I couldn’t wait to decorate the bathroom. The 1980’s, Swedish sauna look was just so uninspiring. The colour scheme was brown and it resembled a small, cave-like space. I decided that either it changed, or I would go slowly mad!
When I initially started to work on the antique-pine, varnished, wooden panels, it felt like it was going to be an easy task. Yet after just one day, I had only managed to sand down about a third of it. I thought that perhaps I should just start painting and see what happens, but then, would this the best solution in the long run? Erm..No, as it turned out. So I used a solution (Owatrol Easy Surface Preparation). How fantastic is this stuff?! It brushes on so easily and has the consistency of a very thin, liquid rubber, which provides a smoothed surface on varnished wood to allow a primer, or one-coat to key on to properly. Once the preparation was on, I applied a primer, then a couple of coats of white silk gloss (specially formulated for bathrooms).
Already, the bathroom looked instantly brighter! Then it was time to put in the decorative items. I like this part the most, because I love styling. I opted for white bathroom accessories, in the main. These include: white cabinets from IKEA, white vinyl flooring from a store on eBay and white door handles from Amazon. To break up the fresh whiteness, I added some colour: multi-coloured striped towels, loo cleaner brush, toothbrush holder and soap dispenser. These items were bought a while back, when at the time that I saw them, I couldn’t resist buying them! Perhaps, unwittingly, the whole bathroom theme has been based on these four items. They don’t stock this exact style any longer, but do have a blue striped variation.
Finally, I added white, mirrored bathroom cabinets, and combined with the white walls, white glossy tiles and white vinyl flooring, the bathroom is now much brighter, fresher and looks like a palace – well probably not that big! I can definitely confirm, that when applying white, it does brighten up a dark space. I just love my ‘new’ bathroom now, and find excuses to go in and admire its form, even when I don’t need its function!
Before the transformation
Can you see now why I said it looked like an 1980’s Swedish sauna?!
Newly transformed Bathroom
Old bathroom to new bathroom
Tips on how to brighten up a dark room
When brightening up a dark room, it’s all about the optical illusions which adds instant brightness!
— White paint is definitely a good choice to use and a no-brainer for perking up a gloomy room.
— Space and open shelves can add depth to a small room. The mirrored cabinets in my bathroom are small, but they are open at the top and bottom.
— Mirrors can visually expand a room and also reflect light, making any room feel bigger and brighter. Plus, you need to see yourself brushing your teeth and washing your face!
— Glossy tiles with a reflective finish add light. They are a miracle for dark rooms.
— Make sure the room is tidy, as clutter only intensifies the cave-like effect of a dark room. Look for nice storage to keep clutter at bay.
— A white ceiling can add height and again, reflect light from the rest of the room.
— Put two light fittings on either side of the ceiling. That will give you much more light and will help to eliminate the shadows in the corners and ends of the room.
— If you have curtains or blinds, keep them fully open, to let in more daylight.
These are the techniques which I considered when decorating my bathroom. I hope you find them useful! Have you got any further tips for brightening up a dark room?
Written by Emma Jayne
More information about the author can be found on her blog