If it’s tougher to work outdoors this winter, bring your energy inside and use it to update a tired bathroom. We’ve got ideas ranging from inexpensive and easy to a little more challenging for the DIY’er.

Bathrooms are the smallest rooms in most houses, but we spend plenty of time in there, often in a hurry to get out the door or get the kids clean and into bed. These important rooms should function well, but look great for our company and for our own pleasure and relaxation. Try a few ideas below to upgrade your bathroom this winter.

Add a coat of fresh paint. Turn an outdated color palette more neutral with modern grays. Or use calming blue and seafoam palettes for the feel of cool water. And go bold if that’s the mood you’re in. Be sure to choose a semigloss paint to handle the moisture in the room. Take off outlet covers and drape the floors, cabinets and other woodwork. You should be able to paint two coats in a day. See this post from Valspar Paint for all the tools you’ll need.

Replace cabinet hardware. Upgrading your hardware can give your bath cabinetry an updated look and feel. Choose a new style to match other changes, such as vintage or rustic, or new faucets. Or simply modernize.

Give it life. A few live plants can liven up the bath, especially if you find a way to bring more light into the bath. Ferns and aloes love the moist environment, as do orchids, depending on the light and temperature.

Give the bath some personality. If this is the bath dedicated to you or your kids, go ahead and have a little fun. Aside from considering resale value, which might rule out going too far with permanent moves such as Barbie pink tile, you can throw in some whimsy. Let the kids decorate around a favorite color or theme, or if you’re a woman who lives alone, give your master bath the romantic, feminine feel you deserve. Hang a lacy white shower curtain and some gold or silver accents, place plenty of sweet-smelling candles, maybe some dimmer lighting.

Place – or replace – your backsplash. This is a great idea if you can’t afford the time or money to add new tile throughout your bath. A backsplash protects the wall behind your sink and adds a splash of color or style. You can buy larger glass tiles by the individual tile or small ones in squares, mounted on plastic webbing. Or try picking up colorful handmade tiles from local artists or secondhand shops. Other unique ideas? Stained and sealed cork, faux tin ceiling tiles, pebbles, or finished recycled wood.

Add a vessel sink. A vessel sink adds some style and depth to an otherwise dull countertop. This project is a little more complicated, since your built-in sink leaves a hole in your current cabinet. But with a new top and sink, you can get an entirely updated look. A simple white vessel sink might rest on top of the current cabinet and cover the existing space. Or go with something sleeker, in crystal or copper. Involve a professional for installation, especially of the countertop and wall-mounted faucet.

Go vintage. Restore the bath to its proper period, but with enough new touches for a clean, modern look. Install a new pedestal sink or repurpose an old chest into a new vanity. 

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