No-Reno Ideas for a Bathroom Makeover
Try these easy and affordable styling tricks for a quick bathroom update
Here are seven of my go-to, quickest, and most affordable ideas when it comes to making over any bathroom. These are all suitable for easy weekend projects!
My personal style is influenced by luxury hotel stays, so I am inclined to decorate a countertop the same way you find them outfitted in hotels. I like to have hand towels ready, especially in guest bathrooms, which I roll and store in a decorative vessel (usually of organic material, like shell or bamboo). In private bathrooms, smaller hand towels (for one-time use) can be replaced with regular hand towels.
A good tip here is to remember to coordinate your countertop accessories. Even if you’re lucky enough to have plenty of space, mismatched countertop accessories can quickly look inelegant. Ikea has affordable bathroom sets. (My favourite is the set of bamboo boxes.) You can use these accessories to hide away odds and ends, store hand towels and bar soaps, or even display travel-sized toiletries for guests.
I do this in every room, but in bathrooms this is a small but indulgent touch people often overlook. I am partial to scented reeds on the countertop, and a hand wash/lotion set.
If you are using an existing hand wash that perhaps doesn’t rank high aesthetically, consider a ceramic soap dispenser. I advocate using glass or ceramic vessels.
Bathrooms are often cold and lifeless because we don’t instinctively apply the same decorating rules for them. Just as you would bring in plants to warm up your living space, you should incorporate greenery in bathrooms wherever possible. This can be done through a simple table plant, or a larger statement one (pictured here).
If you cannot afford to spare the tabletop space, try an air plant or even a small pot on the toilet cistern. You’ll be surprised at what a dash of green can do for the room.
Textiles take up a lot of visual weight in a bathroom, so a quick refresh can change up your bathroom decor significantly. I like to invest in classic white, fluffy towels and a bath mat, as they’re versatile, elegant, and can visually declutter a room. Other options include bright, geometric towels for a muted space (suitable for kids’ bathrooms) or Turkish bath towels (the quick-drying cotton is suited to our tropical climate).
While not the easiest fix, the impact lighting fixtures can make should not be underestimated. Bathrooms are often installed with harsh overhead lighting, which can make a room feel cold and clinical. Recessed lighting in the ceiling can also be ineffective for makeup application or shaving. I recommend looking into task lighting on each side of the mirror, installed at eye level for the most effective illumination in bathrooms. If you have high ceilings, consider using ambient light to ‘fill’ spaces that are darker. This will also create the illusion of a larger space.
Bathroom Light Fixtures That Radiate Style
Like adding plants and warming up the space with textiles, artwork not only cosies up a space but also gives visual depth to an otherwise functional room. As long as the bathroom is well-ventilated and your frame is properly sealed, humidity in your bathroom will not ruin your artwork. However, if you want to err on the side of caution, try bringing in ceramic art, sculptures, or even hanging masks on the wall.
Like lighting, updating your fixtures (faucets, shower heads, sinks etc.) is not the easiest task. If you have an older bathroom, shiny new fixtures are key to completing the makeover process. If you’re tackling the plumbing yourself, an easy tip is to look at newer models of the same brand of fixtures you currently have installed. If your bathroom comes with built-in vanity counters, don’t forget to update the existing hardware on cabinet or drawer fronts either – this will really complete the look.