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6 Simple (and Affordable) Upgrades for a Spa-like Bathroom

These days we all need a little extra self-care, and being at home all the time might mean you’re missing out on your regular massage, mani-pedi, or haircut. This brings us to the ultimate in home self-care spaces: the bathroom. Who doesn’t want a bathroom they can retreat to after a long day? Large soaker tub, scented candles, and lighting that makes you look a-MAZ-ing—sounds like a dream! That said, many of us are dealing with either rental bathrooms we aren’t able to update or a lack of funds to rework our existing layout and incorporate all the bells and whistles (raises hand).

Have no fear, budget girl is here! A few tweaks and styling tricks can go a long way. Try my six tips to update your space and you’ll be soaking pretty in no time.

1. Storage: The first step is to hide the mess. We all have our potions and mundane bath essentials, but no one wants to look at a stack of toilet paper while taking their bubble bath. Make the most of existing storage—vanity, medicine cabinet, linen closet—to get as much as you can out of sight. For items that still don’t have a home or you want in close reach, consider decanting them. Products can be placed in pretty glass bottles, cotton swabs in a mason jar, and toilet paper or extra towels can be stowed in elegant wicker baskets.

2. Plants: If you ask me, no room is complete without a plant and the bathroom is no exception. When choosing a plant consider your available space, the humidity level, and the amount of sunlight you get each day. Not all plants will thrive under the somewhat unique conditions of a bathroom. I’ve had great luck with air plants and, if you get enough sun, aloe is a great option. Check out my plant Pinterest board for more ideas.

3. Paint: Yes, this may take a little more elbow grease, but a fresh coat of paint is almost never a bad idea. White is universally flattering in a bathroom, especially if you have some funny colors you’re working with in the tile or fixtures. If you prefer a moodier vibe, I like a dark green (hint: I maaay be considering this for my own bathroom), blue, or even black, which can be quite striking. Dark hues make a space feel cozier which make them perfect for those who prefer to focus on their self-care in the evenings. They also pull focus away from other elements in the bathroom, which might be ideal for some (looking at you, cracked tile!). Do keep in mind that darker colors won’t reflect light as well so if you’re looking to bring in more light, stick with a paler hue.

4. Trays: You want to keep your space as clutter free as you can for that zen, spa look. However, we all have daily essentials we need close at hand. Collecting items on a tray makes the space automatically feel organized. Look for something in a color that complements the rest of your space and is easy to clean. It’s a bathroom, so there will be spills. If you have some not-so-pretty containers, you can decant them or you can simply place those toward the back of your tray and layer your prettier bottles toward the front.

5. Soothing Scents: This. Is. Everything. Scents have the power to influence our mood. If you want your bathroom to be a space for relaxation then you need to find a scent that makes you feel good. Lavender, clove, and eucalyptus are all great options to try first. You can either purchase soy candles in these scents or a diffuser. No room in the budget for either one? When you go to take a shower or bath, let the water run until it’s hot and then sprinkle a few drops of essential oil right into the tub or on the shower walls. The steam from will release the scent into the air. Take a deep breath...ahhhh.

6. Luxurious Textiles: Ok, so let’s be real. Nice towels don’t come cheap. If you can, then you should totally invest in a set of 100% cotton or linen towels. I’m a big fan of Parachute, but there are a ton of companies out there you can explore. If you aren’t able to make the investment right now I also like plain old Target towels. Might not be top of the line, but they come in a bunch of different colors and in my personal experience, they stand the test of time. Either way, treat yourself to a set of brand-new, matching towels. If you need to leave them out in your bathroom, do what I do and roll them for the spa-look.

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Hi there! My name is Erin and I'm the owner of Erin Davis Design, a virtual interior design firm founded in 2017. Here on my blog I serve up tips for creating a home that's functional, beautiful, and right on budget. I hope you'll cozy up on your sofa and stay awhile! 

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