How to Decorate a Bathroom

The bathroom is often one of the most overlooked and neglected rooms when it comes to a home decorating scheme. Because it is perceived as such a functional room, its decorative flair can be lacking. Fortunately, there are some quick and economical ways to give your bathroom a fresh look while working with the existing fixtures and finishes. To learn how to decorate a bathroom without requiring a full demolition and remodeling, consider some of the steps below.


  1. 1
    Decide how much you can realistically do. Are you going to paint? Put up tiles? Use wallpaper? Give any wood work a new finish? You may decide you can't be bothered with actually decorating and that you'd rather just add some accessories.
  2. 2
    Choose a theme for your bathroom. Decide how you would like to decorate your bathroom. Select your theme. Consider vintage, classic, modern, romantic, nautical, tropical....there are many many options.
  3. 3
    Consider a color scheme as well as a theme. If you are blessed with an avocado bathroom suite, fantastic, you can make that work with myriad colours! Basic white is easy to accessorize too. You could have an all white bathroom but some may say that's a little clinical. If you are not a fan of colors, accessorize with gold, silver, brass or clear glass. Many common bathroom items are available in these materials and can make a stylish addition to your ablutions.
  4. 4
    Be sure to select items that will survive the damp, warm conditions of your bathroom. Paper and cardboard decorative items may not survive. Earthenware, porcelain, plastic and glass will all do well but be cautious with breakable items if children or the elderly use the room.
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    Purchase a new shower curtain. By far the quickest and most economical way to change the look of your bathroom dramatically is buying a new shower curtain. The large size of a shower curtain allows it to play a major part in anchoring the aesthetic of your bathroom. Your color palette can be drawn from your curtain, but also the overall tone of the room, whether it is playful, tranquil, glamorous, serious, or any other tone.
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    Introduce small accessories into your bathroom. Another inexpensive way to add impact is by accessorizing your bathroom. This can include essential items such as toothbrush caddies, towels, and soap dishes, but also more decorative items such as houseplants, framed art, and candles. An excellent way to use these items is by providing bright pops of color into a bathroom with a subdued wall color. This will also allow you to change your color palette easily by swapping out your accessories.
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    Paint the walls a new color. Painting is a task within the reach of most homeowners or renters, and can change the look of your bathroom quickly. When painting, coordinate the wall color with the colors of your tile, fixtures, and any other finishes you do not want to change. The wall color is another great way to influence the tone of the room.
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    Replace some of the hardware and fixtures in your bathroom. Toilet tissue holders and towel bars are two pieces of hardware that are relatively easy and inexpensive to change. Consider buying new hardware in a bold finish, such as brass or gold, for a more dramatic look. Replacing light fixtures and sink faucets is also an option, but requires a bit more work and is more expensive.
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    Browse for bathroom decorating inspiration online. If you are still unsure of the direction in which you want to take your bathroom's look, look for inspiration online. Interior design blogs and magazines are a great way to find bathroom decorating schemes that you love. Pick out your favorite elements in these photos and adapt them for your own bathroom.


  • Keeping houseplants in your bathroom is a great way to liven your space. Note that if your bathroom has no windows, you will need to keep a plant that tolerates very low light, such as lucky bamboo.
  • If you live in a rented home, you may not be able to paint or replace any fixtures. Accessorizing smartly with a shower curtain and small decorative items is the best way to personalize a rental bathroom.
  • If you are a tenant and have a built in shower and a bathroom that is floor to ceiling tiles, accessories and decorative items are the only way ahead. Place items such as perfume bottles, small jugs, shells, nautical or aquatic ornaments, etc on any surfaces, shelves or windowsills you have available.

Things You'll Need

  • Shower curtain
  • Bathroom accessories
  • Paint
  • Bathroom hardware

Article Info

Categories: Bathroom Decorating