Quick Tip: Master Bathroom Remodeling on a Budget

Several master bathroom ideas for inexpensively creating a home spa feel.

Master Bathroom Ideas

Photo: Benning Design Associates

The master bathroom is quickly becoming one of the most popular getaway rooms in the house. People are incorporating high-tech options like mirror-mounted mini televisions mounted and MP3 stereo systems in the shower. And spa elements—including showers that double as steam rooms, Jacuzzis and decadent soaking tubs, mini-bars and warming trays for towels—are all common master bathroom ideas nowadays.

“People are spending more time in their baths because it’s a retreat from busy lifestyles,” says Susan Marinello, Principal Design Director of Susan Marinello Interiors in Seattle, WA. “It makes sense that they want the spa elements that help them to relax and rejuvenate.”

Although the sky’s the limit, you can have a luxurious master bathroom even on a budget. The key is knowing where to cut corners and where to splurge. “I wouldn’t compromise in quality of plumbing fixtures,” Marinello advises. “You don’t need high-end, but high-quality is essential. There’s nothing worse than a poorly functioning shower set-up. If your bath isn’t functioning in a luxurious way, or your shower set-up is poor, or your sink faucets don’t flow properly, the entire bathroom fails.” Some simple master bathroom ideas for luxury on a budget include:

  • Marinello suggests using all one material for clean simplicity, but it can be porcelain or ceramic tiles instead of marble or another expensive natural stone.
  • “There are some really low-cost tricks you can use to create a spa environment,” says Los Angeles interior designer Leslie Harris. “All lights should be on a dimmer, and a sound system or even an iPod if you can’t wire for speakers goes a long way towards creating a relaxing environment.”
  • Install electric heating pads under the flooring material. “You can just heat a three-foot by three-foot pad in front of the vanity or shower and really enhance the bathroom experience,” Marinello explains.
  • Don’t forget the little luxuries, such as fresh flowers, wonderful soaps and body scrubs, scented candles, and a few super-fluffy towels.
  • Be sure the colors are natural and soothing blues, greens, and gold are perfect. Harris also suggests other touches of nature: a window garden or photos of the mountain getaway of your dreams.