Published on September 26, 2019

Sometimes, numbers are numbers. Sure, you might be yearning to start completely fresh in your bathroom, but the reality is, a complete bathroom remodel is expensive—in fact, a whopping 64-percent of people underestimate how much it really costs. But that doesn’t mean you have to live with a space you’ve grown tired of. There are plenty of ways you can upgrade without shelling out a ton of cash.

A bit of paint can go a long way, and if tile is your problem area, there are a few solutions that don’t require you to totally replace it. These easy ideas will turn your bathroom into the oasis you’ve been dreaming of—and you’ll have plenty of cash leftover to splurge on some fancy bath salts.

Paint beyond the walls

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PHOTO COURTESY OF STASIA BUCKLE

A fresh coat of paint is an uncomplicated way to spruce up a room, but when you look past just your walls, you’ll see even more dramatic results. Consider Stasia Buckle’s bathroom: a coat of pink paint on the walls, shelf, and planters makes for quite the dramatic change. A bonus pop of powder blue on the mirror frame provides a nice contrast.

Bring in brass accents

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photo courtesy of emily henderson design

Retro tile doesn’t have to require a pricey replacement. For Emily Henderson Design, Brady Tolbert revived this bathroom with the addition of brass fixtures, as well as a matching shelf, towel rack, and mirror. (He also brought in a new pedestal sink and toilet, but that’s not a necessity.) The metallic addition helped make the cream and mint green design look contemporary. 

Swap just a small segment of tile

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photo COURTESY OF PATTI WAGNER

If it’s not in your budget to completely retile your bathroom, consider a smaller-scale renovation. This space originally had teal flooring (which, paired with the sage wall tiles, read dated). By replacing just the tiles underfoot, Patti Wagner opened up the space and helped the green walls look totally new.

Hack an old dresser

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photo BY JULIA WANNER

If you’ve been dreaming of a fancy vanity, you can have it—via DIY. In this fixer-upper, Claudia Beiler transformed a $300 dresser into a spacious double sink for a total of $1,000. In smaller bathrooms, a nightstand would suffice (and come complete with plenty of storage).

When in doubt, peel-and-stick

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photo BY SARA TOUFALI

Here’s an idea that’s extremely renter-friendly: Just opt for temporary tiles. Sara Toufali covered the unsightly brown squares in her bathroom with teal stickers from Bleucoin. The result is deceptively realistic (and super affordable).

See more bathroom inspiration:
Bathroom Storage Doesn’t Have to Be Ugly
If This Is What a Modern Versailles Bathroom Looks Like, We’re In
24 Bathroom Ideas, Because Even the Smallest One Should Feel Like an Oasis

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