The Stylish Bathroom Design Direction That’s Perfect for a Tight Budget


Did you catch the gorgeous, renovated bathroom in this Philadelphia house? On a tight budget for the whole home, Melissa and John’s bathroom is filled with affordable materials used in fresh ways. And the room’s success is due in large part to the fact that the couple stuck to two strong, simple and complementary design styles: modern and rustic. Below, four elements that make this bathroom so beautiful and affordable to emulate.

A simple black, white, and wood color palette

Elegance is often synonymous with simplicity, and nothing says modern more than a lot of fresh white and crisp black. The rustic style in this bathroom comes in with rough, natural wood, which also warms up the material palette.

Basic tiles used in fresh ways

Long, flat, glossy subway tiles stack on top of one another, creating a powerful wall surround in their bathroom. I found this 4″ x 16″ subway tile on Wayfair for less than $2 a square foot, and you could cover just as much as your budget allows for an affordable visual impact similar to their space. I also found a small black vintage-style hexagon tile for less than $1.50 square foot. Lesson take away: Stick to the basics but take a page out of Melissa and John’s book on how to install them. If you really don’t have the budget for tiles, don’t forget that paint can take your style vision far.

Rustic elements and industrial accents

It would be relatively easy and affordable to install DIY wood shelves somewhere in your bathroom reno, similar to the look in their bathroom. And elements like a vintage mirror and industrial-style lighting mix well with fixtures and furniture with clean lines. In Melissa and John’s bathroom, the light fixtures are from Restoration Hardware. The IKEA RANARP and OTTAVA light fixtures have a similar look for a much lower price.

Simple, modern wood furniture

Another way to merge modern and rustic in the same bathroom space is with the addition of furniture with sleek lines + wood, like Melissa and John’s bathroom’s pieces. The wooden bench above was found at IKEA, and this similar IKEA bench is only $39.99. A wooden slat shower mat has spa vibes and can be purchased at a reasonable price, like this Amazon mat and this Target mat.

Melissa and John’s bathroom has enough room for another seat, and this Eames-style rocking chair from Amazon completes a modern feel.


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