Bathroom renovations can be pricey. But you can get an elegant, enviable look for less with a few easy swaps. Follow these smart tips to decorate a bathroom on a tight budget.
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Refreshing your bathroom doesn't necessarily require you to fork out a lot of money. Simple decorating tips and tricks can revitalize your bathroom while remaining wallet-friendly. Whether you bring nature indoors with small houseplants, swap out the hardware on your vanity, or create a gallery wall that showcases your personality, simple cosmetic changes make it possible to update a bathroom on a tight budget. Get inspired by our collection of budget bathroom decorating tips and get ready to tackle one of the most-used rooms in your home.

Wood Plank Walls blue vanity
Credit: Christina Wedge

1. Just Add Paint

It's amazing what a new coat of paint can do to upgrade a bathroom. For the walls and ceiling, you'll want to invest in mildew- and mold-proof primers and paint, which are slightly more expensive than basic formulas, but you won't need more than a gallon to cover an average-size bathroom. And the extra cost builds in extra protection for moisture-prone bathrooms. Cover any dingy surfaces, including baseboard molding, window trim, and scuffed cabinetry.

Finally, consider updating timeworn fixtures with paint. By using the right product, you can refresh a medicine cabinet or refinish a cast-iron tub (though you'll want to consult a professional for this job). Use frosted-glass-effect spray paint to add privacy to your windows. Or give a dated vanity a new look by painting the base. Even floors can be updated with paint: You can stencil a pattern on vinyl flooring as long as you rough up the surface first and seal it when you're finished.

bathroom vanity wood sink
Credit: Kim Cornelison

2. Replace Old Hardware

There is a lot of hardware in a bathroom, including cabinet knobs, towel bars, sink faucets, and toilet flush handles. Devote a portion of your budget to upgrading these items. New hardware can add showroom-quality sparkle to the bath. You can banish dated decor simply by switching yellow polished brass out for oil-rubbed bronze, traditional brushed nickel, or matte brass. And you can upgrade the look, feel, and function of the fixtures when you change out builder basics for pieces with more heft, style, and personality. The same way jewelry dresses up an outfit, these items elevate an ordinary space into something special.

Curtain over bathtub in bathroom
Credit: Adam Albright

3. Stick to White Fixtures

To curb expenses in a bathroom redo, opt for neutral fixtures and finishes. Basic white fixtures, such as toilets, tubs, and sinks, are plentiful at the low end of the price spectrum and are easy to live with. You can save a bundle by also choosing white tile for the floor, tub surround, or backsplash. This doesn't mean the room has to be boring, however. If you stick to plain white field tile, you might be able to splurge on a glass mosaic border, for example. To bring life to the neutral backdrop, choose affordable accents, such as bright towels, colorful window shades, bold artwork, and fresh wall paint.

black and white bathroom with wood counter
Credit: Laurey Glenn

4. Swap Out Lighting

An underappreciated way to get a luxe look in your bathroom is to change the lighting—both the fixtures themselves and the placement. And these swaps don't have to be expensive. Hang a small chandelier with crystal drops over the vanity for a sophisticated focal point. Or replace harsh bulb strips around a mirror with sleek sconces for an immediate update. And inserting can lights in the ceiling that you can dim with a controllable switch creates a feeling of tranquility for those long soaks in the tub.

bathroom vanity wood white green rug
Credit: Brie Williams

5. Add a New Rug or Window Treatment

The smallest details can sometimes make the biggest impact. Soften the hard edges common in bathrooms with fun fabrics and soft rugs. Outfit the bathroom window with an easy, no-sew window treatment. For privacy, choose a window treatment that blocks light and look for materials that stand up for moisture if you're renovating a bathroom with a shower or tub. Alternatively, opt for a mix of patterns with a bold shower curtain and rug combo.

black white modern bathroom with plants
Credit: Adam Albright

6. Decorate with Plants

Sometimes all your bathroom needs is a small update. Adding houseplants and other greenery is a simple and cheap way to freshen up a small space. Whether you add multiple succulents to your windowsill, a large snake plant on the floor, or a vase of flowers on your vanity, plants add texture and color to this hardworking room. Plus, plants will love being in your bathroom and bring the calming quality of nature indoors.

white bathroom yellow patterned wallpaper
Credit: David A Land

7. Hang Removable Wallpaper

Decorating your bathroom with removable wallpaper is an easy, inexpensive way to achieve color and pattern. Plus, it makes it simple to switch up your bathroom when you no longer love the design. Look for heat- and moisture-resistant varieties to prevent peeling and mildew. Apply peel-and-stick wallpaper to a single wall for a showy accent or go all in and paper the entire room for a bathroom brimming with personality.

cream colored bathroom with gallery wall art
Credit: Emily Followill

8. Create a Gallery Wall

Head to your local thrift or vintage store and find small framed artwork or prints to create your very own gallery wall. This budget bathroom decorating idea allows you to bring personality and character into the hardworking space without having to do any pricy renovations. Try sticking to a consistent color scheme or branch out and find lots of vibrant pieces to update a neutral bathroom. If a gallery wall doesn't suit your style, opt for one large print for the same effect.

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