If your springtime to-do list includes a bathroom renovation, follow these design tips and tricks from interior designer Karen Gutierrez of Phoenix-based Mackenzie Collier Interiors for a stress-free and super-chic bathroom refresh.
1. Where should you spend and where is it best to save in a small bathroom?
First, it is better to keep in mind that starting from scratch is different than a remodel in terms of investment. In case of a bathroom redo, the least amount of structural changes as possible the better. Using the existing piping will save a lot of time and money considering relocating utilities such as the toilet and the bathtub are no small tasks. Also, you don’t have to buy a whole new toilet! Changing just the seat and lid is an easy way to give your bathroom decor a fresh looks, and this saves you from having someone installing it. Besides that, focus on the flooring, walls, color of cabinets, mirrors, lighting fixtures, shower fixtures and hardware, sink and accessories. Refinishing or removing the tub is better and more modern than replacing it. If you choose to remove it, the shower area will be more spacious and allow you the opportunity so you can add glass doors if you have the budget or shower curtains.
2. What should I spend money on in a bathroom renovation?
New Walls: The bathroom walls can set an instant tone for the space’s style and vibe. If your bathroom wall is past it’s prime for an upgrade or has peeling, crusty wallpaper, or oddly tinted coloring, then it’s time to freshen up. These are easy and quick solutions for the DIYers anyone can achieve at home:
- Smoothing out the dated wall texture.
- Installing board and batten.
- Painting the walls a fresh and light color will make the space feel bigger.
- Installing contemporary wallpaper that is adequate for the bathroom.
- Replace the tile in the shower area.
Update Fixtures and Hardware: Bathroom fixtures are small but mighty and can impact the entire space. Replace an old sink faucet to give your bathroom an updated look in quick and budget-friendly steps.
New Lighting Fixture: Lighting is key in the bathroom. Since these are high-moisture areas, be sure you’re opting for a light fixture that will not only brighten up the space but also help inhibit mold and mildewing. These are just one small detail that elevates the aesthetic—make them match the bathroom style by finding an accent color or finish option.
Changing or Customizing the Vanity Cabinet: A vanity is the most significant piece of furniture in the bathroom, and as such, can make for a great focal point. You can go with a bit of investment, look for a beautiful retail piece and replace it. Or you might even consider giving it some love by adding new paint and changing the hardware.
Replacing the Mirrors: Updated mirrors is a crucial element, and while it may not adhere to functional needs, it is still super essential as it can act as a statement and decor piece in the bathroom. You can choose from many beautiful styles, framed or frameless, oval or rectangular, etc. Just remember to have fun and stay open minded to how creative you want your space to be.
3. And how can I save money on a new bathroom?
Keep the bathroom’s size and layout: It is not easy to enlarge a bathroom without having an expensive and time-consuming project. It’s not just about moving plumbing pipes, but also the toilet discharge or sewer pipe, which can cost you some serious money. Avoid changing the actual layout, and focus more on the aesthetic changes.
Refinish bathroom elements instead of replacing them: You can revitalize your bathroom pieces by simply painting and refinishing them. For instance, you can redo your bathtub with an attractive protective coating instead of entirely replacing it all. You can also paint your bathroom cabinet and add new hardware, rather than buying a complete new one.
Keep it simple: The best way to save on your bathroom remodeling costs is by keeping it simple. The worst mistakes that people make happen when they go overboard with the design and end up overspending, or worse yet – nothing gets done!
You don’t need to go crazy with the flooring: Vinyl is the way to go for those looking to invest in a different type of flooring. The vinyl flooring industry has seen a recent influx of new and improved products that are waterproof and affordable.
Photo credit: Roehner + Ryan: