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Brighten the bathroom without splashing out

By Herald Express  |  Posted: February 28, 2013

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AT last, we can start to see signs of spring peeking through!

I for one can't wait to see the back of the cold winter months and welcome in the new season.

There is something so refreshing about this time of year where everything starts to come back to life and this change in seasons often brings with it the urge to revamp our homes.

The first thing many of us start to do is take a trip to the shops and update our accessories with new cushions, rugs and bed sheets and the thought of revamping the bathroom goes out the window due to the fear that it is going to cost a fortune to do.

But, this doesn't have to be the case and believe it or not there are plenty of quick fixes that can transform the look of your bathroom without having to dig too deep down in your pocket!

The bathroom is one of the most important rooms within the home, and it should be a place where you can escape after a hard day's work with a long, hot soak in the bath.

Previously seen as a practical and functional environment, a room used merely for ablutions, the bathroom is now considered a luxury retreat, so it is important that the aesthetics are the best that they can be to make it warm and inviting.

Most bathrooms incorporate tiles in some way shape or form and they shouldn't just be used to protect surfaces from water damage, they should be a styling tool too.

One way to save on both time and money is to tile over existing tiles.

In order for this quick-fix to work however, the tiles already in place will need to be in a good condition in order for the new tiles to have a seamless finish.

You will also need to ensure that the existing tiles are still securely bonded to the wall and are able to take the weight of the new tiles.

You will only be able to use a lighter tile to the ones used previously.

Provided you take all of these factors into consideration there shouldn't be a problem and you will be able to transform the look of your bathroom in next to no time.

Often, damage is caused to the wall when removing tiles, so this quick-fix should eliminate any re-plastering costs.

It may be the case that the tiles in your bathroom are in perfect condition and still on-trend, but grubby grout is detracting from their beauty.

If it is past the point where a good scrub isn't bringing the look of the tiled area back up to scratch, simply re-colouring the grout can make the world of difference and it definitely won't break the bank either.

Grout colourant will not only refresh the look of the tile layout, but it will seal the grout from any future stains, making maintenance far easier.

You may even find that a new shade of colourant complements the tiles better than the one used in the first place!

Another cost effective and easy way to transform the bathroom is with a lick of paint.

One way of adding interest and a theme to work around, is by incorporating a striking feature wall that would lend the bathroom character and a sense of identity.

Introducing a definitive, block colour whether it is a feminine pastel shade or a bold and vibrant colour will provide you with inspiration for the rest of the room as you can pick coordinating towels and accessories.

It is just important to remember that not all paints are suitable however and it is recommended that 'Egg Shell' finish paint is used in the bathroom as it will not peel, fade or suffer from water damage.

It is important to take into consideration the size of the room and the amount of daylight that enters the space when it comes to deciding on a suitable shade of paint.

If there is only a small window or it is quite compact, a light and airy shade will work best.

If you have more space to play with you may be able to opt for a deeper, bolder colour either throughout the bathroom or just on your feature wall.

Wallpaper is often never considered an option when it comes to bathroom décor, but if you opt for a vinyl paper it will be able to withstand the conditions of the bathroom such as steam and water splashes.

Wallpaper is great for a traditional bathroom setting, especially when applied above painted wood panelling and if you opt for a vintage, floral pattern you can create a feminine, boutique feel.

Just make sure that wallpaper isn't used within the shower as it won't last very long!

There is no need to invest in a whole new sanitaryware suite if yours is still in a reasonable condition and it just looks a little dated.

Invest in some new brassware to give your bath and basin an update; you will be amazed at what a difference it can make!

A re-think of the heating in your bathroom may also be on the cards. Replace your standard towel warmer with a more interesting design, whether it be a creative, contemporary design if you have a modern bathroom, or a more classic style for a traditional bathroom.

For the ultimate mood enhancing trick, add a simple, not to mention inexpensive dimmer switch which can be purchased from any local DIY store.

Then, when you're reading your favourite book or soothing your achy limbs in a hot bubble bath, you can dim the lights to create the perfect, relaxing atmosphere, yet still have bright lights for the more practical tasks such as shaving and applying make-up.

So there are plenty of ways that you can refresh the look and feel of your bathroom this spring.

We all need a sanctuary to escape to from time to time and relieve the pressures of a hard day, so put your bathroom at the top of your priority list.

And remember, a set of new, fresh, fluffy towels and some scented candles can go a long way!

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