By Becky Harris
A very generous person who pays attention to what I drool over in stores gave me a killer shower curtain for Christmas, and I have to say, hanging it up gave my bathroom a whole new personality. You don’t have to rip up tile, do a demo or involve stone cutters and plumbers in order to give your bathroom a facelift. Here are 15 ideas that are more or less in order from free to practically free to help you make your bathroom seem brand new. Pick one or two or do all 15, and let me know how it goes!
1. Replace your countertop accessories.
This doesn’t require shopping. Look through your cabinets for a pretty bowl for soap, a cup, ceramic mug, vase or mason jar for toothbrushes, and a small tray or plate to corral your cosmetics.
2. Edit what you keep on the countertop.
Some items, like this Chanel powder and glass bottles, look good on the counter. Other items, like aspirin and shaving gel, should be kept behind a medicine cabinet door or a drawer.
3. Bring in a fun sculptural item or two.
These Jonathan Adler fish added a whole new color and style to this bathroom. You don’t need to buy anything. A favorite shell, stone or piece of driftwood can work just as well.
4. Add a table lamp.
There’s no law that says every light in the bathroom needs to be a sconce or come from the bathroom section of the lighting store. Raid your dresser tops and side tables and rotate a lamp into the bathroom.
5. While you’re raiding that house looking for that table lamp, consider a bit of furniture.
You can swipe a side table or stool from elsewhere in the house to hold a plant, funny books, a glass of wine, etc.
6. Switch out your mirror.
Swipe one from another room or paint a tired vintage find with a fresh coat of lacquer.
7. Continuing on that raid, rethink the artwork in your bathroom.
Swap in pieces from other rooms, or print some favorite photos from the computer, find some favorite postcards, rip an image out of a book or magazine and put them in inexpensive frames.
8. Add an orchid.
Most grocery stores have orchids for under $20, and they last for months.
9. Switch out your shower curtain.
While you’re at it, demote your current liner to paint dropcloth duty and replace it.
10. Chances are if you were ready for a new shower curtain liner, you’re ready for a new bathmat.
While I’m not saying it should be a hyena skin, you don’t have to limit yourself to the bathmat rug category. Look at rag rugs and small kitchen rugs, runners, and don’t miss the new bathmats that are made of pebbles or mold-resistant wood.
11. Add a fresh coat of paint.
A new color on the walls can completely change the look of your bathroom. Many cabinets can be painted — think about switching yours (this is my next project). Oh yeah, and you can use your soap-scummy old shower curtain liner that you replaced as a dropcloth.
12. Consider wall decals.
They are an inexpensive and impermanent way to transform your walls.
13. Add a vintage ladder to serve as a towel rack.
14. Rethink your robe.
Did you not notice that your big old terrycloth Flo Capp robe has seen better days? Cut it up into dustrags and order up something a little more luxurious. Here the kimono is part of the room’s decor.
15. Switch out your cabinet hardware.
You don’t need custom-made pieces; the big box home improvement stores are full of great options these days.