Ten ways to update your bathroom decor on a budget

Our simple and budget-friendly bathroom decorating ideas will help you transform your space without breaking the bank

Alvis brass bathroom ladder, £120, Graham and Green

If you’re in need of bathroom decorating ideas on a budget, the good news is that you don’t have to plan an extensive remodel to completely transform your space.

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In fact, with a few clever swaps and tricks, you can give your bathroom a completely new look – all for less than £200!

Keep reading for our budget bathroom ideas and save yourself thousands!

How to update your bathroom on a budget

Invest in a vanity unit

Vanity units are brilliant for creating extra storage without compromising on floor space.

Home makeover: 'My home décor is my favourite pastime'
Vikki’s bathroom took about two weeks to complete from start to finish. The vanity unit and illuminated mirror are both from Roper Rhodes

Even compact designs are still large enough to hide all manner of mess without taking over the room. We love the on-trend brass accessories and moody blue tone featured in Vikki’s bathroom makeover (pictured above).

Add window film

You can make the most of the natural light in your bathroom by getting rid of curtains and blinds – but, of course, you’ll still want your privacy. Enter window film!

Home makeover: 'I've updated my period home'
Sodia carefully sourced the smallest period-look pieces for her compact family bathroom, including a basin from Victoria Plum and a roll-top bath. The travertine floor tiles are from Topps Tiles

Window film will give you the privacy of frosted or etched glass, without the cost. Many companies do bespoke designs so you can create the perfect look for your window.

Make your basin a focal point

Make a feature of your basin by choosing a show-stopping design. Concrete options in on-trend colours are all over Instagram – see an example inside Ella Russell’s Instagram home here –  and while they’re not always cheap, they make a big impact.

Pink bathroom sink and shower tiles

If pastels aren’t your thing, look out for patterned basins for classic, vintage style. It’s also worth checking out salvage sites and eBay for super-cheap reclaimed sinks with tons of retro charm – check out the vintage style bathroom in Laura Sawyer’s converted London flat for some inspiration.

Be smart with lighting

Cast a flattering glow over the whole room with creative bathroom lighting, such as wall sconces and LED shelf strips.

Home makeover: 'My home is my very own Hansel and Gretel cottage'
Hayley’s bathroom features clever lighting tricks, which help it to feel relaxed and luxurious. ‘I also promised myself a lovely roll-top bath, where I could lie and look out at the treetops,’ says Haley.

Low lighting will make bathtime feel much more relaxing and help cut down on energy costs. Look for lighting with frosted glass or fabric shades, or change the bulbs you have to a lower wattage for a soft, warm radiance.

Seek out clever bathroom storage

Make every inch of space work harder by using clever storage solutions.

Real home: 'It was the ideal doer-upper for us'
Sophie searched out a double drawer vanity unit to maximise the hidden storage space in the small bathroom. For a similar design, see the Ronda chestnut 900mm-wide floor standing vanity unit at Victorian Plumbing

Corner caddies and angled shelving will make use of those awkward and unused spots. Don’t forget about the areas behind doors or the corners of the bath.

New knobs and knockers

If your bathroom storage works well, but you’d like to give it a bit of a facelift, replacing drawer pulls and handles will transform its look with minimum effort.

Bathroom makeover: 'Recycling allowed us to stay on budget'
Good idea! Follow Helen and make an ageing bath look new again by adding feature taps and painting the exterior in a colour to match your bathroom scheme

Match your new cupboard hardware with towel hooks for a cohesive look. Feeling inspired? See more ideas on how to freshen up your bathroom here.

Replace taps

Replace scratched or irredeemably limescaled chrome taps with black coated or low-shine options. The modern style will look fresh and you won’t need to endlessly polish them to keep them looking new.

Home makeover: 'I need a sense of calm in my home'

Choose a sleek, minimalist design to stay grime-free for longer.

Cheat with tile stickers

Feature tiles play a big role in most bathrooms, so if you’ve fallen out of love with yours, replacing them can change how you feel about the whole room.

Arlo Light terrazzo tile from Porcelain superstore
Feature walls aren’t just for living rooms – they can also transform your bathroom. Arlo Light, Porcelain Superstore

Replacing tiles can be a messy and expensive job, but tile stickers will quickly change the look of your tiles without breaking the bank. Stickers that mimic the look of traditional tiles are so Instagrammable and you’ll be spoiled for choice.

Alternatively, you can freshen up old tiles by painting them – find out how to paint bathroom tiles.

Replace your shower head – not your shower

A new shower head can transform your morning shower from a damp dribble to a refreshing soak. Swap your old head for a new one and it will feel like you have a whole new shower for a snip of the cost of replacing the unit.

Real home inspiration: 'It took me nearly two decades, but now I finally have my dream home'
Jo was lucky that she chose a classic tile when her bathroom was first done years ago, so she didn’t need to update them this time around. They perfectly complement the current trend for black bathroom furniture and accessories.

Our top tip? Look for designs with universal fittings for an easy switch.

Invest in towel storage

Towel storage is often one of the last things on our mind when it comes to transforming our bathrooms, but why spend months choosing the perfect basin and taps, sourcing the most stylish tiles and researching Pinterest for fixture inspiration, only to find that a few days into use, our dream bathroom is haphazardly strewn with damp towels?

Towel storage ideas - freestanding towel rack
Image credit: Dunelm
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Although how you store your towels will have a huge impact on how your bathroom looks and feels overall, most towel storage options are extremely reasonable, so investing in some new towel storage is a must if you’re looking to transform your bathroom for little cost. Whether you need towel storage for small spaces, towel storage for a family bathroom or towel storage that looks like a décor feature in itself, there’s guaranteed to be a storage solution that works for you – if you need a bit of inspiration, take a look at our roundup of the best towel storage ideas here.

Budget bathroom ideas

For more bathroom inspiration and advice, visit our bathroom ideas page, where you’ll find more budget bathroom ideas, as well as ideas for small bathrooms and quick fixes to instantly refresh your bathroom.