Add some major style to your bathroom with only a minor monetary investment. To completely redo a bathroom from scratch would run upwards of $10,000, but renewing the bathroom you already have: that, says editorial director of decorating Kevin Sharkey, can easily be done for less than $1,000 with a little creativity.
With the help of art department carpenter Sean Ennis, Kevin set out to prove his point by completely making over a model bathroom during a one-hour "Martha Stewart Show" taping.
Where to Start
When planning a bathroom (or any room) redo, begin by thinking about your color scheme. Our model bathroom began without a consistent color scheme; Kevin selected a palette of green, black, and white from the range of colors already in the room.
Paint is one of the quickest, and simplest, ways to enliven a room. To change the entire look of the walls, consider adding texture by putting up paintable bead-board wallpaper; paint the wallpaper to coordinate with your wall color.
Try: Bead-Board Paintable Wallpaper (online only), Cap Molding #143, Martha Stewart Living paint in Oolong Tea (on walls) and Heavy Goose (on bead board)
Towels and bath mats are the accessories of the bathroom; changing them will change the feel of the room. Replace the old shower curtain, towel bar, towels, and bath mats with new ones that coordinate with your color scheme.
When shopping for shower curtains, don't limit yourself to traditional items: Kevin used chrysanthemum-patterned drapery for our model bathroom shower curtain. (Just be sure to also use a clear shower-curtain liner beneath the drapery to prevent water leakage.)
Try: Lamb Chrysanthemum Rod Pocket Panel (used for shower curtain), MOEN Banbury Decorative Towel Bar in Brushed Nickel (online only), Martha Stewart Collection Bath Rug, Antimicrobial Cotton and Low-Twist Towels
For a quick vanity update, swap old faucet hardware for new: A brushed finish adds a modern touch. If the mirror above the vanity is small, try replacing it with a larger one to add more light to the room. Replace covers on light fixtures such as sconces with ones that accentuate your new color scheme.
Try: Foremost Westchester Vanity (online only), MOEN Banbury Faucet in Brushed Nickel, Geneva Polished Pewter Framed Mirror, Ikea Ekas shade (in stores only)
A small seating area will make any bathroom more comfortable. If space is limited, consider a small table and stool; just be sure to coordinate their finishes with the rest of the room. Decorative mirrors set atop the table make excellent trays for lotions, perfumes, and other personal items. Hang some favorite framed photographs above the table for a personal finishing touch.
Try: Ingrid Side Table (online only), Melanie Swivel Stool in Brushed Aluminum, Martha Stewart Living Seneca Framed Mirror Set, Ikea Ribba frame (in stores only)