Decorate a Bathroom on a Budget

Cheap Bathroom Ideas

A Budget Bathroom Vanity Idea
Use a discarded shelf as a budget bathroom vanity. Photo: Enrico Corno

Sure, 10-foot garden tubs, walk-in steam showers, heated towel bars and hand-painted, custom fired sinks would turn your drab bathroom into a showplace, but what if your budget looks more like a washtub and a garden hose? Well, even if the piggy bank is empty and the cupboard bare, you can change your bathroom into a unique and elegant space. Here are just six budget bathroom ideas to try:

  • Shelving. If you have a metal shelving unit in your garage, re-purpose it for the bathroom! Paint it a glossy red or black with a can of spray paint and use it for towel and toiletry storage. Add some scented candles and baskets full of decorative soaps for an inviting look. (By the way, does anyone actually USE those decorative soaps?)
  • Shower Curtain Magic. Make a shower curtain out of a sheet or bedspread from a discount store. Low thread count linens usually make the best shower curtains. You can make ties to attach to the rod from a package of matching bias tape cut into 10-inch lengths and sewn to the top of the sheet at 12-inch intervals. For ties that are even more economical, you can even use yarn scraps treaded through grommets placed on the top of the sheet. If even that is too expensive, just thread the rod through the deeper pocket at the top of the sheet. Be sure to line the inside of the shower curtain with a waterproof curtain as well.
  • Custom Towels. Cut long strips from a matching sheet and sew along the bottom of inexpensive towels to give a custom look. You can also use decorative cotton ribbon as well. Make sure that your accent piece and towel won't bleed on to each other in the wash.

Even more budget bathroom decorating ideas:

  • Mirror, mirror. To provide the illusion of a larger space in your bathroom, add a large mirror above your tub. Just don't place it where you can see those "love handles" when you get into the tub. You can mount a mirror meant for the back of your closet door. They are available at most discount stores for under $15. Simply arrange it horizontally to add width and space. Mount a shelf under the mirror for toiletries, candles, washcloths and soaps. A simple wood plank mounted on brackets will do.
  • Storage. If you need extra space for storage, bring in a mismatched bedside table from a garage sale or thrift shop. Paint it a matching color and place next to your tub or commode for towel or paper storage. Place a candle in a pretty thrift shop saucer for a feminine touch. And don't forget the under-the-sink area. This space often becomes a cluttered mess so reign it in with stacking boxes or containers. Even a shoebox can help organize seldom-used goods that need to live in the bathroom.
  • Vanity. Want an unusual vanity? If you have an old buffet or dresser with a damaged top, cut a space in the top to fit your sink and cover the top with broken mosaic tiles. Just grout the tile - ask your home improvement store for the supplies. You will have to cut a space in the back for plumbing, but the overall look can be gorgeous!
  • Canisters. Save your glass mason jars and repurpose them in the bathroom. Or if you don't want glass in this room locate discounted plastic containers to hold your bathroom goodies in an organized manner. Remember that many materials (glass, plastic, metal) can be spray painted or stenciled to be the exact color you really need for your bathroom.

    So with a little imagination, you can have a beautiful bathroom decor on a budget.