Accessorize Your Bathroom - dummies

By Katharine Kaye McMillan, Patricia Hart McMillan

When remodeling your bathroom, consider functional and decorative touches. Two of (almost) everything comes in handy when two people share a bathroom, for example. And don’t forget luxury touches. Even a tight budget can allow for a few luxuries to enhance the bath’s ritual. Consider these tips for creating magic in your bath:

  • Add a standing screen (made by hinging louvered shutters together) to create privacy for the toilet, if you have enough room.

  • Customize cabinets with compartments for drawers and pullout shelves for optimal storage and greater convenience for each partner.

  • Design a glass-enclosed bath/shower with glass etching.

  • Incorporate a heated towel rack that serves up several warm towels on cold days and adds heat to a chilly bathroom.

  • Let the light in with skylights, windows, or glass block walls that illuminate the lavatory area(s).

  • What’s luxury without soothing sounds? Add a compact audio system so that you can listen to your favorite music as you soak in the tub.

  • Include pretty washable area rugs for color, pattern, and warmth for cool feet. Treat yourself and your room to several in different patterns — and change them when your mood changes.

  • And don’t forget the little things — scented candles, potpourri, fresh flowers from your own garden, sachet packets for drawers, and a display of pretty bottles (perhaps with different fragrances).

Accessorizing is the fun part of decorating. Consider the following tips:

  • Add a fireplace mantel to your dressed up, formal-looking bath (with space enough for a comfy chair). Electric logs are okay to use in a well-ventilated space with due caution. But, working or not, the effect of a fireplace in this haven is out of this world!

  • Build your color scheme around a decorative sink with mosaic detailing and a matching mirror. It makes a major statement.

  • Consider live plants as accessories. Make sure to place them out of harm’s way (where they can’t fall into the tub or cause someone to stumble). If you use fake plants, pretend they’re real: Place them near a window.

  • Don’t try to match your towels and shower curtain to your walls. Paint stores can custom-match paint to your towels. You can also buy white towels and a white shower curtain and monogram them in a matching beige thread.

    Keep accessories related but not repetitious. If you want a personalized bathroom, avoid ensembles that came straight from a bed/bath shop. Instead, take some time to select or make your own grouping of things that especially appeal to you.

    [Credit: Photograph courtesy Blonder Wallcoverings, “Chesapeake/Quiet Water” ]
    Credit: Photograph courtesy Blonder Wallcoverings, “Chesapeake/Quiet Water”
  • Match, don’t mix, metals. If the faucets are brass, keep towel bars and rings, curtain rods, and other metal surfaces brass as well. If the faucets in your home mix metals — brass trim with chrome faucets, for example — match all other metals to the faucet body, not its trim.

  • Protect pictures on the wall by keeping them away from splashing water. The bath isn’t the place for watercolors and fine art; the humidity destroys them. Think posters and acrylic paintings. Keep gilded picture frames away from direct water sources, which damage the finish.