Revamp Your Bathroom with These 25 Budget-Friendly Decorating Ideas
Achieving a chic and updated bathroom doesn't have to mean a complete overhaul. With a little creativity and a budget-friendly mindset, you can easily transform your existing space.
Refresh Your Bathroom without Breaking the BankDiscover how to add personality and flair without overspending.
1. Renew Your Classic Claw-Foot TubBring your antique cast-iron claw-foot tub back to life without replacing it. Save money by reglazing it and give it a modern edge by painting the outside in a bold and vibrant color, or create a soft contrast by painting the exterior a muted hue while keeping the white interior intact.
2. Play With WallpaperAdd fun and playful patterns to your bathroom with waterproof wallpaper that can withstand high humidity. Create your own unique wall covering by using affordable peel-and-stick designs.
3. Illuminate With Faux CandlesExperience the warmth of candlelight minus the fire hazard by using battery-powered LED wax pillars. To complete the ambiance, install salvaged wall candle sconces.
4. Switch Up Your Towel RackGive your bathroom a vintage feel by using flea-market coat racks as towel racks. Seal its aged finish under clear polyurethane or choose a more classic option by installing Shaker-style pegs.
5. Dress Up Your Tub SurroundCreate a unique look for your drop-in tub by paneling its exterior. Use waterproof plywood and laminate to prevent rot and protect the edges with solid stock. Alternatively, make a rustic, rustproof surround using corrugated, galvanized-steel roof paneling.
6. Design for TwoInstall a vintage tiled-back washstand between two pedestal sinks for a his-and-hers vanity that won't break the bank.
7. Skip Wall-Busting ConstructionChoose flush-mount mirrors instead of recessed medicine cabinets to avoid costly renovation. It's easy to change up your bathroom's style on a budget by shopping for mirrors at resale shops.
8. Accent Your Walls with Subway TileCreate a bold statement by using subway tiles to cover an accent wall. Make your bathroom appear taller by taking the tiles all the way up to the ceiling. Find affordable options starting at 99 cents per square foot at The Home Depot.
9. Discover Salvaged Shutters
Photo captured by Caroline Mardon for GAP Interiors
Why spend a fortune on blinds when painted shutters are a viable alternative? A louvered design that's open at the top provides privacy without blocking natural light, and adjustable slats mean you can direct the sun's rays wherever you need them.
10. Mix up Your Materials
Photo captured by Caroline Mardon for GAP Interiors
For a touch of the great outdoors in your bathroom, try combining different textures underneath your feet. Consider blending wooden planks and pebble tiles around the bath for a surprising and interesting twist.
11. Create a Beadboard Canopy
Photo taken by Roger Davies
A canopy effect in your bathroom is one of the cheapest design options out there. Use beadboard to cover the ceiling and extend it down the walls to create a relaxing sky-blue atmosphere that recalls traditional porch ceilings.
12. Opt for a Checkerboard Floor
Photo captured by Nikki Crisp for IPC Images
Two-tone ceramic tiles are incredibly expensive - use vinyl composition tile instead for a cheaper and more durable alternative. To replicate the appearance of smaller tiles, use a vinyl tile cutter to slice 12-inch tiles into 4-inch tiles.
13. Upcycle Your Vanity
Photo taken by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn
Unusual and cost-effective dressers can be obtained at flea markets or garage sales - retro-fit a mirrored dresser for a sink cabinet by cutting out a hole in the top. Keep the characterful appearance of the original surface or refinish it to create a polished vintage aesthetic.
14. Carve a Curved Backsplash
Photo captured by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn
Marine-grade polymer is less likely to warp than wood - use this material to create a custom demilune backsplash that gives your bathroom wooden vanity the appearance of an old-fashioned washstand. A jigsaw can be used to cut the polymer easily, and it will never need painting.
15. Enhance Existing Tile
Photo captured by Mick Frangou for IPC Syndication
Celebrate older properties' original design features by refreshing vintage tiled flooring using an acid etcher that is both eco-friendly and safe for homeowners. Ground-in dirt will be removed from both the surface and the grout lines, resulting in a more polished aesthetic.
16. Hang a Vintage Pendant
Photo taken by Laurey W. Glenn
Adding a chandelier to unexpected spots in your bathroom will add sophistication and grandeur. Hang the fixture over the bathtub, drawing the eye upwards and giving the illusion of a more spacious environment. Opt for rewired chandeliers from antique homes.
17. Achieve Color CohesionImage by Aimee Herring
Transform your space with a fresh coat of paint. Harmonize your design by matching your wall color to your floor or add depth by using two-tone walls separated by a chair rail. These visually stimulating options will infuse your room with a sense of balance.
18. Beautify with Whitewashed Barn WoodImage by Colin Poole/GAP Interiors
Elevate your rustic aesthetic by incorporating whitewashed salvaged planks onto your walls. This simple and affordable technique will instantly add character and charm to your space.
19. Create a Colorful MosaicImage by John Granen
Personalize plain sheets of white mesh-backed floor tile with eye-catching accents. Design a unique pattern, remove white tiles, and replace with colored tiles of the same size and shape. Hunt for discount tiles in overstock bins at showrooms; as little as $10 can cover an entire floor.
20. Maximize Storage with a Wall-Mounted CabinetImage by Laurey W. Glenn
Free up valuable floor space by installing a sleek hanging cabinet for toiletry organization. Alternatively, add shelving to optimize storage in a small room.
21. Hide the Curtain RodImage by Paul Costello/Otto
Install a track on the ceiling to eliminate unsightly shower-curtain hardware. As a bonus, suspending the curtain from the ceiling will create an illusion of height in the room. Custom curtains are pricey, so consider crafting your own from burlap or canvas drop cloth. Many ceiling-mount tracks start at around $30 on curtain-tracks.com.
22. Boldly Design with Red-Hot LinoleumImage by Jan Baldwin/IPC Syndication
Add color and flair to your space by using vibrant linoleum flooring in high-traffic areas. Linoleum is resistant to spills and splashes, making it a sensible and stunning option.
23. Emulate Elegant ErasImage by Laurey W. Glenn
Increase the illusion of space in a small room by placing a freestanding tub diagonally and leaving a few inches of breathing room between the rim of the tub and the walls. This simple technique will create a sense of luxury without the expense of constructing a bump-out. Shop salvage yards for an affordable soaker tub.
24. Add Water-Resistant WainscotImage by Paul Whicheloe
Upgrade your walls with beadboard paneling made from cellular PVC. It is less expensive than most wall tile and requires less maintenance than wood while successfully withstanding moisture. Plus, it can be left unpainted for a stylish and seamless finish.
25. Enhance Your View with a Decorative Window
Photo credit: Laurey W. Glenn
Substitute a mundane plate-glass window for a colorful, ornate stained- or leaded-glass panel, which serves as an excellent alternative to block unwanted views without depriving you of natural illumination. In case you struggle to come across the perfect fit for your space, suspend one from chains in conjunction with the existing window.
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