Home Decorating For Dummies
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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.

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Katharine Kaye McMillan, former senior editor of a New York City-based national magazine, is a writer whose work appears regularly in magazines and newspapers. She is a contributing writer to internationally circulated Florida Design Magazine. She is the co-author of several books on decorating and design, including Sun Country Style, which is the basis for licensed signature collections of furniture and accessories by three leading American manufacturers and importers. A graduate of the University of Texas in Austin, she holds a masters degree in psychology and is a doctoral student in psychology at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida.

Patricia Hart McMillan is a nationally known interior designer, whose interior design work for private clients, designer showcases, and corporations has appeared in publications worldwide, including the New York Times and USA Today. Known as a trend spotter and for clearly articulated views on design, she is quoted frequently and extensively in both trade and consumer publications. She a ppears on TV and talk radio. A prolific writer, she is coauthor and author of seven books on interior design and decoration, with Sun Country Style signature collections of furniture based on two books. She has taught decorating courses at several colleges and conducted numerous seminars across the U.S. She is decorating editor for Christian Woman Magazine and reports on design trends for The Sun-Sentinel, a Tribune newspaper based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She has been editor-in-chief of two publications and was head of a New York City-based public relations firm representing some of the most prestigious names in home furnishing and building products. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with a minor in art history (with an emphasis in architecture), from the State University of New York (New Paltz). She was awarded a certificate from The New York School of Interior Design.

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