Archive for Friday, June 30, 2006

Updating the bathroom can soothe soul

June 30, 2006

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Updating a bathroom can be difficult - and expensive. How can you redecorate a space that's in constant use, and how can you do it on a limited budget? Plan ahead and prepare to live with chaos, says Sarah Woodward, founder and designer at Wallflower Labs. Done right, the bathroom can be more than utilitarian.

Game plan: Order parts and equipment in advance. "You think you're going to just slap in a new sink," says Woodward, "but it's not always so easy."

Cabinetry: The right vanity can make a bathroom. An unconventional choice, such as a credenza, can create an elegant mood in a small space. Cut holes for the sink and plumbing and install a counter on top. Relics in the attic or garage can fit the bill. "Pedestals are lovely, but they're better for a guest bathroom," she says.

Towels: Choose hooks for towels. "They take up less space that way," she says, and they look good. Think hotel towels: soft and absorbent, plush and big. "I like solid-colored towels with textures in the weave as opposed to pattern in the towel," she says. If the towels are too busy visually, they will make the roomfeel smaller.

Paint: Woodward is a fan of flat enamel paint, which is durable and easy to wash with a sponge. "It looks muted instead of shiny and glossy," she says. In addition, it hides imperfections. High gloss can accent drywall lines or spackle jobs. Go for the muted colors. Materials: Glass? Porcelain? A guiding factor should be the house as a whole.

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