Just because you can't remodel your bathroom like the rest of the Pinterest/Instagram community, doesn't mean it deserves to be neglected. Here are 7 simple ways you can still put your own touch on the most private room in your home.
If you are following me on Instagram Stories, you may have seen updates of all the DIY we’ve been doing. After our flatmate moved out last year and we moved Akuko Studio back into our home, we knew we would have to make a few functional adjustments. These minor adjustments have turned into a full blown home makeover, leaving us amidst boxes and temporary solutions in the middle of a global pandemic that has locked us into our home with no place to escape. As a person with slight (or severe ... depending on who you talk to) OCD tendencies, you can probably imagine how much that’s left me on edge. Going into the new year, I knew I needed at least one well decorated space to alleviate some of the stress and what easier place to do so than the bathroom.
7 Tips on how to freshen up your bathroom for the new year
This article is intended for anyone who, like us, can’t make major changes to their bathroom, because you are either renting or you’ve bought a newly built flat with a brand new bathroom.
I’ve always been the kind of person that judges a restaurant on its bathroom design. For me, there’s little that can ruin the food more than popping to the loo and finding a neglected, dirty broom closet. If you ask me, the same principle applies to the home. If your bathroom has walls, why not paint them in a colour complementary to the rest of the design of the house. Have a read of my last article on the Psychology of Colour to help you pick the one that is right for the mood that you want to achieve. I went for a Jardin Majorelle experience because it reminds me of our honeymoon in Marrakech and royal blue is Timothy’s favourite colour. I also wanted a colour that would pop against the grey tiles. The colour we chose is ‘Ultra Blue’ from Little Greene, the only paint I’ve found that can pride itself with truly having hacked the Yves Klein pigment code.
Art is the easiest way to personalise your bathroom. I continued the Moroccan theme with a large print of Jardin Majorelle. I chose to go with a photo rather than an illustration, because I feel like it gives the sense of a window looking out onto the garden. The frame is a DIY made of foam, tape and some paint. Follow me on Instagram and keep an eye out on my bathroom story highlight for a step by step how-to. l also picked some of my favourite photos. I wanted the bathroom to have a bit of a tongue in cheek moment. Nothing like standing in the shower in the morning being watched by a bunch of ghosts. If your walls are tiled like ours, just use command strips, they are amazing. FYI, towels can be art, too.
Most people love to decorate their bathroom with plants, especially those that thrive on humidity. Unfortunately that was not an option for us as ours has no natural light. If that’s the case for you, you could opt for artificial plants instead, or go for dried flowers like we did. The vase is a 2nd hand find, that was painted by our friend and artist Bianca Tuna. It's now one of my most prized possessions.
Bath mats are a great way to bring texture and colour into the room. Society6 offers art printed on anything from canvas over curtains to bath mats and more. Alternatively, why not opt for a washable rug instead. Ours is from Urban Outfitters and fits the Morroccan theme in a sort of paired back way. I love it.
Baskets are great for hiding all the unaesthetic things that you have to have in a bathroom — like toilet paper. They can hide a whole range of unsightly sins.
The simplest trick in history for anyone wanting to uplevel their bathroom game is to refill the shampoo, conditioner and soaps into unified refillable bottles. Our bottles are from Muji and I’ve been dreaming of making our own customised labels for them. Hopefully soon.
Nothing says boutique hotel like rolling up washcloths and presenting them on a plate with a few essentials your guests (remember those?) might be grateful to find when freshening up. I also customised the plate with an ode to Matisse using some ceramic paint I had on hand. Again, check my Instagram Stories for details. Oh, and don’t forget a laundry basket for the used towels.
Things I already owned:
Foam and paint for the frame
Small picture frames from Ikea
Bottles from Muji
Talented artist friend called Bianca
Things I bought:
Bath mat: £26
Print (I already had the photo): £37
Paint (I used less than half): £52
Patterned towels (Set of 2): £40
Plain towels (Set of 2): £30
Towel basket: £52
Soap & Handcreme: £30
Bear in mind that I really treated myself to some special pieces I would cherish for a long time — I reckon a similar effect can be achieved on any budget.
The biggest transformation of our refugee project was the kitchen, which went from a brown veneer with ornamental handles and yellow floor tiles to a modern and friendly sage green, brass, and charcoal combo using nothing but paint and a whole lot of time and perseverance.
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