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Tagged with 'design'

6 Ways to Make the Most of a Small Kitchen

The kitchen quite unsurprisingly plays a major role in the home as it's the place you get release your inner chef, laugh with friends over coffee or kick back and relax with a glass of wine. That’s a lot for a humble room to handle, and if you've been cursed with an unjustly tiny kitchen, chances are you’ll be feeling the pressure. But don't stress as in reality a small kitchen isn't as bad as it first may seem! Here are some ways to make your small kitchen seem like a culinary giant...




1. Keep It Cool

By choosing colours from cool or pale palettes you can easily make your room feel as airy and large as possible. This is because the light is reflected, increasing the sensation of spaciousness.


White is always a winner, although sometimes it can be a pain to clean and often seem a little clinical. Therefore if you're looking for something a little more hip try incorporating some pastels in here or there.

Finally ensure you avoid any stark colour contrasts throughout the room. The more you can cast your eye around the room uninterrupted, the larger you'll perceive the room to be.


2. Store Smartly

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If you have a smaller kitchen you're going to want to make the most of every inch of counter space. Therefore in order to maximise your available space we recommend installing some high shelving or cupboards. This way you can tuck away ample amounts of storage, and also avoid cluttering up the counters with extra appliances and tools.

Furthermore to make sure you're using all of your available space invest in check out some high-tech corner storage units. Choose between the magic corner, swing out and carousel models depending on what suits you best. Check out this article for more info...


3. Try Transparency

Glass fronted cabinets and doors can work wonders for small kitchens, adding depth and visual dimension.


4. Let in Light

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Light is always your best friend in any home, but never more so than in small spaces. If you utilise it correctly you can play tricks on the eyes, helping you kitchen to seem more roomy and airy. Therefore in order to let in more light you might want to consider raising your roof height and installing in a skylight.


Next recessed LED lighting wont take up any ceiling space, but will still light the room sufficiently. Finally choose to incorporate mirrored or reflective surfaces to reflect light and extend the room. This can be done via the backsplash, or simply by hanging a mirror somewhere around the space.


5. Funky Flooring

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Surprisingly enough some funky flooring can help the room seem larger. Diagonal and stripe based patterns lead the eye down a longer path, hence giving the effect of a lengthier room. Conversely noisy, or boxy patterns should be avoided as they can be distracting and provoke a crowded feeling.


6. Grow into the next Room

If you choose to knock down some of the walls enclosing your kitchen you could then opt for a open floor plan style living area. This allows you to increase the overall space you have available for use, and additionally increases the sense of spaciousness and flow around your home.Kitchen_forecast_trend_2015

If this is too much for your budget or simply not feasible you could alternatively opt for some glass doors.


Garden lighting ideas to inspire your backyard

Is your backyard feeling a little lifeless? Want to add some character, warmth and safety to your backyard? Adding garden lighting to your backyard will add another dimension to your home. The trick is, however, to not go overboard! Too much lighting and the effect will be lost. Check out these ideas to lift the atmosphere of your backyard:

Adding lighting to your decking 

decking garden lighting

Adding lighting to your decking is a great idea for not only aesthetic reasons, but safety reasons also. By creating a lighted walkway, you'll have a beautifully lit path around your outdoor deck. It'll also get you more use out of your outdoor living areas at night.

Incorporate lighting to make an outdoor feature wall 

outdoor lighting screens

We love these laser-cut steel pieces for a feature wall! Ground lighting points up and illuminates the pieces, resulting in a striking and modern outdoor feature.

Illuminate your plants with garden lighting 

garden lighting inspiration

Showcase your greenery by installing lights underneath your plants, for a whimsical effect. This is an eye-popping design technique that will have you admiring all your green-thumb handiwork!

Add fairy lights

fairy lights garden lighting

Fairy lights are sure to add that rustic, shabby-chic feel to any outdoor garden space. Fairy lights are no longer associated just with party decorations, instead they add a soft, warm glow that's appropriate for use all year round.

Stair lights

garden lighting stair lights


Ambient stair lights provide a warm and welcoming pathway to the front or back door of your property. Forget stumbling around in the dark trying to find your door! The soft glow helps to illuminate surrounding plants and features, also.

Use backlights 

garden lighting backlights

Backlighting is a powerful effect that works best on strong lines and architectural shapes rather than soft plants. Again, this effect is all about less lighting to achieve more.

Have fun with your lighting options

ball outdoor lights for the pool

Have some fun with your lights! We love these floating water-proof ball lights for something magical and different.



Feeling inspired? Let Renovator Store help you with your outdoor lighting needs by browsing our options here


Interior Design Trends to Keep an Eye on in 2016

Interior design trends come and go, but these new 2016 style ideas look incredibly promising! Through this article we'll teach you how tell if they'll suit your home's overall design, how they should be executed and most of all how to improve the look and feel of your home. So keep on reading to find out how to make your home feel the most comfortable and welcoming it's ever been!


Opt for More Subtle Colour Choices

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Vivid colours can be distracting and make it difficult to truly relax. Therefore this year, colour schemes are all about using neutral and earth-toned hues. This will help you get your home in tune with nature, helping you instil a calm and tranquil aura. To match these tones also try and incorporate some wood detailing or furniture to further continue theme of nature and peace.


Bring Outdoor Furniture Inside

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The major advantage of bringing outdoor furniture inside is the rustic and charming style associated with those pieces. You may find the perfect material and design to suit your earthy indoor look. Secondly the furniture is much more resilient to wear and tear and hence will last you way longer and look way better for an extended period of time.


Invest in Multipurpose Furniture

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The main purpose of multipurpose furniture is not simply to act as a storage unit, but to accentuate functionality. Classic options include couches or sofas or coffee tables with hidden storage compartments.

Secondly they can be used in design. Surprisingly enough some of these furniture pieces may be exactly what your room needs to look amazing! They could also be used to separate an open plan layout into smaller sections so you have clear borders, or simply as an eye-catching centrepiece.


Try Neo-Industrialism 

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Although it can seem a little harsh at first glance, the neo-industrial look is very simple and brings many hidden charms. It's all about mixing up tough, industrial elements with softer tones to deliver a specific and refined look. So give this trend a shot as it is bound to spruce up any room you use it in!


Build a Family-Sized Living Room

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A living room should be a place where you can sit down and relax with your whole family. For this reason in 2016 we've seen a swing in trends toward large, open living rooms designed to bring everyone together. In these rooms you should also aim to cut out any unnecessary technology, and focus only on creation of a comforting and laid back space.



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Everyone wants a little luxury in their home, but the obvious problem is that not everyone can afford it! Luckily for you in 2016 luxurious items at just a fraction of the cost are on trend!

For example, say you want to spice up your floors with a little marble here or there. Undoubtedly you'll find the price tag attached a little daunting. Instead try opting for a cheaper alternative that'll give you the same look and feel such as Geostone polished floors! In comparison to marble you get more options regarding colour, shape and size, making this a worthy substitution.

Other faux-luxury items you might wish to indulge in include a small chandelier or pendant downlight instead of the real deal.


So now you've heard about the top new interior design trends in 2016 it's time to choose the ones you like the most, and then put your own personal spin on them! Remember not all of the trends will suit your home, and hence you should take time to decide what your house really needs. Finally keep your eyes peeled for any other funky new trends that might fly around the corner!

Less is more – Why Minimalist Home Design is Good for You

The last thing you need when you come home from a hard day's work is to be greeted by mess and clutter. Therefore so many people are yearning for a simpler, less complicated way and life, and hence it is no coincidence that minimalist home design is the forefront of current architectural trends. The basis of minimalist interior design is to rid your home of clutter by removing unnecessary and superfluous items from your living space. Apart from the indubitable and timeless aesthetic appeal, there are many other advantages of minimalist home design. Keep reading to find out more...



Simplicity Grabs Attention

A minimalistic room unburdened by excessive furniture leaves ample space for the eye to appreciate the architecture and form. For example galleries and museums use negative space to draw attention to display pieces, and this same technique can be used very effectively in your own home. 

Modern Minimalist Living Room Design13

By simply putting a visually appealing piece of furniture in the centre of an uncluttered space you can transform it from merely a utilitarian object into the centrepiece of the room. Secondly the use of matte finishes is a popular trend at the moment, and is a great way of drawing attention to elements such as light fixtures, whilst still keeping design simple and clean.


Minimalism Is Calming

Researchers around the globe are increasingly studying how the space you in which you live impacts your mood. This has led to the emergence of a new and exciting field of study called neuro-architecture. Essentially this field confirms that a minimalist approach to living has a calming influence on people. 

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Essentially removing clutter from your living space allows you to get rid of unnecessary distractions, and hence can help you to concentrate and channel your creativity. To further create a calming atmosphere try incorporating natural elements into your design such as textured timbers. Lighting also plays a crucial role in creating ambiance, and LED technology enables you to have energy efficient lighting to fit any mood you desire.


Minimalism Is Practical


A cluttered home will almost undoubtedly collect dust and become an absolute nightmare to clean. Although you might be sad to say goodbye to all those extra pillows and knickknacks, you'll gain the distinct advantage of reducing the amount of dust and allergens present in your home. Also without the excess objects and lack of high maintenance surfaces to clean, a quick vacuum and wipe down is all you need to keep a minimalist home spick and span.


Minimalism Is Thrifty

Minimalist design can also be cheaper than other design alternatives. In selecting only a few durable and high quality furniture pieces you are overall saving money in the long run. The same applies to building materials that are hardwearing and durable.

Overall the minimalist aesthetic stands the test of time much better than other approaches. Light and airy colours and designs have a timeless appeal, ensuring you will not have to repaint or remodel in order to keep up with trends. If you want to spruce up a minimalist space, it can be as cheap and simple as adding a strip of textured colourful wallpaper; no need for an in depth makeover.


Overall minimalism is a fine balancing act. You've got to be careful not to go too far not to end up making the space too frugal for comfort. To get the maximum out of your living space, it is important to choose every piece of furniture carefully, bearing in mind both functionality and aesthetics. At first glance, the minimalist approach may seem daunting and limiting, but striving for functional and clean simplicity can be highly liberating and rewarding.

4 Free Online Interior Design Planning Tools

When designing homes and drawing up room plans you often change your mind. Instead of facing the tedious task of having to draft and redraft copies of a paper floor plan, you can alternatively opt for using free online interior design planning tools. These programs are not only fun to play with, but can provide you with accurate 3D renderings that'll allow you to visualise what the room will look like from all angles. Therefore, you can try out all your ideas before you have to commit to them in real life.


1. Autodesk Homestyler

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Autodesk Homestyler is a super simple and quick way to produce 3D floor plans. Just drag and drop rooms and expand with room additions to quickly design your dream house. This program additionally allows you to play with decorations and accessories, really allowing you to visualise what your rooms will look like. It also gives you access to the library of designs other people have created using the program which is handy!


2. Homebase


Like Homestyler, Homebase offers you a room planning program. Its a little harder to work than the aforementioned program and often takes time to buffer and load, but it still provides you with a high quality 3D representation of your design. Although, where homebase really proves its worth is with its range of free calculators. The flooring calculator, paint calculator, wallpaper calculator, tiling calculator and insulator calculator can all help you determine the quantities of materials you will require to build, eliminating wasteful excesses and irritating shortages.


3. Magnet

Magnet is a tool specifically designed for kitchen design. You can either start from scratch, or use one of their predesigned rooms if you need a helping hand. You can then choose where to place your kitchen cabinetry, worktops, lighting, chairs etc. You can easily swap between 3D and 2D, and also between top and front views.


4. SketchUp

Lastly we have SketchUp: an incredible popular and well functioning modelling software commonly used by interior designers worldwide. You can opt for either the free or paid version, but either gives you a wide range of functions. Unfortunately its not the easiest software to use, but lucky for you there are many tutorials on offer. I would highly recommend investing some time and money into understanding the software to save time and stress.


So if your looking for a simpler and more flexible alternative to paper floor plans check out these 4 free online interior design planning tools. Each has its merits and disadvantages so test them all to find the one that is best suited to you! Check out this article from 'Interior Style Hunters' for more information.

How to Decorate an Open Floor Plan

An open plan is any floor plan that makes use of large open spaces rather than smaller, enclosed rooms. This concept seems to fit beautifully with todays modern home designs. With one large area being utilised for multiple purposes - say both a living room and kitchen - it can often prove difficult to cohesively decorate the entire space. That is why we have some foolproof ideas to help spark your imagination and inspire you to tackle the challenge that is creating a beautiful and interesting open floor plan.

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Step 1: Separate the floor into several areas. Do this based on the purpose of each area e.g. living, dining, cooking etc. Consider using sliding glass doors, glass partitions or internal bi-fold doors. In doing this you are avoiding creation of opaque obstacles, and you can additionally maintain the abundance of light and spacious appeal of the area.

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For example, to define try clearly defining the dining area through use of a rug. Place the table and all chairs upon the rug, and leave the area around the space clear. It will simply, yet effectively, set this area apart from the rest of the room.


Use Colours

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The colour palette is always crucial when designing any kind of interior space. Differing colours around your space can too be utilised to differentiate between sections in your open plan. Pick a colour that you like, and paint the walls in different shades of that same colour. This will allow you to maintain the same style and theme throughout the room, whilst additionally creating subtle boundaries. Just remember, don't go too crazy or your house will start to resemble Disneyland more than it should!


Try Utilising Windows

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The fact that the space is divided into different areas will be notable by using different windows. Try windows of different shapes and sizes. However, if you are looking for a cheaper alternative try placing different curtains on each one. For a matching, yet eclectic look, choose the same fabric and style window treatments, but in different colours.

Play With Lighting

Install one big light fixture over each area. Maybe try a chandelier in the dining room or pendant lighting in the kitchen. Then of course add smaller LED downlights throughout the entire space to ensure the entire space is well illuminated. Choose their placement, size and style carefully, because they will have a great impact on the overall cohesion of the open floor plan.


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Now add the final touches to your space. Its the small details that you incorporate that really make your house a home. Start by selecting a theme. Make sure it is maintained throughout the whole space, but use differing accessories in different areas. Hence, you can set it room on its own, but also tie them all together. Themes to try include wooden décor, abstract art pieces, or black and white photographs.

Use this valuable advice whilst designing your open floor plan to create an open, spacious area full of light and air. With some planning and a bit of creativity, I promise, you will succeed!


How to Make Your Room Seem Bigger

It doesn't matter how spacious your room is, its what you do with that space that matters most. In fact, decorating small spaces is a challenge as much as it is a reward. Throughout this blog i'm going to teach you about the various manipulative tips and tricks which can make a room seem bigger, and what you should definitely avoid so your room doesn't seem smaller. 


Opt for Minimalist Designs

The first trick to making a space seem bigger than it is in actuality is the principle of minimalism. Minimalism fixes the issue of clutter, letting more light into your room and giving you more space to move.


In order to achieve minimalistic design you need start off by sorting through all your possessions. You must only keep what you absolutely need within the room, and nothing else. You will quickly learn that you have a lot of stuff that can be stored somewhere else in your household, or that you don't need at all! You will also realise that less can indeed be more. For ideas try looking at examples of nordic interior design, as one of the key principles of this style is minimalism.

Smart storage techniques:


Now what do you do with that necessary stuff that has to stay in the room? Using creative storage techniques you can hide your items from plain sight, continuing on with the theme of minimalism. Instead of placing a huge cupboard or cabinet in the room have bookshelves or drawers made that inset into the wall. Alternatively try coffee tables and ottomans with hidden storage compartments within.


Use Small Rugs


A rug can be used to manipulate the appearance of a space. A smaller rug will make your room appear huge, as it will expose a large quantity of floorspace. Alternatively a large rug that consumes most of the floorspace will diminish the size of the room. Apart from being a space manipulation tool a rug can of course also add style and flair to your room. Check out these beautiful carpets from Zado which are both unique and functional.


Manipulate the Light

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The way in which your room is illuminated can affect the way in which it is perceived. Dim lighting can serve to make your room seem smaller, so alternatively opt for higher wattage lights.

Moreover opt for a series of lamps or hanging lights placed around the room, rather than one downlight centred in the middle of the roof. A downlight pools all the light in one spot, creating shadows in the corners which make the room appear smaller. Try these hanging vintage LED lights to add unique flair to your room.


Wall Color and Pattern

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Another thing that can make your room seem larger is its colour. Try brighter colours such as white, cream or subtle greys and yellows. Patterning your wall can also impact dimensions: vertical stripes increase the height of the room, whilst horizontal stripes make it seem wider. 


As you can see, where there is will, there is always a way. Regardless of how big your room is, what matters the most is how much effort and research you are going to put into it. In order to create truly elegant ambiance, you must rely more on your imagination and creativity and less on material resources.

Modern Bathroom Designs

Even though we often give less credit to bathrooms, they are among one of the few places that we visit several times a day and also spend a significant proportion of our day in. Modern bathrooms have gone beyond the limits of space with creative and innovative designs that completely change the way we now look and use a bathroom.

With a few creative and innovative solutions you can transform a dull bathroom into a refreshing and relaxing haven.

There are so many modern bathrooms designs that can be distinguished from each other with respect to the material and fixtures used for the vanities, tiles, basinstaps, towel rails and shower grates.

Below are some modern bathroom designs to inspire you if you're about to renovate:

Gray and White Bathroom

With a clean and sleek palette that is gray and white, the subway tile of this bathroom is surrounded by marble and is a popular New York bathroom style.

Gray and White Bathroom

Glamorous Master Bathroom

The characteristic of this modern bathroom design is its dark cabinetry that is accompanied with a unique three-sided bathroom vanity.

The bathroom is spacious and elegant, with gray veining appearing from the white marble floor of the bathroom to the tub surround as well as into the walk-in shower. In the neutral space of this elegant masterpiece is a vanity stool that is chevron-patterned in order to create or provide a graphic punch in the bathroom.

Understated Opulence Master Bathroom

Contemporary Master Bathroom Shower with Window

This is a master bathroom that has been designed with a high window inside the shower stall to enhance natural light. It has a floor that is made of small sized Carrera marble tile with a lite design that is true-divided and tempered glass for the safety of users.

Contemporary Master Bathroom Shower with Window

Aspen Home Modern Bathroom

This is a luxurious bathroom that best suits those aspiring to live in an environment that is sumptuous. This modern bathroom design constitutes details, textures and colors that have been carefully chosen and defined with respect to light and space.

Aspen Home Modern Bathroom

The Albisia House Modern Bathroom

As seen in this elegant picture, wood can bring significant transformation to your bathroom. This bathroom has been carefully planned and has an inviting look similar to that of a living room.

The Albisia House Modern Bathroom

Spacious Bathroom with Freestanding Bathtub

This bathroom has a freestanding oversized bathtub and a large framed mirror hanging over the customized marble countertop and double sinks that are rectangular in shape. Sleek and clean hardware is counterweighed against a cabinetry made of mahogany wood.

Spacious Bathroom with Freestanding Bathtub

Wall of Windows Master Bath

This modern bathroom design provides a perfect place for bathing and relaxing while staring at the sun while it sets over the ocean. The floating tub is fit with freestanding tub filler while the shower has seamless glass together with a stainless steel shower rail that can be held in the hand.

Wall of Windows Master Bath

Storage and Lighting Stand-Out

The focal feature of this modern bathroom is the sleek dark customized cabinetry on an angled wall accentuating the length of the room as well as maximizing space for storage.

In addition to this already elegant master bath, the nickel fixtures and hardware as well as the hand-blown sconces have been polished.

Storage and Lighting Stand-Out

Neutral Modern Bathroom Vanity

The otherwise pale and subdued palette of this modern bathroom design is anchored by a dark wood vanity; large tiles on the floor make a contrast that is engaging with the small and thin backsplash mosaic tiles.

Neutral Modern Bathroom Vanity

Spacious and Streamlined Bathroom

In this modern bathroom design, the designer was looking for a sleek feel in general but the stone wall was an initial problem.

However, with a little bit of creativity, the wall became a focal point for the room by using a seamless mirror.

Spacious and Streamlined Bathroom

Bench Seating in the Bathroom

This modern bathroom is fit with various hooks on the walls for hanging towels and bathrobes. In addition, the bathroom features a cushioned bench that nicely coordinates with the spacious soaking bathtub.

Bench Seating in the Bathroom

Floating Wenge Vanity

This modern bathroom design features a floating dual vanity with wenge veining cabinetry to provide ample storage space.

The bathroom has unique limestone countertops that beautifully blend with the textured accent on the wall. In addition, the bathroom’s neutral colors as well as finishes give it a clean and restful feeling.

Floating Wenge Vanity

Bathroom with Floating Sink and Red Mosaic Tiles

This is a tight-spaced bathroom that feels bigger due to the frameless glass shower enclosure that uses light. The red mosaic tiles frame the backsplash and shower to create a focal point while the floating sink is used as additional storage.

Bathroom with Floating Sink and Red Mosaic Tiles

Light and Airy Modern Bathroom

Can you believe this modern bathroom design once was a cramped and outdated mess?

Well, yes. In this design, the bathroom is spacious and the beautiful mosaic tiles create a focal point that is featured through the shower and above the bath.

Light and Airy Modern Bathroom

Modern Sink Showcases Mosaic Tiles

This modern bathroom design has been kept simple by using a countertop that has no veining or texture in order to let the mosaic tiles shine.

Generally, most old houses are characterized drafty windows, squeaky floors, and small bathrooms among others.

This should not be something to scare you as an old house lover this can be combated by using a combination of suitable lights and colors to create an illusion of a roomy bathroom.

Modern Sink Showcases Mosaic Tiles

photo sources and inspiration:


High Impact Bathroom Ideas without the High Cost!

Being on a budget doesn't mean sacrificing style.

Remember these decorating tips that will have your bathroom looking up to date and in style.

8 low cost, high impact bathroom ideas

Use, Hang and Decorate

Instead of folding towels try rolling them and placing them on a large tray or in a box for a holiday feel. Another trick is to hang them up on heated towel rails - not only does this liven up a bare wall but it also makes your bathroom feel like a spa with toasty warm towels.

Light the way

Group simple candles together, either in a row or clustered together depending on your space. Some people use pendant lights to add some jazz to a lonely spot.


There's no need to buy huge bouquets of flowers to make an impact. A single stem of your favourite bloom or even a branch with beautiful leaves placed in a jar will look understated and elegant.


Scented oils will keep the bathroom smelling divine and inviting. Choose calming or reinvigorating oils to suit your mood.

Potions and lotions

While it's best to hide away unattractive bottles of half used products, empty perfume bottles and gorgeous jars grouped together look elegant and add visual interest.


Hand wash comes in some stunning packaging these days, look for refills to keep your favourite bottle topped up rather than buying new jars each time.


While putting your favourite most valuable artwork in the bathroom may not be for you, hanging a simple framed print (even of a postcard) adds a classical touch.

Stylish Storage

Even bathroom essentials like tissues, dish towels, and toilet paper can be attractive if displayed correctly. Use designer toilet roll holders and even robe hooks to maximise evey possible space

Freehand and Nearly Free


You don't have to update all of the features and decor in your bathroom to make a noticeable difference. In a small space like this, a bold statement will seem like a total bathroom makeover. If you or a friend are artistically inclined, you can update your bathroom for the cost of a couple of gallons of paint.