Learn how to make the most of bath accessories and décor.
There's no rule that says bath accessories and décor can't be functional. Often, bathroom accessories double as organizers. Accessories should complement the bathroom's style and also make efficient use of the available space. Selecting functional and stylish bath accessories and décor is an inexpensive alternative to remodeling a bathroom to create a new look and storage options.
According to Better Homes and Gardens, three of the most popular style choices for bathrooms are traditional, contemporary and country. Traditional bathrooms make use of floral and toile fabrics and gilded accessories as well as gold and silver hardware. Because traditional bathrooms are uncluttered, the efficient use of storage is an important step in achieving a timeless look. Contemporary bathrooms are also uncluttered. This style of décor relies on clean, straight lines and colors that are true to nature. Adding contemporary light fixtures and warm-colored tiles easily adds a contemporary feel to any bathroom. Country-style bathrooms often make use of wicker baskets, and wallpaper and furniture not traditionally thought of for a bathroom. If the space permits, country bathrooms may showcase rocking chairs and antique dressers.
Because the bathroom must house so many products, it is not uncommon to see lotion, shampoo, cotton balls, razors, shaving cream and cotton swabs among other hygiene products on the vanity or side of the bathtub. It is unlikely these products work well with the bathroom's décor, and it is possible to hide them without losing accessibility.
The first step to organizing a bathroom is throwing away everything that is not used or has expired. These bottles and packages take up valuable storage space. Products that are used every day can be left out on the vanity or counter, but stored in a way that complements the bathroom's style. For example, cotton balls, bath salts and cotton swabs can be stored in glass apothecary jars, which work well with nearly any style of bathroom. Products that are used occasionally are best stored in drawers or cabinets, and organized in a divided tray, which can be purchased from a bath and linens store.
To simplify organization, Real Simple recommends never buying more than can be easily stored, never opening a new product until the last one is finished, assigning a specific storage space to individual products and using clear storage containers. If the bathroom's storage space is lacking, room can be created by adding shelving and cabinets. Many bathrooms have space for shelving and cabinets above the toilet, and installing a cabinet between the studs in the wall is a relatively inexpensive way to add built-in storage. Choosing storage cabinets with several shelves allows products to be organized more easily. Adding attractive storage features should enhance the bathroom's décor rather than detract from it.
Small bathrooms can present decorating and organizing challenges. According to Martha Stewart, the inefficient use of a small space can cause a bathroom to feel smaller and more cluttered than it actually is. Organization products, such as over-the-door towel racks and wire baskets that stick to shower tiles, expand storage space options. Magnetic hooks can be used inside a medicine cabinet to organize hair ties, scissors and other small grooming products. Shelves can compensate for the lack of a vanity, and provide a great space to display apothecary jars.
Various decorating tricks can create the illusion of a bigger space. Glass shower enclosures allow the eye to see the room in its entirety without the interruption of a shower curtain. Light fixtures can appear ostentatious in a small bathroom, so it's best to use simple, elegant fixtures. Warm colors also open up a room, whereas a dark paint choice can make a small bathroom seem even smaller. Installing pocket doors creates space without compromising a bathroom's privacy.
No matter the size of the bathroom, its accessories should generally serve the purpose of increasing the functionality of the room. For example, a vintage chair or antique ladder are both decorative focal points, but can also be used to store towels. Open shelving adds to the bathroom's décor as well as creating storage space. Clear bottles filled with shampoo, conditioner, soaps and lotions create a colorful, decorative collection that can be displayed without detracting from the bathroom's décor. As a bonus, bottles that are uniform in size typically fit better in storage baskets. The names of the products can be stenciled on the bottles or applied as laminate labels.