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From Drab to Fab: Give Your Bathroom a Makeover With These Easy Tips

From Drab to Fab: Give Your Bathroom a Makeover With These Easy Tips - Brighten Things Up With a Fresh Coat of Paint

A fresh coat of paint can work wonders when giving your bathroom a makeover. Going from dull, faded walls to a vibrant new hue instantly livens up the space. Paint is an affordable way to dramatically transform the look and feel of a room.

When selecting a new paint color, think about the mood you want to create. Light, neutral tones like beige, light grey and soft blues promote a soothing, spa-like environment. Bolder colors like jewel tones, deep greens or navy blue make more of a statement. Remember, the smaller the space, the bolder you can go without it feeling overwhelming.

In terms of finish, semi-gloss or high-gloss paints stand up best to humidity and condensation. They can be easily wiped clean. Matte finishes, while popular for walls, may show water spots and stains more over time.

Prep your walls properly before painting. Fill any holes or imperfections with spackle and sand smooth. Remove any gloss or shine from existing paint by lightly sanding. Wipe away dust. Prime first if changing colors dramatically or painting over glossy surfaces. Use painter"™s tape for clean edges along baseboards, ceilings and windows.

Paint the ceiling first, then walls from top to bottom. Use an angled brush for cutting in edges and paint roller for large areas. Allow adequate drying time between coats. Work methodically to avoid drips or lap marks. Proper prep and application leads to a smooth, professional looking finish.

Incorporate an accent wall to add visual interest. Paint one wall in a contrasting color or different finish. Try painting the back wall of a tub/shower in a glossy tile-like color. Use stencils or masking tape to create patterns like horizontal stripes, geometric shapes or vertical panels.

Beyond walls, don"™t overlook other areas that could benefit from a fresh coat of paint. Dated tile tub surrounds, vinyl flooring, vanities and ceilings can all be refreshed affordably with paint. Use specific tub/tile paint for surfaces that see a lot of moisture.

From Drab to Fab: Give Your Bathroom a Makeover With These Easy Tips - Swap Out Your Fixtures for an Updated Look

Giving your bathroom fixtures a facelift is one of the easiest ways to update the look and feel of your space. Swapping out dated faucets, showerheads, lighting, mirrors, and hardware for new, stylish options can make a dramatic impact.

When selecting new fixtures, pay close attention to the finish. Brushed nickel, oil rubbed bronze, chrome and matte black are popular choices that pair well with most color schemes. Go for a cohesive look by choosing fixtures in the same metal tone. Mixing and matching finishes can give a piecemeal effect.

Upgrade to higher efficiency faucets and showerheads to save water and energy. Look for WaterSense labeled models that use aerator technology to maintain water pressure while reducing flow. Low flow showerheads provide an invigorating spray while cutting water usage significantly.

In terms of faucets, consider touchless or hands-free options for increased hygiene and convenience. Motion sensor faucets turn on when hands are detected underneath and shut off automatically when no longer in use. For a sleek minimalist look, opt for single-handle or vessel faucets.

When it comes to lighting, adequate illumination is key for tasks like shaving and makeup application. Swap out dated fluorescent fixtures for LED lights that provide bright, natural illumination while using 80% less energy. Install dimmers to control ambience.

Choosing new bathroom mirrors can also refresh the look of your space. Try frameless mirrors for a clean, contemporary aesthetic. Beveled edge and antiqued mirrors add classic charm. Illuminated mirrors provide task lighting. Opt for a size and shape that fits your walls and spatial needs.

Finally, change out tired hardware like drawer pulls and cabinet knobs. Sleek bar pulls offer a minimalist look. Vintage crystal or ceramic knobs exude old-world character. Updating your hardware to match your fixtures pulls the whole new look together.

The Keysers gave their outdated bathroom a stunning makeover by replacing the worn pink tile, dated wallpaper and mismatched fixtures with contemporary counterparts. "We swapped in new chrome rainhead shower, sleek double vanity and frameless mirror," Deb Keyser said. "The change is amazing. I feel like I'm at a spa."

For Susan Klein, simply changing out her bathroom hardware made a noticeable impact. "I replaced all the outdated brass knobs and pulls with matte black bar hardware," she said. "It gave my bathroom a cleaner, more modern look for just $40." Klein was thrilled with her easy upgrade.

From Drab to Fab: Give Your Bathroom a Makeover With These Easy Tips - Maximize Storage with New Cabinets and Shelving

Storage solutions are a must for keeping bathrooms organized and clutter-free. When designing your bathroom makeover, focus on maximizing every inch of available space with storage cabinets and shelving. Even the smallest bathrooms can benefit from some creative storage hacks.

Open shelving instantly makes a bathroom feel more spacious and airy. Mount floating shelves along one wall to neatly display rolled towels, toiletries and decorative objects. Stagger shelves at different heights for visual interest. Glass shelves have an especially sleek, modern look. wicker baskets or bins keep items corralled.

Take advantage of all vertical wall space with floor-to-ceiling shelving on end walls or in corners. This can house extra toilet paper, cleaning supplies and backup bath accessories. Place frequently used items within easy reach on lower shelves. Use upper shelves for overflow or seasonal items.

Consider above-toilet cabinets to utilize awkward empty space. Look for models with doors that hide contents. Or, opt for open shelving with bins or baskets. These keep extra toilet paper rolls, medications and feminine products organized yet discreetly out of sight.

When choosing new bathroom vanities, look for styles with generously sized drawers, cabinets and countertop space. Drawers make small items easy to access. Deep cabinets offer plenty of room for rolled towels, hair dryers and toiletries. Some vanities even have pull-out vertical storage behind cabinet doors.

If your current vanity is still in good shape, add freestanding storage units like a tower next to it. Multi-level towers provide a spot for folded towels, toilet paper and cleaning essentials. Look for adjustable shelves and interior dividers.

Small spaces benefit from wall-hung vanities that don"™t touch the floor. This leaves room for a freestanding cabinet underneath without cramping the room. Wall-hung vanities also have an airy, floating effect.

When selecting cabinets and shelving, look for moisture-resistant materials like bamboo, metal and molded plastics that won"™t warp or deteriorate in a damp bathroom environment. Avoid raw wood shelves that can warp over time.

From Drab to Fab: Give Your Bathroom a Makeover With These Easy Tips - Give Your Tub/Shower a Facelift

A bathtub or shower enclosure often sees the most wear and tear in a bathroom. Years of use can leave once-gleaming surfaces dingy and damaged. Cracked tile, peeling surrounds, mildewed grout, and leaky plumbing quickly make a bath or shower an eyesore. Thankfully, there are several easy ways to revive your tub/shower area.

Reglazing is a budget-friendly way to refresh a worn enamel tub or fiberglass surround. During the reglazing process, a new coating is sprayed on that adheres to the existing surface. This fills in scratches and chips to create a like-new finish. The process can be completed in as little as one day and costs a fraction of full replacement. Ensure any contractor you hire is experienced with bathroom reglazing. Poor surface prep or incompatible chemicals can cause the coating to fail prematurely.

For tile showers, re-grouting and sealing can dramatically improve appearance. Over time, grout becomes stained and discolored. Re-grouting involves scraping out the old grout and replacing it with new. Use a grout saw or rotary tool for removal. Be sure to prep the joint area so fresh grout adheres properly. Match the grout color to your existing tile. Add sealant to protect the refreshed grout from moisture and prevent mildew growth.

If your tile is intact but just looking outdated, adding tile overlays can transform the look. Pre-made peel and stick tile overlays install right over existing tile in a fraction of the time. Choose from an array of materials like ceramic, porcelain and natural stone. Subway tiles, mosaics and large scale tiles all lend a modern vibe. Just ensure your existing wall surface is smooth.

For a more dramatic update, replace surround tile entirely. Schluter Systems makes waterproofing underlayments like Kerdi that allow tiling directly over existing materials, speeding up installation. Large format porcelain slabs create a sleek contemporary look. Mix shapes, sizes and textures for visual interest. Contrast classic white subway tile with stone or glass accents. Frameless glass shower doors give a clean, modern finish.

If your shower enclosure shows signs of leakage, it may be time to replace it. Look for units with durable laminate surfaces that resist mildew and moisture damage. Neo-angle enclosures maximize space in corners. Sliding doors save room overall. Opt for shatterproof tempered glass panels, especially with children in the home. Ensure doors feature high-quality watertight seals.

No matter the specific update, investing in your tub or shower area pays dividends. "Re-grouting and adding new shower doors made my old blue tile shower look brand new," said homeowner Gail Gomez. "I no longer feel like I'm bathing in the 70s!"

Ron Keller used Schluter underlayment and large marble-look porcelain tiles to re-tile his aging shower. "It was a big project, but the end result looks like a spa," he said. "The heavy tile and glass doors transformed the whole space."

From Drab to Fab: Give Your Bathroom a Makeover With These Easy Tips - Lay Down Some Striking New Tile

Laying down new tile is one of the most dramatic ways to transform the look of a tired, outdated bathroom. With so many sizes, shapes, textures and patterns to choose from, tile offers almost endless design possibilities. The visual impact can be stunning.

For many homeowners, the prospect of tiling an entire bathroom is daunting. Hiring a professional tile installer is costly. Doing it yourself requires time and skill. Thankfully, there are some easy ways DIYers can lay striking new tile without taking on a major tiling project.

One simple approach is using tile decals or stickers. These peel-and-stick tiles come in an array of materials like ceramic, porcelain, glass, metal and natural stone. Just clean the surface thoroughly, measure and lay out your pattern, peel off the backing and press on. Tile stickers allow you to add an accent wall, tile the tub surround or floor, or create a geometric backsplash with minimal mess and labor.

Another option is tiles sheets, which feature tiles mounted together on mesh backing. This allows for easier handling and alignment. Tile sheets are commonly found in mosaics, but also come in other patterns like herringbone and hexagons. For small spaces like powder rooms, tile sheets enable you to achieve intricate designs without tediously setting each tiny tile.

For larger makeovers, Schluter Systems makes underlayments that allow tiling directly over existing surfaces. Materials like Kerdi and Ditra allow you to install tile over painted drywall in showers, concrete floors, or old tile and plywood. This alleviates the need to fully demo down to bare studs or subfloor. Tile underlayments save huge time and trouble while still delivering long-lasting results.

When selecting your new tile, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. For high-moisture areas like showers, choose porcelain or ceramic tile rather than more permeable natural stone. Pay attention to the tile's coefficient of friction rating, or slip-resistance. Larger tiles can make a small space feel expansive, while mosaics feel lively and intricate.

Mixing tile shapes, sizes and colors adds visual punch. Try combining rectangular subway tiles with glossy hexagonal accents. Or pair sleek porcelain slabs with textured marble inserts. Contrast classic white tile with bold, graphic patterns or colorful glass mosaics.

Beyond walls, don"™t overlook floors. Swapping out old sheet vinyl or linoleum for new tile immediately classes up a bathroom. Porcelain tile stands up well to heavy use and moisture. Mosaic floors make a lively statement underfoot. For quick installation, large scale peel-and-stick vinyl tiles emulate stone, slate and hardwood looks while being easy snap in place.

"I used peel-and-stick subway tiles to create an accent wall behind my tub," said Carrie Nelson. "It took an afternoon and made my bathroom feel brand new. I'm in love with the pop of pattern it adds."

Bill Thompson tiled his dated vinyl floor using tile underlayment and porcelain wood-look planks. "I was able to tile right over the existing floor, saving a ton of work," he said. "Now I have this beautiful "˜wood"™ floor that totally transforms the whole space."

From Drab to Fab: Give Your Bathroom a Makeover With These Easy Tips - Accessorize With Pops of Color and Texture

Accessorizing a bathroom with pops of color and texture is an easy way to add visual interest while expressing your personal style. Unlike permanent fixtures, accessories can be changed out whenever you feel like a refresh. They provide affordable opportunities to play with different colors, materials and themes.

Injecting color into a neutral bathroom palette keeps the space from feeling flat or monotonous. Sculptural vases in hues like emerald, sapphire or amethyst bring in vibrant pops. Display colorful glass bottles along a shelf as artful objects. Roll up hand towels or washcloths and place them in baskets, tying each bundle with ribbon in a different bright shade.

Texture also adds dimension and warmth to bathrooms, which can often feel sterile when done in all hard surfaces. Incorporate natural materials like woven wicker, rattan, wood, marble, leather or raffia. Sculptural wicker baskets look chic holding toiletries on open shelving. A wooden bath mat at the sink provides spa-like texture underfoot. Drape a striped cotton rug beside the tub for cozy softness.

When selecting accessories, opt for ones that align with your overall aesthetic. Traditional bathrooms come to life with vintage-inspired accents like folded linen towels in a wall cubby, a carved wood mirror frame, ceramic apothecary jars, or an antique clawfoot tub fitted with a tray.

Contemporary spaces shine with modern metallic and glass objects. Try a geometric hammered metal soap dish, industrial wall hooks, or sleek glass vases filled with river rocks. Mixing matte and polished metallics adds depth.

For a spa look, incorporate neutral textured accessories like woven water hyacinth storage bins, stone bathmats, rattan towel baskets lined with Turkish cotton towels, and live plants like bamboo, ferns or orchids. Display stacks of river rocks, sea glass or other natural objects in glass apothecary jars or concrete bowls.

Beyond purely decorative accents, also use accessories to add needed function. Floating wood or metal shelves provide display space plus extra storage. Freestanding wire racks neatly hold toilet paper rolls, bath towels and other supplies. Coat hooks, towel bars and shower caddies in finishes that pop add style while keeping necessities at hand.

From Drab to Fab: Give Your Bathroom a Makeover With These Easy Tips - Let There Be Light! Update Your Lighting

Proper lighting is essential in any bathroom for safety, function, and ambience. Dated fixtures and inadequate illumination can leave a bathroom feeling dark and dreary. When planning your bathroom makeover, upgrading the lighting makes a tremendous impact both aesthetically and practically.

Swapping out old fluorescent box fixtures for new LED lights instantly modernizes the look while improving brightness. LEDs (light-emitting diodes) use at least 75% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs, saving on replacement costs. LEDs also emit less heat, making them safer for moisture-prone bathrooms.

When selecting new light fixtures, consider the tasks performed in the space. Vanity lighting needs to provide bright, shadow-free illumination for applying makeup and grooming. Look for horizontally mounted fixtures on either side of the mirror. Light should shine directly on the face, not down from overhead. Dimmers allow adjustability.

For general ambient lighting, install flush mount or semi-flush mount ceiling fixtures. These unobtrusive styles keep the attention on other elements of the bathroom design. Opt for bulbs with high CRI (color rendering index) to accurately reflect skin tones.

Take advantage of new fixture styles that incorporate both task lighting and mood lighting. Sconces or vertical bars with multiple bulb positions cast both upward and downward light. Dim to the ideal level for any activity.

Don"™t neglect lighting in the shower. Waterproof recessed can lights enhance visibility and safety. Niche lights illuminate shelves. Strip lighting installed on walls or ceilings bathes the entire enclosure in a soothing glow.

Beyond new fixtures, also consider adding portable lighting like table lamps, sconces and pendants. These create a layering effect for increased brightness and visual interest. Try placing a pair of glass orb pendants over the tub or a set of matching sconces framing the mirror.

Updating bathroom lighting doesn"™t have to involve a full electrical overhaul. Many new fixture styles are plug-in or battery operated for easy DIY installing. Powerful adhesive pucks and under-cabinet bars provide task lighting anywhere it"™s needed.

Improving the lighting changed the whole feel of Tina Chen"™s dated bathroom. "œI swapped the old ceiling fixture for new LED cans and added Hollywood-style lighted mirrors," she said. "œNow my makeup looks flawless every day!"

James Cox took advantage of easy-to-install lighting options when remodeling his bathroom. "œI used battery-powered LED puck lights in the shower and under-cabinet lights at the vanity," he said. "œThe added illumination makes the room feel bright and airy."

From Drab to Fab: Give Your Bathroom a Makeover With These Easy Tips - Finish It Off With Fun Accents and Artwork

The finishing touches you add to your bathroom makeover have a big impact, bringing in personality and flair. Have fun accessorizing with playful accents and artwork that reflect your unique sense of style. These custom details turn an ordinary bathroom into an extraordinary oasis.

Make a statement with bold wallpaper or a lively accent wall covering. Today"™s wallpapers go far beyond traditional florals and plaids. Try tropical prints, geometric patterns, or distressed metal and wood looks for contemporary flair. Peel-and-stick wallpaper allows you to easily refresh a focal wall. Tempaper offers chic printable designs that stick without adhesives for fuss-free application and removal.

Or create a textural feature wall with 3D tile, shiplap-style planks, or woven water reed panels. Faux plants and floral arrangements liven up wall space while adding natural allure. Floating shelves elegantly display treasures, while whimsical wall hooks add quirky pops of color.

The bath mat is another area that"™s ripe for infusing playful personality. Skip the basic solid colors and patterns in favor of jute mats stamped with cheeky phrases. Or try memory foam mats printed with bold tropical motifs or mosaic tile designs. For a custom look, stencil patterns and words onto a plain mat using fabric paint.

Display your favorite artwork to elevate your space into a gallery. Waterproof acrylic and metal prints allow you to safely hang paintings and photographs without worrying about moisture damage. Bring in touches of nature with framed pressed botanicals, sea life illustrations or butterfly collections under glass. Lean a large framed mirror against the wall for an artful effect.

For a creative DIY project, decorate blank ceramic tiles with original drawings, decoupage with wallpaper scraps, or apply colorful mosaic glass fragments. Hang in coordinating small frames for one-of-a-kind accent art.

Unique lighting fixtures also add artful flair. Sculptural pendants made from sea glass, woven wicker, or fractured geodes make a stunning style statement above bathtubs. Search architectural salvage stores for vintage ceiling fixtures that add a pop of era-specific character.

Or showcase collections in illuminated glass cabinets or shelves to add distinctive personality. Display shells gathered from beach trips under cabinet lighting. Illuminate cherished perfume bottles or vintage soaps along a glass shelf. Add character with your choice of plush towels. Monogrammed towels add a hint of customization when folded neatly on open shelves. Boldly striped beach towels lend a casual, playful vibe -- easily rolled up in coordinating baskets.

For a glamorous accent, hang beaded or tassel-trimmed curtains around clawfoot tubs. Adorn metal carts with soft folded towels, candles and greenery. The personalized extras you add reflect the interests and loves that make your home special.

James Ritter made his own quirky ceramic tile art. "œI had so much fun decorating the blank tiles with my original doodles and designs," he said. "œNow my functional bathroom is also an art gallery showcasing my creativity."

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