Budget is almost always a determining factor in home remodeling and the bathroom is no exception. Maybe you’ve got your eye on one big thing, like a new frameless shower door that will really update your bathroom, but to make it work within your budget, you’ll have to save money on other items. Don’t worry, at Janssen Glass, we’ve got some great ideas for decorating and updating your bathroom on the cheap.
Restore Instead of Replacing
You don’t have to throw the baby out with the bathwater when you remodel. If you’re not looking to upgrade, but rather just to update, there are plenty of ways to use your existing features, but make them look more current and fresh.
Upcycle Your Vanity
Paint an old vanity for a fresh, clean look. There is some great paint on the market made to withstand the moisture and abuse bathroom cabinets receive. Or, turn an existing piece of furniture into a vanity. Get creative! Peruse Pinterest for unusual vanity ideas. We’ve seen everything from barrels to bicycles repurposed in amazing ways. The main thing to consider is size. Remember you’ll need enough space for a basin and countertop.
Paint the Floors
Boring or worn floor? Paint it! Use stencils or tape to create a pattern on the wood, concrete, or tile floor. Use durable porch paint and then cover it with multiple coats of polyurethane so it will hold up under foot traffic and humid bathroom conditions.
Refinish the Tub
Before you throw out that old tub, look into refinishing options. There are many tub and tile refinishing kits on the market today that make it easy to paint old tubs for a fresh, new look.
Paint Your Light Fixtures
If you still like the style, but it’s the gold or brass finish you’re not a fan of, simply refinish the fixture. You can buy spray paint in trendy colors like oil-rubbed bronze or even textures like hammered copper for a whole new look and feel.
The No-Tub Trend
If your bathroom has a tub and a shower, you may want to consider using that tub space to enlarge your shower. There is a no-tub trend happening because so many people don’t actually use their tubs. Many homeowners are adding luxury showers to their master bathrooms. It makes sense if you use your shower every day and rarely use the tub. It’s a good idea to keep at least one tub in your home, but you don’t need one in every bathroom.
Replace and Recycle
You don’t always have to buy new to get a new feel. Check out these places for some fabulous recycled finds:
Upcycle Used Items
You can find great items at extremely low prices if you’re willing to look for them like solid wood vanities, beautiful mirrors, and light fixtures. Some places to find secondhand materials include:
- Reuse Centers like Habitat for Humanity ReStore locations, Goodwill, and Salvation Army stores.
- eBay. You can find nearly anything on eBay. Just remember to factor in shipping costs since bath items can be heavy.
- Craigslist. Check the for-sale section for everything from plumbing and light fixtures, to countertops and cabinetry.
- Nextdoor. Nextdoor is a social media group designed to help neighbors connect. Search the Finds section.
- Flea Markets. Check out flea markets for antique pieces for your bath remodel, such as a clawfoot tub or an old-fashioned light fixture.
- Yard/Garage Sales. Shopping at garage sales can be hit or miss, but all it takes is one great find to save you big.
- Your Own Home. Don’t forget to look around your own home for leftover items that can be easily repurposed like paint, beadboard, mirrors, etc.
The One-Wall Update
One trick we found is called the One Wall Update. You simply pick your focal wall (usually the largest wall or the one that you see first when entering the room) and add something unexpected. It could be a textured effect created by combining two different colors and using a sponging, ragging, or combing technique (don’t worry if you’re a little intimidated – if you mess it up, you just paint over it). Or create a faux wallpaper look with simple stencils, horizontal or vertical stripes, diamonds, or some other fairly simple pattern. You can even paint over tile. It will really pop and give you that designer look you’re after for the price of a can or two of paint and a little of your time.
Frame Existing Mirror
If your bathroom still features a plain old builder-grade mirror, you don’t have to remove or replace it. Dress up your boring old mirror with a beautiful frame. It’s inexpensive and easier than you think. Find some decorative trim board and glue it to the existing mirror. You can paint or stain it to match your decor.
Make Your Bathroom Look Larger
There are several ways to make a small bathroom appear larger. Aside from the classic decorating tips like keeping the color scheme light rather than dark, and using bright lighting, here are a few more ideas:
Go with Glass Not a Curtain
A glass shower enclosure makes a small bathroom (like the one in the photo above) look larger than a shower curtain that visually stops the eye. Additionally, frameless shower doors will look more open than framed shower doors because there is less hardware to block the clear glass.
Enlarge a smaller space with a mirror. Increase the size of your existing mirror, lean a full-size mirror against a wall, or create an entire mirror wall. All of these mirror design tricks will reflect more light and make your bathroom appear larger and lighter.
De-Clutter & Simplify
One of the easiest ways to update your bathroom with a fresh new feel is to declutter it. Keep countertops clear of all but a few decorative items like a small vase of flowers, a basket of towels, or a candle. You’ll be amazed at how much more zen the space feels.
Add a Plant
A plant or two will create a relaxing and spa-like atmosphere. Consider hanging plants as well if floor space is limited. Hanging a plant in front of a window works well.