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January 7, 2008

Tips for an efficient bathroom:

The following are some good ideas which can be used for remodeling and decorating monotonous and drab bathrooms:

1. It is better to take a neutral stance:

A large window and simple valance make this bath seem bigger.

  • Because pale and cool colors reflect light, soft whites, pastels, and neutrals can make a bath feel bigger. Woodwork, trim, and doors will "disappear" if they are painted the same hue as the walls. The effect is enhanced if cabinets and counters are the same color as the walls.
  • For variety, a light color of paint can be used for the walls and a lighter tint for the ceiling. This combination will make surfaces recede from view and make the room seem larger.
  • To keep a neutral scheme from appearing bland, bolder colors can be introduced through accessories, linens, collectibles, artwork, and even furniture. Some interest can be added with a variety of textures, such as woven baskets, soft fabric, and smooth wooden pieces.

2. The eye should lead upward:

  • The ceiling can be made to look taller with some visual tricks. Wood moldings, wallpaper borders, and tile designs placed where the walls and ceiling meet will provide a splash of color and help naturally draw the eye upward.
  • A vertical stripe on the walls will make them seem taller. Otherwise, wallpaper with small airy prints can be used; large or busy patterns will diminish the scale of the space.

3. The windows should be treated simply:

  • No matter what their size or style, windows help enlarge the feel of a room if they're allowed to transmit light. If possible, it is better to leave them unadorned or trimmed lightly with lace or with a valance. Mini blinds or shades, which can be drawn to the top of the window and virtually out of sight, are another sleek solution.

  • Treating half the window can also be another option. A sheer fabric held in place with tension rods or shutters over the bottom portion of the window will readily admit light but still maintain privacy.

4. A reflective look should be given:

  • Mirrors stretch space by reproducing it. Mirroring the long wall of a narrow bath, for example, can change the room's proportions and make it seem wider. The mirror should be placed in such a way so that they reflect the bath's assets -- whether that's a wall hanging, a panoramic view, or the widest room angle mirror. Two mirrors positioned opposite each other create the illusion of a never-ending room.

  • Glass doesn't reproduce space, but it doesn't obstruct it, either. Thus, in a small bath, a clear-glass shower door may prove to be a better space stretcher than a dark, patterned shower curtain.

5. Clutter should be kept in its place:

  • In a small bath, space is too precious to be taken up by clutter. The bath counter top should only have those things which are really liked ones or need to have handy, and the rest should be stored.
  • The closets and cupboards should be replaced with wire racks, bins, and shelves. By putting the objects in order, we can make feel the most of the space which is there.

6. If possible it is better to let the sun shine in:

Skylights, light colors, an open shower, and a recessed base cabinet help this small bath seem larger.

  • First we can look for window and glass designs that welcome sunlight yet protect the privacy. Skylights, for example, open up any room to the sun. So do clerestory windows, which are installed high on the wall, almost at ceiling level.

  • Glass block, too, has long been a popular window treatment for the bath because certain patterns distort images enough to guarantee privacy. It also makes a dramatic, light-transmitting wall between a bedroom and bath. Other room-brightening options include frosted glass, etched glass, and stained-glass panels.

7. Streamline

  • For a sleek, clean look, it is better to keep storage flush with walls. Narrow built-in shelving, such as between wall studs, can easily corral collectibles -- from picture frames to perfume bottles. Deeper built-ins -- shelves, drawers, and cabinets tucked into a niche or nook -- are ideal for linens, and don't use floor space like bulky freestanding shelf units.

8. The floor should be left to show:

  • Maintaining an unbroken sweep of floor is a good way to stretch visual space. Yet, bulky components such as the bathtub can make this a difficult task.

  • It is better to fool the eye with cabinetry that "floats." Wall-mounted vanities or those with recessed bases add extra inches of space to the room that translate into visible square footage.

9. Fixtures should be scaled down:

  • Space-stealing fixtures can be easily replaced or removed. A pedestal sink or a scaled-down vanity, for example, is a good stand-in for a bulky vanity. There are also some fixtures, such as small basins and slim-and-trim pedestal sinks, designed especially for small baths and powder rooms.

  • In case of a major remodeling, a typical tub can be replaced with a soaking tub -- it's deep but small in circumference. In some cases the bath tub can be replaced with a shower stall if we want to gain more room.

10. Unclogging a traffic jam:

  • Perhaps the reason the bath feels as though it's shrinking is because too many people are sharing it. If this is the case, then addition of a small grooming station can be considered. This can be consisting of a vanity, sink, and mirror placed in a bedroom. Much less costly than adding a bath, this solution is especially economical if the bedroom is adjacent to the bath, the laundry, or the kitchen, and if plumbing pipes run through the shared wall.

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