Interiors: Give your bathroom a makeover without a major fuss

Rosemary Sadez Friedmann

Your bathroom needs a makeover, but not a major redesign -- just a little sprucing up. If you're having trouble coming up with a simple plan, here are some ideas to get you started.

The first roadblock for most baths is size. It's easy to get dismayed thinking that nothing much can be done to such a small space.

If that's the case, then the first thing to consider is paint.

Painting is always a good place to start, because the simple process of changing the color of the room will automatically freshen it.

To choose your new color, start by checking out the rest of your home. Pick a color or two that you are already using elsewhere, but take those colors to a bolder dimension. Bathrooms, particularly smaller ones, do well with a color that carries a punch. Another great look is to use dark colors on the bathroom walls -- dark gray, deep or dark green or deep-water blue.

If you like wallpaper, this is a room in which a bold style will work nicely. Striped wallpaper or painting stripes on the wall will make the room seem a little bigger, and the stripes will give a visual uplifting punch to the room.

Faux finishes work well in this room. The textured effects add depth and interest to the walls, giving the room a designer look.

Should you change the cabinets? That depends entirely on if you are satisfied with the ones you already have. It would not have to be an expensive change -- many home do-it-yourself stores have all you need and a good variety of choices.

Another option is to have them painted. You can paint them yourself or hire a professional. Changing the paint color on cabinets, or even just repainting with the same color, can uplift the entire room.

Another quick and inexpensive trick is to change the knobs or pulls on cabinet doors and drawers. That can modernize a room tremendously.

Changing faucets will also help, and, here again, the do-it-yourself home stores will have good and inexpensive faucets for you to choose from -- or you can find a variety online. Don't forget to change the toilet-paper holder, too.

The next step is to buy a new set of towels to coordinate with the new color on the walls. Keep the accessories on walls and counters to a minimum so the room doesn't look crammed or overstuffed.

With that final touch, you've accomplished a whole new look without a whole lot of expense.

Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of "Mystery of Color." For design inquiries, write to Rosemary at