Redecorating Your Bathroom for Resale - dummies

Redecorating Your Bathroom for Resale

By Katharine Kaye McMillan, Patricia Hart McMillan

Thinking of selling your place within two years or less? Shift your bathroom colors into neutral white, almond, and other classics that prospective buyers prefer. If you don’t know what’s hot and what’s not in bathrooms, ask a local real estate agent.

Incorporate these simple tips as you redecorate:

  • Add glass handles, classic silver or pewter pulls, or hand-painted ceramic knobs to your cabinets.

  • Find sink and faucet designs that suit your home’s style. People notice them first. Also, stick with the same metals and finishes throughout.

  • Look for a new tub faucet to match the new sink faucet, give the shower a new glass door, and replace floor tiles.

  • Give your bathroom an instant facelift with a coat of light (white or some pale antique color) paint.

  • Select durable cabinetry. Cabinets are often part of the background. They should be nice, but they don’t have to be total knockouts. Keep cabinets light for small spaces.

Your decorating goal is to create an attractive and functional bath that any buyer could love. Neutral colors, paint, and simple fixtures fit the bill. Avoid wallpaper; the pattern might not suit everyone. Keeping it simple is the best policy. Look for:

  • A few important, not-too-busy, functional accessories, such as towel bars, a paper holder, and a soap dish

  • Classically colored (white, beige, cream) ceramic tile for the floor and walls (a must for a quality tub/shower area)

  • Decorative but not-too-fussy lighting fixtures

  • Decorative narrow, open shelves to display perfume bottles and pretty items that take up space in cabinets

  • Good lighting near the vanity mirror

  • Large three-way mirrored medicine cabinets (for seeing your hairdo from the back)

  • Light-penetrating but privacy-guarding window treatments (stained, frosted, etched, or opaque glass)

  • Storage space for necessities — especially important with a pedestal sink — such as a small cabinet with a door

While a major overhaul of your bathroom could cost thousands of dollars, simple redecorating can run as low as the cost of a gallon of paint. A dated-looking bathroom can get quick and easy spruce-up with new showerheads, faucets, and hardware for less than $100. Relaminating countertops and cabinets saves a bundle. New shower curtains, towels, rugs, and window treatments can cost as little as $50 to $100. Consider these budget-stretching ideas:

  • Accept others’ rejects: Shop showrooms for custom-order items that a client refused.

  • Choose classic white fixtures: They never go out of style and they’re less expensive than colored ones.

  • Consider solid surfaces that look like stone: Less costly than real marble or granite, solid surface countertops are easy to clean and never go out of style.

  • Create a timeless background with white or neutrals: Jazz them up with a few decorative tiles in exotic colors and patterns.

  • Forego real stone, and use a vinyl look-alike: Vinyl looks great for less, is easy on the feet, and is simple to maintain.

  • Think big: Use large ceramic tiles for walls and floors. They look good and cost less to install than smaller tiles.

  • Use chrome faucets, fittings, and accessories: They look classy but cost less than brass.