When bathroom decorating ideas are presented by a professional decorator, they first have to determine what you want to spend, and then they look to introduce a theme that you will approve of. The key to having a theme in your bathroom is an open mind and a little imagination.
A few examples of theme include: beach (shells and ocean); floral; fruit (either 1 specific or in combination; and birds (again, either 1 type of bird – like ducks, or a variety of birds). Your towels and accessories should then be purchased to follow the chosen theme.
You can change the color and design of the waste basket, or soap dispenser. My wife changes these with the seasons – like the wreaths on the front door. It’s amazing how much these little items change the overall look of the bathroom.
If the budget is small, you can do a pretty effective job of introducing a new theme with linens and small accessories. The shower curtain, a throw rug, and some new towels can make a huge difference. A permanent flooring change might be beyond your means, but a bold throw rug shouldn’t be out of the question.
Consider a Persian or Oriental. Light colors will make small rooms appear more spacious, while dark colors will make larger rooms cozy. If your bathroom door opens in, you may have to take 1/2″ or so off the bottom of the door. This is not very expensive and any handy person can do it.
If throw rugs are confined to powder rooms, moisture isn’t an issue. If they are near the shower, I recommend using a bathmat as well. Otherwise, water will eventually take its toll on the rug.
With a bigger budget, you can think about fixtures, faucets, tiles, and cabinetry. Therefore, you can adapt the extent of your decorative changes to your budget very easily without having to do a complete rip out and total replacement. If funds are limited, simply focus on one element at a time.
Sinks and faucets can range in price from $150 (for both) to about $1,000. The selection is mind-blowing. Home centers (like Home Depot or Lowe’s) don’t offer a very good choice. They stay with the low end. Kitchen and bath showrooms, and plumbing supply houses will have a much wider selection, especially in the mid-to-high-end ranges.
When choosing faucets or bath/shower fixtures, make sure they all have the same finish as the other accessories (towel bar, toilet paper holder, etc.). This brings consistency to your theme. They should also adhere to the overall look of contemporary or traditional.
If storage space is not a problem, you could opt for a pedestal sink instead of a full vanity. This will save you hundreds of dollars. Pedestal sinks come in lots of designs, and a few are oversized models. If you choose one of these, I recommend adding a small shelf below your mirror. This is less expensive than the countertop typically found on a vanity.
Another option regarding a surface for incidental items, is to have a small shelf above the toilet. If the sink and toilet are adjacent to each other, this could be one long shelf. Candles, and those glass thingie-bobs that you find at flea markets are very good items for these shelves. They add color and interest.
Instead of the usual medicine cabinet, consider a mirror with an interesting frame. These frames can go a long way to complementing your theme, and the shape of the mirror should comply as well. Of course, you have to have a closet or cabinet somewhere else in the room so you have a place for the items usually kept in the medicine cabinet.
Any discussion about bathroom decorating ideas wouldn’t be complete unless we discussed lighting. Lighting is a great way to create mood and add interest. If you relocate your existing lighting, you risk an electrician making holes in walls or ceilings and causing relatively expensive patch work. Save relocations for the larger bathroom renovations.
If you’re just redecorating, simply replace your existing fixtures with those that parallel the new theme. Some exhaust fan models include lights (although they aren’t very attractive); make-up mirrors usually are illuminated; some medicine cabinets have lighting components. You should try to have both ambient (general) lighting and task (direct) lighting.
Lighting should be comfortable – not too bright or too dim. A central fixture (I hesitate to call it a chandelier) in the ceiling is usually how people achieve the general lighting. Scented candles can be added for mood and a spa-like atmosphere. Hmmm, I think I’ll add a couple of those to my bathroom.
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