Brass: While brass also has antimicrobial properties, it isn't as fast acting against as copper in killing germs and bacteria. Brass doesn't corrode easily and is a valuable recyclable metal. Many brass bathroom fixtures are fashioned from recycled brass. The highly polished look of the 80s brass bathroom fixtures has given over to an antiqued finish. Stainless steel: The antimicrobial property of stainless steel is much less than brass and copper. This metal is a great look for a contemporary or contemporary bathroom. It is a harder metal than brass and is often combined with nickel for bathroom faucets. Bronze: ORB (Oil Rubbed Bronze) is ageless and very popular. It can go with almost any bathroom style. Nickel: The fifth common element on Earth with 65% of mine nickel used to make stainless steel and 9% used for plating. Nickel bathroom fixtures come in polished, satin, or brushed finishes. Chrome: The chrome is a finish applied to a metal or plastic. The most popular choice is polished chrome. Porcelain and vitreous china: Porcelain is used in many bathroom fixtures and most have a vitreous china coating to give it a sheen finish. Many of these are used in combination with other materials like a chrome faucet set with porcelain handles.
The Pantone "color palettes" that are released each year can give you good ideas for bathroom color, "and I love them," says Cy. "Next year they'll come out with a whole new set and those will be out." Instead, says Cy, "choose what you like." But he's got a few caveats. "Peach looks like a bad '80s hotel room," he says. "We're not over it enough to laugh at it yet." The light in the bathroom should also influence your decision. "Really dark colors can be fabulous, but you have to make sure the bathroom gets enough natural light, or put in some other lighting, if you want to use them. Otherwise, the effect is just dark, and you need to be able to see to shave and put on makeup." The idea of looking at yourself in the mirror with these colors framing you brings up another issue. "Even when it's just extra color, you shouldn't put anything in your bathroom that will make you look ghastly in the morning, like lime green — a mistake I've made before — and yellow, unless it's a real warm shade." "More than anything," says Cy, "remember that it's your house. The color you choose should express who you are -- unless it's peach.
I painted over the Masonite with a really good primer and then I decoupaged tissue paper in vivid colors over it — indigo blue, sunny yellow, even some silver tissue paper. It looks luminous, freckled, almost like water. Above the shower stall, I did much brighter colors and I sealed it all with a water-based polyurethane." While Cy applied his decoupage directly to the wall, his "simple French" look would work just as well applied to foam core or poster board, framed or not, and then hung on a bathroom wall for a splash of color you could change out whenever you want. "Paint the walls, or if they're mostly tile, paint the ceiling!" says Cy. "If the color doesn't work, you can paint it something else." And should you need to sell the house later, and believe the accepted wisdom that only white walls are appropriate in "For Sale" bathrooms, you can spend an afternoon painting it back. Or for just a minimal change, paint a frame and hang it on the bathroom mirror with Velcro.
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