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7 ways to update a basic bathroom
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7 ways to update a basic bathroom

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Inexpensive DIY projects can easily update your bathroom.

Sure, the ever-functional bathroom is sometimes swept aside in favor of decorating more grandiose rooms. But your bathroom doesn’t have to be boring! It’s the little details that count, so we’ve rounded up seven easy DIY updates for every part of the room, from the walls down to the bottom of your vanity. They’re also inexpensive and quick — you can complete some of these projects in a day. Dust off your tools this weekend and make your bathroom look its best.

1. Pick out new paint.

A new color scheme instantly changes the mood of a room. It’s important to use color carefully in a bathroom, since a color choice can easily overwhelm what is often one of the smallest rooms in a house. Pale blues, greens and grays are popular picks for their calming, spa-like qualities.

2. Deck the walls with art.

Just because a bathroom is functional doesn’t mean it can’t have personality. Hang some art prints on your bathroom walls to personalize the space. For a vintage look, decorate with repurposed flea market finds. Wallpaper an accent wall in a fun water-resistant design, or use colorful tiles as decor. For any artwork you hang up in bathrooms, make sure it has some kind of covering to protect from moisture.

3. Max out your mirror.

Say goodbye to plain, store-bought plastic mirror panels. Or rather, dress them up. Paint a mirror frame to match your cabinets for a cohesive look, or swap out a blah square mirror altogether for one with a unique shape. For a funky, casual vibe, you could even hang up an assortment of smaller mirrors like the room above.

4. Switch out hardware.

An easy way to change your bathroom’s look is to switch out the faucet and cabinet pulls. You can go from rustic to sleek (and vice versa) in a matter of minutes. Hardware installation kits make it easy. If you’re feeling more ambitious, experienced DIYers can also change out the sink to match.

5. Dress up your doors.

Take boring cabinet fronts up a notch by covering the doors with self-adhesive paper. You can cover the entire surface or cut out a pattern, like circles or a chevron print, that allows the base color to peek through. The options for pretty paper are endless, so you can find one that fits your design style.

6. Kick up your (furniture) feet.

It’s the little details that make any room look polished and put-together. Make your bathroom vanity stand out by adding furniture feet or a toe kick to the corners.

7. Get creative with cardboard or other materials.

Cut up large cardboard tubes or PVC pipes and mount them on the wall in a cluster for a stylish storage display. Use them to store toilet paper, rolled-up towels, lotions and more for a fun DIY project that won’t break the bank.

(Better Homes and Gardens is a magazine and website devoted to ideas and improvement projects for your home and garden, plus recipes and entertaining ideas. Online at www.bhg.com.)

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Q: Tim, I’ve got several plumbing repairs to make, and I just don’t have the money to hire a plumber. The water in my bathroom vanity sink drains slower than molasses. Just a year ago it drained really fast. Sometimes my toilet gets clogged, and I think it’s disgusting to use a plunger. Is there another way to unclog a toilet? Lastly, my shower head used to have a nice spray pattern, but now water doesn’t come out evenly and the pressure is reduced. Is there an easy repair for this? —Carol F., Spokane, Wash.

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