You can’t stand looking at your bathroom anymore. You want to tear the whole thing out and start all over, but a glance at the budget nixes that idea. How about a quick and inexpensive facelift to brighten up your bathroom — and your spirits?
Sure, you’d love to rip out the bathroom sink and put in a new basin, vanity cabinet and countertop. Adding in a new toilet tank, tub, shower, glass door and mirror would be nice too.
The only problem is a renovation of that extent would end up costing thousands of dollars.
In this economy, a temporary bathroom facelift to get you past the tough times is just what the budget doctor ordered. Redecorating your bathroom will give the room a whole new personality for a fraction of the cost, and help the bathroom slide by a few more years until your financial situation can handle a high-level remodel.
Evaluate your budget
Even a minor bathroom facelift first needs a good look at the money situation to determine how much you can comfortably spend to redecorate without falling into debt. Figure the makeover job will run anywhere from $200 and up, depending on what you buy and how much you spend.
Keep re-purposing in mind as your best money saver in the new design. Take the framed artwork or poster you love so much from another room or out of storage, dust it off and give it a whole new life in the new bathroom design. A long-forgotten pitcher or bowl from the pantry or attic might be the perfect finishing touch to the new color scheme.
Begin designing with a focal point in mind
Start with a focal point as a springboard of inspiration and as a color palette from which to create your bathroom transformation. Perhaps it’s that artwork or poster you love and have repurposed, or maybe it’s an inexpensive new, framed item. It’s amazing what you can find at thrift shops and yard sales.
Select something that “talks” to you, whether it’s a beach scene, car poster, or an abstract design. Your selection should include colors pleasing to you. A framed picture, as the focal point, will set the entire mood of the room as you redecorate.
Clean out to create a blank canvas
Consider your bathroom a work of art in the making where a “blank canvas” is crucial! If what you’re trying to create is a fresh, new look, it’s important to cleanse the room of the old. In addition, the room must be emptied for painting.
Are there knick-knacks, lotions, bottles, perfumes, toilet paper roll covers, magazine and various other types of clutter choking up your bathroom? Take it all out, every last bit of it. Items previously used to decorate the room can be repurposed elsewhere, stored or tossed. Clean out cabinets by throwing out all that hasn’t been used in forever or has expired. Take all the bottles and containers spread all over the countertop and find a new home for them behind closed cabinet doors.
Continue the clean out process by removing window curtains and shower curtains, towels, wastepaper basket, toilet brush and anything else that can be moved.
Once the bathroom is stripped bare, take your focal point picture into the room and place it up against the main wall. Look at the colors in the picture, and visualize each of the colors, one at a time, on one or more of the walls. Try to imagine which colors would work best for the room and kind of mood you’re trying to create.
Color – the most important choice
It’s amazing what a huge difference color makes in a room. Be brave and bold by introducing a whole new look and feel into the bathroom with color! Is it a dark room needing warmth? Yellows, oranges and reds will warm and brighten up the room. Does it receive sharp, direct light from a window? Then, maybe the cool, refreshing feel of greens and blues is what you want.
With a few colors in mind, take the picture to a local paint store and pick up a handful of paint chips. Taping these onto the bathroom walls will help in your color decision. Most paint stores can also mix up small paint samples to help give you a better feel for how a particular color will look. Once you’ve decided on a color scheme, have the sales agent guide you to the correct type of paint and prepping for your particular walls.
Wallpaper: A don’t
If fast, easy and economical is what you want, then I would not recommend wallpaper for your bathroom facelift. You’ll quickly find the expense of wallpaper and supplies is only surpassed by the time and effort you’ll spend putting it up. Plus… You’ll hate having made that choice a few years down the road when you decide to redecorate and strip it off.
If you seek a certain je ne sais quoi that a simple coat of paint can’t provide, consider instead some simple stenciling, adding a wallpaper border or even installing some pre-finished moulding 1/3 the way up your walls. (If you add decorative moulding it only to two walls opposite each other, you can get away without worrying about difficult angled miter cuts.)