Monday, June 16, 2014

Dressing Up A Basic Bathroom

We have all seen plenty of photos of beautiful bathrooms to swoon over.  Amazing tile details, custom cabinetry, plumbing fixtures that look like is all so inspiring, and so expensive.  You might be feeling a bit defeated by all of these images you often see.  Spending $15,000 on a bathroom remodel may not be in your future (it is certainly not in mine), but don't despair.  You don't have to spend a fortune to make your bathroom a space you will love.  So, you might be looking for some simple ideas to revive a basic bathroom and add some style without completely mortgaging your house to do it.  A big impact can be made with a little effort and as much budget as you are willing to spend.

Here are photos of two of the bathrooms in my house.  These are both what I would consider a normal bathroom layout.  They both have a single vanity, a standard size bathtub and a commode.  

A few tips to dress up a basic bathroom:

  • One of my favorite tips is to take a shower curtain all the way to the ceiling.  This makes the bathtub/shower more of a focal point in the room.  There are two ways to achieve this.  One is to have a shower curtain custom made.  This can be an expensive option, but doesn't have to be.  Purchasing the fabric yourself and having a local seamstress sew it may end up being more affordable that you may anticipate.  The other option is to use a standard shower curtain and hang a fabric valance above it.  You can see this option in both the photos above.  In the yellow bath, I have the curtain and valance, and an additional panel that ties off to the right to cover an awkward short wall that needed to be hidden.  In the lower photo I have split panels that tie off to either side.  This really frames the bathtub.  If you are wondering how someone takes a shower in this bathroom, there is a liner hidden behind one of the side panels that can be pulled closed.   
  • Add artwork!  Any sort of art will work in a bathroom.  Do not fall into the rut of thinking that only certain types of images and art are appropriate for the bath.  Just because you are in the same room as the bathtub doesn't mean you need a watercolor of a bathtub on the wall.  Switch things up.  
  • Plants and flowers are a great addition to the bathroom counter top.  A little live greenery is always a nice addition (bathroom included).
  • Swap out that fuzzy bath rug for a real area rug.  Just be thoughtful about the rug you choose.  Only use a tufted wool rug in a bath that doesn't have frequent water splashing.  A powder bath is a perfect place for a lovely wool tufted rug.  Otherwise, using a flat woven rug or synthetic area rug is a great addition of color and pattern, and doesn't look like the fluffy fuzzy contoured rug that wrapped around the toilet at your grandmother's house.  
  • A framed mirror always dresses up a space and adds a more finished element than a flat piece of mirror. 
  • While I know that the word wallpaper strikes fear into the hearts of many, don't be scared.  A bathroom, especially a powder bathroom is the perfect place to try a beautiful wallpaper.  Small space means small commitment, but a wallpaper can make such a big impact in a small space.  Just think about it.  There are so many options of styles available, not just tiny floral prints.  You might come around.  
Good luck dressing up your bathroom!


  1. Oh wow, very fancy! Love the look of those drapes drawn, if not for the toilet you'd prolly think you were in a cozy little nook somewhere...great job!

    Peace. Love. LOL!

    Haute Khuuture Blog

  2. Such a great idea to have a shower curtain that goes to the ceiling. Love it!!

    xx 365hangers


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