Aaah, the bathroom. Not an exciting place to talk about, perhaps, but a room we spend about 45 minutes a day in, according to a recent survey conducted by Charmin. It makes sense to make it look, and feel, warm and comfortable.

"Your bathroom is another room in your home," says Nia Collins, a Seattle-based interior designer. "Make it inviting with fun knickknacks and artwork." In the survey, 74 percent of respondents said it is important that their bathroom is nicely decorated, and 23 percent said they are sometimes embarrassed to have company because they think their bathroom is a mess.

The good news is that there are simple, quick and inexpensive ways to reorganize and redecorate the washroom. We talked to interior designers across the country for these 10 realistic solutions - even if you like your bathroom just the way it is.

1. Use fun containers on your vanity or counter.

Glass canisters, clear jars and even kitchen tools like magnetic knife strips can work great for organizing while still looking good, says Julie McCullough Kim, designer and owner of The Make Shop & Studio in Dallas. Little items can stick onto the strip, clearing clutter instantly.

2. Buy already decorated soap bottles.

For example, Softsoap Ensembles, from New York City-based Colgate-Palmolive, let you keep the reusable pump and switch the

pre-filled disposable base for a cheap way to update your bathroom decor.

3. Clear the clutter from the shower.

Wire hangers above the showerhead don't always work, and built-in shelves can get crowded. Try something like Torrance, Calif.-based Simplehuman's shampoo and soap dispensers, which hold their contents neatly and securely on the wall. The dispensers have a transparent soap chamber and elegant chrome body, similar to ones in spas.

4. Incorporate furniture into your bathroom space.

"A beautiful chair, dresser, or vanity can create an elegant feeling in the bathroom," Collins says. "Scour yard sales and flea markets for great finds." Good furniture can also function as storage.

5. White-wash it.

Think about all the beautiful white buildings in Santorini, Greece. "An inexpensive way to make your bathroom look like a million bucks is to take an old wood cabinet, and simply give it a coat of white, semi-gloss paint," says designer Tracy Morris in Washington, D.C. "Add new, updated hardware, and voila! You have a new look to your bathroom."

6. Install a unique shower rod or curtain.

For example, North Olmsted, Ohio-based Moen sells a curved shower rod. Horizontal-striped shower curtains can make your room look much bigger.

7. Change your tiles.

Decorate your bathroom with an accent, border or backsplash of stylish, high-end glass tiles, says Eli Mechlovitz, president and founder of

"Because of their luminescent, light-reflecting and luxurious look, only a small amount of glass tile is needed to make a strong statement of style," he says.

8. Get new accessories.

Since you have to use a garbage can, shower curtain, and towels anyway, why not get new ones? Center the room around a theme, such as nautical or spa, Collins says. Groupings and pairings of three are always a good choice, says Frank Fontana, host of HGTV's "Design on a Dime."

9. Incorporate texture in unexpected places.

"I am a big detail guy, and if I have pattern or texture on my towels, wall coverings, or moldings, I will go as far as repeating textures if I can - even in subtle ways like on to my toilet paper," Fontana says.

10. Make the best use of your drawers.

Don't let things roll around inside of your drawers and closets. Morris uses tea saucers inside her vanity drawers for bobby bins other small items.


Load comments