17 Simple Ways to Beautify a Small Bathroom Without Remodeling

Small bathroom with small round mirror next to white and tan shower curtain

The Spruce / Almar Creative

"I love my small boring bathroom"—said no one ever.

Not being able to create the bathroom of your dreams because you live in a rental or can’t afford to renovate feels unfair. It’s your home after all, and you should be able to make every square inch of it better. These doable ideas will help you pull the plug on what's ugly without remodeling.

  • 01 of 17

    Add Unique (And Cheap!) Flooring

    peel and stick wood floor tiles
    East Coast Creative Blog/Lowes

    Has your bathroom floor seen better days? Peel and stick tiles will renew it. FYI, removable ones are perfect for renters because they easily lift off using heat from a hairdryer.

    The drool-worthy bathroom floor shared here is by Monica Mangin, the blogger behind East Coast Creative. She used two contrasting styles of peel and stick flooring to create this one-of-a-kind look that's featured on Lowes.

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  • 02 of 17

    Update Your Toilet Handle

    stylish bronze toilet handle
    Gray House Studio

    Courtney and Brent of Gray House Studio updated their bathroom with oil-rubbed bronze fixtures and hardware. Afterward, the chrome handle on their standard toilet stuck out like a sore thumb. A couple of coats of paint solved the problem. They say it was the finishing touch that completed their bathroom's expensive new look.

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  • 03 of 17

    Add Plants

    plants in bathroom
    Tessa Neustadt/Hommemaker

    Nothing brightens up a boring bathroom like plants. Not only do they add beautiful pops of color, but they also freshen stale air and lift wilted spirits.

    So that you know, plants that thrive in a typical bathroom environment dig humidity and warmth. Got a brown thumb? Try these low-maintenance beauties: spider plant, mother-in-law's tongue, and aspidistra.

    Interior designer, Orlando Soria created four different looks for the cheery bathroom shown above. A cool fact is that they're all based on different scents from Method's foaming body washes.

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  • 04 of 17

    Add a Reclaimed Wood Wall

    stickwood peel stick accent wall

    At one time, DIY'ing a barn wood feature wall required massive power tools like a band saw. Now, décor loving small space dwellers who don't have room to swing the proverbial cat—not to mention DIY, can quickly create a wood accent wall thanks to Stikwood. They make peel and stick planking made from sustainable wood sources. The bathroom wall shared here uses boards from their Reclaimed Sierra Silver collection.

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  • 05 of 17

    Add a Peel-And-Stick Backsplash

    Smart Tile white Peel and Stick Backsplash
    Smart Tile

    Hate your bathroom's backsplash? Then cover the ugly with heat and humidity resistant peel and stick tile. Two companies make good ones: The Smart Tiles and Tic Tac Tiles. To install, just apply to a clean and dry surface. When it's time to remove, heat with a hairdryer. The tiles featured in this picture are the style Hexago from The Smart Tiles.

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  • 06 of 17

    Use Removable Wallpaper

    dotted wallpaper chic bathroom
    Suburban Faux Pas

    This lively bathroom from Suburban Faux Pas went from plain-Jane to Pinterest-worthy just by adding removable wallpaper. Walls can get a glam new look using patterns like Dalmatian Dots from Spoonflower. New cabinet knobs and a gorgeous gold faucet can also beautify a builder-grade vanity.

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  • 07 of 17

    Add a Peel and Stick Mirror Frame

    Bathroom Mirror Makeover with peel and stick frame

    Cheryle's bathroom had a blah unframed mirror. To spruce it up she added a peel and stick frame by MirrorMate, then decorated it with a lovely fretwork panel from O'verlays. The latter is the pattern strip shown here. It's an inexpensive way to virtually refresh most of the décor in your home.

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  • 08 of 17

    Fake a Tiled Floor

    geometric black and white vinyl floor cloth
    Apartment Envy/The Washington Post

    Geometric tiles are a statement-making décor trend that will instantly modernize a dated bathroom floor. However, swanky flooring like this costs up to $10 per tile, not including installation.

    Kerra Michele, the savvy and super stylish décor blogger behind Apartment Envy, came up with an affordable alternative. She concealed her rental's old bathroom floor using a cut to fit vinyl floor cloth in a trendy geometric tile pattern.

    FYI, the durable floor covering is by Spicher and Company, and it's available in a wide range of patterns and colors that start at $50 each.

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  • 09 of 17

    Update Your Basic Vanity

    decorative overlay on Ikea bathroom vanity
    Decor Aid

    The interior designers at Decor Aid know how to make affordable finds, like this inexpensive IKEA vanity, look like a million dollars. They gave the small cabinet a custom expensive look using decorative panels pre-cut to fit.

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  • 10 of 17

    Create a Gallery Wall

    bathroom gallery wall
    Sylvan Park Life

    Caroline & Ty at Sylvan Park Life transformed a big boring blank wall in their bathroom into a statement-making gallery wall. They painted the wall black, which made their artwork pop. Learn how to create a gallery wall in your own home.

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  • 11 of 17

    Update Your Old Lighting

    modern Bathroom Lightfixture on white wall

    The old light fixture in your bathroom is dated and casts a harsh glow. So why not replace it with a modern LED one? A favorite is the SÖDERSVIK wall lamp from IKEA. Not only will it give your bathroom a stylish lift, but also the soft glow it emits will make your reflection prettier.

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  • 12 of 17

    Add Faux Wood Flooring

    faux wood bathroom floor
    Home Depot

    Trafficmaster Allure vinyl flooring, by Home Depot, makes it a snap to give any room in your home, including the bathroom a remarkably beautiful faux wood floor. This idea is perfect for renters because no glue or nails are used to install. A case that covers 24-square feet starts at around $25.

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  • 13 of 17

    Dress up an Ugly Water Pipe

    water pipe in bathroom hidden by wrapping it with rope
    Apartment Therapy

    If you live in a prewar building, chances are you have a gross floor-to-ceiling hot water pipe in your bathroom. Just take a look at this nifty tip from Apartment Therapy. Wrapping it in ordinary rope dresses it up while providing a little insulation.

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  • 14 of 17

    Get a Better Bathroom Rug

    beautiful patterned bathroom rug
    Amber Interiors

    It's a no-brainer—every bathroom needs a rug with a nonslip backing. But that doesn't mean it has to look like a typical bathroom rug. Options that look like pint-sized living room rugs will add a stylish splash to a dull bathroom floor. Just take a look at this vibrant rug from Amber Interiors.

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  • 15 of 17

    Add a Sophisticated Bath Mat

    teak floor mat in shower stall

    If your shower stall's floor is a stained mess, conceal it with a teak floor mat, like this option from TeakWorks4U If you're not in the know, teak wood is naturally water-resistant. While cut-to-fit options can cost around $500 or more, you can find them for much less in standard bath mat sizes at Overstock, Bed Bath and Beyond and other retailers.

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  • 16 of 17

    Incorporate Unexpected Pops of Color

    brightly painted toilet roll holder

    Unexpected pops of color are a cheap and cheerful way to dress up a blah bathroom. Need a few colorful ideas? You can spruce up a metal toilet paper holder with spray paint. This IKEA hack for their GRUNDTAL toilet roll holder is genius. But don't stop there. You can also paint your trash can, towel bars, and even the bathroom radiator in bright bold shades.

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  • 17 of 17

    Get a Pretty Shower Curtain

     Shower Stall With white Shower Curtain
    Sweet Parrish Place

    Yep, we all know that a pretty shower curtain can brighten a dull bathroom. But you may not know you can use one to conceal an old shower stall. That's how Nicki, the DIYer, who pens Sweet Parrish Place cleverly disguised hers. To do this, you'll need a tension shower curtain rod. Unlike the regular ones, they don't require screws to install.