Funk up your Bathroom for Next to Nothing

Hola Skint pals!

What I love about this weather: it takes two minutes to get ready in the morning –  too warm for make-up, layers of clothes or hot breakfasts. I can get out the door in fifteen minutes! 

But the one thing I hate about this almost-Mediterranean sun? How it pokes its fingers into my house and finds all the grubbiest bits: all the chipped paintwork, all the smears, all the imperfections. It was up and at it again this morning: pointing its accusing shiny fingers at my bathroom this time – all the grubby grouting and that pesky cracked tile. But damn you sun! Despite the heatwave, I’ve found ways to jazz up my bathroom that you haven’t even thought of yet! And I’ve found a few brilliant discount codes too, for anyone who’s using the summer days to tackle DIY – scroll down to the end of the post if you’re in a hurry for these. . . 

How to Max out on Style in the Smallest Room

Because bathrooms are usually pretty titchy, it’s easy to make a big statement. Years ago I rented a flat with a perfectly serviceable, but rather dull, bathroom. You know the kind: white walls, white bathroom suite and not much else. The one accessory it had was a large mirror above the sink but even that was a rather dreary affair. Bored of it all, I bought a star-shaped stamp and dipped it into some silver paint, then printed a row of stars all around the mirror. It took ten minutes to do and gave the room the touch of whimsy that it so needed.

Bathrooms are a space where anything goes, a great place to showcase whatever floats your boat. They don’t need to be formal spaces in the way that lounges are. Bathrooms are a place to unleash your inner diva, whether that takes the form of a kitsch shrine of plaster angels or an exquisite collection of antique perfume bottles. Even a statement shower curtain can transform a room. An all-white bathroom with an amazing printed shower curtain can look stunning: I’ve got my eyes on this vintage champagne one from Rockett St George. DIY bathroom on a budget

Like kitchen shelves, bathroom walls are a great place to show off collections. Whether your passion is piggy banks or powder puffs you can easily erect a ledge or two and put all your treasures on display. Hang a collection of little mirrors on one wall: not three or four but thirty or forty. Pick them up cheap in charity shops and jumble sales, paint all the frames the same colour – whichever takes your fancy – and hang them haphazardly on one wall for a real statement.

Similarly dozens and dozens of photos all hung in frames on one wall looks great in a bathroom. A mix of family and friends can be a real talking point, but a pal of mine hangs pictures of strangers in his – random old sepia photos of stern men and women from days long gone. It makes quite a statement. Though if you start a photo wall of this kind, just be prepared for visitors to spend a long time in your bathroom!


Small touches, big difference

It’s easy to gain big style points with your smallest room; because you need very little stuff for them you can therefore splurge a bit on the few things you do require.

In bathrooms, it’s the little touches that make all the difference. Posh soaps and the whitest, fluffiest bath towels, good scented candles and topnotch handwash and lotion for the sink. 

Don’t fancy piles of fluffy white towels? No cash to buy them? Then get thee to the supermarket to buy some dye. Towels are the easiest thing in the world to dye and the difference will be massive: goodbye grubby rag, hello fresh-from-the-wrapper style. Dark colours like navy and purple look terrific and cover a multitude of sins – I’ve lost count of the number of towels I’ve ruined with hair dye but  some purple dye always gets them looking regal again. 

Ornate painted saucers make great soap dishes – I got this one on the right at a flea market for about fifty pence. Or ditch the vintage soap dish
toothbrush beaker for a beautiful bud vase instead. Scour jumble sales and car boots for these low-cost, high-impact items.

Similarly, when you finish posh bubble bath don’t get rid of the bottle. Decant your cheap stuff into it instead. If you keep decanting every time you finish a posh bottle you’ll end up with a bathroom that looks like a spa instead of a plastics factory, with gorgeous glass glinting along the bath and windowsill.

 Showtime at the last-chance saloon 

Sadly some bathrooms are just too revolting to transform on the cheap. An electric blue corner bath was my own personal bathroom nightmare: I lived with it for years without the cash to change it. There will be times in every Skint girl’s life when she finds herself living with the bathroom from hell. In these situations you need emergency action. Whenever you’ve got people coming round, follow this simple four-point plan:

1)      Put out lots of fluffy, co-ordinating towels and posh soaps

2)      Turn off the overhead light: instead light tons of candles to keep the focus off the décor.

3)      Fill your bath tub with water and let candles float on it for a real impact – sure to detract attention from your cracked cistern

4)       Stay optimistic: do what you can and don’t sweat the rest. In time all things either pass or become fashionable again – including coloured bathroom suites.

Brilliant Bathroom Discounts

Here are three good ones, Skint pals, all currently live:

  • Wickes: 10% off orders over £200        

    DIY bathroom on a budget

    Now, that’s what I call making a feature of your shelving . . .

            Expiry: 13/07/13

           Expiry: 14/07/13

          Expiry: 31/12/13

Some Inspiration . . .

Here are some sites I like to drool over when I’m dreaming of renovating the bathroom – or the whole house for that matter:

Young House Love – These guys are onto renovating their third house and I’ve coveted each one more.

Apartment Therapy – Manhattan style, lust at first site. 

Design Sponge – Cool design, for young folks, on real-life budgets. What’s not to like?

What are your favourite bathroom quick fix tips, folks?



PS – Skint hasn’t been paid or perked for any links in this post  – they’re just things I’ve found and like . . .

Photo Credit: apartmenttherapy


About Skint in the City

Skint in the City provides stylish, practical tips and advice on how to live the high life on a shoestring budget.

2 thoughts on “Funk up your Bathroom for Next to Nothing

  1. It seems like every year my wife thinks we need to remodel another room in the house.

    Yup! This spring it was the bathroom. She painted it Screaming Yellow. Every last thing. The walls, ceiling and trim were all painted Screaming Yellow.

    Then she had me get her a free standing black granite sink installed and she used black granite scraps and made some small shelves. The guys at work fashioned her a matching toilet paper dispenser, and valves handles for the sink.

    That’s how she funked up our bath, and she gets a lot of compliments on it :)

    Cuz I do granite and marble for a living she’s always coming to the store and going back into the back and picking through the stone scraps that are left over from customers projects. She does amazing things with them!

  2. Great post.

    Like the use of shelves in that pic of the bathroom. Got to show it to the wife, she will love it!

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