It is the one of the most visited rooms in your home. One of, if not, the most useful rooms. Without it, things would get messy. Yes, it is the bathroom. The bathroom is the unsung hero of the house, so why not dress it up? The average bathroom remodel runs about $18,000 but there are ways to fancy up your rest stop for a fraction of that cost.
With help from design experts we bring you some tips for making a bathroom look luxe for less.
1. Tile diagonally (or to the ceiling)
Designer Carolyn Rebuffel of Workroom C recommends diagonal tiling versus tiling along the square in a vertical or horizontal line. This trick will open up the space as well—crucial if you have a smaller loo.
“This will give a custom, bespoke feel to your bathroom,” she says.
Kevin Sawyers, the San Francisco–based founder of Sawyers Design, recommends fully covering a wall in tile—all the way to the ceiling—”to add lot of sparkle and dimension to an otherwise lifeless surface.”
“Material selections are very important, but how you use specific materials is paramount,” he says. “Adding tile to a small area doesn’t use the material to its best advantage.”
Tiling can be expensive if you use a pro—up to $2,000 depending on the size of your space—but this is a job you could tackle on your own if you’re an adventurous DIYer.
2. Add large-scale lighting
One of Rebuffel’s tricks is to use large-scale light fixtures such as flush-mount chandeliers.
“These can make a big impact overhead, but won’t take up any of the room’s physical space,” she says. “Remember, space is your biggest luxury.”
3. Freshen Up with Plants
Fresh-looking plants in galvanized planters draw the eye up, making a small space appear larger, says interior designer Christina Harmon.
You may be hesitant to put a living thing in your bathroom, but it will help to “clear the air”. Try aloe vera, Boston ferns, and even orchids.
4. Use classy containers
A classy container can serve multiple purposes. You can store anything from hair products to cotton swabs in them. They can also be used to accent your bathroom and make it look like a million bucks. Yes a nice shiny container can look flashy or a bright colored box can really make you counter top pop.
“This will make your space feel luxe, special, and thought-out—especially if your toiletries are on the cheaper side,” says Harmon, who loves amber glass containers.
5. Punch up your towels
Find some towels with rich detail like, embroidered edges, initials, and/or monogramming. Harmon also loves Turkish towels, which dry easily and have a luxe, light-weight feel.
6. Think Metallic
Brass, that decor staple from the 1970s and ’80s, is back in a big way, according to Janet Ramin, who teaches the interior design course at the New York Institute of Art and Design. Adding brass can elegantly add warmth to your bathroom.
Using the right shade is very imortant—”otherwise a space can look garish instead of great,” says San Francisco Bay Area designer Cecile Starin.
“The gold of yesteryear, which had a more greenish base, looks dated now,” Starin says. “But fixtures in brushed golds in sleek shapes look warmer, new, and fresh.”
The great part is there is no need to cut or install. A simple soap dish or toothbrush holder can give it a classy touch.
7. Add a mirror
Mirrors are known to make a room appear larger. Adding a mirror with an odd shape can drastically change your bathrooms appearance. Giving it angles and dimensions that otherwise would not be seen. A well-placed mirror can also brighten up your loo.
“Scale can be leveraged to make a strong style statement, so adding an oversized mirror—especially extending all the way to the ceiling—will add visual space and drama,” says designer Sam Jernigan of Renaissance Design Consultations. Her suggestion: have the mirror cut to house a pair of surface-mount sconces.
8. Hang large art pieces
An oversized piece of artwork can increase the luxurious feel to any ordinary bathroom.
“It’ll serve to visually anchor a smaller space,” Jernigan says. “The unexpectedness of seeing a 5-foot framed piece in a smallish room helps reinforce this idea of ‘borrowing’ inspiration from upmarket spaces.”
You want to be sure and find a piece that can withstand the moisture and traffic.
So now you’re only a few steps away from making your simple lavatory into a beautiful bathroom. Don’t forget the potpourri!