Bathroom makeover

Bathroom Makeovers

Many homeowners today are looking for bright new ideas to update their existing bathrooms. There are many ways to update your bathroom without spending a fortune. In order to make a realistic budget for your own bathroom project, do research before you commit to a number. Never set limits in your head if you are not informed.

Start your research online where you can find dozens of creative ideas for achieving elegance, comfort and convenience without spending money on designer. Directing your energy and creativity towards new ideas, and focusing on main reason for redecorating your bathroom, will open the door to new opportunities.

When you are almost satisfied with the design, visit your local home improvement store and start off your window shopping for materials. Window shopping will help you to know approximate cost before you commit to a project. Make rough estimate for materials. If you are doing makeover yourself, apply 25% to 35% on the material quote because you never know what you are going to run into in a renovation work. If you are using contractors, we suggest to bring in a few contractors to get labor estimates. Additionally apply 25% to 35% on the labor quote because you never know what kind of problems you are going to have during renovation work. Knowing how much your bathroom makeover will cost approximately will help you with creating budget for successful makeover. When you are going out to buy the materials, make sure you bring your budget with you so you'll stay on track.

Before you get started on your own bathroom renovation, draw up a timeline with the contractor so you'll know what to expect. This will give you a baseline for discussion if things take longer than expected. If you are doing big renovation and need permits, be sure to build in extra time to get them from your local building department.

There are many ways to give your old bathroom a nice facelift:

  • Expanding - If you can't expand the room, either by building an addition or by incorporating space from a nearby bedroom or closet, here are some ideas to help you get the most out of the space you have. Remember, convenient, functional baths come in all styles and sizes.

  • Redecorating - Redecorating a small bathroom is a common design problem. You can make it visually larger by decorating with light neutral color scheme. Large prints and bold stripes tend to overpower a small room. Stick to small prints whether you are painting or wallpapering. Try to limit your accessories and choose clean lined contemporary furnishings. There are fixtures available that will reflect your persona and express your style. Leading manufacturers now work in harmony to create color coordinated bath products. Remember, less can be more!

  • Wallpaper - When choosing a wallpaper make sure it is a good vinyl, that isn't prepasted. Wallpaper paste is water based and if the shower isn't ventilated properly, the vapor may cause the wallpaper to lift from the wall. When you paste by hand, use an oil-based glue.

  • Create Continuity - Try to create a sense of continuity. Bathrooms are chopped up enough by fixtures, so paint and wallpaper walls and ceiling the same color. If your color fixtures are outdated, and new ones are out of the question, consider having them refinished. White is always a classic and an excellent choice.

  • For Narrow Bathrooms - If your bathroom is too narrow for a standard vanity, ask your designer or contractor to build a bank of cabinets half as deep. Install a bump out sink because a regular drop in bowl won't fit in this type of cabinet. Since lower cabinets will be shallow, you won't have to reach as far for supplies.

    Mirrors are another good trick to visually expand your space. A long mirror with plenty of lights increases the visual space and prevents having to jostle for mirror space when two people are using the bathroom.

  • Bathroom Fixtures - If you are planning to change your bathroom fixtures, you may want to consider replacing your vanity and sink with a pedestal sink. Pedestal sinks promote an illusion of greater space because the eye can travel beyond the sink to the wall and floor. Pedestal sink will give you more floor space, but you will lose some storage space. Storage space problems can be solved in a variety of ways. Wall-mounted cabinets are a great way to hide bathroom clutter, without taking up valuable floor space.

    If you don't have room for a regular shower stall, try installing a rounded shower base in the corner of a small bathroom, leaving no corners to jut out into valuable floor space. A folding door eliminates the need for clearance space between the pedestal basin and door.

  • Bathroom Storage - Decorative bathroom storage units can be installed above the toilet, above the mirror or in the deck space below a raised bathtub. If you purchase a low profile toilet, there will be even more room for wall-mounted storage above. Choose cabinets that are no more than six inches deep so they don't get in the way. A plastic coated wire mounted on a pegboard above a low profile toilet is another way to create storage space and works well as a decorative element.

    Open shelving between the toilet and vanity creates handy storage space, looks less bulky than closed storage space, and eliminates the need for clearance for a cupboard door.

    Extending your counter-top over the back of the toilet is known as a "banjo top" counter. Be sure there is enough clearance space to raise the tank top should it require service.

  • Lights & Ventilation - Both light and ventilation are very important in a bathroom. Light expands the space and prevents shadows. Ventilation keeps air circulating. A combination fan forced heater/ventilator/ceiling light allows all three work separately or together. This eliminates the need to buy three different fixtures.

If you're concerned about resale value, shy away from ornate designs, bright colors and overly personalized renovation projects. Pick something relatively neutral for your countertops and cabinetry, and then use bright colors and accents in paint.

Whatever your decorating style, there are numerous patterns, colors and designs available that will reflect your particular tastes and serve to make your bathroom more functional.


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Maya Gavric, entrepreneur, consultant, former realtor, freelance writer, web developer, artist and marketing coach has been working, researching and reporting on the Internet for years. Her numerous articles offer valuable insight and tips on wide variety of topics. In recent times she has paid particular attention to knowledge management on the Internet and environmental problems, exploring how our attention to hot issues might best transform current situation into better practice.

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