Q. What are some inexpensive ways to decorate a bathroom? Our new bathroom is very white and bland. I’m all for vintage and would like to go with blue or green for color with the beige rugs. I have no clue why the toilet is the way it is and the cupboard behind it is dead space and offers no storage aside from what’s under the sink. Any suggestions you might have for storage or spatial relations would be greatly appreciated. This is our bathroom:
-Ellen (Portland, Oregon)
A. Hmmm… this bathroom is awkward to say the least! My first instinct is to get a contractor in there to move the toilet and that haphazardly placed electric socket, then get a larger mirror that covers that whole wall. I’d also hit a stone fabricator’s bone yard to find a salvaged slab of stone for the vanity. Right now you are probably thinking, BUDGET BUDGET BUDGET!
We can definitely get this bathroom looking much better with a few really simple changes that are really easy on the wallet. This could be a weekend do-it-yourself project.
Here is how I would solve the problem:
1. First I would paint the walls. I would use a color that might be found in the atmosphere to give it an airy feeling. This will make it seem larger. Think sky blue, cloud white, thunder storm etc… If you wanted to, you could use a lighter, more toned down color on the side walls and then use a bolder variation of that same color on the wall behind the mirror.
2. Second, I would add a floor to ceiling screen behind the toilet that is the exact same width as the counter top (usually 24″). This will give the toilet a home and make it seem less like it’s floating out in the room.
There is a wide selection of PVC panels available at Home Depot:
You can pick up this PVC lattice and ask them to cut it at the Home Depot store. The company that makes these lattice panels, Acurio Lattice will cut custom sizes and ship them to you for a really reasonable price. If you want you can have a piece cut to 24″ wide by however tall your ceiling is. There are also a lot more patterns to chose from on their website www.accuriolattice.com. As for keeping the panel standing, you could hang the top one from eye hooks in the ceiling and the bottom one with a ring attached to the top one. You would need to drill holes in the panel for this. If you are handy at all, I would recommend building a simple wood frame to house the panel.
3. Third, I would address the off center mirror with four shelves next to the mirror and one shelf that runs under both the mirror and the other shelves. This will balance out the off center mirror. It will also give you the opportunity to hide the electrical outlet with a basket or other decorative item. You could use any color, shelves. I would recommend white to give the space a cohesive feeling since you already have white cabinets and a white mirror.
4. Fourth, I would address the off center lighting fixture by creating a valance that runs the entire length of the wall. You could do this in two ways. The first would be to use a tension rod from wall to wall about 6 inches in front of the mirror. You could hang a fabric valance from the rod.
The second solution would be to build a wood valance. You would use one piece of wood that is (1″thick x 10″ tall x however wide your bathroom is). You would attach this piece of wood directly to the sidewalls using L-Brackets. I would make sure the valance is close enough to the light that it disguises it, but far enough away that it isn’t a fire hazard. I would estimate 6-8″ would be a safe distance. Here is an example of a wood valance, though this one is over a window:
5. Finally I would address the accessories in the room. I would use a combination of glass jars, woven baskets, and a few carefully selected accents.