The bathroom has evolved over the past decades from a strictly useful and functional room to one that is similar to a spa. And just because there aren't thousands of dollars available for decorating doesn't mean that a bath can't be unique, dramatic and thoroughly satisfying. Here are nine frugal ways to spice up any bathroom.
1. Collections of inexpensive mirrors add both light and space to any bathroom. They reflect colors, faces and other decorations and add character and interest . Mirrors are much more effective when grouped together rather than being a scattered mass simply hanging on a wall.
2. Pictures or prints can be massed on a wall. For maximum impact hang them closely together rather than separated. Pictures can be striking if they have a 'theme', such as:
* Black and white photos - no color
* Older shots - from the 1930s or 1940s, for instance
* The frames are all an identical color
* The frames or photos have a uniqueness in common - oval shapes, women only, pets
This decorating tactic works best in a powder room, rather than a full bathroom, because of the high moisture.
3. Needlework makes a striking wall accent. For instance, sampler patterns from Colonial America are easily available and a few samplers grouped on a wall create a totally unique bathroom.
4. For color and charm, throw a rug on the floor. In a dull or drab bathroom, a rag rug or oriental carpet will add charm and beauty. Just be certain to use a non-skid pad underneath, especially if anyone will be stepping out of a tub or shower.
5. Collections can spark interest and admiration. Pottery is an unusual accent piece for any bathroom. Or you might consider old bottles, perfume atomizers, shaving mugs or other flea market collectibles. One especially exciting bathroom included replicas of old bottles with genuine antique stoppers made of silver and fashioned into old-time designs.
In a bathroom, be certain there is ample space for your collectibles, like a wide shelf with a lip or a generous window sill. Broken pottery or glass isn't helpful in any room - but it's especially destructive in a bathroom.
6. Color is, of course, the quickest, cheapest and easiest way alter any bathroom. Unusual colors on a bathroom wall, like melon, chocolate brown or peach, will add drama. Accents like brightly colored towels in a monochromatic bathroom will provide an outstanding accent.
7. Architectural details can spark interest. A piece of beaded or crown molding halfway up the wall or near the ceiling can transform a room, especially if it's painted a funky color. A more elaborate addition would be grooved paneling over half the wall. Even a shelf or picture rail adds interest.
8. Add living color with plants or freshly cut flowers. The energy of plants is soothing and creates a zen-like atmosphere that is very conducive to relaxation and letting go of stress.
9. A piece of furniture, space permitting, can add unusual detail to any bathroom. Furniture need not be expensive. Most Goodwill or Salvation Army stores will have a battered piece of furniture that can be revived with sanding, paint and some unusual and classy handles or knobs.
All nine of these ideas won't fit every bathroom, nor should they. Simply choose one or two, as your budget permits, and begin slowly adding details. And don't forget the 'before and after' pictures!
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