Updated: Nov 1, 2022
If you're considering a reno, this post is for you.
Because you're about to spend a chunk of change on an upgrade. One that I assume you want to have staying-power when it comes to trends, a level of quality so you aren't replacing work earlier than you need to, and put plainly, you want it to look good.
Well friends, I'm hear to share something with you that was so perfectly put by Designer Jessica Bennett and might just blow your brain.
PRETTY COSTS THE SAME AS UGLY.
Tinted paint costs the same as untinted paint.
The navy vanity costs the same as the white vanity.
You can find tiles that have a high-end look at various price-points.
You're spending the money on decor anyway, so spend it on the right pieces.
You can still achieve a gorgeously designed bathroom even on a lower budget. It comes down to a thoughtfully curated design.
Take our latest project for example. A small ensuite that felt even more cave-like due to an alcove shower and dated finishes.
We were tasked with creating a bright, airier space that could support happy beginnings and ends to each day.
Read on for 5 tips that helped us achieve a beautiful room on a budget.
1. Be intentional about your focal point. These clients like fun pops, so rather than take the bright, airy brief to mean white on white on white, we opted for a focal point in the vanity and vanity sconce. A hit of navy blue and copper worked pretty magically together.
2. The High-Low Mix. The tile, then, needed to take on a supporting role, so we went with a classic marble-look ceramic for the floors laid in 1/3rd offset, with the cheap and cheerful and forever classic subway on the shower walls, and spent a little more on a quality marble hexagon for the shower floor and niche since it was such a small surface area, that it didn't break the bank, but really elevated the tile story. And a soft grey grout (Silver by Mapei on floors, Cobblestone by Mapei on walls).
3. The Art of Mixing (aka...adding a little *Juxta*position) Mixing Metals is a great way to create a curated space without adding cost (Although some metal finishes are sometimes priced higher, such as polished nickel). Because we were leading with a copper sconce, we opted for chrome in the utilitarian fixtures (aka faucets, shower head and controls, shower hardware) and brushed nickel for the vanity pulls and towel bars.
4. Nailing the Backdrop In selecting a paint, I was in there with my large samples to be sure we were matching the undertones in the marble tile and getting the lightness value just right. We wanted bright, without it being stark, as well as adding a subtle contrast between the tile and walls, so landed on one of the lightest greys in Benjamin Moore's portfolio - OC-64 Pure White. (Don't shoot the messenger, I didn't choose the name! See it compared to Chantilly Lace below, the whitest of whites in the BM line. Simply White is a warm white. See how Pure White looks grey next to truer whites?)
My point with choosing a wall paint, is that, you're paying the same price for a gallon of paint whether the colour is spot on, or whether it's a bit of a miss. This is a classic case of pretty costing the same as ugly, my friends! But can be a total headache if you don't understand the undertones in your space. A worthwhile reason to reach out to a designer for a colour consult. It will pay you back in dividends to get the undertones right!
5. The Element of Balance Another visually pleasing choice (that can be just as pleasing on the wallet as well), is to opt for a few wood finishes in an otherwise "cooler temperature" space. Marble, grey, silver metals all have a cooler undertone, so add balance to a fresh, bright bathroom by adding a few hits of wood, such as in the shelves over the toilet, and the mirror frame, rather than paint-grade or more metal.
6. The Element of Repetition Perhaps a bit hard to see from the photo, but we choose a mottled blue arabesque frame and a navy blue candle in the shelf styling to tie back to the vanity. Repetition is another element in design that our eyes loooooove to see, so in creating your pretty space, do ensure that you're colours are repeated a few times! Also, every room needs a plant, they allow our eyes to rest. Play again with repetition and scale by doing two or three in a grouping.
Ok, Ok, I know you're thinking..."But Meghan, sometimes pretty DOES cost more."
I can't argue with you. You can't find a beautiful handformed tile for a few dollars a square foot - TRUST. I've scoured. Or in the previous example of polished nickel (a warm undertoned silver metal) vs chrome (blue undertoned). Polished nickel has a higher end look, and you do, unfortunately, have to pay for that 99% of the time.
But for the purposes of this post, I wanted to help equip you to make more cohesive selections in the items you are already spending the money on, and many times, choosing the better option doesn't cost you a dime more.
So before you make your purchases for your next reno or re-decorating project, come up with a plan. Lay out your samples in the room you're working on, and consider design elements such as undertones, repetition, and balance.
Take a little extra time on the designing stage, and you'll spend a lot less time correcting mistakes or feeling bummed because you're staring at a room that is newly redone but just not right.
Before & After Design & Construction by @ Juxta Design & Build
A couple other luxuries in this reno were the bidet toilet and heated floors...a couple of upgrades that are a total lifestyle uplevel, and HUG YOU BACK everyday! Sometimes it's 1000% worth it to spend the extra to get the room of your dreams, because when's the next time you'll rip it apart to add those features?
Now our clients have that special spot to greet and end each day on a sweet note...Their eyes delighted, their toes all warm and cozy.
Good design impacts your life.
We trust these tips will not only help create a pretty space, but also improve your well-being, because "When you feel good in the place you dwell, you come alive."