Friday, February 20, 2009
If you're facing a similar problem of your own, the homeowners' shower curtain (the Dobby-stripe shower curtain from Restoration Hardware) is available in a variety of colorways and, like any patterned fabric, is a great jumping off point for a room design -- just stay within the fabric's color palette and you'll be set! Random aside: I actually have the same curtain in Ash hanging in my upstairs bathroom and I love it.
Go for the grout: While you may not be changing out the tile in your bathroom, you may want to consider the grout. Dirty, greasy grout can make even nice looking tile less appealing. With a little bleach and elbow grease, you can get most grout looking almost like new. Doityourself has a very thorough post on cleaning grout yourself here. If you've scrubbed and scrubbed and your grout still looks like Hades (or if you've inherited the ill-advised predilection for light tile and dark grout of a prior owner's), you can always try your hand at restaining the grout to the color of your choice.
Don't forget the finishing touches: As in the rest of your house, sometimes it's the little details that can make a bathroom go from bleh to great. A word of advice though: avoid any sort of themes. Having a shell-shaped soap dish won't make you feel like you're in Tahiti any more than a zebra bath mat will make you feel like you're on safari. If you can stand to wade through all the "Bear necessities" and "Jumpin' Dolphins" bath collections, Target has some nice budget-friendly options (like Isaac Mizrahi's collection, pictured above, which looks very Jonathan Adler to me -- speaking of, his druggest bath accessories are to die for, but less budget-friendly).
Of course, bathroom accessories don't have to be made specifically for the bathroom. I love the idea of keeping cotton balls, q-tips or hair ties in one of these beautiful oak lidded cups by the British company (with Swedish roots) ISAK. And of course, I love the idea of a coordinating birch wood tray to corral all the cups (I'm pretty anal like that).
If you're budget allows for it, I really adore almost everything India Rose does for the bath. Her amara bathmat ($58), argyle shower curtain ($100), and pintuck shower curtain ($110) are all pictured above.
Does anyone else have any other suggestions for how to fix up an ugly or outdated bathroom without major renovations? If so, please share the wealth and leave your words of wisdom in a comment below.