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It can be easy to overlook the bathroom. It’s a functional space first and foremost, and unless you like long hot soaks in the bath, you probably don’t spend a whole lot of time in there. But that is no reason to neglect it. So here are some simple but effective ideas for perking up a tired bathroom without ripping the whole thing out and starting over.

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1. Accessorize.
A new shower curtain, bathmat or towels will add a blast of color to your bathroom and immediately raise your spirits. This could backfire if your bathroom is really past its prime, as it will highlight how scruffy the rest of the room is. But on the plus side, every time you walk in, you will see at least one thing you love.

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2. Get rid of grubby grout.
It’s not as much fun as choosing a new shower curtain, but this chore really will make your bathroom look cleaner and fresher. Here is one way of tackling grout without resorting to harsh chemicals: make a thick paste out of baking soda and water and spread it along the grout. Leave for ten minutes, then scrub with a toothbrush, using circular movements, and rinse.

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3. Add houseplants.
Plants love bathrooms, and they are good for body and soul too. Spider plants, ferns, aspidistra, and philodendron will all thrive in the warmth and humidity and are almost impossible to kill off. Find a longer list of suitable bathroom houseplants here.

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4. Add some art.
Hanging art is one of the easiest and most effective ways of transforming a space. No matter how small your bathroom, there is always room for a picture or two. Beware of humidity though, and save your original masterpieces for other rooms.

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5. Paint it.
Most bathrooms play it safe with all white fixtures and walls. Get creative and add some color and personality by painting the walls, ceiling or trim.

Sometimes making just one small change can be enough to shift your whole attitude towards a room.

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