By Joseph Pubillones
How many times do you go into your bathroom and say to yourself, "this bathroom needs a makeover"? You may be afraid of the costs of doing a head-to-toe bathroom renovation, but there may be small improvements that can be done within a budget that will make every visit to the "throne" a little bit nicer.
Personally, I adore an all-white bathroom, but for some it may be boring. Plain Jane white bathrooms are easy to work with because the addition of just a bit of color on the walls can make a big difference. Paint is easy, and for most normal-size bathrooms can be accomplished for under $500. A solid color is a safe bet, but there are stencils that can be applied over for a more interesting combination. In addition, stripes can be accomplished with a bit of patience, painter's tape and a contrasting color.
Wallpaper is yet another option to upgrade a standard or dated bathroom. Once you have selected a wallpaper that is to your likings, I suggest using a professional installer for a nice installation. This will cost a little bit more because of wall preparation, including oil primer to avoid drywall damage in future removal and better adhesion of wallpaper to wall surface. Average costs can range from $750 and higher depending on the cost of the wallpaper.
Changing out a dated light fixture for a newer one may help the lighting in the room, and help in the overall feel of the bathroom. Make sure they are lights specifically for bathrooms, so they will be able to handle the moisture. Brighter bathrooms will always seem cleaner. While you are at it, install a dimmer to help set the mood for a long spalike bath or shower. Budget range of $300 and higher.
While flooring sounds like a big-to-do, there are ways of sprucing up tile. You can have the floor professionally steam cleaned and have the grout stained and sealed a different color. Alternatively, there are linoleum and vinyl tiles on the market, which are easy to install.
Changing out plumbing fixtures can make a big impact in a bathroom reno. Changing out the faucets may seem hard, but if you follow the instructions in the package and have all the pertinent tools, you will be amazed that you can do it yourself. For harder to install shower fixtures, the helping hand of a plumber might be needed.
Glass shower enclosures are a sure way to revamp your bathroom. Once an item that had to be custom-ordered, most home renovation stores have a variety of glass enclosures for most standard tubs and showers, ready for you to install, most for under $700.
A new set of wastebasket, tumbler, soap-dish and lotion dispenser can freshen up the counter tops. A new shower curtain can also help update a bathroom, and smaller bathrooms will look larger if you have a custom shower-curtain made that hangs from the ceiling. New towel bars, robe hooks and grab-bars are yet another way to give your existing bathroom a new look.
Finally, new towels are the finishing touch to new bathroom. With some of these ideas, you are sure to love spending time in your bathroom. Hail to la salle de bain!
• Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Florida.