It’s a common problem: Your bathroom works just fine, but it just feels blah. When you compare it to the baths that you see in design magazines or in new homes, it’s clear that your bath could use a little freshening up.
While an outdated bath probably won’t be much of an issue on a day-to-day basis, if you want to sell your home, a powder room that seems stuck in the 1980s isn’t going to help you get top dollar. And if the rest of your home is well-designed and up-to-date, a time warp of a bathroom is going to seem out of place.
If you’re not sure whether your bathroom is out-of-date, look for some of these telltale signs. In many cases, bringing your bath into the 21st century only requires a few tweaks and a little elbow grease.
That navy blue toilet or pink sink might have seemed like a good idea when you wanted everything in the bathroom to match a particular theme or color scheme. These days though, nothing screams out-of-date louder than bathroom fixtures in unfashionable colors. Neutral and spa-like color schemes have topped the trend lists for several years now and show no signs of going away, so consider replacing that hard-to-clean forest green toilet with a white or off-white version. Not only will you bring your bath on trend, you’ll have more flexibility when it comes to paint colors and accessories.
For generations, the medicine cabinet was a staple of the bathroom. But in the 1990s medicine cabinets gave way to flat-backed mirrors, shifting storage to drawers and cabinets instead. Not only are medicine cabinets coming back in a big way, a flat mirror is a dead giveaway that your bathroom hasn’t been updated in a while. Modern mirrors are framed with furniture-style details, and this relatively small investment can earn big returns on your home’s value.
Flooring Faux Pas
Obviously, a floor in poor condition can age a bathroom well before its time, but there are some flooring styles that also date the room. Linoleum flooring should be ripped up and replaced with tiles or wood laminate. Another outdated trend? Carpet. Not only are carpets an unsanitary magnet for mold and mildew, carpets in the bathroom show a total lack of attention to home design trends.
Let’s face it — bathrooms have to store a lot of stuff. From towels and linens to bath products, a modern bath requires plenty of space. If you’re relying on a rickety over-the-toilet cabinet or the small space under the sink, your bath is in need of some TLC. While adding a closet will generally require a substantial renovation, you can add more storage by installing shelves or replacing a builders-grade vanity with one that includes drawers, cabinets and plenty of space. If you have a large bathroom, consider adding an armoire to store necessities beautifully.
Drab and Dull Decor
A plain white toilet. White walls. A lonely little towel rack next to boring shower doors. While a bathroom that’s way over the top isn’t always the right thing, a bathroom that’s totally sterile just looks sad and neglected. Take a cue from the spa trend and turn your bath into a relaxing sanctuary with a calming neutral paint color and some luxurious accessories to make it comfortable and inviting.
While it’s never a good idea to blindly follow all of the trends in home decor, taking the opposite approach and never changing anything isn’t a good idea either. Take a good hard look at your bathroom and decide if you can make it more current and attractive. Even if you’re not planning to sell your home, you’ll be able to enjoy your bath and the satisfaction of knowing it’s a beautiful space.
About the Author: Larissa Comstock is an interior designer and home stager. She relies on Decor Planet to help her stay on top of trends and get the things she needs to make her clients’ homes beautiful and stylish.