Is your bathroom in need of a freshen up?
Switching up your bathroom décor is a great way of breathing new life into a home, and whilst you may be put off by the cost of recreating an Instagram worthy, spa-like bathroom of dreams, there really is no need!
Luckily, we have also teamed up with the designers at Home Decoriez, to help deliver top tips to make an old bathroom look new, without breaking the bank.
From changing the taps to a coat of paint, there are plenty of ways to make an old bathroom look brand new, and we are going to share all the pro hacks you need.
Tips to update an old bathroom
1 – Upgrade The Tiles
These days it is easily achievable to upgrade bathroom tiles without needing to rip them out!
In fact, you can update your tiles yourself- all you need is some tile paint or vinyl.
Vinyl options range from sheets to stick-on tiles and can be used for bath panels and flooring too.
The easy-to-remove nature of these tiles means you can switch up designs whenever you fancy!
However, if you do have the budget getting your bathroom retiled is obviously one of the most effective ways to create a fresh and modern look to your old bathroom.
Belle at Home Decoriez states that some of the current themes they are seeing a lot at the moment include hexagonal and chequered tile patterns.
2 – Update Accessories
A budget friendly bathroom update typically involves a sprinkle of new bathroom accessories.
Supermarkets and budget stores have some great affordable, on-trend pieces that won’t leave you out of pocket!
From candles to a soap dish, accessories will bring some colour and modernity to a room.
Depending on budget, you could even update the taps and shower head which is relatively inexpensive in comparison to a full bathroom reno but still impactful.
A more minor change that makes a big difference is changing the bathroom mirror; opt for a large statement one to add a stylish, contemporary feel to the space.
3 – Clean The Grout
Dirty grouting will make a bathroom seem tired. When it goes grey or discoloured, buy a grout pen, and restore it in no time!
If you are struggling to get a pen that matches the shade of your grouting, opt for an electric cleaning brush like the Sonic Scrubber; this combined with a cleaning paste will restore your grouting in no time and leave your bathroom feeling much fresher.
4 – Refresh Your Towels
New towels spruce up a bathroom whilst being kind to your purse.
It may sound like a simple change, they are an effective way to introduce new colours, textures, and patterns.
Think about the way you display your towels too – pretty towels deserve to be shown off and not just slung over a radiator or shoved in a cupboard.
Introducing a towel ladder, heated towel rail or even wicker baskets offers you a way to seamlessly tie the room together whilst creating visual points of interest at the same time.
5 – Pop In Some Greenery
Adding in a potted plant or two to your bathroom is an inexpensive way to introduce a fresh, pop of colour and texture.
If you’d prefer not to have the responsibility of keeping a plant alive, there are some super realistic, artificial plants available in home stores these days that will give your bathroom a modern edge without a massive financial outlay.
Play with height by choosing some larger, floor-based plants or if you are limited on space then choose small pots or a vase with on-trend eucalyptus stems.
Check out our article for top tips on which plants will thrive in a bathroom space!
Rikki Fothergill – Big Bathroom Shop – Style Expert.
6 – Choose Lux Looking Products
There is an online trend sweeping across home inspo accounts right now which sees expensive bathroom products on display.
Whilst these may be an expensive initial investment, many of these products are refillable which means you can keep the luxe looking packaging and replace it with a more affordable product once the original has run out.
There are also many high street stores and supermarkets that offer great dupes to these spendy ones, offering a luxury look at a fraction of the price.
Alternatively, pop your products into glass jars for a sleek, premium feel.
Top Tip – Place products into a tray that matches your bathroom theme to keep everything neat and uncluttered.
7 – Switch Up The Furniture
Rather than replacing an entire bathroom suite, look into updating furniture with freestanding pieces.
If you are big on DIY, opt for flatpack from the high street or, if you’re in the market for an upgrade, take a look at our extensive bathroom furniture collection.
The Milano Bexley wall hanging vanity unit has plenty of storage space and space to display stylish bathroom accessories too.
8 – Add A Lick Of Paint
An obvious solution for how to decorate an old bathroom with little money is to repaint the walls.
Bathrooms often have a neutral colour scheme; injecting a pop of colour or a feature wall will bring a modern, updated look to the room.
Green tones and charcoal grey are both great shades to consider as they are impactful without being overwhelming, maintaining the relaxed feel you’ll want from your bathroom.
If you are feeling daring, a current trend is to paint the ceiling (in any colour other than white!) which is a great way to add aesthetic interest, especially if you have a smaller bathroom.
9 – Have A Declutter Of the Space
Possibly the cheapest tip of them all, is quite simply to declutter.
You can’t put a price on the effect that a simple tidy and sort out can have on a space.
Channel your inner Marie Kondo by getting rid of out-of-date products and tidying away things that aren’t used daily.
If you want your products to be easy to reach, or there are items you just can’t bear to part with, then store them away in a cupboard or in storage baskets to keep things neat.
10 – Stylish Storage
Storage is a necessity in any bathroom and whilst it provides a practical function that doesn’t mean it can’t look good too.
If you’ve got open shelving, choose pretty baskets that can be a decorative feature as well as functional.
Larger baskets are great to add texture and shape to your bathroom but also offer a different way to store towels and bathmats.
Some Frequently Asked Questions
How do I update my 80s bathroom?
If you have inherited an 80s style bathroom then it is quite likely it needs modernisation.
To bring it up to date on a budget, consider affordable but impactful changes such as painting walls and laying vinyl over existing tiles and flooring.
Don’t forget the power of an accessory to bring rooms back into the 21st century.
The same rules apply if you are wondering how to update a 90s bathroom.
Updating features such as taps, toilet seats and shower screens will all help add a contemporary feel to an older space.
How do you make brown tiles look modern?
Although many would consider brown a neutral colour, it tends to be too warm a shade to be categorised in this way.
If you have brown tiles in your bathroom, pair with true neutrals or grey for a modern update- a lick of paint on nearby walls in one of these shades would instantly spruce up a dated brown tiled bathroom.
Brighten the space further with potted plants.
These tips will have shown you how to update an old bathroom without remodelling it, and we think you’ll agree- it’s pretty easy!
The ways you choose to update your bathroom will depend on how out of date it is and the budget you have to work with, but if you can’t do them all then just implementing a few will instantly transform a dated bathroom into something more fresh and user friendly.
John trained in journalism before joining the Big Bathroom Shop team. His exceptional journalism skills allow him to meticulously research bathroom topics and bring you the very latest news and views on all things bath and shower related. He’s also a dab hand at Scrabble!