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Five trendy bathroom upgrades that don't cost a bundle

Here are five hot bathroom improvement trends and some ideas for incorporating them into your home.

12 Inexpensive Bathroom

No one ever said “trendy” translates to “cheap.” Yet when it comes to on-trend, luxury upgrades, you don’t have to spend like a diva to make your bathroom look and function like a designer’s dream.

Here are five hot bathroom improvement trends and some ideas for incorporating them into your home:

1. Skylights
In rooms where privacy is a concern, skylights can provide both natural light and fresh air without exposing your personal business to the neighbors. They’re both beautiful – endowing bathrooms with a major “wow” factor – and practical. ENERGY STAR-qualified VELUX No Leak Solar Powered Fresh Air Skylights can help trim electricity costs by providing natural light and passively venting moist, warm air from the room. Install solar-powered skylights and blinds, and the cost of the products, as well as the installation, can qualify for a 30 percent federal solar tax credit. You can create a big impact for a small price with a makeover that only takes a couple of days.

2. Lighted vanity mirror
Home improvement stores, design studios and online retailers carry a wide variety of options in shapes, sizes, styles and light sources (LED, CFL or incandescent) to suit virtually every taste. Because installing a lighted vanity mirror is a simple do-it-yourself job, it’s also a very low-cost improvement that has a big impact on a bathroom’s appearance and usability. With such a huge variety, it’s possible to find a mirror that will fit your budget.

3. Double-flush toilet
Dual-flush toilets allow you to use only the water you need to get the job done – less for liquid waste, more for solids – so they reduce overall water consumption, which means trimming water bills. It’s possible to find dual-flush options for less than $250, so they’re a lower-cost upgrade to begin with. They’re even more cost-effective when installed by a savvy DIYer.

4. Towel warmers
Who doesn’t love the comforting warmth of a towel fresh out of the dryer? Towel warmers deliver that effect without the hassle and expense of running the dryer. Wall-mounted or freestanding, plug-in or hard-wired, all towel warmers work the same way; heated bars warm towels hung on the rack, providing a cozy, warm towel every time you bathe. Plug-in versions install easily, while hard-wired ones may require professional installation. Prices can range from less than $100 to more than $600, depending on the style and features you choose.

5. Shower footrest
This one is such an economical improvement; you may wonder why anyone wouldn’t do it. Some suction-cup styles cost under $20. For a more refined look or enhanced sturdiness, it’s possible to find one that anchors into the wall through screws, or a style built into shower surrounds. If you’re redoing your shower stall, it’s the perfect time to add a stylish, sturdy footrest.

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