7 Upgrades for a Basic Bath

Boring bath? Make basic even better with these easy and affordable DIY makeover ideas.

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Soothing Color Schemes

The right color palette has the ability to inspire tranquility. Transform your bathroom into a spa-worthy sanctuary with our favorite calming color schemes.

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Walk-In Shower Ideas

Find ideas to create a gorgeous walk-in shower in your bathroom.

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Easy Bathroom Vanity Upgrades

Turn a plain-Jane vanity into a custom creation with a few eye-catching add-ons.

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Rustic Bathroom Ideas

Rough surfaces, natural nuances, and weathered patinas combine with polished finishes and fashionable fittings in these 18 rustic bathrooms that are sure to inspire.

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Black and White Designs

Black and white bathrooms don't have to be boring, and these creative designs are here to prove it. Gain inspiration for your neutral space, no matter the size or style.

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Stunning Walk-In Showers

Find design inspiration in 15 walk-in showers that beautifully stretch a small bathroom's footprint, increase its functionality, and amplify its good looks.

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Popular in Bathrooms

Freshen Your Bathroom with Low-Cost Updates

Wake up a tired bathroom with these quick and easy bathroom updates that won't break the bank.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Wake Up the Walls with Color

      Give a ho-hum bathroom a color transfusion. The crisp white tile in this bathroom is the perfect companion for the bold orange color used on the upper portion of the walls. The vintage-inspired wall-mount sink is a space-saving and showstopping feature. Shimmering chrome fixtures, a bold wall color, and a vibrant striped area rug make for an easy and affordable new look.

    • Install a Dose of Tile

      Give your bathroom sink star status with a little extra detailing. Rather than tiling a whole tub surround or wall, add just a border of tile above the sink vanity. Here, elegant blue, white, and brown tiles introduce color and pattern into the bathroom. The small mosaic tiles make the vanity area look luxurious and rich.

    • Hang Artwork

      Give a blah bathroom an instant facelift by hanging personalized artwork. This trio of small paintings adds the perfect bit of color and interest to an awkward diagonal wall. Artwork like this is easy to install and a great low-cost update solution.

    • Add Wallpaper

      Looking for a high-impact update? Wallpaper might be the best bet. With so many colors, patterns, and textures available, your wallpaper options are nearly limitless. In this bathroom, wallpaper featuring a birch-tree scheme echoes the nature-inspired vibe conveyed throughout the bathroom.

    • Integrate Storage

      Use elegant shelving to hold both decorative objects and grooming supplies. This pretty metal freestanding shelf placed between a pair of pedestal sinks matches the faucets, creating a cohesive look. The simple storage unit is the perfect complement to the bathroom's light and airy aesthetic.

    • Small Bathroom Storage

      Get ideas for storing more in a small bathroom.

    • Update Cabinet Hardware

      Cabinetry's handles, hinges, and doorknobs are the final touches and style setters for any vanity. Luckily, they're simple to replace whenever you want a fresh look -- and cabinetry hardware is available at any price point. Give your cabinet doors and drawers a good cleaning before installing new hardware. Or freshen them with paint or stain to best display the new accents.

    • Maximize Light

      The right lighting can make all the difference in the bathroom. You'll see yourself at your best with the right combination of light sources in the right locations. If lighting is a problem, simply add another fixture or two. The best light for grooming is achieved via light from above the mirror as well as from both sides. Replace heavy window treatments with sheers that ensure privacy but let in natural light.

    • Install Wainscoting

      Give bathroom walls interest by adding wainscoting. Crisp white-painted wainscoting provides contrast to the sunny yellow hue used on the upper portion of these walls. For humid rooms such as the bathroom, look for paints treated with mildewcide to eliminate worries about mildew.

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      Add a Colorful Shower Curtain

      A new shower curtain is the fastest way to freshen a stale bath. A shower curtain with a geometric green-and-white pattern shows the dramatic effect color can have on a space. The shower curtain's impact gets a boost from towels and a rug that feature complementary patterns and color schemes.

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      Update Light Fixtures

      Refresh a tired bath by replacing outdated light fixtures with modern versions. Online you'll find hundreds of sconces that cost less than $100. For an even thriftier change, look for replacement shades to update the fixtures you have. If you like the style of your sconces but the metal finish doesn't work with your decor, tape off the surrounding areas and give the fixtures a fresh coat of metallic spray paint.

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      Add Shutters

      Replace ordinary window treatments with crisp white shutters for a casual cottage feel. Vinyl shutters costs less than wood ones and stand up to a bathroom’s humidity without warping. Check online or at a local home center for low-cost options.

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      Create Comfort Underfoot

      When painting or changing fixtures isn't an option, such as in most rentals, make a personalized statement with a colorful area rug. Choose a rug that has a nonslip back and can withstand bathroom moisture. This tiny rug adds a splash of color while warming up the cold ceramic tile.

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      Install Custom Shelving

      Stretch shelving across an unused wall to hold decorative items and grooming supplies. The rolled hand towels and soaps stored in decorative glass jars create an interesting -- and practical -- display. The floating wooden shelves also call attention to the shimmering tile treatment on the wall. 

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      Try a Sleek Pedestal Sink

      Free up floor space in a small bathroom by replacing a boxy vanity with a sleek pedestal sink. If you are unfamiliar with plumbing, trade jobs with a friend who knows how to install the sink. You're sure to find a pedestal sink that costs less than $100, faucet included, at your local home center or online.

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      Freshen Your Vanity

      For a simple update that will wow, all you need is a fresh coat of paint. Here, the black-painted vanity base pops against the soft gray walls and the crisp white vessel sink. The vanity’s open construction prevents the black surface from weighing down the small space.

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      Add Trim to the Mirror

      Give your bathroom mirror a finished look by surrounding it with molding. This mirror features a simple border of dark wood that matches the stain of the open vanity below. If you want something more decorative, purchase molding that includes carvings in the motif of your choice.

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      Create a Custom Vanity

      Rather than using standard cabinetry, consider creating a sink vanity out of an old dresser. A cabinetmaker can cut a hole in the top of the dresser to fit a drop-in sink. Cover the top of the dresser with a slab of countertop in the material of your choice. Paint the dresser a punchy color to update it even further.

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      Implement Fab Decor

      Details make all the difference in a small space such as a bathroom. Here, style comes courtesy of a pair of pretty glass vases filled with fresh flowers, a trio of small porcelain sculptures, and a striking wood mirror frame. Glitzy fixtures throughout the room reflect light and add hints of glamour.

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      Replace Fixtures

      Swap outdated light fixtures, medicine cabinets, and faucets for up-to-the-minute versions. Fashion-forward fixtures will make your bath feel fresh and fabulous, and they can draw attention away from less-desirable areas of the bath.

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      Add Furniture Details

      Give ho-hum cabinetry a dramatic update with molding and furniture-style details. Here, furniture-style feet on the bottom of the vanity are reminiscent of a freestanding antique, which blends well with the room's modern-meets-vintage aesthetic.

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      Give Towel a New Home

      If wall space is limited, install a handy towel bar along the side of your vanity. This metal bar's brushed finish coordinates with the rest of the room's fixtures. Consider installing two bars stacked vertically if you need additional towel storage.

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      Update Window Treatments

      In addition to providing privacy and light control, window treatments can add a distinctive style statement to your bath. Fabric shades or drapes add romance, wooden blinds provide contemporary style, and shutters give off a cottage feel. Whichever window treatment you choose, be sure the material is moisture-resistant.

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      Add Slender Storage

      Revive your bathroom's storage power with one mighty addition: A narrow storage unit such as this one is ideal for organizing bathroom necessities. The open upper portion keeps soaps and other supplies right at hand, while the lower ribbed-glass cabinet stores folded towels.

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      Next Slideshow Absolutely Stunning Walk-In Showers for Small Baths

      Absolutely Stunning Walk-In Showers for Small Baths

      Find design inspiration in 15 walk-in showers that beautifully stretch a small bathroom's footprint, increase its functionality, and amplify its good looks.
      Begin Slideshow »



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