| May 6, 2013

A little creativity goes a long way.

Polishing up a worn washroom needn't require pricey new fixtures or 
wall-busting construction.

READ: 13 Easy Bathroom Upgrades

This Old House shows us how to make the most of what you have with creative wall and window treatments, salvage-yard finds, and stylish storage ideas:

Rework the Classics

Make a curvy sink cabinet out of a vintage desk. Choose one with deep file drawers to stow toiletries, and use a jigsaw to create a sink cutout in the top. Wood desks like this go for about $75 at thrift stores.

Wall Shelf

Save floor space by mounting storage shelves on the wall. Hung high above the tub, this bracketed shelf is ideal for displaying knickknacks. To access daily-use items, hang yours within arm's reach. Similar to shown: Ekby Valter/Ekby Tryggve wall shelf in unfinished pine, $15; ikea.com

READ: 50 Nifty Fix-Ups For Less Than $100

Classic, Low-Cost Wall Coverings: Washable Paper

Add color and pattern with coated wallpaper that's easy to clean and can stand up to high humidity. Similar to shown: Thibaut's botanical Berkshire design in sage, $42 per roll; thibautdesign.com


Dress up a plain vanity with a wood appliqué. Similar to shown: Meredith Header, $21; vintagewoodworks.com

READ: Editors Picks: Top 19 Budget Reader Remodels

Evoke Period Elegance

Gain square footage for a freestanding tub without the mess and expense of building a bumpout by placing it on the diagonal. Be sure to leave a few inches between the tub's rim and the walls, as was done here. The extra breathing room makes a small space feel larger. Shop salvage yards to save on a soaker. Vintage cast-iron claw-foots, starting at $350; oldhouseparts.com