Given the bathroom is the place we go to get clean and refreshed for our day, it's shocking how uninspiring so many of them can be. As a tenant it can be tricky to make big changes that make it feel homely and inviting, but there are small things you can do to revitalize your bathroom and make it your own precious haven.
Freshen and clean grout and tiles
Of course, keeping your bathroom clean from week to week goes without saying, but older style bathrooms can be prone to mold, strange smells and weird discoloration. Plus, bathrooms are hard to keep clean and bright all the time, especially if they are any shades of white, cream or pastel. Well thanks to innovation, we now have the magic of grout and tile whiteners. For as little as $10 - $20 you can get a tube of grout whitener, or even a magical grout pen, that simply sponges or draws over old grout and adds a whole fresh layer of white. You can use products like these on wall and floor grout, but the catch is this quick fix might then make your tiles look worse than they did before. It may be worth getting some professional cleaners in once or twice a year to give your bathroom a 'proper' clean. They tend to have commercial grade products and equipment along with the best tricks in the business.
Pick a colour scheme
This is a surprisingly underutilized hack and it doesn't necessarily need you to spend a lot of money up front. Choosing a colour scheme that matches or contrasts nicely with the existing bathroom décor can instantly make the place feel more stylish. Even those dark old 70's brown or orange tiles can look better when paired with the right colours. Cream accents will soften the brown, and some bright aquas or teals can make that orange look totally different. Make some popcorn and prepare for a trip down the rabbit hole with a search for 'bathroom ideas' on pinterest; add your favourite colour into that search term and prepare for your mind to be blown. The creativity and inspiration is endlessly fascinating.
Upgrade your bathroom accessories
Bringing new colours in does not have to break the budget either. You can add a bar of soap, a face cloth and a hand towel all in the same colours to your weekly shop and hey presto you're a stylist. Upgrade the things in your bathroom from time to time by replacing old towels and bathmats as needed, and choose accessories such as toothbrush holders, toilet brushes and soap dishes, all in your new colour of choice to match. Even a few flowers picked from local gardens and plonked into a jar can brighten the place up. If you do have a little extra cash, splash out on new bathroom linen that creates a theme. A white bathroom can be transformed into a Moroccan bathhouse with some teal, mustard and magenta accents, and a matching bathmat and shower curtain. Darker tones such as greys and blacks can be softened by linen all in one colour that contrasts such as red, olive, stone, or white.
Green goes with everything
Far too few bathrooms these days take advantage of natural greenery and plants in all their shapes, sizes and textures really do go with everything. From a succulent in a teacup on top of the toilet, to a leafy Monstera filling an empty corner, to a tumbling philodendron draped down one wall from a high shelf - the possibilities are endless and can be built on over time. Best of all they will continue to change the feel in your bathroom as they grow. Do some research first and talk to plant nursery staff about what plants will grow well in the damp and low light environment of a bathroom. Ferns generally do well in bathrooms, as do aloe vera plants, philodendrons, peace lilies and any small succulents or air plants. Try to mix things up too with some larger potted plants in a corner, smaller succulents on counter tops and hanging plants that drape down either suspended from the ceiling or positioned on a high shelf or cupboard. Gently position branches so they trail naturally where you want them to be and you'll be living your best rainforest life before you know it.
Get some day spa vibes
Revitalising a space is about more than just how it looks - the sensory experience matters too. That's why they bake bread at an open house after all. Adding a combination of candles, baths salts, essential oils, fresh flowers and music will absolutely transform your bathroom and it can all be done on a budget. Tealight candles, bath salts and even essentials oils can be bought at the supermarket these days (lavender, tea tree and eucalyptus oils can almost always be found in the health and beauty section). Oil burners are easy to pick up in a range of stores too and if you spend an extra dollar or two on a fragrant and decorative soap or handwash you'll appreciate the difference and be gently transported to your own personal day spa every time you walk in. Our best tip - add a drop of essential oil to the shower floor before you turn on the water and enjoy its aroma as the hot water hits.