Brown may seem like an unlikely color choice for a bathroom. But Mackenzie Craven’s thoughtfully designed guest bath makes a quiet case for this bold, 70s-inspired hue. “Brown is back!” she declared in her Instagram post unveiling the new look with Dirty Chai. “This rich, moody hue is just what this little bathroom needed.”
The versatile brown proved to be the perfect palette cleanser for the compact bathroom — and just the inspiration she needed to further update the space. After a few more affordable upgrades, the space is now warm, modern, and perfectly nuanced — ready just in time for the holiday season. “I love the moody, classic effect,” she says of the new shade. “It’s a natural transition from the taupe-y greige walls found throughout my home.” Ready to get inspired? Find Mackenzie’s quick and easy bathroom decor ideas on a budget ahead.
1. Shop around your home for wall decor
Rather than investing in all new wall decor, take notes from Mackenzie and pull from your existing archive. “I DIYed this gallery wall with what I had on hand,” she says of the small montage hanging above the toilet. This hack is perfect for small spaces that only need a few pieces of wall art to feel finished.
2. Change the mood with a fresh coat of paint
Mackenzie opted for our cinnamon-tinged Dirty Chai — a warm, sophisticated neutral and a far cry from the blush pink that adorned the bathroom walls for the previous year. “The blush bathroom was always a crowd pleaser, but let’s be honest, the color is polarizing,” she writes. “I didn’t want anything to stand in the way of potential buyers falling in love with our home, so I was ready to try something new.”
3. Get thrifty with tile
You can still re-tile a bathroom on a budget, especially when you’re working with such a small space. To save a quick buck, “ask your local stores which tile they have overstocked in their warehouses,” she suggests. “If you’re working with a small space, they may have enough on hand to get the job done.”
4. Skip expensive decorative piping
Wall-mounted sinks are great space-savers for small bathrooms, but exposed pipes can present obvious design challenges. Rather than investing in new, aesthetically-pleasing plumbing, Craven suggests taking a trip to your local powder coating shop. “Decorative piping can get expensive,” she shares. “Instead of buying all new pipes in your desired finish, powder coating will save you time and money. Just work with your plumber to determine what you need and what you already have.”
5. Add warmth with secondhand textiles
The striped towels and small area rug add just the right touch of texture and warmth to this cozy space. “I was scared of vintage rugs in the past, but this little beauty converted me,” she shares. “It’s soft and unique and just what this moody little bathroom needed.” For those hunting for bathroom decor ideas on a budget, consider searching local thrift stores or flea markets, which are often brimming with unique, affordable finds.
Related: Fresh paint is one of the easiest bathroom decor ideas on a budget. Read The best bathroom paint colors (and how to use them) for more ideas!