Living Space: Beautify your bathroom with easy updates

By Kathryn Weber
April 26, 2012 at midnight
Updated April 25, 2012 at 11:26 p.m.

Curtains can be used to soften a window, create a nook for privacy, or add a dreamy, romantic effect.

Curtains can be used to soften a window, create a nook for privacy, or add a dreamy, romantic effect.

Contrary to what you might think, updating and beautifying your bathroom doesn't have to include ripping out plumbing and reconfiguring layouts. Some paint and new accessories may be all it takes to transform your bath into an elegant, spa-like retreat. Opting for some unique items not usually seen in the bathroom can make the difference.

Make it livable

The bathroom is no longer simply a perfunctory room for quick in-and-out visits. In many homes, the bath has become a place to escape and indulge in long soak or spa treatments.

To make your bathroom more linger-worthy, move in some traditional furnishings. Think seating and curtains. Long, full sheers can create an illusion of fullness without the heaviness of drapes and they can be used to soften a window, create a nook for privacy or add a dreamy, romantic effect.

Boost the romantic quotient with sconces on the walls for a candlelit soak.

Furnishing the bath

Painted furniture looks terrific in a bathroom. An old buffet with glass doors makes a beautiful presentation when filled with fluffy towels or glamorous bottles of perfume. A secretary or glass breakfront is another terrific option and provides display space.

For lighting, try pendant lights in place of recessed lighting and add small shades to bathroom light fixtures. If there's room for it, nothing glams up a room like a chandelier.

Instead of an institutional or teak shower seat, try a glazed Chinese garden stool that adds function with style. They're made for the outdoors and can handle water. Use a padded bench, often placed at the foot of the bed, to create a soft spot to sit down in the bathroom.

Floor, walls

Even if you're tempted to leave the floor and walls alone, don't. You can make big changes fast with the right products.

A tone-on-tone bathroom, with walls and cabinets painted in a soft neutral tone, creates a Zen feel. If you want something more vibrant, try a fresh graphic print. Wallpaper in a bold, brightly-colored pattern adds instant freshness.

If the bathroom floor is tired, why not try sheet vinyl in a wood grain? It'll stand up to moisture better than real wood, it's easy to clean and quick to install.

If you've got open wall space, try a wall-mounted TV for luxurious soaks. And don't forget plants. Even the smallest pot of greenery brings a bath to life.

Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui ezine. For more information, contact Weber through her website,



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