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Five-And-a-Half Cost Effective Tips for Accessorizing Your Bathroom

(ARA) - In the movie Steel Magnolias, the character Clairee declares that, "The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize." Well -- she's right!

One room that can really benefit from a little freshening up is the bathroom. By adding accents and accessories, we can make our bathrooms more inviting. Here are some cost effective solutions for accessorizing and revitalizing your bathroom.

Begin by picking a design theme or color scheme. (See tip number five-and-a-half for further advice.) This narrows the focus and will help you in the decision- making process.

Tip #1 -- Dry Colorfully

If the color of your bathroom is monotone, where everything is white -- walls, fixtures and counters -- changing the towels can bring an entirely new look to the room. The selection of towels to choose from is almost endless. There are vibrant, solid colors for a bold accent. Printed or embroidered towels are available in virtually any theme or style from traditional to tropical.

Consider purchasing a set of towels for seasonal use. You do not have to purchase all new towels, just enough that to create a visual difference between summer and winter. Two each of the bath towels, hand towels and washcloths may be enough. For the year-round towels, select neutral tones or solids that coordinate with your decor. For the seasonal accent towels, select lighter, brighter colors and patterns for summer and darker, richer tones and patterns for winter.

Tip #2 -- Dramatic Curtains

Shower curtains are one of the most dramatic accessories in the bathroom, and can change the room's look instantly. As with towels, the colors and patterns of curtains available seem virtually endless.

To create a warmer, more refined look, use fabric shower curtains with a printed or embroidered pattern. Vinyl shower curtains tend to be less expensive. They provide a more casual and sometimes whimsical tone to the bathroom like hula girls and an underwater scene with brightly colored tropical fish.

Tip #3 -- Jazz It Up

A bathroom "ensemble" typically includes a waste can, boutique tissue holder, tumbler, toothbrush holder, soap dish, lotion/soap dispenser and jar for incidental items. You do not have to purchase the entire set to perk up a tired bathroom. If you have limited space, consider just the waste can and tumbler.

When selecting a style, make sure it fits with the overall look of the room. There are a number of styles to choose from -- modern, traditional, whimsical and formal, as well as styles appropriate for a children's bathroom. Finishes include metallic and materials that mimic ceramic with patterns that range from floral to exotic.

Tip #4 -- Apply Yourself

There is a relatively new product on the market called Stick'n Stile that allows you to decorate your bathroom tile and tub area without replacing your current bathroom tile. What really makes this product unique, especially for those living in apartments, is the fact that it is removable. Stick'n Stile adds interest to tile walls by breaking up the space, and it is another way to add color to the bathroom.

Stick'n Stile is available in a variety of patterns that coordinate with other bathroom accessories. These design appliques can be applied safely to tile, shower doors and mirrors as well as plastic and fiberglass tub surrounds. No special adhesive is required. Simply peel off the paper backing and press in place. They are "permanent" until you decide it's time for them to go. Then, simply heat each tile with a hairdryer for a few minutes and peel it off.

Tip # 5 -- Artistic Reflection

Set the tone for the bathroom by treating it like any other room in the house. Hang art on the walls, or install a small shelf for displaying knickknacks or other treasured items.

Mirrors are a welcome addition in small bathrooms. A collection of small mirrors finished in decorative frames adds glamour to your bathroom. They also reflect light to make the space appear brighter and larger. Use an odd number of small mirrors -- one, three, five -- in combination with other artwork. Before hammering nails in the wall, place all the items on the floor until you have the arrangement you like.

For the do-it-yourselfer, purchase decorative picture frames and replace the glass with mirror. And remember -- mirrors and pictures should be hung at eye level.

Tip #5 1/2 -- Make Peace

For those living in apartments, accessorizing a bathroom can be challenging, especially if you do not like the existing colors. Don't work against what you've got, work with it. The same can be said for those with a bathroom they don't like but simply can not afford to remodel.

What if you prefer bright accent colors like candy-apple red, but have a bathroom filled with earth tones? You may have to compromise, but there is a way to work with the color scheme that is already there. Your favorite color probably won't work, so try a red with some earthiness to it, like terracotta or poppy. Find a color that pleases you that does not fight the colors already there.

Hang a piece of artwork that includes both the colors you already have (but are not crazy about) but also includes the accent colors you like.

Courtesy of ARA Content

EDITORS NOTE: Dan Austin is a Milwaukee-based freelance writer.


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