In this post: Wanna give your bathroom a new look without renovating? Here are 18 budget bathroom ideas you can use to spruce up your bathroom on a budget. 


So you don’t love your bathroom as is, but you don’t have the time, money, or desire to embark on bathroom renovations right now? Here are 18 DIY ways to spruce up your bathroom on a budget, no renovations required. 

3 photos of green bathroom with text on bottom left that says 18 ways to spruce up your bathroom on a budget without renovating

18 Ways to Spruce Up Your Bathroom on a Budget – No Renos Required

We’ve renovated and updated a few bathrooms in our time. Sometimes we’ve gone so far as to take the room back to the studs, other times we’ve done a budget-friendly paint and accessories change to bring an old bathroom up to date. 

But you don’t have to renovate the whole room to dramatically improve how it looks. All it takes is knowing what will make the most visual and functional difference. Or as they say, knowing what will give you the most bang for your (sometimes tiny) buck!

Here we’re sharing photos from our recent basement guest bathroom makeover and 18 ways to spruce up your bathroom on a budget. 

01 | Apply a fresh coat of paint

Painting a room is mentioned so often, I think it’s actually often ignored. But a brand new color, or even just a fresh layer of the current color, will go a long way to perk up your bathroom. 

For our basement, we wanted to bring our ugly yellow 90s bathroom up to date.

Mostly our guests use it when they stay over. But Dean and our oldest also use it for showers and such. And my office is downstairs so I use it regularly too. 

Our Basement Guest Bathroom BEFORE

Here’s what it looked like before.

yellow basement bathroom shower stall

We added the little basket shelf for storage and brought the mirror and light fixture down from the main floor powder room when redid that a while back. Otherwise, it is as we found it when we bought the house. 

yellow basement bathroom sink and toilet wall

yellow bathroom small wall
(Ignore the paint down in the corner, we were testing colors in this photo.)

Our Basement Guest Bathroom AFTER

Since we’d used Valspar paints before in our guest room and recent basement pantry makeover – and we’re happy with the quality of the application, loved the color choice and the durability, washability, and scuff resistance – we decided to pick up a few gallons at our local Lowe’s to use in the basement guest bathroom too.

basement bathroom after

We used a color called Grandma’s Linen 6001-1B in an eggshell finish after Dean added some very simple board and batten-looking trim made from MDF and plywood. 

green bathroom with board and batten on walls, white hutch for storage and grey vanity
(Hi from me in the mirror!)

We did not change the tile and yet it does look completely different with the new paint color.

existing floor tile in bathroom makeover

While we did change the vanity to add a little counter space for setting down a toothbrush, we could have just left the pedestal sink there and this makeover still would have been a huge change. 

gray two door bathroom vanity with round black metal mirror above

Related: How to Install Faux Board and Batten on a Budget

02 | New Towels

New towels can make your bathroom feel like a spa. You could even just get some new hand towels if you really can’t spare the change to buy a whole new set.

A fun twist on matching hand towels to your bathroom decor is to put out seasonal towels: burnt orange in the fall, deep crimson at Christmas-time. Or, if your towels are in good shape, add some monogrammed facecloths or hand towels.

You can find the traditional style in the big box home stores or something more unique and whimsical at online shops like Etsy.

03 | Freshen the soap

Yup, I said fresh soap.

Put your liquid hand soap in a pretty soap dispenser, or buy it in a pump with a cool label.

Places like Homesense and Winners have inexpensive versions that look fab. Or put out a few gorgeous handmade soap bars.

The Body Shop, LUSH, Bath & Body Works, and Fruits & Passion are just a few of my favorite big-name places for handmade-look and feel soap. Not to mention the scents!

04 | A new shower curtain

Assuming you have a standard-sized bathtub (and no glass shower doors), your shower curtain definitely makes an impression on your bathroom’s visitors. A normal shower curtain is about 70 x 72 inches, which is a great amount of space to add some drama or to brighten up your water closet.

05 | A new faucet

Technically I suppose this is a reno. But since it’s usually an easy swap, we really don’t consider it a major reno item here.

Don’t underestimate how nice a shiny faucet can look. Or if you prefer go for a bronzed- or black-look tap.

They are plentiful at the big box stores but remember to have a look at your local Habitat for Humanity Restore too.

06 | New lighting

If you are lucky enough to have a ceiling fixture, you can put up a glam new chandelier or pendant light (if it’s over the tub, make sure it’s moisture-rated).

Even if you just have old vanity lights, you can bring your bathroom at least into this decade with a new fixture.

Or if you’re not comfortable changing electrical fixtures (or if it’s now allowed in your area without an electrician), you could always swap the shades on the existing fixture or add a lamp to the counter or a shelf. 

basement bathroom after nightstands as shevles

07 | New organization containers

To make the most of the bathroom storage space, containers are often needed to corral bathroom necessities. Be it baskets, boxes, buckets, or other containers, organizing your toiletries can be a snap…and can help keep your space good-looking too.

08 | Add plants or fresh flowers

If you have a window in your bathroom, this is a really simple and easy way to make your space fresh.

If you do not have natural light you can either add plants that require next to no light (think spider plants, dracaena, or ferns) or you can pop into Homesense, Michaels (with a coupon!), or Ikea for some inexpensive artificial greens.

09 | Display pretty toiletries

Sea sponges, loofahs, bath salts, and candles can all take a bathroom from humdrum to wow. These can easily be found at your local drug store, dollar store, or Walmart.

10 | De-clutter and reorganize

This is a simple and absolutely zero-cost improvement and should really come first on any room revamp list.

Related: How to Organize Anything in 5 Simple Steps

11 |  Add Art

Artwork elevates any space.

Search thrift shops, vintage and antique stores for art and/or frames that you love, and hang some on your bathroom wall. 

art over toilet on green board and batten wall


12 | Repurpose furniture

Use bookshelves for towel storage, a stool as decor, or a chair as a place to set down your clothes. 

Here we used what was formerly our nightstands, removed the feet and doors from one, and stacked it on top of the other to create a cabinet for storing all sorts of bathroom items. 

bathroom cabinet with baskets and stacked toilet paper rolls

13 | Replace the mirror

A mirror swap is sometimes all it takes to spruce up a bathroom and doesn’t require any renovations. 

Here we replace the square mirror with a round one that softens all the rectangular shapes in the room and plays off the round bath mat in front of the shower. 

vanity and mirror in basement bathroom

14 | Clean the tile grout

If your tile’s grout has seen better days, cleaning it will be an instant improvement to your bathroom. To clean your grout try these ideas:

  1. Try scrubbing with hot water and a toothbrush. (Just throw the toothbrush out after this though, no re-using it!)
  2. Mix equal parts vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle. Spray on the grout and let sit for several minutes. Then wipe up. 
  3. Make a baking soda paste with baking soda and warm water. Rub on grout. Then spray with vinegar mixture above. Let sit and wipe up. 
  4. Try a commercial grout cleaner. 

15 | Change the hardware

Swap out either the knobs on your bathroom cabinetry and/or the doorknobs and hinges for a quick update in your bathroom. 

Here we took the knobs from the doors we removed on the white cabinet and used them on the vanity doors to create a more coordinated look. 

front of cabinets white on the left grey on the right

16 | Add or change the hooks

Installing additional hooks is a great idea in bathrooms, especially guest bathrooms. Guests often have toiletries bags and clothing that they need to hang up in addition to towels and face cloths. If you already have plenty of hooks, you could switch them out to a metal that you prefer.

Here we changed the existing chrome hooks to oil-rubbed bronze that are more in line with the mood of the newly made-over bathroom. 

green board and batten detail in bathroom with hooks on horizontal boards
The lighting in here makes it difficult to get a good photo, but this is probably the most accurate representation of the green we used (Valspar Grandma’s Linen 6001-1B).

17 | Change the bathroom accessories

Get new, coordinating bathroom accessories like the soap dispenser, toothbrush holders, and soap dispensers.  

18 | Add new rugs or bathmats

In this bathroom, we swapped out the standard rectangular gray bathmat and put a round crocheted edge bathmat in its place. The round shape helped to break up all the straight lines in the space while the crocheted edge added a little feminine touch to an otherwise very masculine room. 

how to spruce up your bathroom on a budget without renovating text over before and after bathroom photos

So there you have it, 18 ways to spruce up a bathroom without a major renovation!  Now, which one are you gonna try first?

shannon photo and sig oct 2022