Easy Bathroom Updates That Make a Big Impact
“Refreshing your bathroom’s design does not have to involve large-scale demolition or elaborate installations,” says Keri Sanders, an assistant editor at HGTV.com. “Updating your bathroom's design doesn't have to break the bank.”
According to Angie’s List, even a low-end bathroom remodel can cost around $2,500, with high-end overhauls breaking the bank at $23,000. Yikes! Fortunately, you don’t need to spend big to make a big impact. Here are a few easy bathroom updates that can truly turn your bathroom from ordinary to extraordinary.
Tips for a Simple Bathroom “Remodel”
“Refreshing your bathroom’s design does not have to involve large-scale demolition or elaborate installations,” says Keri Sanders, an assistant editor at HGTV.com. “Updating your bathroom’s design doesn’t have to break the bank.”
The Power of Paint
“Just a few key but relatively inexpensive updates make a dramatic difference,” says H. Camille Smith, a managing editor for HGTV.com. And where better to start than with a fresh coat of paint. If there’s one thing we love almost as much as window treatments, it’s paint.
A fresh coat of paint can go a long way when it comes to transforming the look and feel of your room. And with the average cost of paint somewhere between $15-25 per gallon, paint is an incredibly affordable option. Just remember to take time to fully consider your paint choice. California designer Cindy Garten recommends painting a sample board and revisiting the color to “Make sure you like the color throughout the day” as the light in your space inevitably changes. “A fresh outlook is like a fresh coat of paint,” says interior designer Susan Gale. “It doesn’t cost much, but sometimes it makes a huge difference.”
Remember to keep bathroom colors appropriate for the space. Dark, dramatic colors can often make a small room feel even smaller. But, that doesn’t mean that white is your only options. Light and airy bathroom paint colors such as light blue, grey, and light yellow can help open up even the smallest bathrooms.
Handy Hardware Changes
“Sometimes, the simplest update can make a world of difference,” says Sanders. Instead of splurging for a new sink, toilet, or tub, “save money on your remodel by refreshing your bathroom’s existing features instead.”
You’ll be surprised at just how different your room will look with new hardware, such as faucets, cabinet handles, and light fixtures. These simple and affordable updates can make a world of difference and breathe life into a tired space.
Three Forms of Lighting
Proper lighting includes natural light, general lighting, and accent lighting. By combining these three, your room will look and function better than ever before – without a large monetary commitment.
- General Lighting: Often called ambient lighting, general lighting provides overall illumination for a space. In most rooms, general lighting comes from overhead fixtures or wall sconces.
- Accent Lighting: Accent lighting comes into play when you want to highlight a specific focal point in your room, whether it be a vanity, or a soaking tub. “Accent lighting adds a pleasing variation of brightness,” says Mary Beth Gotti, manager of the GE Lighting Institute. “You’re drawing attention and putting more light on an architectural feature [or other important object].”
- Natural Light: When it comes to natural light, your number one source will be your windows. So, it is important to choose window treatments that not only look great, but also provide exceptional light control.
Window Treatments Pack a Punch
“Don’t put bathroom window treatments at the bottom of your wish list,” says Georgie Rudge, Townhouse Interiors, “as they can add a much-needed decorative blast to a functional space.” The problem is that the bathroom presents several unique challenges:
- Tackling a Harsh Environment: “Bathrooms are often the most humid rooms in your home due to the constant moisture from showers and bathtubs, so window treatments must be easy to clean and able to withstand high humidity without warping or staining,” says Renee Miller, SFGate.
- Balancing Beauty and Privacy: “Bathroom window treatments are more than just a dressing for a window frame,” writes HGTV blogger Sharon Merritt. “They need to pull double duty by beautifying a space and providing privacy.”
- Make That Triple Duty: “Unlike other rooms, bathroom window treatments need to let in natural light while keeping prying eyes out,” says David Rasmussen of Rasmussen Construction in San Francisco.
Window Treatment Recommendations: Heat, humidity, and moisture: these three things typically do not mix well with window treatments. So, your options are a little limited in the bathroom. But that doesn’t mean you cannot find beautiful, functional window treatments that meet your every need. It just means that you have to be smart with what you choose.
- Faux Wood Blinds: Give the look of real wood without the threat of warping under the intense humidity found in some bathrooms.
- Honeycomb Shades: Light filtering Honeycomb Shades illuminate a room with natural light. A Top Down/Bottom Up lift system can also give a bathroom the perfect amount of privacy.
- Vinyl Shutters: They combine the beauty of real wood, with the practical advantages of vinyl components. Cafe Panel Shutters allow for privacy on the bottom half and and clear views on the upper portion.
- BONUS! While not suitable for all bathrooms, Woven Wood Shades can be a beautiful compliment to larger, well-ventilated bathrooms. The natural fibers can trap moisture, so if you bathroom gets steamy, steer clear. But, for larger bathrooms with windows a good distance from showers, the shades’ warm textures contrast nicely with the cooler marble, porcelain and tile found in most bathrooms.