Refresh Your Bathroom On a Budget: These Easy Changes Will Cost You Less Than $50

Your bathroom is so much more than just a home to your porcelain throne. It’s your own personal steam room, your escape to peaceful solidarity, and your tranquil oasis when you need some pampering time to yourself. So, shouldn’t it go without saying that your bathroom is just as important as every other room in your house?

Of course, the answer is yes, which is why we’re here to offer a few suggestions in the way of making over your space. Here are eight simple, easy, and (most importantly) cheap ways to turn that dingy restroom of yours into the lovely loo you deserve.

1. Update your medicine cabinet

Bathroom cabinet and sink

A new medicine cabinet will update your bathroom’s look ASAP. | Getty Images

Do it for less than: $35. 

The medicine cabinet is your bathroom’s version of the kitchen junk drawer. From prescription pill bottles to razor blades to everything you and your partner don’t want anyone else to see, the medicine cabinet typically holds your secret stash of toiletries that are meant for your eyes only. But, depending on how old your cabinet is, it can also be quite the eyesore.

Your medicine cabinet might need more than just a simple cleaning. By replacing it altogether, you’ll be freshening up your space, while also giving yourself the chance to clean out the mess that’s hanging on the wall. Do some research, and you’ll have no problem finding a version that’ll give your space a much-needed update.

Bonus tip: Hang a piece of lace trim vertically inside your medicine cabinet, and use the tiny holes to store dangling earrings.

2. Frame a mirror

Frame a mirror in bathroom

Get creative and frame, or tile, a plain mirror. | iStock.com/Crise11

Do it for less than: $46.

If the mirror is the centerpiece of your bathroom, here’s an easy DIY tip: Buy a mirror, and frame it yourself. Depending on what size you need, find a mirror without any kind of frame on it — like this one from Home Depot — and an inexpensive frame to go with it. Once you have those two items, you can even take it one step further by painting the frame, which will give your bathroom an extra pop of color.

Bonus tip: If you want something more exciting than a frame, pick out a handful of unique tiles, and line the mirror with those, instead. 

3. Use sophisticated lighting

Red baroque classic bathtub

A chandelier in the bathroom makes all the difference. | iStock.com/Mihalis_a

Do it for less than: $35. 

Lighting can make or break a room, and the powder room is no exception. Why settle for inadequate, harsh lighting just because it’s not the living room or kitchen? Well, if you’ve ever stepped foot in a bathroom that has a chandelier instead of overhead bulbs, you know how big of a difference it can make. If you’re a person who appreciates the finer things, take advantage of inexpensive chandeliers on the market, and put one in your bathroom. It’ll add a touch of class and a whole lot of luxury.

Bonus tip: Keep a vanity mirror with a bright light in your linen closet to use when you need more light, like applying make-up. Use the chandelier’s softer lighting when you’re enjoying a nice, relaxing bath.

4. Invest in a bathtub caddy

bathtub

A bathtub caddy is the perfect home for candles, books, and even a wine glass. | iStock.com

Do it for less than: $30. 

Speaking of luxury, nothing says it more than some time in the tub. But why stop at bubbles alone? You deserve to pamper yourself, and one way to ensure you have everything you need right at your fingertips is by purchasing a bathtub caddy tray.

Bonus tip: Keep the tray out on display, even when you’re not in the tub. A wine glass, scented candle, and book can add a sense of elegance no matter what time of day it is.  

5. Swap out dingy towels for fresh colors

Spa and wellness setting with flowers and towels

New towels, and fresh flowers, go a long way. | iStock.com/Mythja

Do it for less than: $28.

Swapping towels is probably the easiest way to freshen things up in the bathroom. It’s simple, but a new set of colorful towels will make a huge difference. After all, family members and guests alike see your towels. And there are plenty of deals out there, like this six piece towel set featured on Wayfair.

Bonus tip: Replace your bath mat, too. Your best bet is to get one that’s machine washable, so you can keep it clean with ease. 

6. Use a vintage ladder to hang towels

Scandinavian bathroom

A vintage ladder serves as a great towel hook. | iStock.com/EloisaConti

Do it for less than: $20.

Those new towels of yours will need a new home, right? Forget the go-to hooks and use something a little more creative, like a re-purposed ladder. This is a perfect option for anyone seeking a space-saving solution, especially if it’s a rustic space you’re sprucing up. The rungs on this rustic wooden ladder, for instance, are just waiting to be made into something useful.

Bonus tip: Paint it the same color as your mirror frame, or try an accent color that will compliment the overall color scheme. 

7. Get a new shower curtain

Shower curtain on shower curtain rod

A simple, affordable way to change things up. | iStock.com/Fusaromike

Do it for less than: $15.

Just like fresh towels, a new shower curtain can make all the difference in a bathroom’s design. Regardless of the layout of your bathroom, your shower curtain is typically on display no matter what, which is why it’s imperative that you have something you’re happy with.

If your space is super small, go for a solid curtain. On the other hand, if you have a larger bathroom, go ahead and let that creative flag fly. No matter what, finding a shower curtain you love and tossing your old one will put some spark back in the space.

Bonus tip: Use a curved curtain rod to make the shower and tub appear larger. 

8. Update cabinet hardware

modern bathroom

Replacing your hardware is a subtle, yet powerful swap. | iStock.com

Do it for less than: $20. 

If your bathroom has a lot of cabinets, consider it a blank canvas. It’s yours to do with as you please, and it’s a great way to spice things up when you’re ready for a change. For those who are into hand-painted, unique — yet still affordable — pieces, Anthropologie is a great place to start. The bolder the knobs, the more of a difference they’ll make.

Bonus tip: Save your current knobs if you anticipate needing another change down the road, so you can swap them out every so often.