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DIY Bathroom Makeover On a Budget

Updated on October 31, 2015

Small Bathroom Makeovers

When I wanted to do a DIY bathroom makeover on a budget I had to plan carefully. You see I live in an apartment building so I am limited on what I can do in terms of renovations. So standard renovations such as replacing a bathtub or sink would be completely out of the question.

So my small bathroom decorating ideas would need to be more of a surface style change. However even changing small things can make all the difference.

All images © of Whatsittoyou

Inexpensive Bathroom Decor Changes

  • You can always paint the walls to brighten up the place.

  • Add an over the toilet storage unit - This will change the look and add storage space.

  • Change the mirror or medicine cabinet to give it an update.

  • If you don't want to paint changing your bath linen set can add a splash of color.

  • The countertop accessories or another great way to provide a more upscale look.

  • The least expensive way to change your decor is to bring other objects in from another room. You can add a vase, bowl, or flowers.

Over The Toilet Storage Unit

Living in an apartment means having a small bathroom. So one of the best things you can do to create more storage space is to get an over the toilet storage unit.

This was perfect for me for another reason as well. The wall behind my toilet was rough and actually had a crack in it. Since the landlord didn't want to fix it, I could use the over the toilet storage unit to cover up the ugly and damaged wall.

I was lucky enough to get one for free. My grandmother was moving to a new place and didn't need hers anymore since her new place had plenty of storage space.

Zenna Home Over The Toilet Bathroom Spacesaver, Bathroom Storage with Glass Windows, Espresso
Zenna Home Over The Toilet Bathroom Spacesaver, Bathroom Storage with Glass Windows, Espresso

This one is similar to the one I have. I like that it provides extra storage space without taking up what little space I do have.

The best part of all is that it also helps to keep the room looking tidy due to the fact that things are stored behind the doors.


Shower Liner Solutions

Do you ever have your shower liner floating in at you while you are trying to shower? The latest liner I bought was coming in so far it was almost halfway to the wall on the other side of the bathtub. That doesn't leave much room for me and I don't want it touching me.

They have curved curtain rods that will move the liner and curtains further away from you while you are in the shower. While I like the idea and design it isn't a good solution for me. Since it curves out it would take up some of my floor space which isn't good when you already have a small bathroom to begin with.

So I came up with my own solution. What normally keeps a liner in place is the magnets at the bottom. All I would need to do is add more magnets. I don't want to buy new magnets and glue them on every time I change the liner.

So instead I bought magnetic clips. That way I can just clip them onto the bottom of the liner and remove them when I get a new liner. The clips also allows you to move them around easily to make sure you put them in the best position to hold the liner in place. I now have the full width of my bathtub back when I take a shower.

What You Need To Solve Your Liner Problem

Oxo Good Grips Magnetic Mini Clips 8-Pack, Assorted Colors
Oxo Good Grips Magnetic Mini Clips 8-Pack, Assorted Colors

I recommend that you use plastic clips like these ones so that you don't have problems with them rusting.


Decorative Flowers & Diffusers

One way to add some class and color to your room is with flowers or decorative diffusers. The flowers can give you a pop of color. While the diffuser will not only look attractive it can help to create a warmer atmosphere and add a pleasant aroma.

These are things that are not too expensive to purchase, but you could make it even more budget friendly if you can just move them from another area of your home.

House of Silk Flowers Artificial 17-Inch Phalaenopsis Orchid, Mini, Green
House of Silk Flowers Artificial 17-Inch Phalaenopsis Orchid, Mini, Green

While I have a real orchid in my bathroom you can also get it in a silk version. They are available in a variety of colors as well.

My Shower Caddy & Clock Radio
My Shower Caddy & Clock Radio

Shower Caddy

There are no shelves or soap holders on my shower walls. I do not want to leave my soap and shampoo on the edge of my tub. The soap would leave a film, plus I don't want to be bending over all the time.

I found a shower caddy puts everything within arms reach without having to bend over to get it. It keeps all my essentials in one place in an organized fashion.

Since it is made with small openings in the shelves it prevents water from pooling. This is good so that you don't have to worry about mold or mildew.

Zenna Home 2132HB, Tension Corner Pole Caddy, Oil Rubbed Bronze
Zenna Home 2132HB, Tension Corner Pole Caddy, Oil Rubbed Bronze

This is the style of shower caddy that I have. It is a perfect place to store my soap, shampoo, and any other shower essentials, while keeping them easily within reach.


Waterproof Shower Clock Radio

If you have limited space but you want to have a clock or a radio in your bathroom, then a waterproof clock radio is a perfect idea.

Since they are waterproof you can actually store it inside your shower. I keep mine on my shower caddy. This helps you to be able to keep an eye on the time while you are getting ready for school or work.

Bathroom Mirror or Medicine Cabinet

The medicine cabinet/mirror that came with my apartment is old. The cabinet itself doesn't look very nice, but even worse the mirror is ruined. This something that I would have replaced first if I was allowed too.

Head West Crystal Mosaic Rectangle Mirror, 23-1/2 by 29-1/2-Inch
Head West Crystal Mosaic Rectangle Mirror, 23-1/2 by 29-1/2-Inch

The way the frame is designed it will show the color of your walls through the frame.


Before & After

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Shower Curtains

Changing the floor or wall tiles can be very expensive. So an easy and inexpensive way to change the look of your bathroom is to change your shower curtains.

A shower curtain can bring a pop of color to the room. You can get one like I chose that is like bringing a piece of art into the room. They also have ones that can show your sense of humor or display a favorite character.

Since they are relatively inexpensive some people have their standard curtain for everyday use and then ones that they put up for the holidays. One with bloody hand prints for Halloween or one with Santa on his sleigh for Christmas.

Countertop Accessories Set

Getting a matching set of countertop accessories will always help pull together a look. You can even get them to match your linen set to really make a theme. These sets will always look more put together then using the soap dispenser that the liquid soap came in when you bought it.

Seville Classics 5-Piece Bamboo Bath and Vanity Luxury Bathroom Essentials Accessory Set
Seville Classics 5-Piece Bamboo Bath and Vanity Luxury Bathroom Essentials Accessory Set

The great thing about this bamboo set is that it will go with anything. You can change all of the other features and it will fit in with any decor you chose.


Do You Have Any Tips For a Bathroom Makeover on a Budget?

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    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 

      5 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      A fresh coat of paint is the cheapest way I update my bathrooms and have do it many times!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      You have some great ieas here - thankyou!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      5 years ago from Colorado

      Nicely done! Just goes to show you can totally transform a bathroom even when under the constraints of renting. That storage unit made a big difference and I really like your new shower curtain.

    • lesliesinclair profile image


      5 years ago

      That multi-tiered shower caddy looks mighty useful.


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