3 ways to make your bathroom high end on a low-end budget

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If you’ve been in your home for a while, or if you’re new to a place and you just want a different look, you may be considering a bathroom renovation. As you start researching, one of your main points of consideration should be budget. According to Alure Home Improvements’ kitchen and bathroom designer Patricia Nicolini, the average renovations for a 5′ x 7′ or 5′ x 10′ bathroom could cost families around $18,000 to $22,000, depending on which changes you’re seeking. Remodeling on a tight budget is difficult, but possible. Here’s how to make your bathroom appear high end when money is tight.

1. Choose the right materials
Granite countertops and stone flooring can instantly create the bathroom of your dreams. However, they’re not always practical when you’re trying to stick to a modest budget. So how are you supposed to achieve the look of your ideal bathroom if you don’t have the money for granite? Nicolini said it’s all in the materials you choose. Certain countertop materials, like quartz, are much less expensive than granite or marble, yet still appear elegant. When it comes to flooring, she recommended choosing porcelain tiles, which look clean and expensive and will save you a third of the money it would cost for real stone. Strategically swapping these materials will help you stay in line with your budget without sacrificing quality or aesthetics.

2. Focus on the details
While pastels are great for those who prefer a more casual look, you may want to darken your color palette if you’re searching for something more elegant. Nicolini recommended using rich colors when designing your bathroom to keep things looking exactly the way the word implies. Darker wood typically costs the same as lighter shades, so opting for the deeper colors is a simple way to enhance the classic feel of your bathroom without necessarily adding to your budget.

Aside from colors and tones, there are other details that can add to the high end look of your bathroom. While functional, a traditional medicine cabinet could make the room appear more comfortable and less elegant. Instead, Nicolini recommended trading in the cabinet for a bold, decorative mirror that takes up a significant amount of space and keeps the attention drawn to the piece. A strategically placed mirror could also make your bathroom appear larger, which could be another way of making your renovation seem more elaborate.

3. Keep it minimal
Instinctively, one might associate high end with elaborate designs and grandiose furnishings. However, Nicolini advised that a minimalist look can actually appear more expensive than one with an excessive amount of decorative details. To achieve the look in your own bathroom, try easing up on accessories and decorations and instead focusing your attention on the essentials of the room. Try selecting more structured cabinet, sink and bath designs that are characteristic of a modern style, which is currently a popular request.

“The contemporary look is really trending right now,” said Nicolini. “Clean lines and contrasting tones are great ways of keeping in line with this style.”

She recommended using dark espresso woods for cabinets and balancing them with white walls and other accents to achieve a simple look that appears much more expensive than it actually cost to create.