Bathroom Design Ideas for Updating on a Budget


Ann Marie shares some quick tips updating your bathroom. She breaks it down into 5 areas:

  • Bathroom Vanities
  • Lighting
  • Walls
  • Hardware
  • Accessories

You can add a lot of character to any room by adding some simple touches, such as texture or wallpaper to walls. You do not need to stick to the standard bathroom accessories either.  Look for unique ways to add depth to design that includes function. In example, rather than traditional towel bars, consider hooks, or baskets. If you have depth in your walls, consider adding built-ins that add the look of furniture that provides extra space for holding everyday used items, while not taking up any additional floor space.

Don’t be afraid to add treasures found at flea markets or eBay. Go for your own personal style to add comforting touches to a room that you spend a lot of time in.


Bathrooms can often get overlooked when it comes to design and style but there’s no room in the house that should be left unnoticed.

Here are some quick tips for refreshing the look of your bath without breaking the bank.

Short of a total remodel, there are five areas to focus on when it comes to adding appeal to your bathroom. Walls, lighting, vanities, hardware and overall decor. Let’s look at three bathrooms to see how it’s done.

When it comes to vanities, try stepping out of the box. You don’t have to use the typical wall-to-wall vanity. We’ve given this formerly generic bathroom an antique feel by installing a vessel sink that looks something like an old mixing bowl and we’ve refurbished this flea market find by painting it warm white and adding crystal knobs. Now you’ve got something to look at. For an added touch of charm, use decorative moldings around your mirror and wall sconces that add a touch of the unexpected. When it comes to antiques, substance is everything. This fine brick flooring in a herringbone pattern adds to the overall vintage appeal.

One of the best ways to maximize space and create a feeling of quality is to add built-in cabinetry. If you have space behind your bathroom wall, back into it with shelving. You’ll not only have a place to store your toiletries, you’ll have an ideal showcase for decorative items. People don’t usually think about hanging artwork in the bathroom but why not make bathrooms beautiful too?

This bathroom is a study in both cost saving and utility. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people leave the bathroom walls a plain vanilla and yet other areas of their home are filled with color and texture. Not only can you use wall coverings to boost the overall feel, paint applications and texture treatments like this tin wainscoting are a natural.

Bathrooms typically have less wall space than other rooms so they can handle high-impact treatments. Here we antiqued the tin with a watered-down umber wash. This immediately gives the room a signature style. Adding deeper trim here at the top always allows a place where you can display your favorite things. Instead of buying new drawers and cupboards, put drapery fronts on your vanity. This solution adds color, texture, pattern and, above all, cuts down on the budget.

For floors, affordable hotel tile is becoming popular as is subway tile for your showers. Unusual light fixtures, like this one we picked up on E-Bay, add a funky, vintage charm.

Now this bathroom exhibits more of a classic, contemporary style with exposed nickel-coated hinges and pulls and vertical ribbed glass. Forget about using the regular old towel bars. Try using hooks instead. Not only are they easier to hang your towels on, you can arrange them any way you’d like. Here we’ve trimmed the walls in paneled wood for a warmer effect and added wallpaper above it. Yes, wallpaper is coming back.

Now remember, it’s not that difficult to replace dated wall-to-wall mirrors. Just go to your local frame shop and pick out some unique and appealing moldings. And again, try to avoid the typical vanity bar lights. Rustic sconces are much more interesting. By replacing regular shower trim with Euroglass, we’ve removed the bulky metal trim and added to the cleaner, contemporary design.

Bathrooms are certainly an important part of any home. They are necessary, functional and, if you show a little ingenuity, they can be beautiful too.

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