EASY WAYS TO UPDATE A BATHROOM
You are selling your house and you want top dollar, but you don’t have money to spend on many upgrades, what can you do? Let’s start with the bathroom! It’s an easy place to start because many things you can do won’t take long and are inexpensive! So here are a few quick and easy ideas you can do that will help bring your bathroom up to date! In the end the goal is for your bathroom to look super clean, inviting, and updated without spending a small fortune!
- CLEANING is the most important! This means get down on your hands and knees and clean every single inch including those hidden corners. Empty all the cabinets, drawers and shelves and clean inside those spaces. Now that everything is out of the cabinets and
they are both clean and empty, why not put down new plain shelf liner, no designs, neutral colors work best!
- DE-CLUTTER – Before you put everything you took out back …take a look, how much of that stuff do you really need, toss it out and get down to the bare minimum. You want those spaces looking large and neat, so toss the extras and if you just can’t part with some things, box them up and put them in storage for now. You want your cabinets and drawers looking as spacious as possible. Whatever you do put back, be sure they are also clean and neat and arrange them nicely in their space. Yes, potential buyers will peek in your cabinets! Remember – you are planning on moving so you don’t need everything you had, when in doubt – toss it!
- CABINETS – Now take a good look at the actual cabinet exteriors. If they are wood they may have scratches on them. Get some wood stain that matches and use a small cotton cloth to go over those areas until they disappear. Most home improvements stores have little wood repair kits that have wax crayons in a variety of colors that work great for minor repairs too! A product like Old English works well for revitalizing the wood. Once that is done, give them a good cleaning and polish them up. If they are painted cabinets, repainting might be a good idea. Get out the paintbrush and give them a new paint job, don’t just fill in the scratches, repaint all the surfaces. This includes all the cabinets, not just the sink cabinet. If you are repainting, now would be a great time to update the color to something fresh and neutral!
- COUNTER TOPS – De-clutter and I can’t emphasis that enough. Take everything OFF the counter top and put in a drawer or cabinet. For the Open House or when potential buyers show up you want that bathroom totally de-cluttered. The counter top should be impeccable! Clean all around the faucets, a toothbrush works great to get in behind the faucets and around those little knobs. Use a good Clorox style cleaning product, you want it to look great and smell clean as well. IF your counter top is old and
worn and you have the money, replace it, but if you can’t do that, make sure it is spotless. Re-grout if needed and replace dirty or missing caulking. There are counter repainting kits available at your local home improvement stores, which might be a great option! If the faucet is looking worn or old, replace it if possible. It’s easy to find an inexpensive faucet that will immediately update the sink area! Be sure the filter is clean in the faucet, you want a nice flow of water when water is turned on. The only things that should be on your counter top when your done are hand soap, maybe a small decoration or flower arrangement (keep it small, tidy, and generic), and a hand towel nearby!
- MIRRORS – Look at the mirror, clean it and be sure it doesn’t have a haze or fingerprints once you are done. It can be hard to get them crystal clean but use a microfiber towel with only a minimum of water and you will be surprised at how nice and clean they can look. Don’t leave anything hanging on the mirrors – no decals, no suction cups, nothing.
- TOILET – De-clutter the top. You can place some greenery or a basket with wash clothes, but nothing too big. Less is more! Be sure the toilet is clean inside and out. That means around those little screws that hold it on the floor and under the toilet seat. If you lift the seat and it looks stained, buy a new toilet seat and toss the old one. Keep it clean every day. Be sure to keep a new roll on the toilet paper holder when house is being shown. *Also make sure that the toilet seat lid down for all photos and viewings, it makes a big difference to buyers.
- RUG – if you have a lovely tiled floor you may not need a rug. If you have a floor that is aged or worn, you might want to put a new rug down in front of the sink or in front of the tub or shower. Don’t use it, this is for show only. You want a nice neutral color
and no pattern, just one color. Make it match your walls or linens. You want to keep the color scheme under control.
- TOWELS – Pack up all those old towels and buy 2 new thick bathroom towels in white or another very light neutral such a grey (a hot color right now!) and leave them folded nicely where ever you store them or hanging neatly on the towel rack. Also buy 2 hand towels in the same color that coordinate and put them nicely folded on the sink or hand towel holders. DO THIS ONLY when showing the house. Don’t use these towels, they are for show only. Once you move, take them with you and enjoy them in your new house but not in this house.
- SHOWER CURTAIN – Buy a new shower curtain that is all or mainly white, try not to introduce much color, keep the colors in this room down to neutrals; white, tan, or gray are your best bets! Bright colors and prints can date a bathroom and turn a potential buyer off. If you have shower doors, they are going to need a really good cleaning. You’ll need to get the glass free of soap scum and the tracks looking spotless, this takes some effort. If nothing gets those doors clean, then remove them and buy a new shower curtain and rod, don’t keep the dirty doors. Also be sure to remove all bottles, jars, wash clothes, sponges and anything else…it needs to be de-cluttered too!
- WINDOWS – if you have bathroom windows, clean them spotless. If you can, leave them curtain free, that is best option but if you need some sort of window covering be sure it is clean, neat, and a neutral color. Let in as much light as possible. You aren’t concerned with privacy at the Open House or showings.
- FLOORS – Clean them and re-clean them, then wax. We use the Swiffer Wet Mop most of the time and it does great but sometimes you need to get down on your hands and knees and clean. If the vinyl or tile is torn or badly worn, try to replace it. New vinyl flooring is a quick inexpensive fix. Don’t put carpet in your bathroom – that’s a huge turn off for buyers!
- WOODWORK – Even the trim in your bathroom matters! Clean it and then polish it, make it look like it is brand new. If there are scratches use some of that stain you bought for the cabinets. If it is chipped, repainting it might be a good option, especially if
it’s already been painted.
- ELECTRICAL OUTLETS/SWITCHES – I know it seems silly to mention these but you need to be sure they are clean too. Also if they are cracked or broken or just too dirty, buy new ones, they are very inexpensive. Buy the plain ones, no colors or designs,just plain. Make sure they match the rest of the house, common colors are almond, off white, and white, so make sure you know which ones are already in your home!
- LIGHTING – of course you’d love to update lighting and do so if you can but if it’s not in your budget there are other options! Clean them and re-clean them, you’ed be surprised at how much this can help. A quick and inexpensive fix for the vanity lights above or beside the mirror is to replace the glass globes or shades. You can buy these at most home improvement stores. Also removing fixtures and the glass and using a spray paint meant for metal can work wonders! Be sure that all the light bulbs are the same color and put out the same color of light, no missing bulbs please. Plain white or clear best choice. We prefer a warm yellow light as it is more inviting then the cool blue light that is
available, which can come across as cold and industrial. Make sure that the vent or fan is also clean and dust free, it’s easy to overlook!
- WALLS – Here is where you can spend a little time and creativity and a bit of money. Look at your bathroom walls, you are going to need to repaint. Again, go with soft neutral colors, let the new buyers paint that dark blue, you will want to paint it a neutral color that appeals to a wide variety of buyers – light grey, light tan, or a combination of the two that we refer to as greige (it’s a favorite in wall colors right now!). You should only need one gallon of paint for most bathrooms. Avoid adding wall paper as it dates the house, turns buyers off, and doesn’t hold up well in bathrooms because of the moisture.
NOW STEP BACK and look at your new freshly updated bathroom! Now buyers will love what they see. A clean, fresh, updated bathroom…and you didn’t have to spend a small fortune, hire a contractor, or go without a bathroom for days! Nice work!