Contrary to popular belief, updating a bathroom doesn’t have to involve ripping out the plumbing or reconfiguring layouts. Actually, a simpler transformation requires only a fresh coat of paint and a few new accessories.
The bathroom has undergone an interesting evolution over the years. Rather than serve as a mere “pit stop,” Chicago homes present the bathroom as an oasis–a place to escape the grind of everyday life. That being the case, you can create a more inviting experience by including some traditional furniture in the room, namely seating and curtains. Curtains create the illusion of fullness (which translates to coziness) without the bulk of drapes and can also have an overall softening effect.
Painted furniture is a terrific option, too. Not only does it give a simple piece of furniture new life, it can completely revamp a room. Find an old armoire or cabinet with glass doors (or with the glass removed) and fill it attractively with towels, soaps or perfumes. Don’t neglect lighting, either. Try using pendant lights instead of recessed lighting or add small shades to bathroom fixtures. If you’re really trying to make a scene, a well-placed chandelier can steal the show.
Functionality and style are key when it comes to recycling non-traditional furniture in the bathroom. Consider swapping your standard shower seat for a glazed Chinese garden stool. The stool is built for outside usage and can handle water–just slide a sheet of nonslip backing beneath it. You could also include a padded bench, such as you might find at the foot of a bed, to provide a comfortable seat outside the shower.
Of course you don’t want to neglect floors and walls. A tone-on-tone bathroom, with walls and cabinets painted in a neutral color, creates a peaceful Zen-like atmosphere. If your goal is a room of vim and vigor, opt for a bold wallpaper that features bright colors and distinct patterns. And if you’re tired of the bathroom floor, try sheet vinyl in a wood grain. The vinyl doesn’t absorb moisture like real wood and it’s easy to clean and install.
The old adages that ascribe to keeping things simple are spot on when considering changes for your bathroom. Remember, you’re decorating your oasis, so keep in mind the little things that make you happy and put you at ease. Then find the simplest ways to incorporate those elements into your space.