Picture this, you have a functioning bathroom; everything is working as it should. Sure, your bathroom has pink tiles (*insert other colored tiles*), but your toilet flushes (thank God!) and nothing is making weird creaking sound. Maybe it’s not dead, but it’s in limbo. Reviving a tired space doesn’t require a sledgehammer or a total overhaul. You can set out to achieve a better bathroom one step at a time, simple and affordable.
// CLEANING //
This is step one and one that will make your bathroom instantly better and is a no-brainer. You probably already did it last month for the spring cleaning tradition before Chinese New Year. Look, I’ve tested it for you, if you go without cleaning your bathroom for more than two weeks, it literally looked like crap (no pun intended). By cleaning, I also mean scrubbing those grout lines (which happens to be one of my favorites when it comes to cleaning the bathroom).
Ever since I had tears in my eyes using bleach to clean my bathroom (for 2 years, guys), I have decided that there must be something wrong with it. Fortunately, I found out how bleach actually DAMAGE your tiles and grout which might not be visible to naked eyes but it causes holes in your tiles and make them prone to staining, imagine a vicious cycle of using even stronger bleach to combat those soap scum and so on. I’ve vowed to NEVER use bleach for cleaning again. I will choose a gentler household cleaners, or make your own by using vinegar or baking soda (simply google for instruction). And please wear gloves.
Another thing is, smaller tiles = more grout lines = more to scrub (I’ve found using a toothbrush to be most effective to scrub in between tiles). If you’re renovating your bathroom and want a quicker cleaning routine, you might want to consider opting for bigger tiles. Not to alarm you (I love big tiles, by the way) but bigger tiles might pop when overlaying them over existing ones, make sure to consult a professional before you pull that trigger.
As for the rest of the surfaces, glass shelves gather dust VERY easily, they tend to be dusty in just days. Anything that you leave in the open also gather dust easily. Go for closed storage if you’re not one who loves cleaning every few days or can’t tolerate seeing dust.
Above image left is a small Swedish apartment bathroom, the most memorable small bathroom I’ve seen because it inspired me to do something like this (open concept, no partition between shower and the rest of the bathroom) for one of my bathrooms for my new home. I wasn’t sure the open concept is gonna work into the style of my home (I didn’t want it to appear sloppy) until I saw this and I’m convinced. Both bathrooms just prove that you don’t need a big space to achieve style and ANY bathroom can look good as long as you’re willing to invest some thought and effort into it.
// DECLUTTERING //
First of all, decluttering is not about throwing things away (you can always throw worn or expired stuff away) or leaving surfaces bare (I call this missed opportunity). According to the dictionary, it means organize and prioritize. I don’t care if you have ten items you need close at hand in your bathroom. Although I am not one to store my makeup brushes in my bathroom, but you get it. Above shows just how you can HAVE STUFF and still be stylish. Have your individual items in a tray will instantly make them look more organized. Which brings us to the next closely related step; decanting. Yes, read on…
// CURATING //
If the exterior color of your shampoo bottles do not perfectly coordinate with the rest of the bathroom (just like the majority of us), decant them in white bottles or transparent bottles. Some dedicated decanter even do that to their mouthwash, yes you’ve heard it right. I am not a fan of shower caddy (I prefer niches or shelves), but these here (especially that orange one) are just so right. I love how the colors pop from the crisp white subway tiles. For small spaces like bathrooms, select a few colors and keep it within the palette. Less visual busyness makes the space appear airy and spacious (no one likes a bathroom that is small and dingy). Stay tuned for the list below that I’ve compiled for you (shopping for your bathroom transformation).
// ADDING //
Whether it’s a stool or just a basket, these items are not just functional but also good to look at. Image left is from the home of Dana. She placed her trash bin IN the basket and the basket next to the WC to hide unsightly pipes. The box underneath her vanity cabinet actually stores extra toilet papers and acts as a step stool for her kids. Buying a nicer storage for your items is a good start, they don’t have to be ultra fancy or expensive, don’t have to be big or wall mounted, it can be a tray or a nicer looking trash bin. Most importantly, make sure that they also work for you and your family.
Image right is the bathroom from the home of Benedetta Amadi, Homepolish designer and her gorgeous dining area shown on the blog here.
// STYLING //
Styling your bathroom doesn’t have to be complicated; in my opinion, when it comes to small space styling, less is more. Add art and plant selectively AND appropriately. I’ve seen people hanging family portraits in bathroom/powder room. This isn’t my kind of thing (but if it’s yours, make sure it REALLY works for you and your guests). Plants doesn’t even need to be green, they just need to be plant (artificial or not). Whether you have a lot of space or not doesn’t matter, as evidently in above bathrooms, just use ONE plant and ONE art. Pick those that go well with the overall space so they don’t look accidental. And there you go, a whole new feeling for the same space.
// ENHANCING //
Pardon my love for black and white bathrooms, they’re just classic and easy to style. They are also highly versatile unlike pink or blue tiles, obviously. Some of the local folks has their sink/vanity outside of the wet room (the place you shower), the basic mirror might be too plain, instead, opt for mirrors like above that resembles a piece of art. If you’re not feeling confident to remove the mirror yourself, seek assistance and beware of tile damage. Make sure you’re totally OK with using the new mirror to conceal a few holes.
// REPLACING //
We’ve all heard the saying, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”, but we don’t always have to wait for something to break down before we do something about it. Because “nothing you do for your home is ever wasted” (from the founder of Apartment Therapy). Try replacing your faucets for your sink or handheld shower (perhaps to matte black?). Buy new towels, they don’t need to be bought as a set, you can mix and match as long as you follow step 3. Below is a list of items in two categories; 1-6 are slightly costly, 7-12 are affordable compiled according to me because affordability does varies from individual. Happy shopping! :)
Interested to read more – 7 Ways To Wow With A Small Bathroom
1. Format Tank Tray // 2. Dare 9″ Vanity Mirror // 3. Gubi Adnet Circulaires // 4. Jade Stool // 5. Small Rectangular Marble Tray // 6. Rubber Coated Black Bath Accessories // 7. Pet Bottle Pump Type Clear // 8. Balungen Mirror // 9. Mirror With Leather Strap // 10. Triangle Laundry Bag // 11. Glass Decanter With Stopper // 12. Segeå 4 Piece Bathroom Set
Image Sources: Featured Image Homepolish and Pinterest and Sarah Sherman Samuel // Cleaning Pinterest // Decluttering Emily Henderson // Color Palette Homepolish // Storage House*Tweaking and Homepolish // Art and Plants Pinterest and Homepolish // Mirror Pinterest and Pinterest // Mirror Pinterest and Pinterest
All words by me and images from credited links. This is a non-sponsored post. Items are subjected to availability by respective sellers. Actual price(s) might vary.