When shopping for a home, it's often the bathroom and kitchen that make or break the deal. Everyone dreams about a soak in the tub or a relaxing hot shower after a long day of work, either at the offie or with the kids. Some of the best creative design choices for bathroom updates come on a smart budget. White subway tiles look great, and fit the smart budget ideal, but there is really so much more that can be done with some thought. We've pulled together some of our favorite ways to elevate what can be considered basic materials, to something upscale looking. All done without breaking the bank.
GET CREATIVE WITH TILE PATTERNS
Try a striped pattern using just two different colors of basic square tile. It looks fun and fresh. It doesn’t require special tile or installation. You can also use different size tiles readily available at the store and create your own unique patterns. Buy a bunch of sample tiles, lay them on the floor and start to play around. Color-blocking is another way to create loads of drama, without a lot of detail work because there is a big impact with a large area.
A trick that we REALLY love is mixing expensive tile with a more basic, lower cost option. The eye is drawn to the unique (and probably more expensive tile) while the lower priced tile is the blank canvas.
WORK WITH WHAT YOU'VE GOT
This may seem like a silly idea. You hate the tile, but it's a tip to keep it? YES! This trick works best with basic tiles like gray, black, or even eggplant. Embrace the popular retro bathroom feel and forget replacing the fixtures and tile. Work with what you've got. First, start by exploring color palettes. Go to your local housewares store and pick up a few styles of bathmats and towels, and a shower curtain too. Lay them out and see what works best. It's amazing how with a few small details the space can be transformed.
BE BOLD WITH WALL PAINT
Go from blah to ahhh with rich, bright colors. They cost the same as boring white or beige, and with a test can you don't have to commit to the whole space. You will be surprised at the impact paint creates for the least amount of money.The right color can open up a cramped space, make a large room feel cozier or add instant personality to a basic bath. Feeling bold and confident? Try incorporating a unique striped pattern or a zany geometric design is a roll of painter's tape and a sharp pencil. There are lots of great tutorials on YouTube that show you how.
SPEAKING ABOUT PAINT, HOW ABOUT THOSE CABINETS?
You are thinking about painting the walls a rich, bright color. So how about something that coordinates with the cabinetry? Did you know that stock cabinetry comes in a wide variety of sizes and styles? Homeowners can easily get a modish look without paying for custom work. It will just look like custom, by adding moldings and trim around the edges.
Don't stop with paint on the walls. It's easy and inexpensive to give cabinets a coat of color. Try painting the door panels one shade and the frames another, or stencil on a motif. Don't like it? Just paint over it and try again!
KNOBS AND PULLS
Get that designer look with five minutes and a screwdriver. Your local flea market or hardware store will have knobs and pulls that will add that something special and finish the look like it was done by a designer. Again, it will be kind to your wallet. Consider unusual finishes, bold colors, interesting shapes or unconventional materials to give your cabinetry a custom twist.