Decorating your Bathroom on a Budget

Kitchens and bathrooms are the most expensive rooms to decorate in any house, mainly because the fittings are so pricey and there is no way to do without them and still have a working room. If your kitchen is looking tired, you can often get away with a few new door fronts or some fancy lighting, but a bathroom is a little more difficult – without replacing all of the sanitary ware, most people think there isn’t much to be done, but this is in fact not the case. A lick of paint does make a room look fresher, but there is much more you can do and not break the bank.

Decorating your bathroom on a budgetMirrors can transform a room

Full length mirrors in a bathroom aren’t to everyone’s taste but if you don’t mind a wrinkle reminder on a daily basis, they do make a huge difference to a bathroom with relatively little outlay. Mirrors are not just for checking your appearance – placed well they can make a room look much bigger and always bring light into the space, so with just this one addition, your bathroom can look completely transformed. If you really don’t want to go down the full frontal road, adding smaller mirrors opposite one another also makes a room bigger and lighter and have the added advantage that you can check out the back of your own head! Bathroom mirrors come in all shapes, sizes and prices and some are very special, with anti-mist properties and built in lights, but even quite ordinary ones costing just a few pounds can make a real difference.

Cheer up your tiles

Tiles are a classic bathroom wall covering of course, but they can look dated quite quickly and if they have not been well looked after, can also get grubby-looking and dull. To make your bathroom sparkle and look as if it has been completely retiled, try cleaning the grout. This sounds so basic that most people ignore it, but with gleaming white grout, a wall can look like new. You can make a simple homemade grout cleaner with three parts baking soda to one part bleach but if you use this, be careful – bleach is dodgy stuff to handle and you can end up in a mess. If you have tried cleaning the grout and it really is beyond redemption, go the other way and dye it a darker colour. With pale tiles this looks wonderfully stylish and with dark tiles mysterious and a little bit spooky. Choose your look and spray it on for instant results. Tile transfers used to be all the rage but aren’t so popular these days – they do tend to rather scream ‘Seventies’. Try adding some texture to your tiles instead. Many craft companies sell small moulded items such as starfish and other sea creatures which you can stick on. The only thing to remember with this kind of addition is to make sure you don’t put it where it can come into painful contact with bare skin!

Change the flooring

Bathroom floors come in all kinds of coverings and all have their advantages and disadvantages. If you have a cork or tiled floor, adding a bathroom carpet will change the look and feel entirely. Most bathrooms have relatively small floor areas and so carpeting them is not too pricey. Stores often have offcuts available which are even cheaper. If your bath panel is also looking a little the worse for wear, carpeting it to match the floor is a very striking design technique and also makes the room look larger, as it fools the eye by removing an edge between the two surfaces. If your budget is really small, then a new bathroom rug matched to some new towels can make the room look nice and can cost under a tenner if you shop around.

Don’t forget the window

Bathroom windows are not usually very big but they are also often ignored when it comes to home decor. Curtains are not always a good idea in a bathroom because they do tend to absorb steam and can get a bit grubby-looking quite quickly with mould spots, but a blind made from bamboo or other wood looks smart and doesn’t tend to suffer so much from the damp conditions. If you go for bamboo or other wood, look out for pots made of the same – you could put some scented sticks in them if you don’t want to use them for toothbrushes or similar bathroom bits and pieces. Waste bins are often made of wood, so choosing one would be a great way to match into a blind, and practical too.