Ways to dress up your bath without drowning

  1. Vintage washstand
    Set between matching pedestal sinks, a tiled-back washstand creates a his-and-hers vanity for a lot less coin than a new dresser-

    Wall mirror replaces medicine cabinet

    style model. Expect to pay about $250 for a similar washstand at antiques or thrift shops.

  2. Wall-Hung Mirrors
    Easy-to-hang flush-mount mirrors don’t require wall-busting construction like recessed medicine cabinets do. Find similarly elegant round models with colored mirrors.
  3. New vanity light
    Instead of a dressy sconce, a caged fixture, like those on farm buildings, offers a lot of light— and style—for just a little money.
  4. Bold Accents
    Scatter glass or other accent tiles within a field of moderately priced field ones. Lake Garda glass subway tiles, about $31 per square foot; ¾” glass Mosaics about $22 per square foot.
  5. Sideboard vanity
    A mirrored dining room buffet replaces both a run-of-the-mill medicine chest and a sink cabinet. Paint it the same color as the walls to give it a built-in look. Find a buffet for your bath at flea markets for about $400.
  6. Utility light
    Instead of a dressy sconce, a caged fixture, like those on farm buildings, offers a lot of light— and style—for just a little money.
  7. Natural stone counter
    A soapstone top, with its river rock color and matte finish, has a warmer look than polished granite. Cut one to your specs using woodworking tools. Slabs start at about $25 per square foot;
  8. Towel cubby
    Better looking than a plumbing access door, a wood-lined niche with a removable back panel stores extra towels. Box-in a void at the end of your tub surround using hardwood plywood and trim for about $50.
  9. Vertical tile wall runner
    Mix small quantities of discounted odd-lot hexagonal mosaics, skinny “liners,” and over sized subways to create a distinctive vertical back splash. Save 60 percent over custom tile orders.
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