The bathroom is probably one of the most difficult rooms to remodel, wouldn't you agree? Especially if you have a very small bathroom. Because dampness from baths and showers can be an issue as well as the fact that too much clutter can make it more difficult to keep the bathroom clean and sanitary, you will want to choose carefully how you decorate your bathroom. That doesn't mean, however, that you can't have fun with it and bring in your own sense of style. If you have a southwestern theme in other parts of your house or apartment and want to extend that look into your bathroom, here are some easy tips for bringing a softer look to such a clinical space.
Much of southwestern style is inspired by the Spanish. Colorful terracotta tiles in your bathroom not only celebrate that Spanish influence, they also bring a richness to that room that you probably wouldn't expect. Terracotta tiles can be used on the floor, but they can also be used as wainscoting or to decorate one whole wall in your bathroom. Want even more intricate detail in your bathroom? Think about choosing a sink decorated in terracotta tiles as well. All that color can really brighten up the space, which is especially important in bathrooms where things can get pretty dingy fast.
Wood flooring and cabinetry
While many people go with tile or a linoleum for their bathroom floors because of durability and ease of cleaning, wood is really the material of choice in southwestern homes. Whether you stick completely to wood throughout the room, or mix with terracotta tiles, you will definitely add some southwestern charm to your bathroom with some natural wood elements. Don't forget there are a lot of options in wood choices and in their finishes as well so you have a lot of room to experiment to see what works best for your aesthetic. There are also many different ways to use wood in the bathroom. Wood flooring is definitely one way to go, but exposed wood beams in your bathroom can also add some rustic charm. Wood cabinetry can also be a nice addition. For a more farmhouse look, think about having open wood shelving instead of cabinets. Use simple slabs of wood without intricate carvings or a complicated finish for simple, country look.
Cowhide bathroom rugs
A soft and textured rug to step onto after coming out of the shower will feel real luxurious both in the morning when you are still fighting the pull of sleep, and after a long hard day when you just want to wash all the stress away. Cowhide rugs come in a variety of colors and patterns and they bring a note of elegance to any room, even the bathroom. Even if you don't particularly use a lot of animal hide in your decorating, it can bring a warmth and an elegance to a normally utilitarian space. Keep in mind though that it is important that you use only cowhide rugs designated as bathroom rugs in this room because of dampness issues. Cowhide bathroom rugs are better equipped to handle the conditions in a bathroom than say your traditional cowhide rug meant for the living room or bedroom.
Sunken tubs or the claw variety
Who doesn't like to soak in the tub after a hard day at work? For those of us with tiny bathrooms, the ability to have a large tub to fully immerse in is the height of luxury. If you have the space, think about adding a sunken tub or even an old-fashioned claw tub to your southwestern styled bathroom. A sunken bathtub built with an inlay of terracotta tiles can turn your bathroom into everyone's favorite spot in the house. Everyone will be fighting over the chance to enjoy the big bath tub so be prepared.
Accessorize southwestern style
Even if you can't afford a total remodel of your bathroom, there are subtler ways to bring some southwestern charm into the space. For instance, plants can easily brighten up any room, so why not a cactus? Take the time to shop for southwestern style shower curtains, toilet paper holders and towel racks because even those small elements can help make the room more cohesive. Or bring a little bit of the desert into your home with live plants or hang up photographs or paintings that remind you of your favorite southwestern landscapes. Have Texas pride? Decorate with the Texas flag. Love the Native American's use of turquoise in their jewelry? Combine silver and turquoise not only in accent pieces, but in your choices for sinks, toilets and shower stall for an authentic southwestern look.
Lanterns and sconces and things
Of course, also don't forget about the lighting for your bathroom. Even here you can make a statement. To truly celebrate the southwestern style, you need to think beyond purely utilitarian needs when it comes to lighting for your bathroom. Instead of just a simple overhead light, consider wall sconces or lanterns with distinctly southwestern designs. Just changing the lighting in the room can really change the mood and atmosphere.
Whether it is the Spanish or Native American-inspired themes that you love or the more rustic charms of a ranch or mountain lodge, there are many ways to bring Southwestern elements into your bathroom. To get the perfect look, don't rush it. Take your time to shop around and find all the perfect elements. And don't be afraid to mix things up. There is no reason why you can't have a little Navajo-inspired elements blended in with farmhouse chic. Don't be afraid to make the space exactly the way you want it. Just because it is a necessary room, doesn't mean you can't enjoy being there. You will also love showing off your more stylish bathroom whenever you have guests over. While we all hate the chore of cleaning the bathroom, at least with a room that you are proud of, you won't mind the cleaning so much.