Focus on durability. The surfaces and fixtures will likely get lots of wear and tear, especially if children use the room. Plastic laminate flooring and countertops are durable and inexpensive, plus the kids likely don’t care if they have high-end materials. As for fixtures, you still want high-quality construction, including all-brass parts and a PVD (physical vapor deposition) finish that resists scratches, but go with basic chrome, rather than pricier nickel or bronze. On the walls, choose an interior paint that resists mildew.
Another great place to look for upcycled bathroom accessories is Etsy. What can you find there? You’re only limited by your imagination. For instance, one Etsy artist takes brightly colored vintage Tupperware and turns them into cool hanging lamps. These could be fun and funky hanging in a bathroom! Another Etsy artist creates awesome, upcycled metal shelving that looks like a check mark. These could be fun for stacking folded towels. You can easily find upcycled bathroom accessories on Etsy by searching with keywords like “bathroom” or “upcycled.”
Be adventurous. Design treatments that would look over the top in other parts of the home are fine in the powder room. Deep dark hues, such as burgundy and eggplant, play well in these small spaces. Not that adventurous? Limit dark hues or unusual colors to wall paint. Pricey materials such as vessel sinks, custom floor patterns, and stone counters won’t be as hard on your budget because you won’t need as much as you would in a larger bath.
If your would-be sanctuary is a major sore spot, you’re not alone. Bathrooms are second only to the kitchen on people’s wish lists of rooms to remodel, especially since the current economy-induced deferred maintenance has pushed so many past their 20-year lifespan. “At that age, bathrooms really start to get tired,” says Art Donnelly, president of Legacy Design Build in Mount Sinai, New York. “Leaky toilets, grimy grout, loose tiles—you name it, it’s probably an issue.”
One of the first things you’ll want to do before jumping into a bathroom remodel is to develop a budget. Think about how much money you can use for this project, and add an extra 15 to 20 percent in case you have some unexpected expenses. In the world of remodeling, it’s more often the norm rather than the exception to spend a little more money than you have originally planned. Read more simple bathroom remodel ideas.