For many homeowners, the thought of guests and loved ones using their ugly, outdated bathroom is a terrifying prospect. With peeling paint, a stylistically-challenged vanity and a dingy bathtub; even the most thorough cleaning isn’t always enough to make your bathroom shine. Instead of hiring a contractor to completely overhaul your bathroom, which isn’t always a realistic budget choice in these difficult times, use a few inexpensive, DIY tricks and quick-fixes to turn your bathroom into a modern oasis. Your friends will think you spent a small fortune, but you’ll know the truth!
A Little Paint Goes a Long Way
Before you step foot in your local home improvement or hardware store, learn about the different paint sheens and which works best in the bathroom. For the most part, a semi-gloss paint will hold up against the bathroom’s drastic temperature changes and is easier to care for and clean. Choose a lighter shade of paint to make the bathroom appear bigger than it actually is. Steer clear of deep hues for the main color and instead reserve these darker shades for accent colors. Clean the bathroom walls with a mixture of mild dish soap and water to remove any grime, grease or dirt from the walls. Apply a thin coating of primer and allow it to dry completely before applying the first coat of paint. Don’t forget to mask the trim diligently with painter’s tape, and if necessary, remove the toilet, vanity and any other furniture to make the task of painting less daunting.
Replace that Outdated Mirror
Updating your bathroom’s mirrors is another quick, inexpensive way to create a sophisticated, modern space. Mirrors play a much bigger role in the bathroom beyond providing a reflection to fix your hair or expertly apply eyeliner. Mirrors make even the smallest bathroom look bigger by reflecting more light, which is crucial if your bathroom feels like a glorified water closet. Measure the wall before purchasing the mirror to ensure you don’t waste your money on a gorgeous, modern piece that doesn’t fit inside the room. Do your homework and locate the ideal mirror that fits the wall’s size and the look you’ve envisioned for the space. One last hint: purchase a mirror that comes with all the necessary mounting hardware. You’ll save yourself a huge headache attempting to find the correct sized mounting bracket at the hardware store.
Swap Out Those Fixtures
Fixtures are the icing on the cake of any bathroom. It may seem overwhelming to switch the sink and shower faucets and the showerhead, but the task is easier than you think. As far as the color and style, stick with brushed nickel or stainless steel to give your bathroom a modern flair. Take the DIY task a step further and replace the bathroom’s towel racks with brushed nickel or stainless steel pieces that match your new fixtures. Your last step is to replace the lighting fixtures. Install fixtures that are the same size as the existing models, if not larger. This provides the room with more light, creating the illusion that it’s larger.
Install a Shower Door
Shower curtains are not only outdated; they’re also mold and mildew magnets that require constant replacement. Save yourself the headache of searching for a shower curtain that complements the bathroom’s new fixtures, mirror and paint, and instead install a shower door. Shower doors are available in a wide variety of finishes and price points. Once again, keep the theme going by installing a shower door that boasts a brushed nickel or stainless steel frame. These tempered glass enclosures are much easier to install than you might think. The entire project is generally completed in a day with inexpensive tools and a little elbow grease.
Now that you’ve saved a bundle by updating your bathroom with the aforementioned easy DIY projects, it’s time to add a few finishing touches to tie the space together. Hand towels that complement the room’s wall paint are an easy way to add a pop of color to the space, especially if you aren’t hanging any art work. Purchase a bath mat that is a few shades darker than the hand towels. Lighter bath mats tend to show more dirt, making even the cleanest bathroom floors appear dull and dingy. Use artwork sparingly in the space, and keep the pieces crisp and modern. Avoid dragging your bathroom back into the 1970s or 1980s by hanging images of flowers or quirky signs reminding people to wash up after using the facilities. Scented candles always add a sophisticated touch to any bathroom, but don’t go overboard. Place a grouping of three candles on the vanity to add a bit of color to the room. Store the used jar candles that are lit each time mom takes a bubble bath under the vanity or anywhere out of sight.