Studies show that we spend about a third of our lives sleeping, nearly nine years
watching television, and some three-and-a-half years eating, so it’s no wonder
bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens get the lion’s share of the home renovation
pie. But bathrooms (aka the most functional room in the house) deserve some love, too—even if you don’t have the time or money or space to devote to an entire makeover. If you’re on a budget of any kind, you’ll likely have to live with the existing toilet, sink, and shower, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with your decor. Here are five low-cost ways to turn your bathroom into a place you might actually like to hang out in.
Invest in a luxe shower curtain and bathmat.
That clear plastic sheet you have hanging from your shower rod? It’s not doing you any favors in the style department. Opt for a curtain that gives the room a distinct point of view, whether with a graphic pattern, or subtle texture. While you’re at it, replace the fuzzy bathmat you’ve been holding on to since college with something slightly more design-savvy—and less dingy.
Rethink your accessories.
True, every toilet needs a brush, but why settle for that $9.99 eyesore you got in a moment of panic at the bodega down the street? You can find marble, stainless steel, and trendy black-matte versions at design retailers across the country (we like these from CB2). Even the smallest accessories can make a big impact, so put some thought into your soap dishes, trinket trays, drain covers, and canisters for cotton swabs and balls.
Upgrade your towel situation.
Updating your linens is perhaps the easiest way to add a little bit of luxury, especially if you’re using the same threadbare set that has shrunken to bits in the dryer. Invest in a set of plush, super-soft towels, like our 100% combed Turkish cotton varieties, which are denser and larger than what you’ll find at most department stores thanks to long-staple fibers that hold their shape without unraveling.
Go HAM on hardware.
You may not be able to switch up your faucet and fixtures, but the toilet paper holder? That’s fair game. Choose something sleek and metallic for a modern bathroom or something more classic for a traditional one. The same goes for shower curtain rings, shelving units, and medicine cabinets.
Give it the spa treatment.
A diffuser, some plants (in cute pots or containers), products that smell better than the ones you find in the soap aisle at the supermarket—all go a long way to transforming your bathroom from a place you have to be in to one you’ll want to be in. And don’t forget the power of the vignette: arrange those items on a stool next to the tub, and you’ll feel like someone sent you on an all-expense-paid trip to the spa.