How do I update my 1980’s bathroom?



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Stranger Things

The release of the first cell phones, the launch of MTV, the Reagan years, Live Aid, Back to the Future, and now, finally, your bathroom!

The ’80s have come and gone but have left behind many people who are still living in that decade. Most of these unfortunate souls are stuck in the past because they refuse to upgrade their homes with modern items, including bathrooms.

It’s funny, but many Denver residents have not improved their bathrooms since the 1980s. Many people in Denver are still using the same bathroom fixtures and cabinets that they had back then! While it’s commendable that some people have been able to stick to a classic look for so long, it might be time for a refresh.

1980 old style

Updating your bathroom doesn’t have to involve a complete renovation – sometimes all you need is a little TLC (and maybe some new fixtures). If your bathroom is in urgent requirement of an update, but you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the basics of updating your bathroom on a budget. So grab yourself a tall cup of coffee and get ready to transform your space!

Start With A Few Tweaks

If you’re one of the many Denver residents who could use an update in your bathroom, don’t worry – it doesn’t have to be a daunting task. It’s not too difficult to give your bathroom a facelift by changing out a few key pieces. For example, you could swap out your old cabinet for a new model or install a new sink and faucet. Details like this can make a world of difference in the appearance of your bathroom without having to totally re-do everything. You might find that you even get a lot of compliments on the new look!

old bathroom walls

However, if you really want a drastic change, you could always tear out some of the existing fixtures and cabinets and replace them with newer, better models. If you plan carefully, you could even find a way to incorporate your new fixtures into your existing layout for a unique look that doesn’t require too much extra work.

Tearing out all of those cabinets and refacing them will open up the space, giving it a more contemporary feel that brings the room together…

Styles That Never Came Back Into Fashion…For A Reason

Although nostalgia for the 1980s is popular, there are many aspects from that decade that we are happy never to see again. One of these is the bathroom décor, which was often gaudy and brightly colored.

The 1980s were a time of excess. This was reflected in the décor of many homes, including the bathroom. With bright colors and bold patterns, the 1980’s bathroom was a place to show off your style.

80 bathroom tile style

If you’re updating a 1980’s bathroom, you’ll likely have to deal with some ugly aspects of the décor. For starters, most bathrooms from that era featured bright, bold colors and patterns that are now considered dated.

In addition, many 1980’s bathrooms featured heavy use of wood paneling and other textured materials that can be difficult to update in a modern style.

Finally, many 1980’s bathrooms used large, cumbersome fixtures that are now considered bulky and outdated. If you’re updating a 1980’s bathroom, these items will have to go!

Begin The Transformation

If you want to update your 1980’s bathroom, there are a few things you can do. First, try removing some of the more excessive elements, like the bright colors and patterns.

You can also replace dated fixtures and accessories with more modern versions. Finally, consider adding new elements, like plants or a small water feature. You can give your bathroom a more modern look by making these simple changes while still paying homage to the ’80s.

bathroom flooring removal

Illustrated below are a few more suggestions that may help:

Paint one or two walls in a bright color. You can also paint the ceiling if it’s not textured.

  1. Replace dated wallpaper with beadboard wainscoting. This task is a very simple and easy method if you want to add interest to the room.
  2. Keep the floor plain, and add new throw rugs with bright colors and patterns
  3. Supplement or replace heavy towels and accessories with light-weight versions in more muted colors and patterns
  4. Replace dated fixtures and accessories with newer models
  5. Add new elements, like a water feature or potted plants.

You can update your bathroom without losing its original character with these changes.

10 Ways to Update Your 1980’s Bathroom on a Budget

Update Your Fixtures

When updating your bathroom fixtures, keep a few things in mind. The first order of business is to choose what look you are trying to achieve. If you want a more contemporary look, then think about using sleek and simple designs. Next, consider the materials that you wish to use.

There are a variety of materials to choose from, such as metal, plastic, or glass. Finally, think about the color scheme that you want to use. You can go with a classic white look or experiment with different colors and textures.

80' bathroom fixture

Clear The Clutter

There are a few ways to free up space in your old bathroom. One way is to get rid of the bathtub and replace it with a shower stall. This will give you more than enough floor space to work with. Another option is to get rid of the vanity and replace it with a pedestal sink. This will also free up more floor space. Finally, you can install a new toilet that takes up less space.

Replace Outdated Lighting

When it comes to contemporizing your bathroom, one of the easiest ways to significantly impact is replacing the lighting. Old-fashioned incandescent lightbulbs can be replaced with more contemporary options like LED or CFL bulbs. Not only will this give your bathroom a fresh look, but it will also save you money on your electric bill.

In addition to updating the lighting, you may want to consider replacing your mirror. A retro mirror can be a bold statement in an otherwise contemporary bathroom, especially when it is filled with sleek lines and just a single floating shelf. In contrast, you can tone down this look by adding a more ornate mirror above your sink or bathtub if you are looking for a higher-end look.

Remember that the lighting and mirror can send powerful messages about your design style when updating your bathroom. Experiment with different types until you find something that is perfect for your space.

remove old lighting

Accent Pieces

Adding an accent piece can really contemporize your bathroom décor. For example, consider adding a new sink or vanity. You could also add a new light fixture or mirror. By updating your bathroom’s look with just a few simple changes, you can make it feel like a whole new space.

Choosing The Right Sink

When it comes to opting for a new sink, there are quite a few options. It’s important that you select a sink that fits both the other finishes in your bathroom and also the type of plumbing underneath the sink. For example, if you have older pipes, be sure to get an older faucet and sink, as new faucets and sinks require new plumbing.

new sink

Vanity Styles

When you’re looking for new bathroom vanity or cabinet, there are many styles to choose from. You can opt for an all-in-one type of vanity such as a pedestal sink which is simply an open bowl attached at the base to a cabinet. This style is excellent for small bathrooms as it doesn’t take up much floor space. A vessel sink with a matching countertop or vanity is another popular option, but be sure to consider the area of your bathroom when choosing this one as it may not fit in smaller areas.

Another thing to consider when you’re about to buy a new vanity is the material. Solid surface countertops such as Corian and Formica are a great modern option for a bathroom, especially when combined with a sleek sink. When choosing a new vanity, the last thing to consider is how much storage space you want or need. Built-in vanities provide plenty of storage space, while pedestal sinks only offer the area underneath for storage.

Color Schemes For Bathrooms

One of the easiest methods to update your bathroom is by changing its color scheme. A light and airy color combination such as white, beige, and light green make a great choice for a bathroom that gets lots of natural light. However, if you have windows shaded by trees or other buildings, you may want to choose a darker color like brown. If your bathroom, like most of ours, is a little on the smaller side, dark colors will make it appear even smaller than it already is.

If your windows do get lots of natural light, try painting the walls white and adding accents in shades of green. A white trim against white walls is another bright idea for small bathrooms. Darker colors make larger spaces feel cozy, so light browns and blues are a great choice for adding character to the room if your bathroom is large.

bathroom color scheme

Your Shower Curtain

If your bathroom has a traditional look, one way to add some contemporary flair is by upgrading your shower curtain. There are many different variations of shower curtains to choose from, so you can find one that will fite the overall appearance of your bathroom. Another option is to choose a colorful or patterned shower curtain that will brighten up the space.

Mirror Mirror

You can also update your 1980’s bathroom by hanging a new mirror. A large or ornate mirror will give the room an elegant look, while a small rectangular one will make it appear more contemporary. Be sure to check the size of your bathroom before choosing a mirror. You can even opt for a mirror used as artwork rather than just hung on the wall.

Mirrors can come in a wide selection of sizes and colors, so choose one that will fit your bathroom’s overall style. Mirrors are an innovative way to make your bathroom look more prominent, so opt for one that is frameless or has an ornate frame.

replace old mirror

Reinvent Your Storage

There are a few ways to make the most of your storage in your bathroom. First, consider using all of the available space to you, including the walls, ceiling, and floor. You can also use baskets, boxes, and other containers to organize your belongings. Finally, be sure to keep everything clean and tidy so that it’s easy to find what you need.

A Fresh Lick of Paint

There are many ways to do so when it comes to updating your bathroom. One option is to update the color scheme. You can choose lighter colors that will brighten up the room or use darker colors that help radiate heat.

If your bathroom clearly has seen better days, you don’t have to spend a fortune to give it a contemporary update. A fresh coat of paint will add some new life to the space, and you can choose a color pallette that reflects your personal style.

old bathroom paint

The Best Colors

When painting a bathroom, a few colors will work well. Light blues, greens, and grays are the best colors to paint a bathroom. These colors will give the bathroom a fresh and updated look. If you are looking for a more sophisticated look, painting the bathroom gray and then adding lighter gray or white trim will give it an updated appearance.

If you are interested in conjuring a very interesting update to your bathroom, bright-colored paints can be used on the walls. To create this type of effect, make sure that the color is consistent all over or looks a bit odd.

The best color to paint a bathroom floor is white. This will give the illusion that the room is more significant and fresher-looking. The other colors that work well are grays, blues, or greens that coordinate with the walls. Avoid light browns and clay colors because these colors can make a bathroom appear smaller.

Feature Wall

If you wish to make your own bathroom seem larger, painting the wall on which the sink is located can help. Make sure that this is a light color so that it does not compete with the rest of the colors used in the room.

feature wall

Contemporize Your Furniture

Most people do not have a large bathroom. Therefore, you should choose a cabinet that is a bit smaller than usual to ensure that it fits in the available space. Many different cabinets styles exist on the market today, so you can find one that works best for your bathroom.

Some other features, such as tie-backs and trims, enhance the design’s interest, but detailed consideration should be given to privacy. The sheer variety of options can often prove to be overwhelming, so it is advisable to talk to a professional.

Add Some Ambience To Your Bathroom!

Sweet Symphonies

Installing music speakers into your bathroom can help to create a more relaxing ambiance. By playing calming music while you’re in the bathroom, you can help to reduce stress and promote relaxation. To get the best out of your music speakers, make sure to choose a relatively quiet location so that you can hear the music. If the music sounds distorted, move it to a different location.

Once you have your speakers in place and ready to go, stream your audio content via your smart phone or tablet and play it through the speaker while you enjoy a nice bath or shower. You can also listen to other types of audio such as podcasts, audiobooks, and meditation.

bathroom speakers

Go Wireless and Save Your Tiling

Adding Bluetooth speakers to your bathroom is a great way to avoid having to run cables through the walls and damage your tiles. You can place the speakers in a convenient spot and enjoy your music or podcasts while you shower or bathe. Many Bluetooth speakers are waterproof to withstand any splashes from the shower.

Lighten Up Your Bath

Ambient lighting LEDs are perfect for updating your bathroom. Not only do they provide a modern look, but they can also be very practical. For example, many LED lights come with a motion sensor, which means they will turn on whenever you come into the room and turn off when you leave. This can be a great way to save energy and keep your bathroom illuminated at all times. LED lights are also available in many colors, which means they can match your new color scheme.

bathroom lighting

Reach Out To Us!

Bathroom updates are one of the most popular ways to increase the value of a home. By selecting colors that coordinate with each other and installing features such as LED lights, you can give your bathroom a much-needed modern look while adding value to your home.

The best way to update your 1980’s bathroom is by getting out of that decade in more ways than one! There are so many updates you can make that will not be too expensive.

It’s challenging to keep up with all new bathroom trends and products, but not impossible. If you’re looking for a way to update your 1980s-style bathroom without breaking the bank or overhauling everything at once, then this article is for you. Contact us today!

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Kristen Lawson
Kristen Lawson@Google
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Our bathrooms were dated back to the 1980's and we needed them redone badly. Johnny did an excellent job meeting our needs and making sure we got everything we wanted in the bathrooms. In the end the bathrooms were exactly what we wanted.
Anne Arthur
Anne Arthur@Google
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Overall, we are very happy with our sunroom/mudroom renovation. The workers were very helpful and made sure to include us in all decisions. We learned a lot from this experience as it was our first time working with a contractor for a renovation...(click on my username to read more).
Anne Arthur
Anne Arthur@Google
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My 1904 Capitol Hill house had not been updated since the 60’s and was in dire need of a remodel. Our entire job included a full kitchen and bathroom remodel, 9 rooms being completely repainted and original oak floors being refinished as well as updating a lot of electrical outlets. Found Schwalb Builders via Angie’s List and decided to have them bid my project due to their high review ratings...

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What Home Renovation Should I Do First?

We recommend that you paint your house to give it a new, fresh feel. After that, you can upgrade your current flooring to add more value. You can also install new kitchen and bathroom furniture if your budget doesn’t allow you to do a full renovation right away.

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