Suffering from Stale Bathroom Syndrome? Improving the way your entire bathroom looks can be as easy as updating a single piece of furniture, or replacing just one bathroom accessory. And while changing out the towel racks or shower curtains can have a great impact, adjusting the appearance of your bathroom vanity – which is the aesthetic cornerstone of most bathrooms, mind you – can have the greatest impact of all. Good news, then, that you can drastically improve the appearance of your vanity (and by extension, your entire bathroom) for less than $100. What follows are a few helpful tips to update and re-style your vanity, to make a lasting visual impact in your bathroom.
1.) Give it a Good Clean
Sometimes, the most effective way of improving the look of your vanity is also the cheapest. Give it a good, old-fashioned scrub down! Psychologically, a clean bathroom is immediately more relaxing and calming to the eye than a dirty or untidy bathroom. In other words, a vanity that looks spotless will look that much more attractive, that much newer and that much more appealing to the eye. For just a few dollars spent on cleaning supplies, and an hour or two devoted to cleaning your vanity and the surrounding bathroom, your entire bathroom will look good as new – and your immaculately clean vanity will be the centerpiece. Make sure you take a damp rag to any hard-to-reach nooks and crannies, such as the lip under the countertop or the hinges of the cabinet doors. A little grime here and there will accumulate into more mess later, so make sure you get rid of it now! Small details will go a long way towards making your bathroom more presentable.
2.) Get Organized
It’s like some unspoken law of physics that junk and clutter in the bathroom tend to gravitate towards your vanity countertop. Clutter is not just gross to look at, but it can actually have very subtle psychological implications: a messy room tends to increase stress, even if the mess is “minor.” And sometimes, sweeping it all under the rug is not an option. Luckily, you can invest in some alternative organizational systems for very little cost. If your toothbrushes and toothpaste MUST remain on the countertop, consider getting a nice wicker basket nestled in the corner to store your hygienic goods. The same goes for hair dryers. If you are looking for an even cheaper solution, Tupperware makes shoebox-sized see-though plastic storage units that are stackable. You can store these inside the cabinet, organized by item type, or on top of the counter. But mind your space; a more open countertop is a more relaxing, and cleaner-looking, countertop. Another solution that works wonderfully is to buy a spice rack and install it on the inside of your cabinet. You can put all sorts of soaps, toothbrushes, combs, and more in these spice racks. It keeps them off the cabinet floor, and keeps them organized.
And what about all that open space you have now, where your bath clutter used to be? Why not fill it with some beautiful flowers, or a picture of your family. Things that soothe and ease your mind, and give your bathroom some character – again, for relatively little money!
3.) Let There Be Light!
Plenty of light doesn’t just make it easier to properly apply your makeup – it can also make your bathroom look more inviting and cleaner, too! Many homes to this day use fluorescent lighting in their bathroom fixtures. But this type of lighting tends to be harsher and less efficient than, for example, CFLs. You can adapt your current light fixtures to be CFL compatible for very little money, and since CFL bulbs last significantly longer (and are more energy-efficient) anyway, they are truly an investment that pays off in the long run. Not to mention CFLs provide plenty of beautiful light without harming your eyes. Consider getting a countertop lamp for your vanity, or, if you have the space, a floor lamp to illuminate your bathroom while adding an elegant and unique decorative touch. A small table lamp can provide soft lighting in your bathroom for a more sophisticated mood, and then when you need to apply makeup or brush your teeth, you can switch over to the brighter CFLs.
4.) A Time to Reflect
A mirror serves many purposes for your bathroom vanity and the entire bathroom in general. Mirrors aren’t just practical installations, they can also be gorgeous decorations that make the room feel larger and more inviting. One way to improve the appearance of your bathroom is to take that one, single-slab mirror you have on your wall (as seems to be the standard in new homes these days) and replace it with two individual mirrors in elegant frames. You can find cheap mirror frames on sites like Etsy and Amazon. Frames outline and embellish the mirrors, but also speak to a greater overall bathroom theme. Try to synchronize the colors of the mirror frames with the color of your bathroom vanity to tie the whole room together. Mirrors that are just a few inches shorter than the length of your vanity will provide a sense of balance to your design.
5.) Strip It Good
Are you tired of the same old bathroom vanity colors greeting you every morning? Changing the color and finish of your bathroom vanity can drastically alter your cabinet’s appearance, and by extension, the way the rest of the bathroom looks. This does not have to cost a lot of money, but it can be time consuming, especially for novices. You will need some coarse and fine sandpaper, as well as a new finish. Paint can be expensive, but the natural wood look can be great with some polish and glossy sealer. Wood stains tend to be cheaper than paints, as well, and can add tons of class to your vanity look. Sand down the existing coat on your bath cabinets, and then re-style it to your specifications. If you are looking for a worn look, try using an extremely light application of stain on a dry rag and sliding it around so you get “streak” effects. If you want something more modern, 2 or 3 coats of a dark wood stain will give your vanity a very rich but unique look: from a distance it will look dark brown or black, but up close, the true nature of the wood will peek through. You can sponge-apply a small amount of paint to your vanity for a “beach house” look (works great with seashells and sand decor in the bathroom). The difficulty with changing the finish on your bathroom vanity is that a drastic change may mean you’ll have to update the look of your ENTIRE bathroom to keep things uniform and matching. Although, a sharp contrast can be used to very great effect if handled well. For example, a black vanity in a white bathroom will make a massive impact and won’t cost much to create.
You can do all five of these suggestions for $100 if you are willing to put a little of the manual labor in yourself. But you don’t need to do all five to get a gorgeous bathroom; just going off one of these tips will instantly beautify your bathroom and get the ball rolling on your revised bath design.
This article has been sponsored by tradewindsimports.com, an online catalog of unique bathroom furniture suitable for any budget.