Bathroom: Small touches, Go Far

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If you’re short of time and low on cash, it’s easy to decide that home improvements can wait… and wait… and wait. But in fact there may be no need to start browsing new bathroom suites: if your basic layout is still working for you and there’s no damage to any of your sanitaryware, cosmetic improvements may be all you need. Spend a single weekend getting your hands dirty with some basic bathroom DIY, and bask in satisfaction every day thereafter!

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Any room which is losing its looks can be given an instant boost with a makeover of its wall decor. Either refresh what’s there already, or opt for a totally new scheme.

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Bathrooms which are largely painted are simplest to refresh, as you can simply layer another couple of coats of paint over the existing finish; paint is probably the cheapest wallcovering you can buy, too. If you’re using paint in the bathroom, the only thing to remember is to use proper bathroom paint. It’s a little more expensive than regular emulsion, but it’s designed to repel mould and can be wiped clean – which, in a humid environment like a bathroom, will save you additional repainting work in the medium to long term.

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If you’ve got any tiled walls, you can opt to refresh the tiles you have by scrubbing them clean and whitening the grout back up with a grout pen, or you can chip the tiles off and start again in a fresh style. Tiling is not simple – but if you have time and patience and a good guide to follow (there are loads of ‘how to’ guides out there on the Internet) it can be a very satisfying DIY task.

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And wallpaper can be a good addition to a bathroom, too: a wallpapered feature wall can really enliven almost any room scheme. You can choose wallpaper that’s been designed especially for bathrooms, or you can use regular wallpaper: if you choose to do the latter, it’s best to use your wallpaper in an area of the bathroom that won’t get splashed regularly, and to make sure that your whole bathroom is well ventilated. If you do use wallpaper near a basin or bath, you can add a clear perspex screen to prevent splashes damaging the finish of the paper, but you still need to be careful of steam from your bath or shower, as this can cause wallpaper to peel.

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Bathroom accessories (by which I mean practical finishing touches such as robe hooks, towel rails, soap dishes or soap dispensers, toothbrush holders and toilet paper holders) can be the perfect finishing touch for a bathroom. And adding coordinated finishing touches can make your entire room scheme look well planned and well executed, even if all you’ve done is take away an old set of accessories and replace them with something newer and shinier!

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Try to coordinate all your accessories and finishing touches (such as cabinet handles and light pulls) so that the new decor looks harmonious. It doesn’t matter whether your items are actually a ‘set’ (although buying a set of accessories rather than individual pieces can make the job of shopping somewhat easier) so long as they look like they belong together.

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And that’s it! Your bathroom should be looking fresher and brighter, your bank balance should be only slightly depleted, and your satisfaction levels should be pretty high!

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Photos via Houzz

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