Often when we’ve lived in a place for a while, it’s rooms like the kitchen and bathroom that usually look the most tired. Of course it would be great if we had endless budgets to do a complete reno but thats not the reality most of the time. But the good news is that there are things you can do to update your bathroom without a renovation, especially if your bathroom is looking old or it’s just ugly.
To start with I always suggest a good declutter and clean. This alone can transform any room without costing you a penny. In fact you might even make some money selling stuff you don’t need. In a bathroom we tend to pile up bottles of stuff we don’t use, old make-up, out of date medicines and other bits that no longer needed. Also if you have stuff that doesn’t belong in the bathroom, move it out. Once you’ve had a good tidy and clean, you’ll be in a much better position to see what else you can do to freshen it up.
Tips to update your bathroom without a renovation
1. freshen up the tiles
If you’ve got old looking tiles or colours and patterns you hate, you can paint the tiles. You’ll need to clean the tiles first and do a bit of research on the best tile paints out there. While you’re freshening up the tiles, don’t forget the grout. I’ve used a grout pen on my white grout and it really cleans it up. You can also get colored grout pens for non-white grout. If you can’t get a match then you can get a grout cleaner and brush which I’ve also used in another bathroom and it’s worked really well. This one step could be all you need to spruce up your bathroom because often it’s the tiles and grout that can make a bathroom look old.
2. replace the hardware
Changing the taps, shower and towel rails can be a game changer. You could even get very inexpensive hardware and spray it matt black. I wanted matt black hardware for my bathroom when we renovated but the ones I found were crazy expensive. With a bit of research I found out that you can spray paint taps and showers. As we were doing a full renovation, our bathroom supplier was able to do it for us but you can easily do it yourself. I did spray my basic towel rail in a pale copper colour and it now looks so much more expensive than it was. If you prefer chrome, there are lots of options out there for every budget and changing the hardware can lift your bathroom. And one thing to remember on this – sometimes all your taps need is a really good clean.
3. update the floor
Updating an old bathroom floor can make a huge difference because it’s so visible. It’s not like you can cover it up with anything so changing the floor might be your best bet if the floor is old and tired. There are lots of budget friendly options out there which don’t always require removing the old floor. Think things like waterproof laminate flooring that can often be laid over tiles and you can DIY it too. And you’re not restricted to faux wood only, you can get laminate in all sorts of finishes. If you have tired wooden floors or tiles then painting might be enough of a refresh.
4. paint the walls
This is obvious I know but it’s still worth mentioning because this is such an easy, quick and cheap update that can be done in a couple of hours. So if you do nothing else but paint all the untiled walls and possibly the door and any woodwork, you will freshen up your bathroom. This is particularly handy in a rental as you may not be able to do some of the other stuff.
5. replace the shower curtain
This is another very simple and budget friendly bathroom update that you can do in minutes. Shower curtains can get very grimy very easily. So just getting a new one in a simple white or neutral tone will be great. And definitely ditch the plastic ones – you can get waterproof linen or cotton curtains that will add texture and look so much nicer than plastic.
6. Add accessories
Once you’ve decluttered and taken care of the basics it’s time to add some fresh decor and accessories. Think about what needs to be left visible in the bathroom and how it can be stored. I love a seagrass basket for storing spare toilet roll. Wooden boxes are also very handy for storing your toiletries rather than having them all visible on the counter, especially if you have a lot of them. Think about a simple ceramic mug for your toothbrushes. Add a wooden shelf or two if you can. This is also a great way to add in a bit of texture to your bathroom. Just a few accessories that are both useful and stylish will give your bathroom that finished look.
7. Buy some nice towels
Towels are usually on display in every bathroom so why not get some beautiful ones that you’ll be proud to display. I’m a big fan of waffle towels because they look stylish, they dry quickly and you can get them in minimal neutral tones like beige, white and grey.
8. Add a plant or two
I rarely see bathrooms with plants and yet this simple thing can add warmth and style instantly and do wonders to revive and old looking bathroom. It also adds to the visual appeal. If you have space and are green-fingered, go for any plant you like. You can even go big with a large plant pot on the floor. But if you’re like me – someone who can’t keep a plant alive for more than half a day, opt for some cacti or get some foliage like eucalyptus and pop it in a small vase – no maintenance needed and your bathroom will smell good too.
You don’t need to do all these things to spruce up your tired bathroom – just pick one or two things that will have the biggest impact on your space. Always start with a good clean and declutter which can make a world of difference and will help you see what else is needed.
Which of these tips to update your bathroom without a renovation will you try first?
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