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7 Ways to Update Your Bathroom on Any Budget

update your bathroom

By Laura Gaskill, Houzz

When you’re ready to do more than just upgrade the towel situation, but you aren’t quite ready for a full bathroom renovation, consider planning a bathroom refresh. By not tampering with the layout (or adding square feet), you can bring costs way down while making some pretty major changes. Whether your budget is $100 or $10,000, use this guide to help figure out what to prioritize and what to put on the back burner, and give your bathroom an update that works with your space and your budget.

update your bathroom

The Brighton Bathroom Company, original photo on Houzz

If your budget is about $100:

Get a new shower head or bathtub faucet. Not only will a fresh shower head look better, but it also will improve your bathing experience every single day. If you’re a handy homeowner, you can even install it yourself and save on labor costs. If you have a little extra wiggle room in your budget, splurge on a fancier shower head. You won’t regret it.

update your bathroom

The Brighton Bathroom Company, original photo on Houzz

If your budget is about $400:

Get a new shower head, and then upgrade your bath linens and swap out the vanity light. Fresh linens (and a shower curtain, if using) and lighting will make the space feel cleaner, brighter and more stylish. To avoid installation issues, select vanity lights that mount to the wall in the same way as the old lights.

update your bathroom

The Brighton Bathroom Company, original photo on Houzz

If your budget is about $500:

Get a new shower head, fresh linens and better vanity lighting, and then update the toilet. Unless your toilet is very old, chances are a new toilet seat and flushing lever are all that’s needed to give it a brand-new look. Just be sure to choose a seat and hardware that will work with your existing toilet: Most toilets are either a round or elongated shape, and this determines which toilet seats will work. And while it may sound a bit silly, choosing a really nice toilet seat and lever can make the whole bathroom look classier.

update your bathroom

Innovative Construction Inc, original photo on Houzz

If your budget is about $1,000:

What’s next? After the shower head, linens, lighting and toilet seat, it’s time to refresh the vanity. If your vanity is in good shape, repainting it and adding new hardware may be all that’s needed. If you have the budget to take it a step further, make like Houzz writer Becky Harris (whose master bath is shown here), and give it a new countertop and faucets as well.

update your bathroom

Breeze Giannasio Interiors, original photo on Houzz

If your budget is about $5,000:

Refresh the shower head, linens, lighting, toilet and vanity, and then add new tile. Retiling is one of the costlier items in a bathroom remodel budget, but it can be well worth it if you’ve been living with dated tile for too long! And while more complicated tile patterns certainly require a pro, if you’re an experienced DIYer, it’s possible to tackle a small tile project (like a backsplash) on your own, if you feel up for it.

update your bathroom

Christen Ales Interior Design, original photo on Houzz

If your budget is about $7,000:

If you have more wiggle room in your budget, and your old vanity-sink combo isn’t cutting it, spring for a new setup and replace the mirror or medicine cabinet above it. Keep in mind that the direction of the plumbing (whether it’s directed through the floor or a wall) will influence how easy it is to install the new vanity. For the smoothest (read: cheapest) installation, pick a vanity that handles plumbing the same way your old one did.

If your budget is about $10,000:

New shower head, linens, lighting, toilet, tile, vanity and mirror … what’s left? If you have the room in your budget, it’s time to choose a new bathtub. Keep in mind that changing from freestanding to built-in or vice versa will require additional plumbing work (and it may disrupt tile work as well), and it can raise the costs significantly.

Still have a little money earmarked for the bathroom refresh? Pick out a statement light fixture, or round out the space with accessories like artwork and plants.

Related Links:

Start Off Right With a Brand New Shower Faucet

Get an Exhaust Fan to Ventilate Your Bathroom

The Pros and Cons of a Freestanding Tub

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Get A Luxurious Look For Less: 6 Designer Tips

luxurious look

By Kristie Barnett, Houzz

I’m always trying to help my clients find ways to make their homes look more expensive, even when they are working with a modest budget. There are lots of ways to make your rooms appear richer and more luxurious that don’t have to cost an absolute fortune. With a few well-planned moves, you can make any room in your house feel like a million bucks.

luxurious look

Max Crosby Construction, original photo on Houzz

Beefing up your architectural molding can go a long ways toward making your rooms feel richer. Wider crown molding, taller base molding, and box trim can be added.

luxurious look

Meadowbank Designs, original photo on Houzz

Here’s one of my favorite tricks: Install a thin piece of trim several inches below your existing crown molding. Paint the drywall area between the two trim pieces the same color and finish as the trim. The bulkier your trim molding, the pricier it looks.

Wood flooring always elevates the look of a space. No carpet or other flooring material feels as rich as a beautiful wood floor. Sure, it may cost a pretty penny, but the pretty is well worth the cost. And when you sell your home, you’ll get a big return on your investment.

Throw pillows that are 18 inches or less can read store bought. Search for or have larger pillows made for your sofa — you’ll make the whole look of your living room more high end.

Overfilling your pillow covers helps too. Stuff 24-inch down-filled pillow inserts into 22-inch pillow covers for a more luxurious look.

luxurious look

Schranghamer Design Group LLC, original photo on Houzz

Nothing makes as much impact in a room as a new, interesting light fixture. Lose the builder-grade brass chandelier and install an eye-catching personality piece like this one. You can find a variety of great lighting at big-box home improvement stores that can give you a higher-end look for less than you think.

luxurious look

Atmosphere Interior Design Inc, original photo on Houzz

Here’s a surprise: Did you know that painting your interior doors black instantly makes your space look more expensive? This simple change can make even inexpensive doors look like something truly special.

luxurious look

Wow Great Place, original photo on Houzz

See? Even inexpensive flat panel doors feel richer with a coat of black paint. Don’t forget to add a few other black accents so that the doors tie in with your decor.

Related Links:

Learn More About How to Work With Crown Moulding

Get an Inexpensive Ceiling Medallion for a Luxurious Look

Add Statement-Making Wall Lights for Style and Flair

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These 3 Tips Will Get You a Designer-Approved Backyard

designer-approved backyard

For a modern look in your backyard, turn to new fencing, sunny fabrics, warm textures and sleek accessories. A fence can help transform the entire feel of your backyard by adding sharp lines and unexpected details. When paired with new furniture and updated landscaping, it helps turn your outdoor space into a chic haven. Read on for some of our go-to ways to create a contemporarily styled backyard.

designer-approved backyard

Create Efficiency

designer-approved backyard

Modern settings, both indoor and out, offer efficiency as well as high-impact and low-maintenance design. While a backyard space won’t serve as many purposes as the interior, it should still be functional. Modern backyards enhance the homeowner’s life, acting as a separate livable space focusing on entertaining, dining and relaxing. A contemporary backyard retreat uses metal, wood and other durable materials to mix style with function, so try a sleek privacy fence in a dark wood to keep your backyard feeling cozy without detracting from the modern feel. Add to your design with hardworking fabrics like Sunbrella that offer color and texture paired with low-maintenance design.

Use Elements Found in Nature

designer-approved backyard

Contemporary backyards pull from their surroundings to create a look that is streamlined, stylish and soothing. Most modern color palettes consist of white, black and gray, but an outdoor space requires more dimension via pops of bold color like green and blue, and added texture with wood, stone, and metal. Mix and match colors and textures in similar shades for a dynamic effect, or use a single color in varying tones for an edgier look. Structures like pergolas, fencing and fire pits allow homeowners to use elements found in nature in a more streamlined way—like a cedar fence paired with crushed granite gravel and concrete.

Cook And Dine Al Fresco

designer-approved backyard

Modern backyards make use of every square inch of space, including the areas meant for cooking, dining and entertaining. Outdoor kitchens have grown in popularity over the past few years, and they’ll continue to become more common as families choose to dine al fresco when the weather permits. For a contemporary outdoor dining scene, create a central location where you plan on cooking and dining.

Whether under a pergola, beneath a series of stylish umbrellas or on the patio, a covered outdoor kitchen will always be a focal point of your backyard. Define the space and add a modern touch with an intricate metal fence in a unique design. Next, add in kitchen elements like grills, refrigerators, drink stations, fire pits and other amenities to make your guests feel comfortable. Lastly, set the dining table with accessories like durable fabrics and linens, outdoor lighting, dishes and serving accessories.

Top off your modern backyard with playful accents, twinkling lights and outdoor speakers, and you’ll be celebrating the great outdoors in no time!

Kerrie Kelly heads up her California interior design firm Kerrie Kelly Design Lab. Kerrie is a design an expert and writes online for The Home Depot on an array of decor topics inside and outside the home. For more information about fencing installation services and fencing materials, you can visit The Home Depot’s website

This article is editorial content that has been contributed to our site at our request and is published for the benefit of our readers. We have not been compensated for its placement.

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