Melissa Dubravetz, advertising writer

One room that is overused, overlooked and underloved in many apartments and rental homes is the bathroom, which is ironic considering how much we rely on this particular room. According to historical accounts, the bathroom made its debut centuries ago in wealthy homes but didnít become a fixture of many working class homes until more cities had access to sewage treatment in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Even today, itís estimated that today 2.6 billion people worldwide still do not have access to proper bathroom facilities.



The average bathroom in modern homes and apartments has three permanent fixtures (sink, toilet and tub/shower), uses around 49 percent of all water inside the home and is one of the most important rooms in any home. Statistics also show that 43 percent of homes in the United States have two or more bathrooms, which even further supports the need to pay more attention to the details in your bathroom.



So, how can renters give their bathrooms the tender, loving care they so desperately need and deserve? Since apartment leases can be restricting in terms of what you can and canít permanently change about your space, here are some ways to show your apartment bathroom some love without violating the terms of your lease:





††† First and foremost, keep your bathroom clean. Even if you have a salmon-colored toilet, shag carpet and shower doors designed in the 1970s, keeping your bathroom clean is the single most important thing to making the space better. No one wants to use a dirty bathroom, regardless of its dťcor.



††† Keep it light. Overdecorating any room can make things go from bad to worse quickly, so keep your decorations in your bathroom light, both figuratively and literally. Select light colors for rugs, towels and curtains to make a small bathroom look bigger, and keep patterns on shower curtains to a minimum so they donít take over the space. Choose light bulbs that complement the space and provide adequate lighting, and consider keeping a night light plugged in for evening hours when you might not want to flip the switch on the overhead fixture. Itís also a good idea to keep your bathroom accessories proportionate to the room.



††† Add your personal flair. While you might not be able to paint the wall, replace the countertop or change the flooring, you can accessorize your space with items that reflect your personal style. Change out knobs on drawers and cabinets with stylish finds, hang photos or artwork you like and select a shower curtain and rug that will liven things up.



††† Clear up your priceless counter and floor space. Many people Ďjunk upí their bathroom by keeping their products out for everyone to see. Clean up your space. Store your trash bin under your counter, your beauty products in drawers and your extra towels and toilet paper in the cabinet.



††† Create a breath of fresh air. If you have a bathroom window, open it once in a while to let the fresh air in and the stale air out. Purchase plug-in air fresheners and hand soaps in scents you like, and burn a scented candle in your bathroom when you have guests over.



These are just a few ways to make the bathroom in your apartment better. For more tips on decorating and cleaning or for fun bathroom facts, search the Internet.



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