Home Makeover Ideas: Bathrooms
The bathroom is now the most popular room for an update, but any re-planning has to be carefully thought through due to the constraints of plumbing. This bathroom’s fittings are still in good condition, but the decoration is looking worn and dull. Overall, the room has a slightly grimy feel even though it is kept clean — not somewhere you feel like lingering.
• The marble-effect stick-down coating on the basin-unit’s doors is from a previous makeover, and now looks dated.
• The tan and beige colour scheme looks very tired.
• The floor has been stained and covered with a treaclyto waterproof it, but it gives an ugly finish.
• There is nothing wrong with the tiling except the colour and some ingrained dirt in the grouting.
• Accessories are uncoordinated and lacking in style.
As bathrooms are often small, pale colours are usually chosen, but more strident colour schemes often work surprisingly well.
Basin unit – can be transformed with paint and new handles. Colour scheme should be fresh and clean-looking.
Floor – will need a complete facelift.
Tiles – can be painted to bring about a totally different look.
Accessories – could follow a single theme, which would add interest and fun.
Sanitary ware – does not have to be replaced.
The colours of sea and sky, with a seashore theme running through the accessories, give this bathroom modern appeal. Mostly the effect was achieved with imagination and an eye for colour rather than a great deal of expense, although renovating the floor was hard work.
How it was done
Walls – freshened up with a clear, pale blue emulsion, to contrast with the white woodwork and bathroom fittings.
Basin unit – the old plastic was stripped off, the whole unit sanded smooth and then given a new look with soft blue paint. Neat, modern wooden handles match the under-framing and legs and were sealed to protect the wood from wet hands.
Heating – even the stylish new heated towel rail has a slightly nautical air, and will keep the bathroom warm as well as dry the towels.
Towels – more than just a colourful accessory, velvety, enveloping towels are one of the pleasures of bathing. Extra-large ones were chosen in shades of deep jade, blue and lilac-blue.
Finishing touches – seashells, driftwood and the unusual twiggy mirror frame suggest beachcombing finds, while plants and a small collection of coral hint at the tropics.
Instead of replacing the old mottled tiles or tiling over them (awkward in the shower area), they were transformed with paint. The edge of each alternate tile was masked with low-tack masking tape, then every other tile was painted with special tile paint. The tape was removed when the paint was touch-dry, and when the paint was completely dry the exercise was repeated with the second colour. The grouting between the tiles was freshened up with a white grouting pen, which also helps to emphasize the chequerboard effect.
A modern take on traditional themes. This bathroom has echoes of many different eras and sources, but the disparate elements, far from jarring, are brought together by colour and a unity of styling to create a room that feels pleasingly unlike a bathroom.
Colour scheme limiting the colour range is key to the success of this room. Soft pink, lavender and white make a beautiful combination that, in this case, it would be a mistake to ‘enhance’ with a contrasting accent colour.
Floor keeping the same lavender colour on the floor accentuates the cocooning effect of the room. Floor paint would have provided an opaque covering, but using emulsion has allowed a little of the wood grain to show through, like a coloured woodstain. The floor has been protected with several coats of non-slip matt.
Tiles to play down the ‘typical bathroom’ look, tiling has been kept to a minimum: a splash-back for the basin and inside the shower area. The paints for walls and woodwork were mixed to match the tiles using computer colour-matching — a service offered by many paint and DIY stores.
Furniture the bentwood chair and the butler’s folding table with drawers (not shown) are both practical and pretty. They were chosen for their lightness — although very different in style they each have a see-through quality, which means they can be put to useful purpose without being imposing or intrusive.
Detailing the filigree mirror frame and the wire and glass chandelier catch the light in this already light and airy room. The plain lines of the rest of the room show their intricacy to advantage and they bring a happy touch of whimsy to a room where functionality often ousts other considerations.