How to Make Your Bathroom Look More Expensive

How to Make Your Bathroom Look More Expensive? 10 Tips

Dreaming of a spa retreat? Make it a reality! Explore budget-friendly tricks to transform your bathroom into a serene oasis.
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Making your bathroom look more expensive doesn't have to cost a fortune. With some small upgrades and design tricks, you can give your bathroom a high-end feel without breaking the bank.

Here are 10 tips to make your bathroom look like a spa retreat without spending a lot:

1. Upgrade the Hardware

One of the easiest ways to make your bathroom look more high-end is by upgrading the hardware. Replace old metal knobs and pulls with new brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, or matte black hardware. These finishes look much more modern and expensive than dated brass or chrome fixtures. Match new pulls and knobs on vanities, cabinets, and drawers for a cohesive look. Also, consider upgrading faucets, shower heads, towel bars, and toilet paper holders to match for a luxurious feel.

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2. Install New Lighting

Lighting can make or break the look of a bathroom. Dated fluorescent lighting gives a clinical, cheap feel, while sconces, pendants, and vanity lighting create an elegant ambiance. Install new lighting like wall sconces, pendant lights over vanities, or a statement chandelier. Dimmer switches allow you to control the mood lighting. If rewiring for new fixtures isn’t in the budget, consider replacing fluorescent tubes with softer LED bulbs and adding fixtures like vanity lights that just require screwing into existing electrical boxes.

3. Replace Countertops

Countertops can really date a bathroom. Swap out old cultured marble or laminate countertops for quartz, marble, or granite. While natural stone is on the pricier side, manmade materials like quartz offer the look of stone for less.

According to HomeAdvisor, expect to pay around $40-$100 per square foot installed for quartz or granite counters. While not cheap, new countertops can make the whole room look updated and high-end. If replacing counters isn’t possible, try freshening up existing tops with a coat of refinishing paint specifically for laminates.

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4. Frame the Mirror

An easy way to make your bathroom mirror look more expensive is by framing it out with trim.

You can frame a mirror on the wall or above your vanity. Use decorative trim pieces like crown molding, baseboards, or picture frame style trim. Paint or stain the trim to match your cabinets and wood finishes in the bathroom. Adding trim gives the mirror an elegant finished look. For a budget option, use inexpensive wood trim or molding from home improvement stores and paint to match.

5. Upgrade Storage

Replacing old builder-grade cabinets with custom cabinetry gives an instant upgrade! But if a full remodel isn’t in the cards, there are easy ways to update storage.

Add crown molding to vanity cabinets for a furniture-like appeal. Use brackets or legs to elevate bathroom cabinets off the ground for a more expensive inset look. Change dated metal cabinets or shelving to wood for a warmer aesthetic. Even just adding new modern hardware like matte black pulls can help dated cabinets look more high-end.

6. Add Wainscoting

Wainscoting—paneling on the lower half of walls—gives a bathroom a more finished designer look. Traditionally made from wood, wainscoting can also be faux painted on for an inexpensive option. Add wainscoting around the entire bathroom or just part of the walls like behind the tub. Install chair rail trim to divide it from the upper walls. Choose wainscoting colors and sheens that complement your existing tile, walls, and vanities. The added texture gives an elegant, expensive touch.

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7. Use Wallpaper

While wallpaper has gotten a bad rap for being dated, modern styles like geometric patterns, nature prints, and texture can make walls look high-end.

Limit wallpaper to one wall to create a focal point in the room. Try behind a clawfoot tub, on the back of a vanity, or above a chair rail as an accent. Keep the rest of the room neutral to let the wallpaper stand out. Installation is cheaper than you might think, around $150 for an average bathroom. Through wallpaper, you can get the look of more expensive finishes like grasscloth, shiplap, or marble for less.

8. Upgrade Flooring

Bathroom floors take a beating. Replacing decades-old tiles and grout refreshes the whole room. Choose a large-format polished tile or natural stone for a high-end style. Adding decorative inlays, mosaics or mouldings at transitions also enhances the look. If ripping up and replacing tile isn't possible, in some cases you can install new tile directly on top of the old. Or try staining and refinishing the tile and grout to refresh the look. If you have vinyl sheet flooring, laying new tile-look vinyl planks over it is an affordable DIY option.

9. Add Molding

Few design elements are more expensive than crown molding gracing the ceiling. While you can hire out molding installation, there are ways to cut costs if you DIY. Use lightweight foam crown molding that is easy to cut and install with adhesive. Or opt for peel-and-stick polyurethane moldings that just adhere directly to the wall or ceiling and do not require nails.

Add trim to the ceiling, at chair rail height on walls and even around mirrors or cabinets for an elegant touch. Wainscoting, as previously mentioned, and baseboard can also add a luxurious feel. Home centers sell molding pieces and kits designed for DIYers in various lengths and styles.

10. Style with Plants

One of the easiest ways to make a bathroom look more expensive is by styling it like a spa. Bringing greenery into the space instantly gives a zen yet luxurious feel. Go for large statement plants in planters, small succulents in a wall mounted terrarium, or a combo of varieties. Use plants native to bathrooms that thrive in steamy humidity like orchids, ferns, aloe and ivy.

Plants should be placed in the shower, on floating shelves, in floor pots, or on the vanity for an oasis-like environment. For a budget option, pick up inexpensive plants from home improvement stores, nurseries, or grocery stores. The lush green tones make any bathroom look well-designed and peaceful.

Luxury but Budget-friendly!

With strategic upgrades like new lighting, tile, cabinetry, and trim, you can make a basic builder-grade bathroom look like a million bucks. Focus on the details that have the most visual impact on your dollar. With smart decorating and DIY installation, you can transform your bathroom into a relaxing retreat without overhauling everything. Use these tips to make your bathroom the spa-like oasis you deserve without draining your bank account.

Ready to take your bathroom transformation to the next level? Dive deeper into creating a spa-like shower experience with our companion blog on enhancing shower spaces. Discover innovative ideas for infusing opulent materials, establishing inviting ambiance, and filling your shower with soothing scents. Elevate every aspect of your bathroom retreat with our expert tips!

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