How to Give Your Bathroom a Luxe Makeover—on a Budget

Mia Maguire
How to Give Your Bathroom a Luxe Makeover—on a Budget
Photo: asbe/Getty Images.

While the bathroom may consistently rank first on your cleaning to-do list, it’s an oft-neglected space when it comes to home decor. Thankfully, it’s not that hard to take your bathroom from dingy dungeon to at-home spa.

Here, a definitive guide to giving your bathroom a budget makeover—in 10 simple steps.

1. Replace Your Lighting

40 watt soft white bulbImage courtesy of Amazon

Most bathrooms are equipped with the standard 80-watt bulb, resulting in ultra-bright (ultra-unflattering) lighting. Swap that with a lower wattage bulb, instead. It’ll provide a softer, warmer ambiance—and you can you even lower with the wattage to create a moodier, romantic effect.

For context: A 40-watt bulb should offer enough light for you to be able to do your makeup.

GE 40-Watt light bulb, $10 at Amazon

2. Invest in a Solid Towel Set

Decorative bath towels targetImage courtesy of Target

If you don’t have a proper set of matching hand and shower towels in your bathroom, it’s time to invest in a quality set. Not only are they practical, but they also offer an easy way to brighten up your space with fun colors and patterns.

Floral bath towels, $13 at Target

3. Switch Out Your Shower Curtains

Chic Shower Curtain AmazonImage courtesy of Amazon

Your shower curtains can make a big impact on the overall look of your bathroom space—especially if it’s is on the smaller side (your shower probably accounts for 90 percent of the room). A chic curtain will add an artful element to your bathroom without forcing you to commit to a more permanent (or expensive) change.

Aimjerry geometric shower curtain, $18 at Amazon

4. Elevate Your Fixtures

Antique Bronze Toilet Paper HolderImage courtesy of Amazon

There’s no need to keep the base-level toilet paper holder in tact when you can upgrade to a antique-inspired bronze style, that offers a space for your phone while you go. While it may not be a marble counter top, updating your bathroom with antique-inspired accents will make a big impact.

ThinkTop antique toilet paper holder, $19 at Amazon

5. Decorative Storage

marble bathroom accessory setImage courtesy of Nordstrom

Everyone needs a place for their toiletries and bath supplies, but it doesn’t have to look clinical and tasteless. Toothbrushes, tissues, and cotton swabs don’t need to be stowed away in the medicine cabinet or left in the packages your purchased them in. Instead, invest in some chic bathroom accessories that make even the most mundane items in your hygiene routine look pretty.

Marble Mix media jar, $25 at Nordstrom

6. Curate Your Display

Acrylic Bathroom ShelvesImage courtesy of Amazon

Adding shelving units to your wall is not only a great hack for space-saving, but it also allows you to decorate with your prettiest beauty products. Your old shampoo bottles, deodorants and tubes of crusty toothpaste probably won’t make the cut, but displaying sleek perfume bottles, scented candles, and other stylish products with lust-worthy packaging will give your bathroom a personalized touch of elegance—regardless of your color palette or decor style.

Pretty Display acrylic wall shelves, $28 at Amazon

7. Plant It up

Indoor Snake Plant AmazonImage courtesy of Amazon

If space allows, give your bathroom some life by adding greenery. Plants will make any room in your home look instantly better, and your bathroom is no exception. Snake plants, orchids, and bromeliads actually grow better in your bathroom, thanks to the humidity, and spider plants are actually capable of cleaning the air. Place them in the windowsills or display on a shelf for a fun, botanical touch.

Delray snake plant, $30 at Amazon

8. Put up Some Wallpaper

Palm Wallpaper AmazonImage courtesy of Amazon

Wallpaper can make people feel uneasy and hesitant when it comes to adding it to an entire room. But your bathroom is actually the best place to start for beginners who want to test it out the trend. If you’re feeling creative, opt for a print or select a calming color like pink or pastel blue to add some character.

Wallflora palm print wallpaper, $34 at Amazon  

9. Turn Your Dirty Laundry into Decor

World Market Parisian Laundry HamperImage courtesy of World Market

If you keep your dirty clothes hamper in your bathroom, why not make it a decor-worthy piece? No one wants to see an overflowing hamper with odorous dirty clothing on display, so invest in one that closes and adds to the aesthetic of the space.

World Market Claudette wire hamper, $16 at World Market

10. Replace Your Mirror

Circle Mirror TargetImage courtesy of Target

Mirrors are a must-have for your bathroom, but that’s no reason to keep things boring. Give your bathroom an instant upgrade with a chic wall mirror. It’ll instantly transform your space, making it appear larger and more spacious—no renovation necessary.

Target Threshold circle mirror, $48 at Target

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