Wednesday, June 5, 2013

5 Fresh Ideas to Add Low Cost, High Impact Looks to Your Bathroom

We (by we, I mean my husband) recently completed a master bathroom remodeling project. He removed everything except the toilet and set out to create the bathroom of my dreams in the same small space, and on a budget. We decided that we would splurge on just one component, a frame-less glass surround for the shower like we have seen in hotels. Beyond that, we were going to find stock items and keep costs as low as possible.

1. Tile
Tile selection today is incredible. We were both like kids in a candy store (or me in a shoe store) when we started out. After trying many samples in assorted colors and finishes, we decided to get the best quality porcelain tile we could afford in a neutral tone. Then we would add a contrast trim in something fancier. The fancy accent tiles can cost well upwards of $25 per square foot but we found this beautiful pebble tile for just $10 a square foot. Tile prices vary greatly. Once we knew what we were looking for, I shopped around in stores and online. Be sure to keep shipping costs in mind when buying online. Even with shipping costs, we saved a considerable amount of money buying from and
Order a sample if you are not sure, colors look very different in different lighting. It doesn't take much contrast tile to make a big design statement!

2. Double Sinks
Our original bathroom had one 4 foot long cabinet with a single sink set on a 7 foot wall. I have always wanted double sinks but 7' is not a standard cabinet size. Rather than the very expensive custom cabinets and sinks, we found these at Home Depot:
The set included the cabinet, sink top and mirror. So, we bought two and joined them with a shelf made from the shelf that was supplied for inside the cabinet. Now towels are stored between the two cabinets.
For the top shelf, we used the pebble tile and added some shells and sea glass for interest. Each cabinet/sink/mirror set was just $300, saving a considerable amount over custom.

3. Lighting

Traditionally, bar lights are featured for bathroom use. My husband, very talented in imagining lighting, opted for pendant lighting which adds a very fresh, finished feeling. I was concerned about the quality of light but it is, in fact, fabulous. We choose two basic fixtures for the sinks and a shell accents light to accentuate the center.

4. Mirrors

The mirrors were included with the cabinets so, of course, we wanted to use them. A bit plain, I added decals that I cut from etched-look vinyl to give the look of an expensive etched mirror without the expense or commitment. A simple palm leaf adds a breezy feeling to the room.

5. Whimsy

We like to incorporate our love of the beach, ocean and all things water. We added sand from a recent trip to Florida to these inexpensive frames and placed some of the shells we found.

By being creative and seeking out stock items, we save a ton of money but still finished with the bathroom of my dreams!

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