Tips for Updating Your Bathroom With Little Expense |

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Tips for Updating Your Bathroom With Little Expense

August 1st, 2013 Bed and Bath

Homeowners can take a less expensive route to updating their bathroom than a renovation that costs thousands of dollars. There are many small changes that include introducing color, new hardware or refinishing on cabinets that can breathe new life into existing décor.

Shelves for storage and style
The American Society of Interior Designers reports that open shelving, for instance, can be integrated into the bathroom as an architectural element, matched to the woodworking style in place. They can be installed around a mirror, above a commode or on any open wall space.

The ideas for open shelving include free-standing, floor-to-ceiling units, adding a marble shelf along the tub or encasing large tubs or whirlpools with wall shelving at both ends. A series of glass "floating" shelves can be installed in a vertical or horizontal configuration. The additional storage space for towels, as well as decorative items such as candles and bath oils, is both functional and attractive.

Quick fixes
Painting a vanity is another quick fix that home decorators can undertake to give their bathrooms a new design, but the project will require products that can stand up to the moist atmosphere of the bath. An adhesive primer, followed by semi-gloss latex paint and finished with a non-yellowing, water-based polyurethane are the paint products homeowners should use to make an old vanity look new again, HGTV recommends.

A simple switch in cabinet hardware can change the look of a wood vanity and storage closets from contemporary to traditional, or vice versa. Knobs and drawer pulls come in a variety of metal finishes, ceramic, glass or wood that can be stained or painted to match the cabinets.

Wall treatments
To give bathrooms a warmer look, home decorators can add texture to the walls by hanging wallpaper that simulates fabric but is water-resistant.

Additionally, real fabric can be soaked in liquid starch that will cause it to adhere to the wall easily. It can removed later very easily with water and a sponge. However, to avoid steaming that might loosen it, fabric shouldn't be put up too near the shower or bathtub.

Working around aging tile
If replacing older tiling is not in the budget, homeowners can choose a color palette that will coordinate with the existing tiles to create a retro look. Adding accessories that are reminiscent of a previous era is another way to enhance this style. Scour flea markets or second-hand shops to find affordable collectibles that fit the look.

It's easy to cover up an aging tile floor. There are many styles of area rugs available in water-resistant materials that will cover most of the flooring.

Soft furnishings
The moist atmosphere of a bathroom is also a concern when it comes to window treatments. Materials that will wear well in this environment include a wide range of blinds, shades or curtains. Roman shades are a good choice for both contemporary and traditional décor.

The fabric can be tied into the color or pattern of the shower curtain, fabric skirting around a vanity and the bathroom rug.

Lighting solutions
Lighting can be tricky in a bathroom. Rack lighting is an inexpensive style that provides good light. To avoid casting unattractive shadows in the room, it should not be placed directly overhead or behind one's head when standing in front of the mirror, according to DIY Network.

Fixtures can also be attached to a wall flanking a mirror on both sides. In all lights, the maximum wattage bulbs allowed by the manufacturer should be installed. If there's a dressing table or a section of the bathroom vanity not too close to water, a decorative task lamp will soften the glow in the bathroom.