A frequently asked question from clients: how do I make a builder-basic bathroom unique? 

Actually, there are a few easy ways to do this, and they make all the difference in the world, and often don’t cost that much because in such a small room, you don’t have to use much for material. Tilework, a floating or vintage vanity, a beautiful framed mirror, and unique lighting will amp up a basic bathroom without spending a fortune. 

not a builder basic bathroom - easy upgrades that make a huge impact

In a small space, I like a floating vanity with open space underneath. As long as there are drawers for storage, it’s functional yet gives an open feeling. I’m also a big fan of using a furniture piece for a vanity and forgoing the big-box cabinets that look the same in every home. Consider finding a vintage dresser or shelving unit at an auction or antique market. 

beyond a builder basic bathroom - easy upgrades on a budget

My Domaine


via DecorPad


via House Beautiful

upgrades to a builder basic bathroom

Park & Oak

An upgraded countertop from laminate to granite or marble is a reasonable cost for a small vanity. Or you could check out some environmental options for countertops here.

upgraded bathroom countertop for a builder basic bathroom

via Vogue

how to upgrade a basic bathroom on a budget

Cherished Bliss

Tiling doesn’t have to be the expensive glass kind. Inexpensive subway tile is 100% more interesting than drywall.  And choose an inexpensive by reallly interesting floor tile or linoleum – a fun pattern makes all the difference in a small bathroom to give it interest and personality. 


Architectural Digest

beyond a builder basic bathroom

Kate Marker Interiors

Interesting light sconces on the sides, along with a cute hanging light overhead will provide great light where you need it and make a ‘wow’ impact. 

refreshing a builder basic bathroom

Jenna Sue Design

Finally, adding a few extra touches, like a gold-framed mirror and faucet are easy upgrades that make a big statement. 

budget upgrades to a builder basic bathroom

Hello Hoku

In a small room like a bathroom, these upgrades don’t add much extra cost to the budget, but they have a big return on investment. Aren’t they worth a little extra effort?

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