Make Your Bathroom Pop with These Easy Upgrades

Say the words “spruce up the bathroom” and most people jump to the conclusion that it means undertaking a major renovation. Not so!  Just as with any other room in the house, there are small changes to be made that can yield big results in freshening up the look and bringing the bathroom into a more current state of decor. Pick one or pick several, most of these ideas can be accomplished easily over a weekend — or even an evening.

Get Rid of the Towel Rack

Different types of racks or hooks are more stylish than the standard offerings.View in gallery
Different types of racks or hooks are more stylish than the standard offerings.

Most bathrooms come with a towel rack and hardware sets generally have one that matches the other items in the collection. This, however, does not mean you need to have one. Recently, alternative hanging methods have become popular, ranging from decorative hooks to ladder racks to innovative racks like this one. In fact, for bathrooms where wall space is at a premium — or space is tight in general — a rack like this can exponentially increase the number of items you can hang.

Add Bright Colors

A big jolt of color, even on the bathtub, makes a big impact.View in gallery
A big jolt of color, even on the bathtub, makes a big impact.

Bathrooms have typically been neutral spaces, thanks to all the tiling that is usually found there. Apart from painting the limited amount of wall space, bold color has not been common in most bathrooms. Thanks to our desire to liven up each and every space in the home, there are plenty of ways to add color to the bathroom. From the more expected tactics of colorful accessories and towels, it’s now possible for color-lovers to add a custom-hues bathtub or sink, or even a wall full of bold tiles.

Gallery Wall

Gallery walls are a great way to bring art into the bathroom.View in gallery
Gallery walls are a great way to bring art into the bathroom.

A gallery wall is not a new concept but they have rarely been seen in bathrooms — until now. Creating a gallery wall in a bathroom elevates the space and adds art to a room where people spend plenty of time. Those lucky enough to have a large expanse of wall space can use larger components, but even in a small bathroom, it’s possible to create a gallery wall with small individual pictures. Just remember not to use valuable art in the bathroom because it is a damp environment that could damage precious works.

Large Scale Prints

Large scale prints work well in a small space like a powder room.View in gallery
Large scale prints work well in a small space like a powder room.

Large-scale prints in the bathroom are definitely a thing. Whether used to highlight one wall or to cover all four walls and sometimes the ceiling, big prints are the way to do it. Big, bold florals, large leafy patterns or major abstracts or graphics are all good choices. How much you use depends on personal preference and how bold and maximalist a look you want.

Statement Sink

Bold in color or style, a statement sink becomes the focal point.View in gallery
Bold in color or style, a statement sink becomes the focal point.

For adding a major focal point in the bathroom, nothing beats a statement sink. Sure, it is a larger project, but not as big as replacing other fixtures. Especially if you have a stand-alone vanity, it’s easy to substitute a whole new one, or even just a new basin. You can add drama with color, shape or material choice. It’s up to you and your budget how big a statement you make.

Contrasting Trim

 

Paint trim to match the cabinetry for a subtle yet definitive change.View in gallery
Paint trim to match the cabinetry for a subtle yet definitive change.

Traditionally, crown molding and other trims are painted the same color as the ceiling, but by painting them to match or contrast with the cabinetry in the bathroom, it adds another highlighting element. Yes, this is a large bathroom, but this technique can be used in any size bathroom. Painting the trim is one of the fastest, easiest and most inexpensive ways to change up the look.

Unexpected Lighting Fixtures

Chose light fixtures outside of the typical "bathroom" collection.View in gallery
Chose light fixtures outside of the typical “bathroom” collection.

Every lighting showroom has a “bath” section, but you shouldn’t feel limited to that collection when choosing fixtures for the bathroom. In fact, picking something that is unexpected for a bathroom — from pendants to a chandelier — adds not only flair but also a big dose of personality to the space. Sconces can flank the door, the shower entrance or the mirror. Chandeliers or artful suspension lights can hang over the bathtub. Think outside the box that many purveyors try to define for the bathroom and you’ll create a really individual space.

Floating Shelves

Floating shelves add style and function.View in gallery
Floating shelves add style and function.

Few bathrooms have space for a traditional shelving unit so floating shelves are the ideal solution. Whether these are used for display purposes or serious storage needs, they are super stylish and very functional. In addition, they can be installed on any wall in a very short amount of time with little effort. Add one or add several.

Window Shelves

View in gallery
This window features ceramics by Helen Levi.

Not every bathroom has the space for a lot of decorative improvements. If that’s the case, consider some window shelves. Spacious bathrooms can use these for plants accessories while bathrooms that are tight on space can also use them to store necessities. Often, a small bathroom doesn’t have wall space but it might have a window — which is typically covered for privacy. Why not make use of this recessed space and add a new dimension to the bathroom?

Texture

Bathrooms are full of sleek surfaces and need some texture.View in gallery
Bathrooms are full of sleek surfaces and need some texture.

One of the elements lacking in most bathrooms is texture. Think about it: Tile walls, tile floor, glass shower, large mirror. The only texture found is usually the towels and the bath rugs. Add some extra visual oomph and a textural feeling to any bathroom with wall decor that or even a vase of gnarly branches. Varied textures make a space feel more welcoming and interesting, so while this is ideal for any bathroom, it is especially true for guest bathrooms and powder rooms.

Do these ideas get you thinking about some of your own changes to the bathroom? Maybe you have others that you can make that will make the space more stylish without a major investment. From new accessories to lights and hardware, there are plenty of ways to jazz things up without spending a bundle. Give some a try!