Decorating & Design

November 27, 2008

Remodel A Tired Bathroom

Save money by keeping the fixtures and updating paint, flooring and accessories.

Q. Our main bathroom is a decorating disaster. The rest of our house is painted in Benjamin Moore’s Lighthouse Landing (1044) and we have pine baseboards and trim with brass accents. We would like to continue the pine and brass in the bathroom but with a whiter wall paint. We do not plan to replace the green tub, toilet and double vanity. The flooring is white with green and peach flowers. This could be replaced. We are looking for suggestions for new ceiling light fixtures to replace the current spheres, new mirrors with storage capabilities and new shower curtain and other accessories. We have two small children and need the space to be childproof and functional.

— S.M., Fort St. John, BC

A. Since you currently have chrome fixtures that you are not planning on replacing, it would be best to stick to chrome for any metal finish in the room.

To create a more contemporary look in your bathroom, remove the wallpaper border. For paint, choose a soft white, such as Para’s White Dove, which will work well with your vanity counter top and chrome faucets. There is too much contrast created between the dark green window trim and the wall so be sure to paint the trim white as well.

Your vanity cabinets could also use an update — paint these the same white as the walls and for an elegant touch, replace all knobs with polished chrome hardware. Consider replacing your current three mirrors with two rectangular pivot mirrors, installed above each sink. To improve the task lighting in your bathroom, with the help of an electrician install three single chrome bathroom sconces — one on either side and in the centre of the mirrors. You can then replace your three overhead pendants with a single light (installed in the centre of the ceiling).

Resin countertop accessories with chrome details would look great on your vanity countertop. For a nice hit of contrast, choose a set in deep brown. Replace your shower curtain with one made of a white terry-cloth or waffle textured fabric to introduce some texture into the room.

Consider replacing your current flooring with cork floor tiles in a grey or pearl white colour. Cork is mildew resistant and warm and comfortable underfoot which makes it especially kid-friendly. For extra storage, install a small, white painted medicine cabinet with glass doors over the toilet.