The average woman spends one and a half years in the bathroom over her lifetime. (Seriously, google it!) So shouldn’t you give this space some love? ‘Bathrooms are the easiest place to be fearless and have fun,’ says design expert Susanna Salk. ‘You can do a lot without spending a lot.’
Here are six contractor-free ways to make your room a bright and blissful refuge:
1. Paint your tiles
Hating your tile colour doesn’t mean you need to take a sledgehammer to your bathroom. ‘It’s easy to paint over them,’ says Ashley McLeod of the blog Domestic Imperfection. She swears by Rust-Oleum’s Specialty Tub & Tile Refinishing Kit (available from Builders Warehouse). Follow the directions on the box and use a foam roller. (Fuzzy ones can leave lint behind.) The end result will be gleaming and durable. ‘My shower is going on a year, and not chip in sight,’ says McLeod.
2. … and your cabinet
For those with laminate cabinets, blogger Jennifer Jones (iheartorganizing.blogspot.com) shares her trick: take the doors off and cover everything with a coat of oil-based primer. Once dry, sand, gently clean and paint. ‘You’ll need something heavy-duty, like exterior paint, that will stand up to the moisture,’ says Jones.
3. Change your showerhead, change your life
‘The first thing I did in my rental bathroom was install a rain-style fixture,’ says interior designer Grant Gibson. ‘You just screw it on, and it’s like a new shower!’
4. Go wild with wallpaper
Since bathrooms are small, you don’t have to buy that much paper. Also, you won’t be in there 24/7, so you can get a little kooky with your pattern. If you paper a room that gets steamy, add extra paste at the seams, and always run your fan while showering. Or try vinyl decals (we love the My Wall Tattoos range) – they’ll hold up to moisture, and you can just peel them off when you want a new look.
5. Set a new mood…
with your shower curtain and towels. By not matching them you can get creative.
6. Improve your lighting and look years younger. Yay!
Lighting designer Bill Schwinghammer shares three tips that will make you actually want to face the mirror in the morning:
• For crisp, balanced light, use incandescent or halogen 60-watt bulbs. Definitely stay away from fluorescent bulbs, he says.
• Replace any metal lampshades or sconces with frosted-glass ones, as these cast a softer and more flattering glow.
• No sconces? Keep overhead fixtures in the centre of the room, not above your makeup mirror. This cuts down on unflattering shadows.
Here are some pics to inspire you:
Before & After Wallpaper (Yes, we know they used a stencil, but you can get the same effect – with less work too – by using wallpaper instead.)