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Inexpensive Ways to Transform Your Bathroom

Using your imagination and some elbow grease to transform an ugly bathroom into a beautiful bath saves money, and it’s fun! Simple changes to vanities and tile can go a long way. Bathroom vanity cabinets are sometimes less than beautiful, even when they’re brand-new. Age certainly doesn’t improve them. Before you give yours the old heave-ho, consider these possibilities:

  • Add pizzazz: Create an Old World look by outlining cabinet doors with a row of decorative brass upholsterer’s nail heads. They’re available from an upholsterer, home center, hardware store, or craft shop. (Before you nail, remove the door and place it on a firm surface.)

  • Antique a carved and fancy cabinet: Use a paint kit to highlight raised carvings, fancy moldings, and trims.

  • Change the hardware: Upgrading the hardware to new brass or ceramic handles and knobs may be all you need.

  • Cover a simple vanity base with wallcovering: Use the same pattern that’s on the walls to blend in the old eyesore.

  • Paint it: Pick a great color and the right paint and painting techniques.

  • Relaminate: Countertop specialty shops can relaminate any cabinet. Look for those who can relaminate on-site so you don’t have to unplumb your sink (a costly deal).

  • Stencil on a motif: Paint hearts and flowers, geometrics, or whatever. You don’t have anything to lose but a little time and a dab of paint.

Tile is expensive to replace. If you’ve inherited an unappealing color scheme, don’t despair:

  • Apply wallcovering above the tile: Search for a pattern that incorporates several colors, including that of the old tiles.

  • Dress up ceramic tile with stick-on accents: They come in plenty of themes, styles, and colors and are easy to apply.

  • Faux paint: Paint the wall above the tile, using layers of color that relate to the old tile.

  • Throw down an area rug: Rugs are great for covering offending flooring. Choose one that picks up and plays back the colors in your wall treatments.

Not sure what colors to use? Look to wallcoverings, fabrics, and even gift-wrap for inspiration.

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