DIY Bathroom Ideas: Making Your Bathroom Look Nice on a Small Budget

Lifestyle image of a boat bath with a seemingly paint splattered towel draped over its rim
Author: James Roberts
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Making improvements to a bathroom can feel like an expensive task that requires a complete renovation. Many people spend years trying to save up only to find other, more pressing jobs come along. The result is that these spaces sometimes look tired, unloved and in need of TLC. We have put together some simple DIY bathroom ideas that you can do that can help energise your bathroom without breaking the bank.

With more people thinking sustainably, alongside trends of buying vintage, pre-owned and upcycling, you do not have to spend big to make your bathroom look nice. There are often quick and convenient hacks that can make a lot of difference without having to go on a shopping spree. Spring-cleaning – throwing out the old and bringing in the new – can often be the ideal time of year to do this, however, these tips can work all year round and for bathrooms of all sizes.

1. Repaint Your Bathroom

Close up image of a wide paintbrush resting on top of five paint cans

Giving your bathroom a quick paint job may seem like a rather obvious hack to start with, but it is surprising how much a quick refresh with a new colour scheme can reinvigorate and energise a space. Years of heavy usage can lead to general wear and tear like scuffs, paint cracks and even fading, which can all make a space look tired. Giving it a quick paint, can provide a fresh and more inviting look, while with colour psychology, it could even help improve or change your mood.  It’s worth checking out some bathroom colour scheme ideas, if you’re in need of inspiration. Whether you are a new homeowner inheriting an off-trend or outdated bathroom suite, or whether it has been some time since you made any changes to your bathroom, this simple DIY bathroom idea can be a great starting point.

2. Add Plants and Bring Nature Inside Your Home

Product Lifestyle image of Victoria and Albert Napoli Freestanding Bath

Bathrooms should not just be functional and convenient spaces. They should be reflective of ourselves, our personalities and to help us relax and unwind. Biophilia is the idea of bringing nature indoors and has really taken hold in both homes and workplaces. Alongside colour, fragrance and visual benefits, there are also numerous health and wellbeing benefits since plants oxygenate spaces. According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), studies have shown that adding plants can improve moods, reduce stress, as well as reducing fatigue and blood pressure. Check out some of the best plants for your bathroom and add some greenery to your space.

3. Remove Old Sealant and Re-seal Around Your Fixtures and Fittings

Close up image of limescale built up on the sealant around a bathtub

One of the areas that often sees the biggest deterioration is the sealant around fixtures and fittings, such as bathtubs and shower enclosures. Years of cleaning with abrasive materials or substances can see this start to fall apart. Additionally, the humidity and moisture of the bathroom, particularly if ventilation is limited, can see other health concerns appear including black mould over time, all of which looks uninviting and tatty. There is also the risk that this could also lead to damp and lack of waterproofing. As such, it is worth removing the old bathroom sealant around those spaces and replacing it with new. This minor change will leave it looking fresher and tidier. A No More Leaks Waterproof Sealing Kit is a great investment for those looking to update around baths and shower trays, as well as those looking to change tiles.

4. Re-grout Wall and Floor Tiles

Close up image of grey floor tiles, spotted with white paint

Like sealant, grout can suffer from wear and tear, discolour and the lines around wall and floor tiles can start to disappear. Alternatively, if you are looking to replace broken or old tiles then you will need to update the grouting as well. Learning how to grout around tiles is a useful trick to have in your armoury and can help keep your bathroom looking spick and span. This can be done using a pre-made grouting mix or powdered mix. Alternatively, if you are just looking for a quick fix, a grouting pen is another ideal compromise for just refreshing those tired lines. You do not always have to stick to white in terms of colour either. Some grout mixes come in a variety of colours, which is perfect if you want to match or complement your tiles, or simply just change it up.

5. Paint Your Bathtub

Product Lifestyle image of a small bathroom featuring statement Crosswater floor tiles

If you have an acrylic bathtub or a cast-iron bathtub then this tip is for you. Painting your bath can be a really easy way of adding a bit of colour and injecting personality. It is worth checking with your bath manufacturer to see what paint they recommend before going ahead, to avoid doing damage. BC Designs, for example, use an Exterior Eggshell finish as part of their bath painting service. Adding colour can allow you to change your bath to fit in with the theme of your room, or simply just giving you a refreshed and different look.

6. Add Artwork or Photographs

If your bathroom is looking rather sparse or you have wall space available, add some artwork or pictures into your space. This can help stimulate your mind, relax, and help improve your mood. Pictures could include places you have visited, memorable times, nature, and landscapes, or just a picture of something personal to you or reflective of your personality. If you are not keen on watercolours or oils, then why not look at putting up a photo frame, montage or a canvas of a picture or photos of your own. With many of us using social media such as Instagram regularly and creating shareable memories, there is no better stock of imagery than our own.

7. Change Your Light Shade

Product Cut out image of Origins Living Crystal Ceiling Light

If you still have an old-school bathroom light with a fitting and bulb, as opposed to something like spotlights, updating the light shade is an easy way of updating  without being extravagant. There are a variety of shaped shades, colours, and materials, from frosted glass to paper and even metallic. For those more creative, light shades are also a great creative source, everything from jam jars to garden sieves being used to accessorise a bathroom light.

8. Upgrade Your Bath Panel

Close up image of an old bath panel

If you have a shower bath, it is likely to have a bath panel fitted on the side to cover up the open areas. These come in a variety of colours and designs from wooden effects to simple and plain modern designs and panelled traditional shaker-style designs. They can often be left for a long period of time and only ever replaced when the bath gets replaced. If you are not in the market to update your bath just yet, then a quick fix can be to simply change the panel. This can add a different colour, help match a new theme you are looking to try, or get rid of the outdated or old school décor.

9. Refresh or Add Some New Shelving

Close up product image of Origins Living S7 Glass Shelf

Storage is key when it comes to bathrooms and it is always important to have plenty, whether it is to hide away personal items or simply to make it look tidier. If you are looking to buy, then you can buy soap dishes, bottle baskets, and glass shower shelves at a relatively low cost that will add to your bathroom, or replace any old and tired pieces.

An alternative DIY bathroom idea if you are handy with a hammer and saw, is to create your own shelving. This can be upcycled using old pieces of wood, furniture or even storage boxes. If you have a traditional styled bathroom then ornate brackets have been re-used alongside shelving to create a more timeless bathroom shelving look.

10. Upcycle or Refresh Wooden Furniture

If you have some old wooden bathroom furniture, instead of replacing the items with brand new, try upcycling the piece with a new colour scheme. Simply sand down the wood and remove old paint and then re-paint with a new colour to accompany your new bathroom theme. This is a quick fix that can add colour, refresh old pieces, and keep your bathroom on trend cheaply.

11. Change Your Towels, Bathmats, and Bath Robes

When it comes to towels, bathmats, and dressing gowns/robes, it is quite easy to go for a plain white colour. This is because we associate white with purity, cleanliness, and softness. However, changing these everyday items could make a difference in both bathroom appearance, as well as adding a patterned or coloured spark to your space. These items come in a broad range of colours, which will allow you to be adventurous and daring alongside a new colour scheme, as well as making sure you are suitably pampered and relaxed. Do not forget to add a robe hook to make sure you have somewhere to hang them.

12. Buy and Update Your Space With New Taps

Close up product lifestyle image of Crosswater Atoll Bath Filler

Bathroom taps are one of the most used items since we are constantly washing our hands, brushing our teeth, and cleaning the space frequently. While some taps are meant to change appearance with age, such as unlacquered taps, that offers a more industrial and traditional appearance, the vast majority are finished in lacquered colours like chrome, matt black, white, and various metallics. Over time, these finishes will diminish, either through the coloured finish starting to degrade or scratches and scuffs starting to appear. Taps can come in a variety of styles and colours, as well as serving as the ideal inspiration for starting on DIY bathroom ideas, or complementing other bathroom projects to create a brighter space. You can get some quality bathroom taps without breaking the bank.

13. Upgrade Your Mirror

Close up product lifestyle image of the Origins Living Dune LED Mirror

A decent bathroom mirror is a must-have, particularly for smaller spaces, because it reflects light and makes the room appear larger. Like other bathroom accessories, you do not have to break the bank when it comes to your mirror. You can replace it with a conventional mirror with no ‘extras’ such as lights or Bluetooth that can make a significant difference to any space. However, you can gain extra value by looking at a mirror with lights or LED mirrors. These are great for smaller spaces by adding extra light into the room, meaning no need to upgrade other light fittings, as well as adding some extra ambience to the space.

14. Modernise or Replace Your Door Handles

Close up image of an old door handle

No one pays attention to minor details such as door handles, right? Wrong. Whether it is an old handle, a loose-fitting one or simply something so old it almost belongs in a museum, it is the first thing we see when going into a bathroom. Focusing on the minor details can set the tone for the rest of the bathroom as it shows that care and attention has been paid to every element. Additionally, if you are looking to spark some life into the space with a modern look, handles that are last decade are not going to fit with that. It is worth considering the little things when planning your bathroom scheme, and it is a relatively simple task you can achieve quickly.

15. Ditch the Old Bathroom Accessories

A quick task that can freshen a bathroom is to ditch those old bathroom accessories. They become grubby over time, whether it is losing bristles, becoming discoloured or rusting and just about clinging on to the end of their lifespan. Investing in a new toilet brush and toilet roll holder occasionally is worth the investment just to keep things fresh. They are not expensive items to replace and can improve your bathroom visually, and free up extra space. They are easy to install for any DIY-er or handyperson.


As you can see, DIY bathroom ideas do not often mean spending wildly. In most instances, it can also bring out your inner creative side to design a space in your own style and theme, bucking the trend. Whether it is installing a new shelf, adding some new accessories, or simply touching up parts of your bathroom with a new colour, freshening your bathroom does not have to be a hard task.

Do you have any DIY bathroom ideas that would be a useful tip? Have you got any examples of some DIY tasks you have done yourself? Get in touch with us via the contact us page or by social media to send through your tips and we will add them to our blog.