The bathroom is or should be, a warm, cheering place, so a nice rosy glow, as in this scheme, could be very suitable. Walls are covered in a highly practical old rose vinyl which looks like corduroy, all the wood is mahogany stained, and the bathroom furniture is picked up again in the carpet, which is rather darker than the walls. The bath is placed along one side wall, slightly raised on a platform and enclosed by two sets of shelves, one of` which forms a separate recess for the WC. The wall behind the bath and bathroom furniture is covered in bathroom furniture and pinky beige checked tiles which amalgamate the other colours in the room, and towels are shades of light and dark rose. More towelling is used for the cushions on the cane chair and as a shower curtain lined with plastic and hung on a polyurethane-coated mahogany pole. Other details: brass Billy Baldwin lamps either side of the mahogany mirror, the mahogany clock on the end wall, the collection of healthy plant life, and, on the bath step, the generous basket full of sponges and soaps.
incidentally, the new cordless telephones are perfect for calls in the bath and if this is where you have your inspirations, a battery operated recorder could be at hand. Comfort on a shoe-string my own feeling is that bathroom furniture should be comfortable, civilised, rather decorative, and certainly personal rooms – an ambition one can achieve more cheaply in this area than in any other part of the house bar the cloakroom or powder room.
For with care, one can usually manage to achieve an air of luxury for a comparatively small sum, using expensive fabrics, tiles, and wall coverings that can be afforded here because they are only needed in small quantities. Conversely, you can, of course, spend a fortune, and still end up with an unsatisfactory and uninteresting space, since bathroom personality depends on much more on colour, mood and accessories than on actual equipment. Problem areas lf you inherit an existing, boring little space with fixtures that cannot be moved or changed it isn’t the end of the world but it does call for positive action.
There are literally dozens of cosmetic changes you can. put into effect without spending a fortune. Here are some instant face- lifts that will give any jaded bathroom a new lease of life. A Large expanse of tiles in a colour you hate Paint over them with eggshell yacht paint followed by a coat of gloss paint for a lustre finish, or with epoxy paint. Give the walls a good clean first to get rid of all lingering traces of dirt and grease and then apply a coat of primer. Alternatively, you can tile over the top, either with new tiles or with sheets of ceramic tiles or mosaic with flexible grouting already in place. Shabby walls Put up plastic laminated surfaces which can go over almost anything. Or panel the walls with wood, or cover them with tongue-and-groove wood coated with polyurethane.
Unexciting walls Cover them with a wallpaper which might be far too expensive to use in a larger space; or with fabric or felt above a run of tiles or at least a run of transparent perspex or plexiglass or glass around bath or basin.
Uninteresting room – Paint the walls a dark rich colour and use them as a background for prints, drawings, photographs, collections of this and that, memorabilia, whatever you fancy, in order to add lots of interest and impact.
Paint everything white from top to bottom, white tile or sheet vinyl the floor (white carpet would get dirty too quickly but you could put down easily washable bathroom furniture and mass every available space, including the window em- embrasure with plants. This will make even the dreariest little room look fresh and airy.
Cramped space – Don’t forget the power of mirror. Panels will open the most confined space even if you only mirror the back of a door. Ugly windows Pretty them up by covering the horribly obscured glass with a permanent blind in flimsy fabric or put up cafe curtains in two tiers if necessary, one for privacy, the other to let in the light.
Tired old towels jazz up old white towels you cannot afford to change by adding a border of contrasting colour, say pink, or green, or use both colours, all round the edges. This will also restore the chic to towels with frayed and dog-eared edges from too much washing.
Unsightly plumbing – Hide un-sightly pipes below washbasins with a cupboard or closet which will also be useful for extra storage. lf you cannot build such a cupboard then use bathroom furniture.