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Bathroom Updates That Won’t Break the Bank

Accent a small area with pretty tile.
Accent a small area with pretty tile.

The bathroom may the smallest room in your home, but when it comes to inexpensive makeovers, that’s a good thing: It means that even tiny changes can make a big impact. While moving plumbing, replacing sinks and showers, and upgrading your toilet can all add up to a big investment, there are plenty of other less expensive ways to give your bathroom a new look without blowing your budget.

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Replacing your faucets and knobs gives you the opportunity to spend as much or as little as you want – you can choose techie statement pieces that cost a bundle, or get a basic model that’s just a sleeker shape or more modern finish than what you have now. Either way, it’s a small change that you’ll notice every time you start the shower or wash your hands. Installing slim towel bars, colorful knobs on your vanity cabinet, or a new toilet paper roll holder will also make your room look more modern and more cohesive.

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Breaking up a room full of old tile is one guaranteed way to increase your renovation costs, but adding some tile accents gives you a new look without the higher price tag. Install mosaic designs behind your sink as a backsplash, or add a strip of glass tile around your shower. Depending on the design of your floor, you may even be able to take up individual tiles and replace them with coordinating colors or materials.

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A standard, unframed wall mirror helps you make sure you don’t have anything stuck in your teeth, but a framed version can be a statement piece for the entire bathroom. Update yours by building a wooden or tile frame to go around it, or if you aren’t that handy, have one custom built.

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Paint may be the cheapest way to make over your bathroom in one weekend, especially if your walls are primarily tiled and you have a small area to roll or brush. Bathrooms also are great places to take a chance on bold colors that you might not be willing to use in main living spaces: In small doses, a bright emerald, rich purple, deep gray, or jewel-toned red can add interest without feeling overwhelming. You can also add wide horizontal stripes, a modern geometric stencil pattern, or a vibrant accent wall for an added pop.

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Expensive towels may feel like a splurge, but they’re still going to be cheaper than a full (or even a partial) bathroom redo – plus, when paired with a new shower curtain, they provide tons of visual impact (as well as texture, pattern, and color). A change as simple as swapping out dark brown towels for white or pale blue ones for a cheery pink can give your bathroom a whole new look – that you can change at a moment’s notice without spending your budget on massive renovations.

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