Updating your bathroom doesn’t have to break the bank or throw off your daily schedule. It is important to remember, though, that every successful bathroom makeover balances form and function with trends and beauty. Use texture to temper personal flair – rotate between accessories with visual appeal and choose delicate textures for more permanent elements. Stick to similar tones and colors for a subtle and sophisticated look. Here are a few tips to help you give your bathroom a quick and cost-effective makeover.
“Textured ceramics or porcelain tiles are extremely realistic for the bath because of their low maintenance,” says DeeDee Gundburg, director of product development at ANN SACKS Tile & Stone. “No need to worry about sealing, steam or moisture,” she adds.
While adding tile may be an old trick, Marlene Buckner, interior designer, Portland, Ore., says porcelain tiles are a new thing.
“There’s been tremendous technological advancement in porcelain tiles, so I’ve noticed a much greater use of high-grade porcelain on floors, entire walls, interiors of showers and backsplashes,” she says.
Improvements include larger formats, such as panels five-feet wide by two-feet tall, and sheer metallic glazes that add a three-dimensional shimmer to flat tiles. “The visual textures available now are just beautiful,” Buckner says.
For a cheaper, less intensive project, Michelle Pollak, interior designer and president of The Lollipop Tree in Charleston, S.C., says to replace standard medicine cabinets or main mirrors with framed mirrors. “This does wonders for your bathroom,” she says.
Buckner says to take it a step further by covering entire walls with mirrors in smaller bathrooms.
“You can embed an entire panel of mirrors from 42 inches above the floor up to the ceiling to make the room feel bigger,” she says. Also consider hanging individual framed mirrors. “This is really popular because you can find reasonable mirrors with textured wood or painted frames,” Buckner says.
Light fixtures can be an excellent texture source, according to Buckner. “You need light in bathrooms, so it’s a great way to add a three-dimensional element to a necessary item,” she says. “Plus, you can spend as little as $50 for a simple sconce or as much as you want on something more elaborate.”
Pollak says to keep in mind the type of lighting used. “If you have a contemporary bathroom but light it incorrectly, you’re going to see glare bouncing off your surfaces,” she says.
“Or if you want to highlight a really interesting texture like a wall cover with metallic in it, you want the light to show off the shadows and textures.”
Simply adding good quality towels, soft bath rugs and a decorative shower curtain can give a bathroom the texture it needs.
“Even soap dispensers are often overlooked,” she says. Metal soap dispensers can add a reflective quality to the room. The same goes for wastebaskets and items on the counter top. “Treat accessories like a piece of sculptural art,” Pollak says. “They can really make the room look polished.”
Before you get texture happy, Gundburg warns not to overdo it. “Adding more than one texture to a small room can be overwhelming,” she says.