You want a better bathroom, but don’t want to put a drain on your finances? Worry not. This is one room in the house where little things mean a lot.
On the other hand, if you want to go luxe, there are also a variety of new products that can turn the bathroom into a showcase.
Often small and poorly lit, bathrooms can end up neglected. But they’re probably the easiest room to make over, says Ingrid Abramovitch, senior editor and writer at Elle Decor magazine and author of “Restoring a House in the City” (Artisan, 2009).
A very basic change is to buy a new shower curtain and good quality towels.
Is this a kids’ bathroom? Think bright colors and fun patterns. Or, to create a spa-like retreat, look for fluffy towels in serene neutrals, and maybe add accessories like new soap dishes and towel rails in elegant materials. To up the luxe factor, think about installing a towel warmer.
Another easy change is to swap out your shower head for a new, multifunction model. If your water pressure isn’t all it could be, shower heads designed to boost spray power can help. You might also try a shower filter to see if you notice an improvement; basic models can be found from under $30 from brands such as Aquasana and Sprite.
A hot trend is bringing music into the bathroom, the better to accompany your shower serenades. The Moxie showerhead from Kohler has a built-in wireless speaker that uses Bluetooth technology to sync with your music device. (Suggested retail for the showerhead: $199.)
If you’re feeling handy, one of the cheapest ways to transform a bathroom is color.
Look for the new humidity-resistant paints that come in flat finishes for a refined look.
Also, re-evaluate the lighting.
If you already have lighting around your mirror, a change of bulbs can work wonders, and lighting along the side of the mirrors is preferable. Creating layered lighting is more involved, especially if you have to hire someone to add electrical outlets for sconces and mirror lighting, but it can make a bathroom much more inviting.
So much for budget-conscious bathroom makeovers. What if you’ve just won the lottery and are ready to make a really big splash?
Large, free-standing tubs are chic right now. Some people are making room for them by taking guest bedrooms and turning them into a bathroom-dressing room, with a free-standing tub surrounded by built-in closets and other accessories.
And what high-end bathroom would be complete without a high-tech toilet? Take Kohler’s Numi model, which includes a motion-activated cover and seat, built-in bidet function, charcoal-filter deodorizer and air vents at the floor to warm your toes.
Naturally, there are illuminated panels with different colors that can be set for the day of the week. A remote control with a touch screen allows you to set your preferences and, of course, you can play your favorite music via Bluetooth connection.
It has a suggested retail of $5,978. But who can put a price on never, ever having to have the seat up/seat down discussion?
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