Though they’re often the smallest rooms in our homes, bathroom renovations can have a major effect on the rest of the house. Unfortunately, they can also be time-consuming and expensive, and putting your bathroom out of commission for a full upgrade might not be feasible.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can make a change to your bathroom without breaking the bank—or committing to a time-intensive overhaul. Here are 10 easy ideas to upgrade your bathroom on a budget.
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Declutter, Declutter, Declutter
First and foremost, designer Benji Lewis says you shouldn’t make any changes until you’ve tidied up, decluttered, and reorganized.
“One of the best 'quick wins' is to edit out what makes things look cluttered or fusty,” Lewis says. “Instead, focus on arranging accessories to look neat, clean, and considered."
Lewis shares with us a trick to make your bathroom look great. Group three objects together in different textures and sizes—a tall glass jar, a bulbous ceramic vase, and a metal candlestick, for example. This will keep things looking tidy and styled.Continue to 2 of 10 below.
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Elevate Your Shower Curtain
Simply getting a new shower curtain seems minimal, but think about it: your shower takes up a pretty sizeable chunk of wall space, and updating it will make your bathroom look instantly elevated.
“Update your existing shower curtain with a pair of actual drapery panels (with waterproof liners) that you push to either side when not in use,” Bethany Adams of Bethany Adams Interiors suggests.Continue to 3 of 10 below.
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Try a Fresh Coat of Paint or Wallpaper
It might sound obvious, but a fresh coat of paint can work absolute wonders—especially in a bathroom.
“When designing on a budget, a fresh coat of paint goes a long way,” Meredith Owen of Meredith Owen Interiors says. “Just having a clean, fresh start can make a big impact. Changing the wall color can change the whole feel of the room.."
Interior designer Breegan Jane agrees, noting that one of the easiest ways to make a big impact without a big price tag is to tackle the largest surface in the space: the walls.
“Whether you choose to use paint or brightly colored wallpaper, don’t shy away from creating a bold moment in your bathroom," she says.
Changing the wall color can change the whole feel of the room.Continue to 4 of 10 below.
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Modernize Your Fixtures
If you’re dealing with a bathroom that feels dated, look at the fixtures. These can often be a dead giveaway that things haven’t been refreshed in a while. Designer Brooke Lang tells us that updating old light fixtures with new ones or installing energy-efficient light bulbs will offer brighter, more flattering lighting in your bathroom.
“You can also replace your old faucet and showerhead for something more modern and premium, perhaps in a copper or matte black finish," she suggests. "I’m a fan of filtered shower heads to minimize the effects of hard water on your skin and hair.”Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Add More Lighting
Along with modernizing your light fixtures, designer Susan Hayward suggests you consider adding more light sources in general. “Lighting will transform your space,” she notes. “Adding some new lighting will make the space feel instantly refreshed."Continue to 6 of 10 below.
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Update Your Cabinetry
If painting your walls isn’t an option, or you’re looking to do even more, Owen suggests turning to your cabinetry, as painting your cabinets is a great place to add a punch of color. “Top it off with new hardware and you’ve got a whole new piece for a great price," she says.
“I love using knobs and cabinet pulls in an unexpected material, like unfinished leather or unpolished stone, to create visual and textural interest in the bathroom,” Lang adds.Continue to 7 of 10 below.
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Replace Your Hardware
Along with cabinet pulls, Sam Lund of Simply Sam says there are other small hardware details that can be swapped in to create a fresh effect.
“Changing out fixtures such as your towel rack, toilet paper holder, or mirror can all be done on a budget,” Lund says. “These items can be easy to find, fun to look for, and make a huge impact.”
“I always say that luxury is in the details, and that same rule applies to the overall appearance of a bathroom,” Jane agrees. “Installing new hardware can instantly update the space with little effort.”Continue to 8 of 10 below.
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Incorporate Vintage Finds
Often, vintage and antique pieces are relegated to the bedroom, living room, or kitchen—but Lang says there are great finds out there for your bathroom, too.
“Accessorizing with second-hand finds is also a great way to update your bathroom on a budget,” Lang says. “I love scouring my local flea market or thrift store for gently used vintage décor items like artwork, vases, wooden storage crates, trays, and apothecary jars.”Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Make Temporary Changes
If you’re holding back from a full bathroom reno because you don’t technically own said bathroom, we get it. This tip is perfect for both renters and homeowners on a budget. Using peel-and-stick subway or geometric tiles can be a cost-effective way to create a visually striking backsplash or accent wall in your bathroom.Continue to 10 of 10 below.
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Maximize Your Mirror
According to designer Peter Spalding, there’s one thing in your bathroom that’s often overlooked for its impact: your wall mirror. One of the most transformative things you can do in a bathroom is get a bigger mirror, Spalding tells us.
“I for my mirror go from the counter to the crown or ceiling, and often have sconces installed over the top," he explains. "It expands space, heightens the room, and serves a logical purpose. You can make it your own by trimming it out in molding of any color and profile or by keeping it really simple.”
Even if you don’t go big, Hayward says you should still go bold when it comes to replacing your mirror. “Add a new mirror by swapping the one you have with something unique and interesting,” she says.