Day in, day out, we all use our bathrooms pretty intensively. And if you’ve got young children, as I do, the stresses and strains we put our bathrooms under start to show far too soon. Although there are some great deals available on bathroom suites if you shop around, they’re certainly not a cheap, throwaway item, and the disruption involved in a total bathroom refit isn’t something you’d want to tackle too often either. But with a little DIY activity from time to time, almost any bathroom can be given a coordinated new look, hassle-free.
If your bathroom, like mine, has bathroom furniture in it, one way of lending the room a fresh new look is to personalize your cabinets. Whatever the material it’s made of, any bathroom furniture can be brightened up and made central to a room scheme by the application of fabric or wallpaper panels, or by painting and stenciling.
To apply panels, simply trim to size your wallpaper or fabric (hemming fabric swatches before you apply them to your cabinet doors can be a good idea), then gum the edges and stick the pieces in place on your cabinet doors. Create a frame using pretty picture frame molding and nail or glue it in place around your design.
Stenciled designs are even simpler: paint a base coat or two over your furniture then, using a small brush and a complementary shade of paint, add your stenciled design on top. Stencils can be made at home if you’re feeling creative, or bought from a craft store.
Decorating your bathroom walls (or creating a feature wall) to coordinate with the new panels or stenciled design on your bathroom furniture can be as simple or as complex as you like. Paper the whole bathroom, a single wall, or a couple of feature areas like alcoves with the wallpaper you’ve used on your bathroom furniture, or paint your walls and apply a matching stenciled design. If you’ve used fabric swatches on your cabinets, try picking out one of the colors from the design and getting some paint color matched to it for your walls.
Replacing the handles on your bathroom furniture to coordinate with your new room scheme is another excellent way to update your space fairly inexpensively: just make sure the new handles are the right shape and size to cover the marks and screw holes left by the old handles.
And finally, replacing your bathroom accessories with a coordinated new set will give the bathroom a pulled together finish. You don’t even need to break out the drill – there are loads of freestanding accessory ranges available: look for over the door hooks, floor standing toilet roll holders and towel rails, and tumblers and toothbrush holders that will sit pretty on an existing shelf.