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Six DIY Projects To Update Your Bathroom (For Less Than $200!)

We spend a lot of time here on HomeThangs talking about large-scale bathroom renovations – replacing and updating big-ticket items like your vanity, bathtub, or shower. But there are plenty of ways to update your bathroom even if you aren’t planning a major remodel, and spending a little money on some of the smaller details can have a bigger impact than you might think. Today we’ve got six affordable, DIY-friendly projects to help you freshen up your bathroom.

Update Your Lighting Fixtures

Upgrading from generic lighting fixtures to designer ones is a great way to give your bathroom a stylish, luxurious look and feel - even if the fixtures themselves aren't very expensive (by W Design Interiors)
Upgrading from generic lighting fixtures to designer ones is a great way to give your bathroom a stylish, luxurious look and feel – even if the fixtures themselves aren’t very expensive (by W Design Interiors)

It doesn’t matter what your bathroom looks like – no matter how big or small, how updated or in need of love: unless you’ve put a good chunk of change into your lighting, you can almost definitely do better. Replacing generic over-vanity lights with pendants or sconces, or your ho-hum flush mount light with a decorative one (or, if your ceilings are high enough, a chandelier) is a fool-proof way to give your space a whole lot more personality – and often much better task lighting, too.

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Install A Mosaic Tile Backsplash

Mosaic tile in a unique shape or material can be a lovely signature addition to your bathroom - and one no one will know you did yourself (by Kathryne Designs, Inc)
Mosaic tile in a unique shape or material can be a lovely signature addition to your bathroom – and one no one will know you did yourself (by Kathryne Designs, Inc)

Tile backsplashes have made almost every single “DIY Bathroom Project” list out there since mosaic tile sheets became popularized, but before you roll your eyes at its inclusion on this list, hear me out. Tile backsplashes have come a long way since the days of simple square tiles attached to a mesh backing; while you’re still getting a novice-friendly, easy-to-install product, the tile is a whole lot nicer, with a huge array of unique shapes and materials that can really help customize your bathroom. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious (and willing to splurge on a few more square feet of tile), larger-format mosaics can even make beautiful accent walls.

Shop Mosaic and Decorative Tile:

Rethink Your Color Scheme (And Upgrade Your Linens)

Updating your paint is a tried-and-true weekend project, but replacing your towels can be just as effective a way to update your color scheme - and, bonus, new towels! (by CARNEMARK design + build)
Updating your paint is a tried-and-true weekend project, but replacing your towels can be just as effective a way to update your color scheme – and, bonus, new towels! (by CARNEMARK design + build)

Another tried, true, and DIY-able way to freshen up your bathroom is to paint. But while this is certainly the easiest way to dramatically change the look of your space, if you want something a tad more subtle (and with added fringe benefits), you might want to consider replacing your linens – either instead of or in addition to painting. A nice, matched set of towels (especially paired with matching window dressings or a shower curtain) easily take up enough visual real estate in your bathroom to impact the color scheme of your space, and as a bonus, if you splurge on good, quality towels, not only will they look great, you’ll get to use them, too!

Re-accessorize Your Counter Space

Your bathroom counter can be a bad clutter catcher - the trick is to make sure the necessary clutter looks nice and matches well (by X Styles Bath)
Your bathroom counter can be a bad clutter catcher – the trick is to make sure the necessary clutter looks nice and matches well (by X Styles Bath)

A lot of bathroom products are disposable – from body wash to soap pumps. But loading your space with a lot of throw-away toiletries and cleaning products doesn’t do anything to beautify your space. In fact, a lot of generic plastic bottles and bins can actually make your bathroom feel more cluttered. Bathroom accessory sets can help give your bathroom a more finished, grown-up feel, and can help keep necessary unmentionables – like your toilet brush and plunger – more or less out of sight. Not all accessory sets are created equal (and some cheap ones are less attractive than really nice disposable bath sets), but nice ones have enough design flair to help make your bathroom feel polished and professional.

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Give Your Shower A Luxury Facelift

Shower panels look stunning, but theyre less expensive than you probably expect, and simple enough to install yourself
Shower panels look stunning, but theyre less expensive than you probably expect, and simple enough to install yourself

Luxury showers are at the top of every big bathroom remodel to-do list these days, but if you aren’t planning on ripping out your whole shower and rebuilding it, don’t worry. Shower panels, shower pipes, and luxury shower heads can all help give you that custom shower experience in the shower you already have. Most solid mid-range shower panels won’t cost you more than a few hundred dollars, they’re straightforward to install yourself – and they’ll blow your current shower head out of the water. If you want to pamper yourself without breaking the bank, updating your shower head to a luxury model is easily the best way to do it.

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Treat Yo’ Self (To Some Nice Hot Towels)

Every bathroom needs towel bars, but heated towel warmers will take your space to the next level, providing spa-like heated towels, plus a little extra ambient warmth (by Matt Gibson Architecture + Design)
Every bathroom needs towel bars, but heated towel warmers will take your space to the next level, providing spa-like heated towels, plus a little extra ambient warmth (by Matt Gibson Architecture + Design)

Most of the items on this list are cosmetic, but I want to round it out with a project that’s purely about comfort: towel warmers. These come in a wide range, from plug-in to hard wired (which you might need a professional to set up), both freestanding and wall mounted, with anywhere from two or three bars up to seven or eight of them. Some are filled with heated water or oil, some with radiant electric coils, but all of them are designed to heat your towels (and bath robe!) in the time it takes you to shower. So if your bathroom tends to be a little chilly, heated towel bars are a great way to chase away the cold and give you that little extra luxury-spa treatment first thing in the morning.

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Building a nicer bathroom doesn’t have to mean rebuilding your space entirely; a few smart accessory choices and a couple targeted upgrades will make all the difference, no major renovation needed!