Bathroom designs on a budget don’t need to be any less stylish than the more expensive ones. Ideas for a luxury bathroom exist in abundance, and most of them don’t require you to break the bank. Everything from lookalike surfaces to smart DIY hacks, there are so many affordable ways to achieve a trendy bathroom design. In most cases, it really has to do with how you use the resources at hand. While setting a clear budget and haggling where possible certainly helps, there’s also a list of interior design tips and tricks that you can apply in your bathroom vinyl remodel.
Commonly abbreviated as LVT, luxury tiling is an ideal alternative for those who love the tilework aesthetic but don’t have the budget for it. This glam bathroom idea is essentially the modern counterpart of linoleum, which was huge back in the early 20th century. What's great about luxury vinyl flooring is that it can mimic high-end options such as porcelain tiles. You can also find it in a plethora of designs and patterns — for as little as $2.5 per square foot.
2. Declutter Like a Pro
One effective way to give your bathroom a high-end look is by decluttering the space like an expert. Bear in mind that many luxury bathrooms make use of minimalism. And the best part about this design idea is that it doesn’t require a budget at all. Simply store away items that you don’t use on a daily basis. Even everyday items like toothpaste and dental floss can go in cabinets. It also goes without saying that expired products belong in the trash, and not towards the back of storage spaces where they’re easy to forget about.
3. Say No to White Ceilings
Ceilings painted in colors that are anything but white are hitting the trends these days. They’re also ideal for designing small luxurious bathrooms on a budget. And if you happen to be a DIYer, you can cut further costs by painting your bathroom ceiling yourself.
For a moody yet stylish aesthetic, consider going for a dark color like black or navy. Make sure to balance it with adequate lighting to prevent an overwhelming design. A lighter shade of blue, on the other hand, can evoke coastal vibes — especially if you pair it with sandy tones of beige throughout the bathroom. A can of latex paint goes for $15 to $60, making it ideal for tight budgets.
4. Choose an Unexpected Color for the Walls
A fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to give your bathroom a facelift. Pink is among the foremost bathroom trends at the moment, with rosy shades being the go-to choice for elevating a small bathroom. If pink isn’t your cup of tea, muted tones of lavender or sage can also create a unique vibe in your bathroom.
5. Make a Display out of Chic Towels
Another inexpensive way to emulate a high-end bathroom look is by getting a new set of towels, and making a display out of them. Consider going for the ones in luxurious-looking colors like navy or dark red instead of the more common varieties. The shade (or shades) you choose should ideally complement the rest of the color scheme. You could also get yourself a decorative blanket ladder to showcase your new towels. Alternatively, you can place them in wicker baskets like a bouquet.
Towels can cost anywhere from $5 to $20 on average, depending on size and brand. As for blanket ladders and wicker baskets, you can find both for under $100.
6. Create a Fresh Look With Simple Accessories
Often the simplest accessories can lend your bathroom a fresh aesthetic. Anything from toothbrush holders to soap dispensers can serve as a quick and budget-friendly way to complete your luxury bathroom design. Look for plastic varieties that mimic high-end materials such as marble or quartz. For a spa-inspired bathroom, accessories made from natural bamboo wood are also available ($6 to $10 at IKEA, for instance).
7. Add a Bunch of Houseplants
A biophilic design can do wonders in making your bathroom look sophisticated. Besides adding visual interest, houseplants are also known to enhance your mood and detox the space. Make sure to go for plants that prefer high levels of humidity as they will thrive most in your restroom.
When it comes to displaying your bathroom flora, the options are many. DIY shelves, macrame hangers, living walls, and ceramic pots are just a few. While the price range of houseplants is generally wide, you can find a variety of species for well under $50.
8. Make Clever Use of Lighting
Another budget-friendly way to inject luxury into your bathroom is lighting. Anything from modern sconces to statement pendants can make your lavatory shine bright (quite literally). Make sure to also account for light color temperatures. Cool lighting, for instance, is most suitable for tasks like shaving or applying makeup. On the other hand, warm lights are the better choice if you want to create a soothing atmosphere for bathtime. That being said, consider having a combination of both so you can use each accordingly. You can find a variety of modern lighting fixtures for as little as $30. This only goes to show that you don’t need to spend big bucks in order to achieve an expensive bathroom aesthetic.
9. Toss out Your Shower Curtain for a New One
If you’ve had your shower curtain for a while, chances are it’s beginning to fade and develop mold towards the edges — and nothing about that says “luxury bathroom”. An instant way to revamp your bathroom is by replacing that deteriorating curtain with a brand new one. Polyester curtains are a great option as they tend to be durable and easy to wash. They can also replicate the high-end look and feel of certain types of fabric such as linen. The price of polyester shower curtains typically ranges between $15 and $40.
10. Dress (Your Windows) to Impress
A slew of window treatment ideas come to mind when it comes to adding style and privacy to your restroom decor. What’s even better is that anything from bargain blinds and discount drapes is also known to offer UV protection while keeping your bathroom cool. Make sure the measurements you take are accurate. Window treatments that fit the windows to a tee will appear more bespoke, and that’s one way to get an expensive bathroom aesthetic on a budget. Depending on the type, size, and material, affordable varieties of window treatments can cost anywhere from $10 to $50.
11. Upgrade the Shower Head
Another way to design a luxury bath for less is by upgrading the shower head. A rain shower head, for instance, not only lends a high-end aesthetic but is also known to boost home value. As a matter of fact, listings that mention rain shower heads tend to sell faster and for a higher amount. Lavish finishes such as copper can allow you to literally bathe in royalty while the rain-like setting creates a spa-like atmosphere. A matte black finish, on the other hand, lends a more contemporary feel. The average price for rain shower heads often ranges between $60 to $200.
12. Add Visual Interest With Tile Stickers
Why go through the trouble of retiling to get the high-end bathroom look when you can make use of tile stickers instead? They are available in a range of colorful patterns and designs, allowing you to create a mosaic wall feature for as little as $10 a pack. Make sure the ones you buy are water-proof, and simply stick them over the existing tile work. You can even find stick-on tiles for floors.
13. Try Bathroom Wallpaper
Wallpaper in bathrooms isn’t something you would normally expect to see. But with a few additional steps, it can actually work quite well. Just avoid applying it on the inside of a shower or on surfaces that are often wet. And unless you’re using wallpaper designed particularly for bathrooms, make sure the wallpaper adhesive you’re using is extra strong. A clear layer of varnish can provide further protection.
Wallpaper is available in a plethora of colors, patterns, and designs so you should have no problem finding one that lends a luxurious aesthetic. The price normally ranges between $0.80 to $1.5 per square foot.
14. Swap out Your Bathroom Features
Have your bathroom hardware — faucets, towel racks, and all — seen better days? If so, then perhaps it’s time you should replace them. You wouldn’t normally notice how old they are until you get new ones. Black features, for instance, are all the rage these days. Equally popular options for luxury powder room decor include copper or bronze hardware, and they’re pretty affordable ($50 to $80 on average).
15. Browse Online for Unique Finds
While your budget may not agree with buying an entirely new bathroom set, the second-hand pieces you can find may surprise you. While a used toilet doesn’t really sound all that luxurious, an antique Victorian sink or a freestanding clawfoot tub can be the touch of luxury your bathroom needs. A clawfoot bathtub, for instance, lends a Parisian bathroom aesthetic. Consider searching online marketplaces for such items and don’t hesitate to negotiate a lower price. Flea markets and pawn shops are also great places to look.
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