Upgrade the Lighting

One of the fastest ways to update the look and feel of your bathroom is by changing the lighting. Consider replacing outdated fixtures or plain vanity lights with pendant lights, sconces or even under-cabinet lighting to illuminate the space. Installing a dimmer switch also allows you to adjust the ambiance.

For a quick lighting refresh, simply replace old bulbs with brighter, whiter ones like LEDs. Add task lighting like a sleek LED light bar over the mirror to reduce shadows on your face. Well-lit bathrooms feel cleaner and more inviting.

Refresh the Hardware

Replacing dated metal hardware like faucets, showerheads, towel bars and cabinet pulls is a budget-friendly remodel that makes a noticeable impact. Opt for brushed metals like nickel or oil-rubbed bronze for a contemporary vibe. Stainless steel and matte black are also stylish options.

Make sure any new hardware complements the color scheme and other finishes already in your bathroom. Installation is usually simple with basic tools. Polishing or painting your existing hardware can also give it a quick update.

Paint the Walls

A fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest ways to transform the look and feel of a bathroom. Paint the walls, ceiling and even the vanity to make the space feel bright and airy. Neutral, subtle hues like light gray, beige or soft blue work well in bathrooms.

Use semi-gloss or high-gloss paint on the walls around tubs and showers as the sheen resists moisture and is easy to clean. Painting is an affordable project you can likely finish in a day. For a bolder impact, paint the vanity a contrasting color from the walls.

Declutter and Organize

An organized, clutter-free bathroom instantly looks more inviting. Sort through the products under your sink and medicine cabinet and remove anything expired or you no longer need. Install organizational bins, trays or racks to neatly store essentials.

Get matching containers or Bamboo organizers to create a unified look. Display your towels, toilet paper and other necessities in stylish woven baskets or bins. Purging unused items clears out space while proper storage keeps your bathroom tidy.

Update the Vanity

Swapping out your existing bathroom vanity entirely can give the space a whole new look, but doesn’t have to be complicated. For renters or those on a budget, consider a furniture-style vanity that doesn’t require plumbing changes. These simply sit on top of your existing vanity.

Or give your current vanity a makeover with a fresh coat of paint in a modern color and new hardware. Another easy option is applying decorative vinyl wraps or contact paper to conceal scuffs or damage. Updating your vanity brings a fresh, contemporary look in a single weekend.

With these simple upgrades, you can give your bathroom a mini makeover on a timeline and budget that works for you. Don’t be afraid to tackle these projects yourself – they mostly require just basic tools and DIY know-how. In just a weekend, you can have the fresh, stylish bathroom of your dreams.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do bathroom upgrades cost?

Bathroom upgrades can range dramatically in price from DIY projects costing less than $50 like painting or adding new accessories, to full bathroom remodels that can cost tens of thousands. But many weekend upgrades like new lighting fixtures, faucets, vanities or tile backsplashes typically range from $50-500.

What are quick weekend bathroom upgrades?

Great weekend bathroom upgrades include painting, changing lighting and hardware, decluttering with new storage solutions, adding accent tiles or shelves, updating the mirror or medicine cabinet, replacing the vanity, and installing new fixtures like a stylish showerhead.

Should I update my bathroom before selling my home?

Updating your bathroom before selling can allow you to sell your home faster and for a higher price. Key upgrades buyers look for include new or refinished cabinetry and counters, updated tile, spacious showers, adequate lighting and stylish fixtures. Even quick fixes help make bathrooms look clean, modern and more appealing.

How do I make my bathroom look expensive on a budget?

Some easy ways to make your bathroom look luxurious on a budget include using high-end looking materials like marble or metal finishes for accents, adding subtle lighting like sconces or undercabinet lights, installing a sleek new mirror or frameless shower screen, replacing builders-grade fixtures, upgrading the vanity, and organizing with matching containers.

Should I remodel my bathroom before or after selling?

Ideally, complete any renovations or updates to your bathroom before selling your home. This allows buyers to immediately see the value of the improved space rather than trying to imagine changes. But if selling first, focus on quick upgrades that improve functionality and aesthetics like painting, staging, organization, new lighting, and minor repairs.


Reimagining your bathroom doesn’t require a full-scale renovation or hefty budget. With simple DIY upgrades like new lighting fixtures, a fresh coat of paint, updated storage solutions, and replacements for dated hardware and vanities, you can create a stylish, soothing oasis. Use your creativity and a touch of elbow grease to complete mini makeovers in just a weekend. Before you know it, you’ll have the bathroom of your dreams without breaking the bank or your back.