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Got a Weekend - Get a New Bath

Affordable Bath Updates for the Do-It-Yourselfer

Did you know that bath redecorating projects are responsible for more marital strife than any other home improvement project? Why?
The bath -- the most popular room in the house -- is typically torn up for weeks, even months, at a time; but if you plan ahead carefully before beginning any work, your bath redecorating project doesn't have to end in three months of heartbreak and marital disharmony.

Instead, you and your spouse can share the task of a fun redecorating project and enjoy the instant gratification of a new bath. "We often talk with consumers regarding the obstacles they face when tackling a bath redecorating project," says Mark Savan, General Manager of Creative Specialties International, a leading designer and manufacturer of bath accessories. "The number one response we hear is 'time, ' but you can definitely redecorate a bath in a weekend; all it takes is a little pre-planning."

There are a number of projects homeowners can tackle themselves that are low-cost and simple to do, but will make a major impact in the overall appearance of the room.

Following are five of the most affordable bath updates that can be handled by a typical do-it-yourselfer:

Give Your Walls a Makeover
Painting is one of the quickest and simplest ways to change the overall look and feel of a room, especially in a small one such as the bath. Keep in mind, however, there are special considerations to take when painting bathroom walls. Due to the high humidity and steam that result from the shower, always use mold and mildew-proof primers and paint if possible. Other than using these special products, the sky is the limit for choosing color and style for your bath. While faux finishing is still a popular trend in painting, solid colors are making a strong come-back. According to Discovery Channel star Christopher Lowell, his top eight new color picks for 2003 are lilac, medium yellow, persimmon orange, periwinkle, chocolate brown, chartreuse, aqua blue, and pink. Or, if you're looking for a more traditional or calm décor, popular neutral colors include taupe, bisque, and subtle metallic washes.

If you want to go beyond just painting, some of the latest remodeling ideas include wainscoting and bead boarding on half a wall. White bead boarding is a particularly fashionable and popular choice now. The materials to complete this project can be found at your local do it yourself retailer and only need to be glued and anchored with nails to the wall.

Accessorize!
Just like the right jewelry adds the perfect finishing touch to an outfit, a new set of accessories can dramatically change the look of a bath and bring a style together. Fortunately for consumers, the bath accessory marketplace has changed dramatically in the last decade. Manufacturers now offer dozens of finish and style options. "Consumers today have more choices than ever before," added Savan. "Whether you prefer a coordinated look with accessories that specifically match your faucet; or a set of accessories which provide a stylish compliment to your décor, homeowners have a wide variety of new and innovative design options for the bath." From casual contemporary to country to traditional décor, bath accessory lines come in every flavor. Give your bath the feel of antique Shaker or French country by choosing a suite of coordinated accessories. From brushed nickel to wrought iron, there's a finish for every fancy. For a coordinated look, try one of CSI's Inspirations lines, featuring deluxe bath accessories covering a wide range of styles and tastes. Or, if you'd like to have a more thoroughly integrated look, try CSI's new Kingsley accessories, which match perfectly with the Moen line of Kinsley faucets, featuring a timeless, old-world look. Bath accessory lines now feature more than the stock towel bar. Advances in the bath have led to more user-friendly products. For example, in the Kingsley line, look for their innovative pivoting paper holder, which is spring-free, and features a unique easy-load format. Also unique to the line is an array of ADA-compliant grab bars. Typically bleak and institutional, these new grab bars feature an appealing design that enhances, rather than detracts, from the room's décor. Since so many accidents can occur in the bath, safety is an important factor. Installing grab bars can aid every member of your family. There are also towel rings, decorative glass shelves, toothbrush holders, soap trays, and double robe hooks to accessorize and liven your bath.

Don't forget those easy, low-cost decorative touches that can create a whole new look, such as new window treatments, a colorful shower curtain, towels and bathmats, or even small items such as soaps and candles.

Another recommendation for the bath - cut the clutter!
Install a glass shelf on a wall to keep counters clear. The shelf itself can be used to hold functional bath products or decorative items such as picture frames and votive candles. Many glass shelves are now available in coordinating finishes to bath accessories and faucets, making them a perfect finishing touch to the room.

Install a New Faucet and Light Fixture
It's amazing what a paint job, accessorizing, and new decorative touches can do to a bath -- the look and feel of the room is completely different. If you still want more change and are willing to do a bit more work, try adding a new faucet and/or showerhead.

New hardware can take a bath from blah to beautiful. Look for products that coordinate with your accessories, or try a different style for the hardware.

Another change to try is installing a new light fixture.
Few items have as great an impact as lighting. Lighting is functional, but so much more can be created by just the flick of a switch. Mood and atmosphere can be changed; and the same room can be made to look completely different for a variety of occasions.

Voila! In just two days, you've got yourself a brand new bath!

Courtesy of ARA Content






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