The bathroom: a boring expanse of white tile that taunts you with its dull conformity to the expectations of what a “bathroom” should be. Homeowners can remodel, but renters may be more limited in their bathroom decorating decisions. But fear not—there’s a lot you can do to make your bathroom beautiful without replacing tiles or knocking down walls. Read on for some sensational suggestions for bathroom design.
1. Evaluate Your Needs
Are you a high-maintenance type who goes through an hour-long bathroom routine every morning, or do you just brush your teeth, hop in the shower, and go? Your bathroom setup can vary greatly depending on your needs. Those who spend more time in the bathroom likely also have more products to store, and will need to make storage decisions accordingly. Those who have fewer products may have more room for unique decorations or colorful curtains in the bathroom.
2. Store Your Stuff in Style
Clutter can be a big enemy in the bathroom. Since apartment bathrooms can be short on space, you might need to get creative with storage. The over-the-toilet storage shelf is a reliable option, but has been done before. Consider keeping supplies in closets and drawers, or ask your landlord if you can add some shelving in the bathroom. Tall (or small), thin cabinets can come in handy in the bathroom, since space is often at a premium. Since your landlord might not want you to paint the bathroom, buy an inexpensive cabinet and paint it an exciting color or pattern—you’ll have a fabulous focus piece for your bathroom. You can also monitor your daily routine and figure out where you do most of your preparation for the day. If your bathroom is small and can’t accommodate your makeup or hygiene items, consider purchasing a vanity for your bedroom and styling your hair and doing other tasks there.
Don’t think that you have to hide everything out of sight in a cabinet, though—there are plenty of attractive smaller storage options that can allow you to put your items in place and on display. Simple space-savers like over-the-door towel racks can help keep your bathroom clutter-free. Bathroom accessories with suction cups can be affixed anywhere and will prevent precious countertop space from being taken up by large numbers of items. Trays are another stylish and inconspicuous way to keep your necessities organized.
3. Do Something Unexpected
Everyone has seen bathrooms with nautical themes and floral themes; maybe you’ve even seen some powder rooms with zebra and leopard prints making for a safari theme. It may seem cute to put boats and seashells in the bathroom, but if that’s not your interest, consider taking another tack. What themes or colors interest you? Maybe red is your favorite color, but you thought it was too strong for your living room. Spice up the bathroom with some red towels, a red shower curtain, and red accessories. The bright color will make white tiles and walls pop, and you’ll feel revived and energized after a refreshing shower in your revved-up red room. Additionally, artwork is often reserved for the living or dining room—but why? Hang some framed pictures or photographs, or check out the new vinyl adhesive artwork that’s becoming popular. If you want to liven up boring tile without replacing it, consider these embossed wall tiles for the bathroom. They lend texture and interest while still being totally temporary.
4. Make the Functional Funky
Just because it’s a bathroom doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Instead of having a monochromatic set of towels, or hiding the towels in the linen closet, use colorful towels to lend some excitement to the room. Ditch your clear plastic shower curtain, or use it as a liner for a classy canvas curtain. Throw in an assortment of wall mirrors that will add light and the illusion of space to your bathroom. Something as simple as installing a new set of towel racks and door pulls can drastically alter the mood of your bathroom. Seashell-shaped soaps are a little overdone, but something unexpected (like a rubber duckie swimming on a bar of soap with ocean waves, or perhaps some watermelon or cupcake soap) in the soap dish can bring a smile to your face and accentuate the rest of your bathroom at the same time. Whatever appeals to you is what you should grab and run with.
A little effort and a lot of creativity go a long way toward transforming your bathroom from blasé to beautiful. Use these tips and your own sense of style to make even the dullest bathroom space into an attractive and useful area.