How to Make a Bathroom Feel Refitted Without Actually Refitting it — 5 Tips for an Easy Refresh

Is your bathroom due for a makeover but you want to keep the budget low? These ideas will help

A bathroom with copper taps
(Image credit: Mauricio Fuertes. Studio credit Susanna Cots Interior Design)

A bathroom can be refitted without totally refitting it. If your space feels old and dated, you'll be happy to know that it doesn't require a full gut reno just yet. You can give this space a glow-up with new products and some inspiration and creativity.

To help you get started, we reached out to top experts who offered key suggestions on how to give your modern bathroom a facelift, on a budget. Take a look and get started.

1. Update the lighting

A bathroom with lights next to the mirror

(Image credit: Tom Kurek. Studio credit JT GRUPA)

A great way to create a bathroom look without totally changing the interiors is by swapping out the old lights with new ones. Perhaps even add a statement light, like a pendant over the bathtub, or bring in more sculptural wall lights to give the room a luxe feel.

'By far, the easiest way to update bathroom lighting is by installing battery-operated sconces,' says Julia Mack, founder of Julia Mack Design. 'Look for interesting shapes that are touch-controlled and rechargeable. Oftentimes they have three pre-set light levels and most can be programmed to be motion-activated, allowing them to act as nightlights too. Styles range from industrial to decorative and will easily increase the lighting level in any bathroom.'

2. Change the mirror

A bathroom with a green vanity and an organic mirror

(Image credit: Nathan Schroder. Studio credit Maestri Studio)

A bathroom mirror has more than just functional value. It also adds a decorative touch, especially if you choose the more ornate designs. If yours is a small bathroom or a powder room, then consider just switching up the mirror for a more sleek, smart, and stylish design. Think of gold frames, and organic shapes.

'Adding a striking new mirror, with an interesting frame for example is a great way to create something new and eye-catching to make your bathroom feel like a spa,' says Juliette Thomas, founder and director at Juliettes Interiors.

3. Add a fresh lick of paint

A bathroom painted blue

(Image credit: Ivan Erofeev. Studio credit Architecture bureau CXEMA)

'Glossy paint in a bright tone is the easiest way to add color to a bathroom,' says Julia. 'Small bathrooms can handle a colorful wall paint because oftentimes the tile work takes up much of the available wall area. Also, consider painting the ceiling. Keep in mind the colors of the bathroom tile then select a paint color that adds a nice contrast. For example, if the bathroom tiles are gray and white, consider a bright spring green on the walls and ceiling then add matching towels and accessories to tie the whole space together.'

'In this bathroom, the paint color was used to create a sense of refreshment and dynamism,' says Natasha Orekhova of Architecture bureau CXEMA. 'While entering the bathroom, a person's perception of the surrounding environment changes. The contrast of the blue color with other tones and elements is striking. This effect adds dynamism and vibrancy to the overall visual perception of the room. The mirror in the bathroom reflects how the blue color of the bathtub harmoniously contrasts with other shades, creating a unique visual accent.'

Paints aside, even a bathroom wallpaper can add inject a lovely pop of color and print to the space. Consider adding wallpaper behind the mirror or ceiling; in fact, an incredible array of waterproof wallpapers too are available which can be installed inside the shower.

4. Upgrade the storage

A bathroom with a vanity storage

(Image credit: David Lauer Photography. Studio credit STYLEWORKS)

Take the time to think through the bathroom storage, its capabilities, and design. Perhaps changing the bathroom cabinets, painting them, or even polishing them could transform the look of the room. If your room has space, add a thin, tall unit in matte black or bronze to store towels and toiletries away from your countertop. Even installing something as simple as new caddies could add an aesthetic appeal.

'For bathrooms, the simplest way to create space and add style is by installing some shelves on the walls of the vanity, or by the shower,' says Charlotte Sitton, founder of Organised By Charlotte. 'For me, the most useful items are stick-on shower caddies and toothbrush holders that are functional and allow the space to be clutter-free.'

5. Replace the taps

A bathroom with copper taps

(Image credit: Mauricio Fuertes. Studio credit Susanna Cots Interior Design)

Bathroom hardware pieces are those tiny yet important elements that add layers of style to the room. Think of the tap that you use every day. An old, chipping, stainless steel fixture will bring down the look of the room; but a sleek, smart tap will make the bathroom feel like a plush space.

'Brass hardware is a big bathroom trend as it is timeless and works in so many color and material pallets, especially in combination with timber and other natural materials in the bathroom,' says Louis Hagen Hall, founder of Studio Hagen Hall.

3 products to upgrade the bathroom

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast).  Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.