Ask Décor Diva: How Do I Turn My Bathroom Into A Feature?

Michelle recently contacted The Design Tabloid to ask our resident Décor Diva some advice…

Michelle asks:

We have just bought a new house and have a lot of great ideas for decorating (especially from your site!) but the guest bathroom has stumped us! It is huge…with only a toilet and small basin. I would really appreciate your creative ideas! We are open to colour / patterns / anything…it just needs to be budget friendly as we are spending money on other more important aspects of the house! My hubby is a graphic designer and this guest toilet is between the living areas of the house and his design studio and clients /guests will use it.

Décor Diva says:

In essence, this bathroom dilemma has two primary issues that need to be resolved. One – it is a large, sparsely furnished space that needs to be transformed into something visually “smaller” and more intimate. And two – the necessity to change this drab, blank canvas of a room into a showpiece that pops. Both these issues can be resolved by addressing the same key aspects.

The majority of South Africans still think about bathrooms in a very traditional way – a little room, tiled from floor to ceiling, with some nice towels and a couple of collected seashells as decoration. It should be clean and functional – nothing more… How very sad! Bathrooms, especially guest bathrooms, have awesome feature room potential! It is the perfect little space for a dramatic, over-the-top statement that will make your guests and clients go – “Wow!

The truth is – we spend a lot of idle time in bathrooms, so why not give us something interesting to stare at while there…

As your husband is a graphic designer and potential clients will often use the loo, I suggest giving him a little more creative reign than usual. View the bathroom as blank billboard space – an extension of his portfolio. There are a multitude of ways he can incorporate some of his work into the bathroom – framed illustrations maybe, or a collection of funky vintage logos.

The basin wall is an excellent space to create a gallery wall – a collection of framed art, prints, photos or funky graphics. The net is filled with awesome images and tutorials illustrating how to put together an attractive feature wall. I’m also loving the current trend of having multiple mirror in various shapes and size on one wall. Speaking of mirrors – do a little secondhand / craft market shopping and see if you can find a nice big ornate vintage mirror for above the basin. Paint the mirror frame in a bright bold colour to turn it into a gorgeous statement piece.

Now, making a large room look cosy is all about décor and visual tricks you can use to create an illusion of a smaller, more intimate space. Walls can be painted in darker, deeper, and bolder colours as they absorb light and make a room look warmer and smaller. Wallpaper is also a great option for this space – something edgy and different (check out Design Kist or Cara Saven). OR, if your husband is feeling especially industrious, he can design something himself that can easily be converted into wallpaper.

Another aspect to consider is furniture. “Whaaat, furniture in the bathroom?” you may ask. Yup, I guess in today’s smaller, contemporary, integrated homes it is not something that we see often. However, in big older houses it was quite a common thing (think Cape Dutch bigger and older).

An underused shelving unit or glass-front cabinet from a living room or bedroom can find new purpose in a bathroom. Stack folded towels and linen along the shelves and display decorative accessories & books. Another cool piece is one of those tiered ladder shelf units (I know @Home has some: here).Otherwise, you can add a funky chair or a sleek little bench seat to the area next to the basin. Include a round side table between the bench seat and the toilet – stack it with books or comics for some good on-the-loo reads.

Last thing, instead of using the traditional (and oudoos) bathroom mat set – you know, the small mat in front of the toilet and another in front of the basin – buy a gorgeous big rug to ‘ground’, balance and add warmth to your space. Your bathroom is the perfect size to accommodate a bigger rug and since no bathing or showering is involved you won’t have to worry about water damage. The Kilim type rugs are super trendy right know.

Below find some inspirational image I sourced from around the net. They are in various interior styles but the principles are sound – you can just ‘translate’ it into your preferred style…

Hope this put you on the right path to an awesome guest bathroom! Good luck and let us know how it goes!

Love, Rose  x x x

Click on the images below to be redirected to the relevant image sources:

                 

Quick Tips - Decor Diva - The Design Tabloid

Quick Tip #14: Remember To Ventilate!

After I recently had to replace a bathroom window due to rot caused by moisture, I though to share this valuable but often overlooked Quick Tip with you….

#14   Save future DIY costs in repair by always insuring your bathroom is well ventilated. Constant exposure to moisture and trapped condensation can result in the development of unsightly and harmful fungi, rotting window frames, and can cause cornices to warp and pull away from the wall. Keep a window slightly open when you are taking a shower / bath or even consider leaving a small top window open permanently. Investing in a extractor might also be a easy long term solution. 

Quick Tips - Decor Diva - The Design Tabloid

Repurposed Ladders

It was my intention to write a little décor Quick Tip about re-using old ladders in and around the house after stumbling across this beautiful image (right below) while browsing through Stylizimo (a funky Scandinavian décor blog). However, after doing a quick search I found a good dozen of excellent ideas and images illustrating ways in which you can repurpose your old run-down ladder. So, this is no ordinary Quick Tip, as instead of the customary one image, I included all the gorgeous images to inspire you!

#11  Don’t toss away your old wooden ladder – repurpose it. Your old ladder, whether you give it a fresh lick of paint or keep it paint-splattered & earth-stained, can be used in a variety of interesting ways: as a rustic book shelf, funky bathroom storage or even a shabby chic way to store and display your beautiful shoes. All you need is a bit of inspiration.

I adore this gorgeous use of a ladder display a few fashion items - if styled, it can be a powerful bedroom décor feature.
Scarves, necklaces, shoes and handbags and you are one rung away from a beautiful and original dressing area.
This ingenious pots & pans hanger would look amazing above the island of any rustic or shabby chic industrial kitchen
Use your ladder to store and display dishcloths, napery or other linens.
Keep the guest towels close at hand.
Every reading nook needs one of these - a funky ladder book rack! And isn't it absolutely genius to use a ladder as a way to store and display your newspapers and magazines!
My patio is asking for this - a stepped garden of potted herbs! I'm going to patch up our dilapidated ladder - herb garden here I come!

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

The Writing’s On The Wall

Don’t you just love this toilet wall cladding – vintage newspaper clippings wallpaper. No need to bring a book or a mag with you. Taken the Facebook action of “writing on my wall” to the next level. Graphics captured and designed  by one of regulars, photographer Cara Saven. Don’t you just love this concept of personalising a favourite collection into unique wall covering. Vicki Sleet of I Want That used her collection of maps to cover the wall of her bathroom.

What would you like to see on your toilet or bathroom wall? Tell us – I would be more than interested to know. I can tell you what mine would possibly be – I love and collect books. Plus I love thrillers. Fancy seeing my favourite authors, their books and the stories on the wall. Have to be big and bold lettering for moi.

Image via Cara Saven Photography

Interesting Soap Dishes

10 Bathroom Accessories Under R200

By Marica

An economical way for your bathroom to remain beautiful and timeless is by keeping it a blank canvas. Investing in quality contemporary finishes in neutral colours will allow you to change the look of your bathroom regularly by just switching out a handful of décor items and colours. I have noticed in most homes that bathrooms are either cold and bare or, on the other end of the scale, uncoordinated and filled with unnecessary fiddly bits. Here is a little budget inspiration for your bathroom…

Towels - White & Purple
Buy good quality white towels as a basis, like this "10 Year Towels" from Weylandts (R199 each) and one or two less expensive towels in a colour of choice. The splashes of colour will serve as accent without dominating and since coloured/dyed towels wear and fade far quicker you don't have to spend piles of money on them. The striking purple towel is from Mr. Price Home (R69.99) and the aubergine towel from @Home (R80.00)
Recycled Paper Waste Basket
This beautiful waste basket is made out of recycled paper, available from Weylandts at R179.00. Select a non-translucent bathroom bin - nobody wants to so what you toss away...
Purple Glass Candle Holders
Add a couple of colourful tea candle holders - keep it simplistic (remember - no fiddly bits!). These beautiful glass holders can also serve as funky ear-bud containers. The ribbed tea light holder is R15.99 and the other one R5.99, both from Mr. Price Home
Interesting Soap Dishes
I find the average soap dish to be extremely boring. If you can't find something beautiful like this grey lace soap dish from The Pause Room (77.00) use interesting side-plates or butter dishes: The funky purple side plate is from Woolworths (R29.95) and the gorgeous silver leaf dish is from Farriers (R60.00)
Funky Laundry Basket
I love this funky fabric Laundry Bin, and it is collapse-able for easy storage when empty. R129.00 from @Home
Scented Candles Violet Lilac and Grey
Candles are a must! Make sure they are scented - a bathroom should always smell as beautiful as it looks! The candles above are R49.00 each, all from @Home.
Amethyst Tumbler and Silver Glass
Just like the soap dishes, I find toothbrush holders extremely drab! Rather opt for a beautiful glass tumbler or interesting container. The stained glass tumblers show above are perfect as they won't appear dirty too quickly. The amethyst glass is from Mr Price Home (R29.99) and the platinum mist tumbler is from @Home (R39.00)
Handmade Soaps
Don't forget some gentle handmade glycerine soaps! Always beautiful. These two tone soap bars are from The Pause Room (R30.00 each)
Beautiful Purple Bath Mat
This gorgeous bold purple bath mat immediately caught my attention. The pebbled surface aids to the water absorption and is seriously funky. Beautiful! Available from @Home for R119.00
Most people are afraid to put art work in their bathrooms, but if you have the wall space - go for it! I love these simplistic yet trendy geometric prints: Available through Etsy, it is by an US design company called Acquired Design. It works out to about R100.00 each (ex shipping) Not bad at all!)

Check out these products on the supplier’s various websites:

@HomeMr. Price HomeWoolworthsThe Pause RoomFarriersWeylandtsEtsy 

Get This Look: Victorian Bathroom Blues

By MaricaI found this cheery little (modern) Victorian bathroom while trawling Pinterest, one of my new obsessions hobbies. So we decided to do our own version of “GET THE LOOK” (hopefully the first of many)!

GET THIS LOOK:

1. Meadow Chandelier – The Lighting Warehouse

2. Single Ended Victorian Bath – Victorian Bathrooms

3. Round Sabre Leg Side Table – Pierre Cronje (isn’t it just drop-dead gorgeous!)

4. Free-standing Bath Mixer – HansGrohe

5. Temple Figurine – Woolworths (If, like me, you don’t really do the whole temple figurine thing; Woolworths also has some lovely big ceramic candle holders (get a couple and group them) find them: here).

6. Aqua Bath Sheet – @Home

7. White Bath Mat with Geometric Pattern – www.towels.co.za

8. Ginkoleaf Fabric in Aqua – Lula Fabrics   OR:

9. Assyrian Vine Fabric, colour: Luna – Hetrex Fabrics (It’s from the beautiful IMAN range)

ADD THIS:  Add a splash of colour with a beautiful potted orchid.

And there you have it! Our very first Get The Look! P.S. Come find Rose and myself on Pinterest to see what products, images and ideas we love.