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Budget Bathroom Makeover

Overview

Published: 06/20/2012

by CATHERINE FANTAUZZI

 If you are trying to improve an existing bathroom but do not have the budget for replacing or rearranging major fixtures, it is possible to cosmetically transform the smallest and most badly planned space into a place that is aesthetically pleasing. 

You may be challenged by an oddly coloured tub or tile that is already in place. There are a number of paint manufacturers that produce paint specifically for ceramic tiles. Refinishing the fixtures (except for the toilet) in a different colour by applying a synthetic substance can be done by a professional bathroom fixture refinisher.

You can also replace the existing floor treatment with ceramic tiles. There is a vast array of ceramics on the market today that imitate the look of marble, granite, slate, stone or wood, without the high price tag of the real thing.

Paint is the cheapest and easiest renovating tool. If there is a colour that has to stay, make it the first colour of your palette. If you choose not to change the fixture colour, an effective colour scheme will have to begin with the fixture colour. The trick to do it well is to take the base colour and make it look more vibrant by spicing it up with sharper accent colours.

By using different colours on different surfaces you can make some areas appear to come forward and others to recede. Plain painted walls can be wallpapered, stencilled or decorated with a faux finish. Existing tiles can be given a new look by using a special painting technique and an acrylic paint. For instance, you can stencil a motif on randomly selected wall tiles.

In bathrooms that are chopped up by windows and doors, use a brightly coloured tile line around the room to move the eye through the space. A small, all-white bathroom can be given a totally different feel by filling it with plants and your choice of coloured accessories, while a dark room can be brought to life with a contrasting colour trim and vivid accessories.

Simple projects with fabrics can soften the feel of the bathroom. This could be applied in the window treatment or shower curtain. Other ideas that are simple include surrounding the mirror with an attractive frame and updating the lighting and hardware--such as drawer pulls, towel bars, etc. Shower curtain hooks could be replaced with more attractive ones, and a wood cornice moulding or a full-length mirror could be added.

If you have open wall space or open shelving, you can display prints, photos, paintings or china.

Texture can be used to create a mood. Marble surfaces, mirrors, tiles, windows and hardware reflect and excite. These glossy finishes make rich, dark colours look like jewels and make light colours sparkle. Matte textures bring warmth. Wood, fabrics, rugs and textured walls or wallpaper are ways to complement the bathroom's hard surfaces.

On a simple level, small details such as faucets, soap dishes, towel racks, even the towels themselves, can add to the design quality and visual interest of a bathroom.

 

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