Home & Garden

Simple changes can transform a bathroom

Easily update your bathroom with a sleek pedestal sink, a framed mirror and stylish (yet practical) storage space.
Easily update your bathroom with a sleek pedestal sink, a framed mirror and stylish (yet practical) storage space. FOTOLIA

A bathroom renovation seems so easy and doable when you’re watching a show where the remodeler finds someone in a home center and agrees to do the design, labor and installation. But when it’s just you and a very limited budget, can you still get a new look in your bathroom and not break the bank? Yes, you can.

Dull and dated

The fastest and easiest way to start a bathroom update is to find the sore thumb. This is that one thing that’s making your bathroom cry out that it’s still stuck in a previous decade. Maybe it’s an old medicine cabinet or the forest green tile with the peach walls that’s taking you back in time. Find the thing in the bathroom that’s the obvious problem and tackle it first.

One easy problem to correct is the sliding shower enclosure doors. Removing these and updating with a shower curtain can move your bathroom forward quickly. Hang the curtain high or from the ceiling to give extra height and dimension to the room.

Another correctable update is lighting. Old fixtures can be quickly swapped out, and it’s one of the easiest changes on the budget.

If you have a large jetted or garden tub, try hanging a chandelier over it to dress it up and give it more presence.

If old wallpaper is dating the bathroom, remove it and give your bathroom an updated color with a coat of fresh paint.

Tiling terror

One way to tackle a tile problem is to cover it with wainscoting or bead board paneling. Both are easy ways to remove miles of wild tile in a simple, clean step. The paneling can be installed using a molding cap at the top of the tile and bottom where it meets the floor.

Using a ceramic bit on a drill, the molding and bead board can be attached through the tile to the wall behind.

Prefer something more industrial? Inexpensive corrugated tin can be used in place of the wood paneling and it’s also easy to size and install.

Fast and furious

If the tile is in good shape but the fixtures are tired, try taking out that old sink in the bath cabinet and go for a sleek pedestal option.

If your toilet has seen better days, replace it with a new one that matches your new sink. Taking out and replacing a commode isn’t as difficult as you might think.

If that’s too much work, swap out all your hardware from sink fixtures and cabinet hardware to towel bars and toilet handle. A coordinated grouping will give you big impact.

If you go for a new, daring color in your update, try some colored glass cabinet knobs to accentuate the new hue. Bring large mirrors up to date by adding trim around them. Refresh windows with new curtains or shutters.

Don’t overlook storage. Employ storage towers for bathroom supplies and to make a statement.

Think like a home stager and do fast changes such as new towels, a stylish shower curtain, and some new updated and quirky accessories to help you complete your new look.