Update with Mirrors

Hang a mirror above the sink as a stylish replacement for a tired medicine cabinet.

Using mirrors to make a space feel larger may be one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it sure works! In the remodeled bath shown here, a large strategically placed mirror makes the narrow space seem twice as large and doesn't sacrifice space for morning routines.

Tips for Using Mirrors in the Bath:

  • Hang a mirror above the tub to make a tight area feel more spacious.
  • Stand a decorative mirror in front of or propped against a vanity mirror to create a little drama and elegance.
  • Frame stock mirrors with simple molding from a home-improvement store, and paint it to match the other trim in the room.

Custom Tile

Installing decorative tile can make a world of difference in a plain-looking bathroom.

To give this floor a custom look, the interior designer added a border of contrasting tiles in a pretty hue.

More Ways to Work With Tile:

  • Stagger the joints for your wall tile. The alternating grout joints will help make even the most inexpensive tile look like a million bucks.
  • If you dislike the tile color in your bath, you can minimize its prominence by focusing on a complementary color for your walls, shower curtain, and accessories.

Added Comfort

Sofas and wooden furniture lend a feeling of comfort and luxury to any bathroom big enough to accomodate larger pieces.

If you lack storage space, but can't afford custom built-ins, then consider bringing in a piece of furniture, such as a chest of drawers or armoire. Furniture adds instant character and is a nice contrast to sleek bath surfaces.

More Fun With Furniture:

  • Place chairs or settees, typically found in a living room, in the bath for a surprising and unique look.
  • Balance a bath's hard, unyielding glass, metal, and marble surfaces with as many elements of comfort as you can. Include a cozy armchair, adjustable lighting, and flowering plants.
  • Outfit a chest or bureau with pipes and fixtures to create a distinctive vanity.
  • Add rugs and other items normally found in other areas of the house for a softer, lived-in look. To reinforce this look, strategically place accessories on your vanity to draw attention away from the other plumbing fixtures.

Wall Options

Repainting or wallpapering your bathroom is an inexpensive way to add color.

In the small bathroom shown here, the one-dimensional look of paint wouldn't live up to the rest of the remodel. Hanging wallpaper would be easy, but the patterns all seemed too busy -- until the owners discovered a line of wallpaper that resembles a faux finish. The one they chose complements the room perfectly with its blend of greens, aquas, and blues.

More Ways to Wake Up Walls:

  • Bold wallpaper makes any dull bathroom dazzle.
  • Paint walls a flat white if you want to add wallpaper some day but can't find one that you like. That way, you won't have to repaint when you're ready to paper, because the white paint will act as a great base.
  • Bright colors, when balanced with white trim, make a strong statement in a small space.
  • In addition to paint and wallpaper, consider other materials, such as cultured stone, for your walls. It comes in various shades and gives the look, texture, and feel of solid stone.

Sassy Storage

Even storage solutions should show a little flair. In the bath at left, handsome baskets and containers mounted near the tub hold bath salts, sponges, and other essentials.

More Creative Storage Ideas:

  • An open storage unit can work wonders if you don't have closet space in your bath.
  • Create recesses between the studs in the walls for more storage next to the vanity or in the shower. You'll be amazed at how much storage a simple 16-inch cubbyhole can offer!
  • Leave the cabinet doors off the vanity to store towels and make a bold design statement.
  • Scour antiques shops and flea markets for old bath accessories and storage possibilities.

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