Looking for small bathroom ideas on a budget? Well, you’re in the right place.
But before we start with the list, let’s get to the bottom of things and answer some fundamental questions:
- Why styling the bathroom properly is important?
- What areas you should focus on when decorating on a budget?
- What 2 principles will help you create a stylish bathroom?
That’s right, kids, I’m in a bit of a knowledge-sharing mood but, please, bear with me. Having your “what’s” and “why’s” all sorted will help you avoid wasteful and unnecessary purchases in the future. After all, we’re all about small bathroom ideas on a budget, right?
Why styling the bathroom properly is important?
It’s where you start your day.
Yes, technically you wake up in your bedroom. But once you stroll (or crawl) into the bathroom is when you truly wake up. And starting your morning routine surrounded by small details and knick-knacks that you truly adore is a solid foundation for having a great day.
It’s a small oasis in which you contemplate what you need to do and where you need to go during the day. Better do that in a place you actually love than in one that is devoid of personality and style.
What areas you should focus on when decorating on a budget?
In this post, I’m not going to tell you to just remodel the whole bathroom, get new fixtures and fittings and be done with it.
Here we are going to focus on cosmetic and styling changes that you can make even if you’re renting.
Generally, there are 5 areas in which you can implement those changes:
- vanity & makeup
- decorative details
Improving and styling any 3 of these areas will already visually transform your bathroom on a budget. Then, you can treat it as a foundation for adding more interesting details and touch-ups to the remaining areas. It might take some time but the trick is to stick to things you actually genuinely love.
You should also keep in mind your preferred color scheme when hunting for new additions to the bathroom. Not telling you to walk around with a color swatch book. Just be aware of what might clash with the existing colors and decorative styles you’ve already got.
What 2 principles will help you create a stylish bathroom?
Organize and elevate.
A bathroom has a specific purpose. It is filled with cosmetics, hygiene products, medicine, creams, balms, towels, laundry, cleaning supplies, the list could go on forever.
In any other room, you’d arrange a nice gallery wall, put an accent chair next to it, add some throw pillows to the mix with an eye-catching rug on the floor and boom. Decorated. But a bathroom, especially a small one, is so filled to the brim with things that are supposed to help you with daily routines that it doesn’t leave much space for decorative items. So we take an alternative route.
First, organize. I’m not saying you absolutely need to have everything sorted into identical containers with neatly penned labels. But getting some stuff out of the way (and into a cabinet or a basket) and putting the rest into simple open organizers can make a ton of difference. It will make the bathroom look neater, more spacious, easier to maintain in order, and you’ll be able to find things you need a lot faster. And, since we’re talking about decorating, getting the clutter out of the way will allow you to focus on the decor itself.
Second, elevate. Store everything as attractively as you can. Turn the most basic thing you’d find in any bathroom into an eye-catching accent piece. Store q-tips and cotton pads in whimsical apothecary jars. Get a soap dispenser that looks pretty and a rug that is more than just a piece of cloth. Creating these small decorative details out of ordinary items will amount to a beautifully styled bathroom. The one you love and enjoy being in because that’s the whole point.
Okay, I’m done. Let’s get to the fun part.
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Here are some useful small bathroom ideas on a budget
Go vertical and install some shelves
Having shelves in a small bathroom is an absolute must. It not only gives you more storage space but also helps visually balance out the room.
You might be reluctant to drill holes in the walls in order to hang shelves because a) you’re renting or b) drilling holes between tiles is tricky. That is why the shelves above are self-adhesive. No drilling required.
These come in several sizes, from small to large, and can hold up to 11 lbs (5 kg).
If you have a stray hook and are not interested in shelves, you can hang this minimalist organizer on it.
If you have moved into an apartment that has had previous owners (or if you are renting), your bathroom might already have pre-installed hooks. Hooks and bare walls with an occasional stroke of a pencil.
It’s not easy to match a new shelf to an already embedded set of hooks. But you can get hanging shelves connected with a rope, like the ones above. These are more forgiving of slight deviations in hook placement and instantly give you more storage space.
Choose a beautiful towel set
Every bathroom can benefit from a matching set of towels.
Hand towels, especially, come in a variety of beautiful designs and weaving techniques. This, in return, elevates the whole room and makes it look more cohesive.
Getting a set of towels that fit the color scheme and that you actually love is a solid investment. A great set can get a bit pricey but you can start small. As I said before, a batch of hand towels not only looks amazing but can also be purchased on a budget. And we’re all about small bathroom ideas on a budget.
Organize your makeup
Just going to say it – this is the ultimate makeup organizer that’s perfect for a small bathroom.
The shelves can be adjusted to fit the height of your cosmetics. The spinning base allows you to quickly browse your collection. And what an impressive collection it will be. This organizer can fit at least 30 makeup brushes and 20 bottles of skincare products with other makeup accessories to boot.
Filling up this spinning organizer will free up tons of space. Space for further decorating.
Find a shower curtain that’s “the one”
A shower curtain is something that can completely change the look of the whole bathroom. Especially in small bathrooms, a shower curtain tends to be the predominant piece of decor, mainly due to its size. So it’s only logical that our list of small bathroom ideas on a budget would include something as significant as this.
It’s a great starting point for decorating the bathroom and it will guide you in the right direction when choosing other accessories. You can then stick with to the similar color scheme or decor style that would suit the shower curtain best. This way, you can avoid unnecessary purchases of things that look good on the shelf but completely miss the target when put in the bathroom.
You can also look at it from another angle. Of you already have tons of favorite accessories but the bathroom is still lacking something…You know what I’m going to say. Find a shower curtain that will tie the whole room together, whether through color or style.
And add novelty shower hooks to it
Yeah, yeah, most shower rods come with plastic rings that do the job.
But we are on the topic of small bathroom decor ideas. And the decor lies in the details.
Decoratives shower rings come in a variety of shapes and colors. They can help elevate even the simplest shower curtain and bring out other accents around the room.
You can also use these to shift attention to the shower curtain and away from something you’re not particularly fond of in your bathroom. For example, the color of my bathroom tiles used to be the subject of my deep hatred. But with all the small details and accessories strategically added to the bathroom, it doesn’t seem so bad anymore. Strategy and details.
Sort your styling tools
Do you also keep your hairdryer close by and never bother putting it away somewhere safe? Does it also land on the ground with dangerous frequency?
Yes, I do and yes, it does!
This alternative styling tools station is less bulky and can sit on any countertop.
This station fulfills 2 tasks:
- storing styling tools (hairdryers, curling irons, straighteners, etc)
- safely cooling down these styling tools
The station sports heat-resistant mesh and silicone base. This allows the heated tools to safely cool down without accidentally melting something in the process.
You can store it by:
- hanging it on a towel bar
- placing it on a flat surface (countertop, shelf, washing machine)
- storing it in a drawer or cabinet
- hanging it on a wall (you’ll need extra screws for that)
With this thing, the hairdryer’s flying days will be over. Finally.
Ensure privacy with a window film
We’ve already tackled the subject of privacy in a room and how to achieve it.
Well, in a bathroom with window, privacy is more important than ever. If you want something more interesting than simple window blinds, you can go for this adhesive film.
When applied to a window, it distorts the view from outside while still letting in the light. And, thanks to the 3D pebble effect, the window will subtly take on all colors of the rainbow.
Change the cabinet knobs
If you have any drawers or cabinets in the bathroom, change the knobs.
It’s a perfect first step to your apartment bathroom makeover. Installing new knobs takes little to no time but you’ll be surprised how much difference it will make.
I would go with these crystal ones for a few simple reasons. One, they look sophisticated but not “too much”. Two, they will match any decor setting (that’s the beauty of crystals). Three, they come in packs of 10 or 20 pieces. Meaning, you’ll have enough to update the bathroom and to give a little makeover to other furniture in the house.
Put up pretty dispensers
One of the best small bathroom ideas on a budget is simply to swap basic items for beautiful decor statements.
For example, get a soap dispenser that’s not just there to pump soap.
Get one that matches your bathroom’s color scheme. Or if you hate your bathroom’s color scheme, get one that draws attention to itself and away from what’s bugging you. Worked for me.
So, if you look at the pictures, the first soap dispenser is simple and elegant, easy to match with earthy and pastel tones. The pineapple one, however, makes a statement on its own. It will work with any color scheme and add a fun accent to the handwashing activity.
Hang a fitting mirror
Every bathroom needs a mirror. A mirror that can also be a nice decorative piece.
This 15” mirror, for example, is minimalist, cheap, and requires little to no drilling. What’s more, its look is versatile enough to fit any room. So even if you decide to completely redecorate the bathroom, this mirror will still look great in a bedroom or living room.
Refresh the look of floor tiles
Dirty old grout can spoil the look of a whole bathroom.
But fear not, this pen can help you restore the grout to its former glory. The water-based ink can cover the lines between tiles making it look fresh and new. It can also protect the grout from mold which is always good news.
The Grout Pen comes in a variety of colors, too. So you can either match the pen’s color with the grout in your bathroom or mix things up and choose a completely different color of the pen.
Elevate your toilet paper storage
It’s always smart to keep an extra roll of toilet paper somewhere nearby. But don’t hide it away in a dark cabinet and waste valuable storage space.
Some toilet paper holders can become a valuable decorative accent in the bathroom. Like this giraffe toilet paper holder can comfortably fit 2-3 rolls and look amazing while doing it. And its vintage but lighthearted exterior will fit a variety of decorative styles, from mid-century modern to scandinavian.
Or you can take a more modern route and go for this minimalist free-standing holder. Its sleek design will perfectly fit a contemporary bathroom. And if at any point you’ll find another place for the toilet paper you can start using this as a magazine or even vinyl holder. So you can say it’s multi-purpose and “multi-purpose” is like honey for my ears.
Pretty up the trash
Yep, we are elevating everything. Including trash cans.
Why settle for a sad plastic waste bin if you can have something sturdier and lovelier. These steel garbage containers come in a variety of colors, including white, mint, bronze and more. It has a 5-liter capacity and its narrow design is perfect for small spaces.
Plus, its lidded construction fully hides its contents which is a must for any bathroom.
Let the art talk for you
We’ve already seen the power of funny kitchen wall art. Now, let’s all appreciate the absolute hilarity of these bathroom-themed art prints.
This 4-pack of glossy prints is packed with comedic gold. Bringing a lighthearted touch to the table, these sayings will make your bathroom incredibly memorable. And fun to be in. Just be mindful that you’ll need 8×10 frames to go with these that you can find here.
Deep inside, it is nice to hear someone wish you an enjoyable poop.
Get a beautiful dish for jewelry
Hey, we all leave jewelry in the bathroom before showering. So why let it get lost on a shelf if you can make it a part of the overall decor?
Make it stand out with one of these beautiful jewelry holders.
You can choose a design that will suit the bathroom’s style best. Or, maybe, you’ll go for one that will complement your taste in earrings and necklaces.
Now, your jewelry will not be lost among countless bottles and jars or collecting dust on the floor. No, it will be sitting pretty on one of these dishes.
Create more surface space with this caddy
A caddy is what takes your bath time from ordinary to SPA level.
You can fill it with candles, fancy snacks, set a book or a tablet on it for a good read. Also, it has a cup holder for a glass of wine or a steaming cup of tea.
Outside of bath time, this caddy gives you additional surface space for extra storage. You can keep all the aforementioned items there plus bath bombs, salts, cosmetics and anything else your heart desires.
The caddy works best with a free-standing bathtub and it expands to almost 42’’ (100 cm) in length.
Change the walls with 3D decals
Got bare walls in the bathroom but you would really love to have tiles instead? There’s an interesting solution for that.
These are thick (1.5mm – 2.5 mm) decals that look exactly like the popular subway tiles. They come in sheets (12.6” x 10.6”) that you can stick like puzzle pieces to your bathroom walls.
According to the seller, the glue on these decals is 3 times stronger than on ordinary vinyl stickers. What’s more, these are heat and moisture resistant. Aka they are perfect for a bathroom (or a kitchen) redecorating on a budget.
And these sticker tiles also come in 4 colors – white, blue, red, and gray. So there’s something for everyone.
Or accentuate the furniture with decal strips
If you’re not yet ready for a full-blown retiling of the bathroom, you can start small and on a budget.
This 3D sticker imitates mosaic tiling. You can line it along the wall, the sink, or a shelving unit to a) add a pop of color b) make the furnishing look more consistent or c) tie the whole color scheme together.
The stickers come in sheets measuring 5.28” x 14.8” (13.4cm x 37.6cm). You can cut them or stick them along cornered and curved surfaces (perfect for a sink).
Refresh flat surfaces with contact paper
Have a cabinet that is just driving you up the wall with how ugly it looks and you can’t do anything about it? Actually, you can!
Contact paper is perfect for a quick (and damage-free) change of any flat surface. It is dirt cheap, easy to apply, an absolute life-saver for renters, and it’s a lot of fun.
It also comes in a variety of patterns and colors. But for a bathroom, I’d recommend sticking with a marble one. It is light, which is perfect for small bathrooms, and it adds elegance to any space.
If you’ll have any leftovers after contact-papering the bathroom, you can move on to other rooms. Contact paper is great for sprucing up cheap coffee tables, low-use kitchen cabinets, damaged desks, and so on.
Turn your mirror into a Hollywood vanity
Ah, the good old Hollywood style mirror. Never thought you can have something like this on a budget and without drilling.
Turns out, you can.
These 10 dimmable LED bulbs are connected with transparent wire. You stick them along the edge of your bathroom mirror and there you have it. A DIY version of a Hollywood style mirror, quick, easy, and cheap.
Each bulb produces 4000K lumens, giving off cool soft lighting that is perfect for applying makeup. You can adjust the brightness of the lights with a built-in dimmer.
This setup can make any mirror look fabulous, goes well with multiple decorating styles, and lights up your makeup application routine. Win-win all around.
Set up a multipurpose chair
We all bring stuff to the bathroom. A fresh change of clothes, a magazine, a smartphone. So do you just dump it on a floor?
This step stool not only adds to the bathroom decor but also provides with valuable surface space. You can use it as a 2-shelved coffee table for storage. Or you can use it as a chair but still keep some valuables on the shelf underneath.
As far as small bathroom ideas on a budget go, this one has both the looks and the function.
Turn a narrow nook into storage space
We’ve already had a similar entry in our post creating extra kitchen counter space and it would be just as useful in a bathroom.
This narrow rolling cart measures 23.2″ x 7.9″ x 31.3″ (59cm x 20cm x 80cm). You can use it to fill in a narrow nook and triple its storage capacity.
In a bathroom, you can use it to create a mini laundry station or keep cleaning supplies on it. There’s never enough space for those but now you’ll be able to keep them neat and organized.
Add some greenery
Every bathroom looks better with plants in it. Heck, any room looks better with plants in it. They allow for that final transition from an ordinary room to a space that oozes life and beauty.
When choosing a plant for a bathroom, you need to account for 2 things – humidity and lighting. The air in every bathroom is bound to carry a lot of humidity and not every plant can thrive in an environment like that. Also, plants need natural light to survive. But if you have a window, you just need to be aware of how much sunlight floods the room.
To make choosing the right plant for your bathroom easier, I’ll link you to this article that’s filled with interesting options.
If you don’t have a window, you can still get beautiful artificial greenery that looks incredibly lifelike.
You can use these watering globes to keep your plants hydrated when you’re away from home.
Find a fitting plant shelf
You can place the plant of your choice on this hanging shelf. In fact, these macrame shelves come in a 2-pack so you’ll have tons of space for your new green babies.
Each shelf measures 12” x 12” (30 cm x 30 cm). You can easily place several smaller planters on it (like those for succulents) or you can stick to bigger ones.
It’s main advantage is that a shelf like that doesn’t take up valuable floor space. Plus, it can double as a floating shelf that on which put small knick-knacks.
If you want to go really big (and not go home), you can get this 5-pack of beautiful macrame plant hangers.
These include only the hangers without the pots, so you can choose your own color scheme. The plants will be hanging at different heights creating a balanced decorative statement.
You can hang these using the included hooks or L brackets.
Moving into a more modern direction, let’s look at these 2 minimalist plant hangers.
Their metal frame provides you with a more structured visual than macrame hangers. They would look great in a bathroom that relies more on lean shapes and minimalism.
The pack includes hangers only so you can match the pots to the bathroom’s color scheme.
Get organized with baskets…
The key to a beautiful bathroom is having it organized. This is where various baskets and storage containers come into play.
For example, these baskets measure 13.25″ x 13.25″ x 8″ (34 cm x 34 cm x 20 cm). So you can fill these with hand towels, cosmetics, cleaning supplies, spare toilet paper, medicine, etc.
Using these baskets will make the bathroom look neater and more pleasant to the eye.
And these containers
In similar fashion to the baskets above, these organizers will also help you keep your items neatly sorted.
You can fill these with things that you use on a daily basis – makeup, cosmetics, hygiene items like cotton swabs and Q-tips, and so on. Then, just place these organizers on a shelf or washing machine for easy access.
Fill these matte boxes
Storage. In a small bathroom, we love and welcome any storage opportunity.
And usually, the simplest way to store stuff is clear containers you can stack on top of each other.
These particular ones have a matte finish which partially conceals what you have inside but you will still be able to tell what you’ve got there. Those who have poor memory and even poorer organizational skills (ahem, definitely-not-me) will definitely appreciate this.
Install this useful outlet shelf
This is probably one of my favorite positions on this list and here’s why. It takes something that you wouldn’t have thought could be made more functional and makes it so anyway.
It’s an outlet, right. It’s already functional and valuable and impossible to get around without. But here you can add a small shelf to it to make it even more useful.
You can install this shelf in 2 different ways – under or over the outlet (you can also install it on light switches).
Then, you can use it to store a variety of items like your razor, electric toothbrush, contact lenses case, your phone, portable speakers, etc. It can hold up to 10 lbs so there’s a lot of breathing room for your storage needs.
Get a vanity mirror
As someone who’s been using a bathroom mirror to apply makeup for years before switching to a vanity mirror, I can sincerely say – vanity mirrors rock.
You don’t have to strain your back from bending over the sink. You can place it somewhere you’ll get the most out of lighting and won’t have one side of the face darker than the other. It’s beautiful.
Plus, this particular double-sided mirror gives you a) x1 and x5 magnifications, b) two small shelves for jewelry and makeup accessories, c) a sleek decorative piece for the bathroom.
Get a more interesting bathroom rug
One of the best small bathroom ideas on a budget is looking at what you have and elevating it. This includes trading a generic bathroom rug for something a bit more interesting.
It’s always easier to go for a monocolored microfiber rug and that’s fine. But there are a lot of options out there that can truly enhance the decorative style of your bathroom.
Something a bit more textured or shapely, funny or colorful can make a ton of difference.
You can also splash a bit on one of those bamboo bath mats that would look gorgeous in a scandinavian or boho decor.
Use command hooks for storage
When you don’t have enough surface space, turn to the walls for help.
Self-adhesive hooks can instantly create more storage options in a small bathroom. You can use these in a traditional way and hang towels, bathing accessories, and light bathrobes on them.
Or. You can get a bunch of drawstring pouch bags (like the ones you’d use for party favors) like these organza ones or these made of burlap. Hang these bags on the hooks and use them to store…well, anything you’d like. Extra razor cartridges, aromatherapy oils, personal hygiene items, makeup accessories, waxing strips, I could go on and on.
This way, you’ll have more surface space and more storage space. Win-win.
Put everything into fancy jars
An easy way to elevate the look of an ordinary bathroom is to give everything its own container.
Do you have cotton pads? Take them out of their plastic bag and transfer them into a tall apothecary jar. Do the same with q-tips and cotton balls and watch your bathroom transform into an elegant and fancy abode.
Clear containers don’t hog the visual space in the room and make it look neater. With these, you can keep organized and even go a step further with labeling the containers (the set above gives you a bunch of labeling stickers).
Some containers, like the ones above, come with colorful lids in a variety of shades. So you can match it to the color scheme of the room. Another beautiful accent on the road to a beautiful bathroom.
Utilize the bathroom door for storage
Properly decorating a bathroom also means finding the right spot for everything you have.
If you don’t have a free wall for hanging bathrobes or bath towels, this might become a problem. Or not, because every bathroom has an untapped goldmine of storage potential – the door.
For example, you can hang these 11 (5 small and 6 larger ones) hooks over your bathroom door. The flexible bracket can fit doors up to 1 3/4’’ (4,45 cm). But if you don’t need that many hooks, you can get a 4-pack of single ones and hang them when needed. It’s one of those small bathroom ideas on a budget that will come in handy in the long run.
Now, you’ll have plenty of space to hang bathrobes, towels, accessories, and organizers without worrying about wall space.
Add this elegant shower caddy to the mix
Every shower needs a shower caddy. For efficiency. And, in case of this brass beauty, the looks, too.
This metal rust-resistant caddy has plenty of space to store all your essentials. The extra-wide shelf on top can fit bulkier shampoo and shower gel bottles. The shallower bottom shelf is perfect for soaps, testers, pumice stone, scrubs, and oils. And with 6 hooks in place, you can use the smaller ones for keeping razors in an upright position.
This shower caddy is much more elegant than its usual plastic counterparts. Additionally, it comes in 7 different colors allowing you to perfectly match it to the decor. And, well, everything looks better when it’s neat and organized, even showers.
Hope you found some interesting ideas for your own small bathroom.
As I mentioned before, creating a stylish bathroom on a budget takes time. So remember to pin this post to your “Bathroom Decor” Pinterest board for when you need a refresher or a boost of inspiration.