While many go away for the holidays, there are those who use their free time to freshen up and improve their homes. In many instances, the bathroom is the point of focus. Revamping the entire bathroom can become a costly and time-consuming exercise though. Instead of going the “whole hog”, owners should consider upcycling to give their bathrooms a fresh look says Liza Watermeyer, Tile Africa’s Retail and Display Co-ordinator.
“Increasingly, home owners are looking for value when decorating their homes,” notes Watermeyer. “This is in line with the global trend towards merging environmental awareness with the need to conserve money. It’s important to note that using what you already have is no longer considered cheap – it’s chic and allows you to create a unique space that truly reflects your personality and involve the whole family in the process.
“Part of the appeal of upcycling is that it can be done within a fairly short space of time. Indeed, most upcycling projects can be completed over a weekend. This is due largely to the fact that it shouldn’t involve any major remodelling. That said, if you are in doubt about anything that you’re doing – especially with regard to plumbing or electronics – rather leave it to the professionals.”
One way to approach your upcycling project is to go the vintage chic route, says Watermeyer. For instance, if your bathroom features yesteryear elements such as exposed copper piping, these can be used to store light items such as towels. Simply roll them up and stack them on the piping. This creates a rustic look while also saving space in the bathroom.
A key item that can be easily incorporated into your upcycled bathroom is a chest of drawers. “Instead of tossing out a chest of drawers, why not use it in the bathroom as a vanity? Add a coat of paint or varnish and incorporate your existing basin on top. The chest of drawers then becomes a multipurpose unit. Another option is to invest in a beautiful, new free-standing and over-sized basin or trendy tap to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the upcycled piece.”
There are myriad other ways to create upcycled storage solutions. For instance, old glass jars and tin buckets can be reused. Simply line these up on the side of the bath or the edge of the window sill and use them to store toothbrushes, cotton balls and face cloths or as individual storage pots for each member of the house. You can label these according to each family member for that personal touch adds Watermeyer. No longer using that old picnic basket? Don’t throw it away, baskets can be stacked and used to store linen and bathroom-ware.
Another innovative, inexpensive storage solution could take the form of upcycled tomato crates says Watermeyer. “All you need do is purchase a few creates from your nearest fruit and vegetable merchant and keep them in their natural state or give them a colourful lick of paint to strengthen and protect them from moisture. These can then be used as floating racks against the bathroom wall to store bath and shower paraphernalia.”
“It’s all about casting a fresh eye over items that you have lying around the house when upcycling. For instance, you can use old door knobs as hooks to hang towels on. Old doorknobs can create a rustic look that allows you to hang up slightly heavier items such as bath robes or laundry bags. Doorknobs also add character to a bathroom and make for great space savers,” explains Watermeyer.
“When embarking on your bathroom upcycling project, you’ll probably be surprised at how many items that you may have in your home that can be reused. The fact that the cost of living is escalating and living spaces are generally becoming smaller also supports the move towards de-cluttering and upcycling, all of which should go a long way towards making your bathroom a haven of relaxation.”