6 Smart Ways to Upgrade Your Bathroom Without Renovating It

Your bathroom looks like something out of a TV show. You know, the one where people live their lives like it’s the 1980s or some other bygone era. Old wallpaper, pink tiling, fluffy rugs, the works. Except you’re not doing it on purpose.

You know it’s time to upgrade your bathroom, but a renovation job sounds like a lot of hassle (and it’s expensive). But here’s some good news: it’s possible to give your bathroom the ‘fake it till you make it’ treatment without too much effort. There are two ‘conditions’ I’ve placed for each and every one of the tips that follow:

  • You’re not going to need a lot of cash. We’re talking a few hundred bucks total (if that). If it’s pricey, it kinda defeats the point of this whole thing.
  • You don’t need huge DIY skills. Yeah, you can do a ‘cheap’ project by saving on labor, but if you end up bashing a hole through the wall or causing a major leak, that’s not going to help things either.

Replace Your Shower Head

Did you know that showerheads should be replaced once or twice a year? Before I looked into it, I didn’t either. This is due to the sediment, bacteria, and black mold that builds up over time. If you live in a hard water area, you’ll really notice a change in water pressure.

When buying a new showerhead, I suggest you don’t go ultra-cheap. Showerheads aren’t too expensive anyway, and if you really want that spa factor, going for a decent bathroom brand is essential. I recommend going for one that gives you a few water pressure options.

Add Bathroom Storage

The one thing that really lets even the most stylish bathroom down is a mess. You know what I mean, a counter with all of your toiletries stacked on top of one another without a real ‘place’. Or having a cheap plastic shelving unit that looks tacky and ends up gathering a lot of dust.

Instead, upgrade your bathroom storage options. For inbuilt cabinets, add a selection of pullout shelves to help organize your things. Drawer dividers are also really useful. If your cabinet is a standard oak unit, think about freshening up the look of your bathroom with a lick of paint.

Add Some Green

Plants give you a super-easy way to improve your bathroom. They can be used to level up pretty much any room in the house, to be honest. It’s my personal cheat item. In addition to the aesthetic element, plants have also been proven to help with anxiety and stress. Research has also shown plants result in increased creativity, productivity, and can even help reduce the effects of dementia.

For your bathroom, I recommend going for specific species that are known to thrive in humid environments. Think bamboo or the Chinese evergreen, for example. They’re easy to take care of and look fantastic, no matter what kind of ‘look’ you’re going for.  

Install New Wallpaper

Wallpaper is one of the easiest methods of adding that ‘wow factor’ to your bathroom without having to spend a fortune. It does a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to your bathroom aesthetic, so if you pick a good one, your bathroom upgrade is pretty much done.

The thing I’d advise is to go for classy and timeless. It works with pretty much any design you may otherwise have, and it’s guaranteed to please the next person who moves in. The last thing you want to do is have to replace it all because you’ve picked something garish or far too ‘out there’.

Pick a Nice Mirror

Mirrors can do more than just show your reflection. Instead of going for your basic slab, why not pick one that actually has some design element to it? For example, a large mirror with a unique shape with Moroccan accents will add a dash of culture, as well as giving the illusion of space.

If you’re up for a little bit of DIY, think about a mirror with inbuilt lighting. If you’re used to doing your make-up, for example, it’ll help make application easier. Or just for putting in your contacts or doing your daily face cream routine.

Dimmer Switch (or Smart Bulbs)

Dimmer switches are an undervalued bathroom addition. Think about it. Spas don’t have bright lighting. It’s a rule, and a good one at that. Dimmed lights give off a relaxing vibe, perfect for that nice bath after a good workout or a long day at work.

Dimmers also have a practical benefit. For example, when you go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, you don’t want those bright lights waking you right up again. And they’re also a good money saver.

For a modern approach, use smart bulbs. Perfect if you already have Google Home or Alexa.

Goodbye Tip: Don’t Go a Bridge Too Far

I’ll send you off with a tip that most would-be DIYers ignore: don’t do more than you’re capable of. It’s easy to convince yourself you’re a contractor after watching a couple of YouTube videos. It looks easy, so why not?

Hit the pause button. Take a step back and ask yourself whether you actually have the required skills to do the plumbing job on that new bath, for example (and if you do, make sure there’s nothing you care about on the floor below, because a leak may be in your future!).


Join the Conversation