10 Steps to a New Bathroom

Is your bathroom is desperate need of a facelift? Considering what an important room in the house this is, it seems odd that a lot of people tend to overlook the bathrooms when they are busy keeping the rest of their homes updated and looking fresh. If this sounds like you, and you are ready to give your bathroom a makeover, we have a simple 10 step guide that you can use to make your project easy. So let's get started!

1.) First things first: what do you want your new bathroom to look like? What you decide on will be partly based on where the bathroom is in the house and who will be using it. For a downstairs half bath that will get a lot of traffic, you do not want to go for anything too fancy – it can still look great, of course, but you do not want anything delicate or hard to keep clean in there if it is going to get a lot of use. If it's for the upstairs master bath, then maybe you'd like to go with a soothing spa-like motif, or the kids' bathroom could be done in bright, fun colors.

2.) Now take those ideas and think about your budget. How much you can afford will affect what you can do, of course, since installing a whirlpool tub is not cheap, but even those of us without a big bank balance can give our bathrooms a great makeover without going broke.

3.) Assess the situation in the room and see how it matches up with your ideas from Step 1, because this will help you with sticking to the budget you set in Step 2. It is not always necessary to rip everything out and start over from scratch to get a new look, which is going to be useful if you are on limited funds. So, if your bathroom cabinetry is in good shape structurally, then all you really need to do to make it look brand new is change the hardware and perhaps apply a new coat of paint or stain – for example, for that more utilitarian downstairs bath, we like satin nickel cabinet knobs, and other satin nickel cabinet hardware. It's durable and bright, and matches well with many different color palettes. When you swap out that hardware and change other cabinet handles and doorknobs in the room to match, you'll get great details that really help pull the whole room together, and it's much less expensive than buying and installing brand new cabinets.

4.) Does the room have any flaws you can not easily change? If you feel like your bathroom is too narrow and want a more spacious feel, it's certainly not easy to just move a few walls around, but you can create the illusion of more space by adding strategically placed mirrors on the walls. A lack of storage space can be corrected with the addition of more towel racks (that match your new hardware!), Baskets, decorative bins, and more – be creative!

5.) Think about the lighting – an easy way to make a master bathroom more of a place to relax is to have two different light sources. The bright overhead light you already have is fine to keep (but, by all means, change the fixture so it matches the rest of what you're doing, if you want), but also think about adding a secondary, softer light source situated near the bathtub so you can relax and read a book in a cozier atmosphere – even a small table lamp will do a great job at this.

6.) Figure out the remainder of the supplies you'll need to apply your new design, from the new blue towels to match the penguin theme in the kids' bathroom and the new rugs to any paint, nails, lightbulbs and soap dishes, and make a list to take shopping with you.

7.) WAIT! Before you go shopping, get rid of the stuff that you are not keeping. Throw away what can not be reused and donate or give away the stuff that's still in good shape, but get rid of it – this is a new start, so do not let the old things sit around and clutter the place up!

8.) Okay, NOW go shopping. Take your list, and STICK to it so you stay within your financial means. You will not enjoy a bathroom you overspent on, so shop online for great hardware at great prices, visit local thrift shops for interesting mirrors and artwork to put on the walls, hit up Target for nice towels at a good price, and if you have a store like Marshall's, TJ Maxx, or Tuesday Morning in your area, then you will find tons of unique home décor items you can use – many of them designer – at rock bottom prices.

9.) Haul your goodies home and get to work to putting it together. Depending on what you're doing, it may not take long at all to get the project finished, but take your time and be careful when installing your new cabinet handles and if you are changing the lighting, check to make sure all electricity is OFF before you touch. Enlist the help of any passing children or spouses, and you'll be done in no time.

10.) Sit back, relax, and enjoy your updated bathroom – you deserve it!