Guest Post: Fresh and Frugal Bathroom Updates

Today I have a special guest post from Jay Harris. He is a Home Depot sales associate from the Chicago area. He has written about fresh and frugal bathroom updates to share with my fabulous readers enjoy!

Fresh and Frugal Bathroom Updates
Homeowners can easily sink thousands of dollars and weeks of work into a bathroom remodel, but cleaning up your washroom doesn't have to wash away all of your time and money. There are plenty of basic bathroom pick-me-ups that you can achieve in just a weekend without flushing away all of your hard-earned cash. Here, let's scrub up on some of the simplest fixes that you can apply in your lavatory.

1. Color Wonders
Punch up your palette with a fresh coat of paint on bathroom cabinets, walls, and/or trim -- think pastel hues and blues for a tranquil aesthetic and livelier shades of red and yellow for a more dramatic result. To save time on your project, select a paint and primer in one, and remember that a semi-gloss finish is best in the bathroom. Many manufacturers even offer products specifically created for high humidity areas.
Still want more color in your corner? Try adding bold accents in the form of bright hand towels, an interesting soap dish, imaginative artwork, creative storage solutions, and other small accessories.

2. Fixed Assets
While replacing an entire bathroom suite may be a bigger undertaking than a weekend warrior wishes to tackle, homeowners can certainly handle changing up cabinet handles and knobs, sink faucets, showerheads, and other fixtures. Simply swapping out boring, builder-grade hardware on your bathroom vanity's doors and drawers for flat black or brushed nickel designs contributes to an easy modern makeover. And introducing a dual or rainfall showerhead can set your en suite awash in a spa-like atmosphere. (When shopping for fixtures, consider EnergyStar-rated options for an eco update as well.) And don't neglect your towel racks, toilet paper holders, and light fixtures -- replacing outdated and mismatched pieces can help polish your space.

3. Inspirational Reflections
Don't like what you see when you look in the mirror? Maybe it's time to change up the mirror! If you have the ability and the inclination, replace your existing medicine cabinet or wall mirror entirely. If you'd prefer to keep an existing piece, reflect on ways to dress it up -- I like adding molding and trim using mirror adhesive to create a custom frame or etching a decorative design around the mirror's edges with the help of glass frosting spray paint and a stencil.
In fact, the frosted look can go a long way in a bathroom: For added light, replace the room's solid wood entry door with a frosted panel door, and for additional privacy, adhere window film (available at any home improvement store) to exterior windows for a blurred effect.

4. Soft Touches
Fresh towels, updated window treatments, and a new shower curtain are straightforward alterations that require little more than the effort of shopping and hanging. But if your vision of a bathroom revision includes more creative touches, here are a few ideas for customizing these fabric additions:

  • In a bathroom with tall ceilings, raise the shower curtain rod (or affix it to the ceiling) and suspend a standard curtain from the rod using lengths of ball chain for a floating effect.
  • Want a whisper of girlish whimsy? Tie colorful grosgrain ribbon bows around your shower curtain rings.
  • And rather than hide your new towels away in a linen closet, find fun ways to store them in sight, whether you roll them onto a repurposed wine rack, tuck them into a wall basket, or hang them on the rungs of an old wooden ladder.

5. All the Trimmings
Tiling a bathroom wall can transform your space from tired to terrific but can also be a time-consuming project. For a similar effect that won't have you grouting and gridding, hang wainscoting along the bottom half or two-thirds of the wall. A panel-style lends a formal air to the bathroom, while beadboard or board and batten styles add casual interest. Take the look one step further with the addition of crown molding. Be sure to note: since wood tends to expand and contract in the presence of moisture, look for wainscoting crafted from alternate materials like PVC or vinyl that will maintain their integrity in a humid space.
What updates have you made on a small budget and a short amount of time that yielded big results in your bathroom? Share your ideas!

Jay Harris is a Home Depot sales associate at a suburban Chicago store. Jay is a regular contributor on bathroom decor for the Home Depot website. Jay provides homeowners with tips ranging from vanities, faucets, tile, and accessories to showers.

Thank you Jay for the wonderful tips on frugal bathroom updates. This makes me want to update all my bathrooms asap! 
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