Designing With Shower Curtains Designing With Shower Curtains

The bathroom is perhaps the easiest place in the house to see the powerful effect that little things can have on the decor of a room. By allowing the shower curtain to set the style, you can jazz up a bathroom easily and inexpensively.

You don't have to change the decor of the entire bathroom in order to give it a quick, inexpensive facelift. All you have to do is change the shower curtain. If you check the sales in catalogs and stores, you should be able to find nice shower curtains for under about $20.

We're all in favor of using color on the walls of most rooms in a home. Often the best way to perk up a dull room is by adding a splash of color. Even if you don't paint the whole room, sometimes all you need is one wall painted a deep green or a bright yellow.

Shower Curtains Are Easy Bathroom Design

If you're decorating on the cheap, we advise you leave the room white or eggshell. The tiles will often have color, and in older homes, the colors aren't exactly what you want. Rather than emphasizing these colors, reduce them with white or off-white walls. Most bathrooms are so small that the size of the room alone dictates that the walls are usually best off-white.

That doesn't mean you can't have color in the bathroom; in fact, leaving the walls white will allow you more room for playing with color in the accessories. While you're resisting painting the walls, resist too the urge to invest in colored towels - for the time being. White towels, like white walls, go with everything. Once you've decided on a color scheme for your room, you can invest in color coordinated towels.

The place where you can let your creativity run wild is when you go shopping for the right shower curtain. Let the color and style of the shower curtain dominate the room, and your white walls and white towels will offset the color of the curtain. If you tire of that color, you can switch without ever having to change anything else, such as the towels and wall color.

When you're looking for a curtain, bear in mind the size of the bathroom. Some shower curtains have big, bold patterns, which will dominate a small bathroom. If you have a small room, choose instead a delicate pattern or simple stripes.

When you buy the curtain, be sure it's returnable. If it's possible to open the package without ripping it, take the curtain out and hang it up in the bathroom before deciding whether to keep it. Once you get a shower curtain home and hung, you may realize that you really don't want to look at giant a map of Paris or a bunch of yellow duckies every morning.

Consider how much work you want to put into the keeping the curtain clean. Most fabric curtains can be machine washed to keep down the mildew. Don't put them in the dryer or iron them. Hang them in the shower on a dry, sunny day so that they dry quickly. If you have a good-quality, heavy shower curtain liner, you will protect the curtain itself, getting years of use out of it. Liners only cost $5.

Some of the most popular shower curtains are the heavy plastic ones found in department stores and home furnishings stores. They can really brighten a dull room, but they attract mildew easily. Keep a spray bottle of a mildew cleaner in the shower and spray it every day.

Reprinted with permission from the Sheffield School of Interior Design.

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