8 Designer-Approved Tricks to Make a Bathroom Look More Expensive

Expensive looking bathroom

CreativaStudio / Getty Images

For designers, figuring out ways to make a bathroom look more expensive is the ultimate creative challenge. Kitchens and bathrooms are most often the most expensive renovation projects one will take on, but when it comes to creating a high-end primary suite or poppy powder bath, there are many ways to get the look you want while sticking to a budget.

For instance, picking and choosing where to spend and where to save works wonders in small spaces. Designer Tanya Paz of TAP Studio always goes for 100 percent brass knobs and handles. Paz always loves using natural or hand-made materials in the bathroom.

"We are always on the hunt for remnants, overstock tile, and other similar finds for our smaller bathroom projects," she says.

Whether you are looking to completely re-do your bathroom or find a few simple tricks to help elevate it, check out these eight designer-approved tricks to make your bathroom look more expensive.

Accesorize It

There are plenty of no-reno-needed ideas to upgrade your bathroom. Designer Heather KW Styles suggests looking for accessories like bath trays from smaller vendors like Etsy. She says you can find unique, often personalized pieces for an affordable price, while also supporting small businesses, artists, and craftspeople.

"These vendors often offer custom work, allowing you to get a one-of-a-kind piece that perfectly fits your bathroom's design and your personal style. By shopping small, you can elevate your bathroom's look and feel without breaking the bank," Styles says.

bubble bath

Heather KW Styles/ Charlotte Lea

Simple Is Best

Designer Samantha Struck of StruckSured Interiors is a believer in the idiom, "less is more," like simply ensuring textiles and curtains match or complement each other.

"Having all the textile elements match feels cohesive and elevated," Struck says. "Swap out the light fixtures and cabinet hardware for a quick fix that has a huge visual impact."

Pick a Statement Mirror

"Interesting lighting and cool mirrors really help to up-level a bathroom to make it more unique," says Leigh Jendrusina, founder and interior designer at Salthouse Collective.

Jendrusina says that no matter how small your budget, lighting and mirrors can help to make a space feel more thoughtful and curated.

"If I do a paired down 'more affordable' matte subway-style tile and/or semi-custom cabinetry in a bathroom, I try to ensure the lighting and/or mirror has a textural detail or shape to bring some more dimension to a space," she says, adding that smaller items can be easier to splurge than others, but can have a big impact in a bathroom.

Shift Your Perspective

The way you think about your bathroom is important, says Sarah Storms, interior designer at Styled by Storms.

"Shift your mindset to think about your bathroom as a retreat vs. a functional space," she says.

Storms suggests thinking about the bathroom the same way as you think about a living room or dining room: consider interesting cabinetry, like a fluted vanity, statement lighting, and plenty of decor and artwork to elevate your bathroom beyond basic.

wooden vanity with art

Sarah Storms/Aimee Ryan

Go Wild With Tile

Paz loves to use tile to make a bathroom design look expensive, and says that her designs often include a special and sometimes more expensive tile on the floor, and something more affordable on the walls.

"We try and wrap partial tile around the walls outside of the bath and shower to make the bathroom feel more cohesive," Paz says. "If you pick a less expensive tile overall, it creates a more luxurious feeling to the space."

Get a Wow-Worthy Vanity

Make a big impact with a vanity, says Kathleen Glossa of Swivel lnteriors. She suggests selecting cabinet doors with a featured design detail, choosing an unexpected pop of color, or both.

For the blue vanity in the bathroom below, Glossa says the clients wanted a white tile for their smaller bathroom, and a natural wood vanity felt "flat and nondescript."

"We chose a confident blue paint color, and instead of flat cabinet doors, we opted for curved inset cane panel doors," Glossa says. "The result is an eye-catching vanity that elevates their entire bathroom design."

blue vanity

Kathleen Glossa/Andrew Giammarco

Keep It Clean

"An organized bathroom always looks more expensive," says Meredith Owen of Meredith Owen Interiors. She suggests keeping counters free of clutter by using drawer organizers. Owens also says spending money on nice towels and a good rug will help make the space feel more expensive.

Wallpaper for the Win

The right wallpaper choice can give a bathroom a high-end look and make it feel more expensive than it actually is, Styles says.

"By carefully selecting a high-quality, moisture-resistant wallpaper in a light, subtle pattern or bold, graphic print can create the illusion of more space while adding a tough of sophistication and personality," she says.