So your kitchen has a refreshed and energized look. What next? If you have some budget left over, or some time next month, you might consider making some updates to another room in your home. I’d say the bathroom is worthy of attention, for two reasons:
1) Often all it needs to really look spiffy again is a good hard scrubbing and a few cheap changes to dress it up.
2) We all know the bathroom is one of the rooms that determine a home’s character and level of sophistication (for whatever reason—real estate agents harp on bathroom updates constantly when a house goes on the market), so it’s a good investment to spend some time bringing it up to date.
So what can you do that is easy, relatively painless and inexpensive to give your bathroom a fresh and clean look? More or less, you do the same things as you did to your kitchen—paint, color, fixtures. There are just a few different things to keep in mind as you make changes.
• Add a new coat of paint or stain. Same as the kitchen, a new color can transform a room in ways you can hardly believe until you do it. (See the paragraph below about color before you go crazy, though!)
• Install a new vanity or mirror treatment. Mirrors give us only what we put into them, right? If you make the setting a bit more attractive, you might be surprised at what stares back out at you!
• If you have windows, try a new window treatment. This is where that complementary color comes in: choose a lovely complementary shade to the walls and dress the windows and the shower curtain to really make the most of the bathroom.
• Add some fashionable and useful storage. I don’t know anyone who could not use more storage in their bathroom. So get out to IKEA or the Container Store and find a fashionable and serviceable set of shelves or a cabinet and really make full use of all the space in your bathroom (but make sure to do this after you paint).
A word about color
Take a moment to reflect on how you feel in your bathroom versus how you want to feel. Do you feel hot and sticky in the bathroom when you have to be in there? Do you often take cool showers? Do you approach blow drying your hair with dread? If you feel uncomfortably hot in your bathroom, you might consider painting and decorating with cool colors—blues and greens and greys and whites—to promote an illusion of a cooler atmosphere. Alternately, if you always shiver your way through showers and bathroom activities, redecorate with warmer colors and tones. Install a space heater or overhead heater/fan. Invest in some lovely warm, fluffy towels and floor mats! (And remember the 60/30/10 rule of colors! Choose a main color and make the room 60% that color, a complementary color to cover another 30%, and an accent shade in about 10% to give just a taste of freshness.)
Like every room in your home, you want to customize your bathroom to be comfortable for you. It’s not as important as the kitchen or family room, certainly, but it’s still important and worthy of some summer attention.
Are you planning on making any changes to your bathroom this summer? What’s the one update you’re burning to make? Or are you misering away your extra dough against the unpredictable and difficult economic times? (Either way, fair enough!) Let us know in the comments!