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🛀 Quick & Easy Bathroom Updates
We love to say, “kitchens and baths sell homes” because they are typically the most expensive rooms to update. They are also the rooms we use the most and get the most wear and tear.
When it comes to updating your home, the bathroom is a good place to start…it’s small. You can make a big impression in a small space. Consider starting with the powder room first, if you have one. Some of these easy updates for the bathroom will most likely get you motivated to tackle larger projects in rooms that might also be a little “tired”.
Whether you’re thinking about selling in the near future or not, maintaining and updating your home periodically is a wise move. If you are preparing your home for sale, keep in mind that most buyers will scrutinize the kitchen and baths, looking for updated features. The majority of today’s home buyers tend to want move-in ready. They’re looking for a few projects as possible to make the home their own.
Here are some easy steps to update a tired bathroom.
📏 Small Changes in the Bathroom
Even a change as small as replacing hardware can give a bathroom a much-needed lift. Cabinet handles, door hardware, toilet paper holders, and towel racks can all shine brightly and give the bathroom some sparkle. Incidentally, If your bathroom is still sporting 80’s brass fixtures, you’ll certainly want to give it back to that decade!
You can even change the hardware and trim on a shower stall from gold to a trendier color, and without removing doors or other shower hardware. You can use 220-grit sandpaper, steel wool, and elbow grease, for starters. Once the hardware has been thoroughly scraped, apply spray-on automobile primer. Metallic spray paint in black or another color goes on last. You can even use this technique for shower fixtures.
Simple things like a new toilet seat and faucets are relatively easy and inexpensive fixes. Along the same line, an updated or refinished bathroom mirror will add focal interest, reflect light and won’t flush the budget down the drain. Round mirrors are trendy and will add a modern update to a dated bathroom.
💡 Bathroom Lighting
Lighting is a quick and easy update to accomplish. Any big box store will have a lot of contemporary light fixtures to choose from, at an affordable price. Keep in mind the various task lighting that is necessary for the bathroom and don’t be afraid to “light it up”.
Today’s decorating trends emphasize creating a spa-like atmosphere in the bathroom. With that in mind, you can certainly add a touch of glamour with a lamp or even a chandelier, if it fits with your decor and style. A small touch of luxury goes a long way in a small room like a bathroom.
🖌 Painting the Bathroom Walls
Painting the walls is inexpensive and will provide an immediate change in the look and style of a room. Faux techniques are great to try in a small room. If they don’t work, they can be repainted the next day.
If you’re trying a new color and are unsure, the bathroom is a good place to start. A bathroom is a good place to try a trendy paint color. Just make sure that it is cohesive with your overall decor. (A small dose of some colors goes a long way!)
Small spaces like the powder room are an excellent canvas for a splashy wallpaper, as long as it has a wide appeal. Remember to stick to relatively neutral colors and designs. Designer Patrick Ediger, Hollywood Interior Decorator, recommends experimenting with “a high-contrast, large-scale wallpaper. which expands a small space and infuses it with an artful attitude.”
Neutral colors are always on trend and will work well for years to come. The “new neutrals” include subdued tones of many colors pallets…neutrals go way beyond beige for today’s trends. Grey can serve as a neutral, allowing for bright-colored accents.
Important Note: Bathroom-formula paint should always be used to help prevent mold and mildew.
👣 Bathroom Flooring
Bathroom flooring is an important consideration. Wood floors are a popular option in most homes today, but many homeowners shy away from wood floors in a wet environment such as a bath. Fortunately, it’s possible to have both the warm look of wood and the durability of vinyl today. Vinyl planks are available from most home supply stores and come with textured finishes that
Vinyl Planks simulate real wood. Finishes include oak, maple, bamboo, and other exotic woods. The cost can range from $1 to $4 per sq. ft. and the small size of the room makes it possible to lay a new floor in a day or two.
If the vinyl floor is looking tired and worn out, a coat of paint and five to six applications of polyurethane can give a floor a whole new look. To do the job, first, prime the floor with a specialty primer. You can use a stencil to mimic a tile pattern or to create a border.
One decorator has experimented with using brown paper bags to create the look of leather or stone on a bathroom floor. She suggests tearing off irregular pieces of bag, gluing them to the floor and topping with four to six coats of polyurethane.
If you have funds for something more, there are a number of manufactured wood products that are designed specifically for the bathroom. Ceramic, stone, porcelain and manufactured stone products are more affordable when you consider the square footage is small…it could be just the place to splurge!
🎨 Bathroom Ceilings
If you’re not ready to replace the bathroom floor, there is the next best option to consider… divert attention upwards. To get the look of old fashioned tin ceilings, there are several ceiling tile wallpapers available which are paintable. This textured wallpaper gives the impression of embossed plaster and will keep visitors looking up. The square footage of a bathroom is usually so minimal, it will easily be a weekend project, if not even a day-long project.
Another option is a ceiling-sized stencil, some paint, and crown molding, to create a one-of-a-kind ceiling space. Ceiling tiles and panels are also an affordable way to add style and interest.
Staying at the ceiling level, an easy space-saving addition to consider is a narrow shelf over the doorway, which is just wide enough to hold extra rolls of toilet paper. A six-inch deep shelf can be supported directly on the door frame, held in place by a small bracket.
You can use wall shelves to house decorative items that take up too much space on the vanity. Floating shelves are easy to accomplish and you can find them easily in any big box store or online.
Add Eco-Friendly Bathroom Features
Today’s buyers are more concerned about eco-friendly home features. There are several ways to add these features to a bathroom.
- Nearly 1/3 of your home’s water consumption can be linked to the toilet, according to experts at Angie’s List. Old toilets can use as much as 7 gallons per flush. If you are in need of a new toilet, consider a dual flush toilet that allows the user to select a low or heavier water flow setting.
- A low-flow showerhead is an easy and inexpensive installation and adds a modern aesthetic.
- Similarly, low-flow sink faucets are a great addition. They use additional water pressure to increase the flow of water, but will save your water bill in the long run.
- LED lighting is an increasingly popular option in bathrooms. These cost-effective fixtures win favor with homeowners for their longevity, durability and energy-efficient capabilities.
🚰 Updating Your Vanity
A dated vanity can really make a negative statement in a bathroom, especially if it is the old standard height. Contemporary vanities are typically counter height, or they may be called comfort height, or 36 inches. An older vanity will be 30- or 32-inches.
We recently replaced a single-sink vanity in our bathroom with a contemporary vanity from a big box store. The purchase and professional installation (we’re not diy-ers) cost about $500.00. We felt like it was a great investment.
If you’re the handy type, this video makes it look pretty easy to replace a bathroom vanity yourself:
🖌️ Painting Your Vanity
If your vanity is in good shape, but just a little dated, or the color is off, you can try your hand at painting it. There are many ways to paint a vanity, depending on the material.
Steps from Sherwin Williams:
- Prep. Remove the cabinet doors, drawers, false drawer fronts, and any attached hardware. …
- Clean. Using water and the degreaser dish soap, wash off all grease and oils that normally buildup on cabinetry over time. …
- Tape. …
- Scuff Sand. …
- Prime. …
- Paint. …
- Let dry overnight and reassemble hardware.
Seems easy, right?
Chalk Paint is all the rage, and many find that it’s ease of use and the lack of prep required make it a great alternative. It’s relatively easy to get exactly the look you want, whether its an antiqued look, a shabby chic style, or a modern finish. You just have to make sure you use the proper topcoat to keep the moisture at bay.
Check out my Pinterest Board for Bathroom Trends:
🧖 Updated Decor and Accessories
Fresh new towels and bathroom decor can make a big difference for such a small investment. You can quickly and easily breathe new life into a tired bathroom with some shiny and bright candles, small artworks for the walls, and a stylish new soap dispenser set. Even a beautiful new trash can will add to the aesthetic!
You can do a lot to refresh the zen of your bathroom with easy and quick decor updates.
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