the vanity unity. Maybe this is the time to put your aunt's old chandelier to good use? A stunning focal point in the ceiling will turn your bathroom from something ordinary into extraordinary.
Think outside the square and see your bathroom design soar.