Blue and white bathroom

A Minor Bathroom Makeover: Ideas for Paint, Lighting and Vanities

We all get tired of our home decor from time to time, but redoing entire rooms, from fixtures to flooring , doesn't always make the most sense. Remodels take time, money, and experience to accomplish and can disrupt home life. A minor remodel can allow homeowners to change their decor enough to get the new home feel without causing a major inconvenience to daily life. Bathrooms lend themselves well to minor touch ups just by changing paint, vanities and lighting.

A Little Color

blue and white elegant bathroom

Nothing changes a room faster than a fresh coat of paint. A new color can change the look and feel of a room with just a short day's work. Paint can also make a room look newer by covering up and repairing the wear and tear that all walls experience with time. Bathroom walls undergo especially harsh conditions because of the combination of water, heat and humidity.

Homeowners should carefully select the type of paint finish for bathrooms. Semi-gloss and satin finish paints work best for bathrooms because they are easy to clean and stand up well to high traffic.

Color makes a big difference as well. Cooler colors like aquas and soothing greens are reminiscent of the ocean and create a spa atmosphere. These cooler colors also visually lower the temperature in the bathroom - not a bad side effect for a room most often linked to hot showers and hair dryers. Neutral colors also make a great choice for bathrooms and can make skin look warm in the mirror. Homeowners would be well advised to stay away from bright, bold colors, which become dated quickly.

Form Meets Function

drilling into cabinets

Changing a bathroom vanity makes an immediate and drastic difference in the look and feel of a bathroom and can significantly improve storage and function. To choose the right vanity, homeowners must consider who uses the bathroom and how they use it. Do they need more room for towels or bath toys for young children? What about hiding away cosmetics, toiletries and other bathroom accoutrements? The right vanity can meet all these needs.

Vanities come in as many shapes, sizes, and finishes as there are homes; from ornate baroque style vanities to stripped down, minimalist cabinets. A bathroom cabinet makeover is limited only by the size of the bathroom (and the size of the door to get the vanity inside). A professional handyman can even custom-make a vanity based on the specific and needs of the bathroom.

Light Up Your Life

installing a ceiling fan

Bathroom lights can also dramatically improve the look and feel of a bathroom, quickly and inexpensively. Choosing the right lighting is important. Each option comes with advantages and disadvantages. There are several choices including;

  1. Recessed lighting: Recessed and overhead lighting provides general light in a bathroom. Recessed lights often require the help of a professional handyman to install but work well in smaller bathrooms or showers.
  2. Overhead lighting: Overhead hanging lights add style and can provide task lighting above mirrors.
  3. Strip lighting: Strip lighting can provide bright illumination in a bathroom and reduce shadows. In small bathrooms, strip lighting could be the only lights needed.
  4. Wall lighting: Wall lights installed by mirrors can reduce shadows as well while providing ideal lighting for grooming. Wall sconces can also highlight art or other features in a bathroom.

A bathroom makeover doesn't necessarily require a new shower, bathtub and floors. A little paint, a new vanity or new lighting can freshen and brighten any bathroom with just a little time and effort.

This article is part of the Bathroom Remodeling series. Read more for more bathroom makeover tips from Mr. Handyman.