Small changes can equal big style

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - CON­NIE OLIVER

UP­DAT­ING the bath­room decor is not only fun, it’s nec­es­sary. The bath­room takes a lot of daily abuse. From styling prod­ucts to shower steam, ev­ery sur­face in this room needs reg­u­lar at­ten­tion. Even the linens and ac­ces­sories get worn from con­stant laun­der­ing and daily scrub­bing. As long as the ba­sics are in good shape — tub, van­ity, sink and toi­let — then you can up­date your bath­room on a fairly reg­u­lar ba­sis to keep things fresh and clean. The bath­room is usu­ally the small­est room in the home, so chang­ing wall colour or adding wall­pa­per is not an over­whelm­ing project. As well, the plethora of de­sign and colour op­tions in new linens and co-or­di­nat­ing bath­room ac­ces­sory sets makes chang­ing the bath­room an en­joy­able prospect. Our fea­ture pho­to­graph shows how a great wall colour and a few stylish choices can turn a worn-out space into an up­dated, trendy room. This colour pal­ette of earthy green and tan creates a spa-like at­mos­phere and works well with the red-tone wood van­ity. The new tow­els look fluffy and deca­dent, which creates a sense of lux­ury. We all need to be spoiled now and then, so it’s a good idea to splurge on new linens when up­dat­ing the bath­room. Con­sider up­dat­ing the bath­room mir­ror with some­thing un­usual like the unique mir­ror in our fea­ture pho­to­graph. Forgo the tra­di­tional medicine chest if you can and opt for some­thing un­ex­pected. The tall, slen­der strip of mir­ror adds height and drama to the space while still per­form­ing its func­tion. The slim­mer mir­ror also pro­vides ad­di­tional wall space for the shelv­ing and towel ring. The co-or­di­nat­ing Moen faucet, towel ring, towel bar and shelf help stream­line the look. Keep­ing the fin­ishes the same when choos­ing in­stalled items is a good rule of thumb. Th­ese fix­tures don’t have to be match­ing, but try to stay in the realm of a sim­i­lar fin­ish and style when­ever pos­si­ble. I love the dec­o­ra­tive floor vase with the sil­ver swirl de­sign. It picks up on the fix­tures and adds some whimsy to the space. The col­lec­tion of green glass­ware is also a nice touch. They add colour, but the translu­cent qual­ity keeps the room light and airy. The mas­cu­line soap dish mim­ics the van­ity style and fin­ish. Each item has been care­fully cho­sen to max­i­mize the room de­sign. De­pend­ing upon your bath­room lay­out, even up­dat­ing the floor­ing can be a quick, week­end job. Be­cause the floor space is likely small, you may be able to splurge on high-end floor­ing. If stor­age is a prob­lem there are a lot of op­tions out there in add-on cab­i­netry for the bath­room. Slim, pantry-style cab­i­nets will take up a small area but can hold a lot of toi­letries. Th­ese cab­i­nets of­ten come with a mir­rored door, which of­fers vis­ual ex­pan­sion and a full-length dress­ing mir­ror. Be­hind the toi­let stor­age tow­ers are also a great ad­di­tion be­cause they come in a wide range of styles and fin­ishes and again, house a lot of stuff. Small, dec­o­ra­tive shelves, like the one in our fea­ture pho­to­graph, are great for open dis­play. Use them in group­ings to max­i­mize your dis­play area. Opt for glass shelv­ing when pos­si­ble, as they will keep the small space feel­ing open and airy. Seem­ingly in­signif­i­cant changes, such as re­plac­ing a plas­tic liq­uid hand soap bot­tle with a dec­o­ra­tive soap dis­penser, can make a huge dif­fer­ence in the over­all feel of your bath­room. Stores that carry home-decor items of­fer lots of stylish stor­age so­lu­tions for any room in the home. From robe hooks to towel bars, the choices out there are end­less and af­ford­able. This is where you don’t nec­es­sar­ily have to buy a match­ing set. Try mix­ing some­thing vin­tage along with some­thing new. Per­haps a vin­tage stone soap dish be­side a shiny ham­mered metal soap dis­penser, for ex­am­ple. Maybe you have an old wooden win­dow frame you can use to frame the bath­room mir­ror. The chipped and peal­ing paint will add a shabby chic touch to the space. Mix things up a lit­tle. Don’t forget about art. Keep­ing in mind the po­ten­tial mois­ture is­sue, you can still dec­o­rate a bath­room with great pho­tog­ra­phy or prints. I have had a wall of large, framed na­ture pho­to­graphs in my bath­room in the past. I pur­chased af­ford­able pic­ture frames with sim­ple frames but with glass on both sides. The af­fect makes the pho­tos ap­pear to be float­ing in the frame. Mois­ture and styling prod­ucts have not af­fected the pho­to­graphs at all be­cause the pho­tos are sand­wiched be­tween glass and are well pro­tected. For a more con­tem­po­rary look, con­sider dis­play­ing graphic, black and white pho­tog­ra­phy in a gallery style. A bit of ad­vice be­fore you paint. If you’re com­pletely chang­ing the look of your bath­room, new shower cur­tains, tow­els and colour scheme for in­stance, choose the shower cur­tain, mats and match­ing ac­ces­sories first. Then pick your paint colour to match or co­or­di­nate with your cho­sen bath­room set. It’s eas­ier to match paint to a shower cur­tain, for ex­am­ple, than vice versa. A bath­room up­date can be an en­joy­able and af­ford­able project. Watch for sales on the items you want then take the plunge and cre­ate a new bath­room oa­sis.

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