Quick Fixes For An Out Of Date Bathroom

No time for a bathroom reno? Try these fixes to beautify an outdated bathroom

When salmon colored tiles converge with an olive green tub, it’s time to consider some changes to your bathroom.

While a full-scale gutting might not be in the budget, there is a lot you can do to improve the ‘facilities’ so that they don’t assault our 2017 sensibilities!

Many older homes come chock full of, errrr… “period features”, but the pink and green 1970s/1980s bathroom doesn’t have to be one that you live with for years to come.


If Your Tiles Are Awful Colors Or Patterns

Add white wherever you can: wall paint, ceiling, medicine cabinet and so on. Keeping every other visual space, aside from the tiles, neutral, makes it easier for the eye to absorb the colors or patterns from the tiles.

Adding artwork to your bathroom that uses the color from your tile as a secondary color in the piece is a good way to bring together the look of your bathroom cohesively. Rather than drawing attention to the tiles, the artwork helps to create a seamless connection that makes it all balance nicely. If you’re stuck with olive green, you may as well have some fun with it.

This example, from Houzz.com, by Pelletier Interiors, is shows what we mean. See how the curtains on the window embrace the colors?

If all else fails, you can paint tiles.

You’ll need a good oil based primer to go over top of the existing tiles and then a latex color.

It’s not a permanent solution (expect touch ups), but it can be a stop gap until you have the chance to pull down the salmon tiles properly.


Add Shine

A large mirror or even a free standing one, if your bathroom space permits, is a focal point that draws the eye. It reflects light, and since many bathrooms have limited natural light, this keeps everything bright and airy. If you have the space for a full length mirror, the Lorenzo II Cheval Mirror from WHi is just the ticket, as it can stand on its own, or can be mounted to the wall. It’s a simple, contemporary look that will modernize any bathroom.


If Your Fixtures Are Old

Updating sink and bath fixtures isn’t necessarily costly and can make a big difference to the look of a bathroom, to say nothing of efficiency.

An old, leaky tap is costing you money for every drop of water that falls, so the expenditure to update these are worth every penny and makes a huge difference.

Lighting that is dim and uses inefficient light bulbs can also be replaced easily and to your general advantage, both from an appearance in the mirror perspective and the bottom line on your electricity bill.


Add Functional Pieces That Can Be Re-Used

If you’re thinking about doing a full renovation of the bathroom at some point in the future, it’s still worthwhile to invest in some accents or furnishings that improve the bathroom NOW and can be re-used in the new bathroom, or in another room of the house, later.

A couple of simple ideas to create function and improve the look of a bathroom include adding more hanging space for clothes, robes and towels, such as the Neil Coat Rack in Brushed Nickel from !nspire, which has hooks at different levels, making it functional for all ages!

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You can also create storage for towels and toiletries that can be moved elsewhere down the road by adding a storage unit that isn’t specifically designed for a bathroom but which is made of materials that can withstand the steamy environment.

A good example is the Jaydo Cabinet in Natural Burnt from !nspire. This shelved cabinet with drawers, made from natural grain (sustainable) mango wood and cast iron legs is a perfect choice for a more rustic look.


The key with any update to a bathroom is to remember to coordinate your accents and colors. If you can’t change the existing color of your tub, sink and tiles, the key is to neutralize them.

With these two thoughts in mind, everything from drawer pulls to outlet covers can be coordinated (or neutralized) for a more pulled together look that will extend the look of your bathroom for a few more years yet!

How did you manage to overcome an outdated bathroom? We’d love to hear your ideas below…