21 Small Bathroom Decorating Ideas

Printed blue wallpaper in a small bathroom

Style by Emily Henderson

After perusing umpteen photos of dreamy bathrooms with fancy faucets, gorgeous tile, and of course storage galore, it's pretty easy to hate the old, cramped washroom in your rental (thank you and curse you Pinterest and Instagram).

But you don't have to continue living with awful. Trust us: With your landlord's permission, a few simple changes—no renovation required—will make things better without draining your checking account. And lucky for you, we have no shortage of tricks for adding color, pattern, and even practical storage. Here are 21 decorating ideas for refreshing small bathrooms.

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    Paint-Free Bathroom Makeover

    Striped wallpaper bathroom
    Photo from Flynnside Out

    If your landlord prohibits painting or if you think the task is too messy, then it's time to get creative with peel and stick vinyl. Options that stand up to moisture and condensation work best in bathrooms.

    This vanity update by Brian Patrick Flynn is a fantastic example. The gray leather veneer is actually (surprise!) removable, vinyl wallpaper.

    There are other types of peel and stick products available that make bathroom decorating super easy. For instance, you can duplicate the striped bathroom wall shared here using self-adhesive vinyl stripes. A favorite is Tempaper Mini Stripes. It's available in four-inch wide rolls.

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  • 02 of 21

    Install a Temporary Vanity

    Bathroom sink in a small bathroom


    Can't stand that old oak cabinet in your bathroom? Or maybe you wish your wall-mounted sink had built-in storage? Whatever the case, consider swapping it out with a vanity suited for your taste and needs. When your lease is up, take it with you. Just get your landlord's written consent before installing.

    New vanities like the IKEA GODMORGON/BRÅVIKEN that sells for $329 come with a sink and cabinet. Some different options sold at major home improvement stores also include a faucet. One example designed for small spaces is the Maelynn by Home Decorators Collection for $209. This bathroom vanity tutorial by Hej shares how to install.

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    Spruce up Your Bathroom With Plants

    Plants decorating a small bathroom

    Homme Maker

    Add a punch of pizzazz to a lackluster bathroom by heading out to your local garden center. A few houseplants suited to your bathroom's unique conditions (think natural light and room temperature) will brighten the space with color and texture. See how Homme Maker styled this bathroom three more ways.

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    Refresh an Outdated Bathroom With Paint

    Small blue bathroom

    The Makerista

    When it comes to decorating, paint is a silver bullet for ugly. Here its magical powers turned a beige builder grade bathroom into a chic powder room. But our favorite idea from this transformation from The Makerista has nothing to do with painting. See the lovely round mirror? It was stuck on top of the original one with double stick mounting tape.

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  • 05 of 21

    DIY a Rustic Feature Wall

    Small bathroom with a pink wall

    The Weekender

    What to do with that big bare wall? Turn it into a snappy feature with removable peel and stick floor tile. You'll need to use the vinyl stuff that stands up to water and humidity. Home Depot and Lowes offer different options in a wide range of textures, colors, and sizes that resemble real wood and luxurious stone. The Weekender shares how to fake this rustic accent wall.

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  • 06 of 21

    Quick and Reversible Fixes for Ugly Bathroom floors

    Vinyl bathroom floor cover

    Apartment Envy

    Disguising an ugly bathroom floor is much easier than you think. Interior designer, Kerra Michele, concealed hers using a water-resistant vinyl floor cloth that she custom cut to fit.

    You can also use interlocking rubber floor tiles. They're available in lots of colors, and the type with raised dots resembles ceramic penny round tile. To secure in place, use carpet tape. Find more bathroom ideas by Kerra Michele at Apartment Envy.

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  • 07 of 21

    Modernize an Old Bathroom With Black Fixtures

    Black fixtures in a small white bathroom

    Add dramatic contrast to a white bathroom with black fixtures and accessories. FYI, installing a new faucet is usually an easy and also reversible update if the new fixtures fit the existing holes in the sink or countertop. See more of this pitch-perfect bathroom by Homepolish.

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  • 08 of 21

    Revive Your Vintage Bathroom

    Updated but vintage small bathroom

    A Domestic Life

    This vintage bathroom redo only cost $200. 

    While black and white tile has enduring style, the old wallpaper that once graced these walls made the tiny space feel dark and claustrophobic. Removing it all made an uplifting difference. Swapping out the sconces, and updating decorative accessories from the cabinet knobs to shower curtain were the finishing touches that turned this old bathroom into a stylish classic. A Domestic Life created this soup to nuts makeover. 

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  • 09 of 21

    Combine Function With Personality

    Blue accessories in a small bathroom

    IDF Studio

    Celebrate your personal story by customizing your bathroom with character building accents.

    This space uses a mix of nautical and rough-hewed elements to create a relaxing bathroom retreat that conjures seaside memories. We also love the upcycled wire basket that creates towel storage. IDF Studio designed this soothing space for Ronald McDonald House.


    One Thing Ep 83: This Small Space Bathroom Storage Solution is a Game Changer

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    How to Decorate Your Pink Bathroom

    Vintage small pink bathroom

    Red Egg Design Group

    Since you can't rip it all out, make peace with your pink bathroom by playing it up. Here a marble-inspired mirror, patterned wallpaper, and a painted vanity complement the pink tile. If you want to tone down your bathroom's pink features, add vibrant, contrasting colors like blue and green, which will distract the eye. Bathroom decorated by Red Egg Design Group.

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  • 11 of 21

    Ditch Your Traditional Bath Mat

    Small bathroom from above

    Amber Interior

    What's the single bathroom decorating idea we think everyone should crib? Ditch your bath mat for a real rug in vibrant colors. It's a teensy change that will instantly boost a drab space.  Peruse more photos of this adorable space designed by Amber Interior Design.

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  • 12 of 21

    Whip up Concealed Storage Under a Wall Mounted Sink

    Stylish bathroom sink skirt

    Indigo Ochre

    If your bathroom has a wall-mounted sink instead of a vanity cabinet, a lovely sink skirt will create some concealed storage space while hiding exposed pipes. Indigo Ochre designed this gorgeous powder room.

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  • 13 of 21

    Stenciling Is Cheaper Than Wallpaper

    small bathroom with stenciled wall
    Thrift Diving

    When it comes to economics, wallpapering a bathroom usually costs a lot more than painting. But that doesn't mean you have to forfeit pattern to save money. 

    The blogger behind these decorative walls got that wallpaper look by painting with a stencil from Royal Design Studios. Thrift Diving explains this stencil project's pros and cons.

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  • 14 of 21

    Rethink Your Bathroom Door

    Barn door in a small bathroom


    A hinged door that swings inward can eliminate the amount of usable space in a teensy bathroom. Swapping it out with a pocket door would be ideal, but that requires tearing out a portion of the wall. Lucky for you, we have two more solutions for this frustrating dilemma.

    You can convert your traditional door into a sliding barn style door. DIY kits found at many home improvement stores cost between $150 to $400. It's a good idea to get your landlord onboard with this project before getting started.

    You could also flip your bathroom door, so it swings open in the opposite direction. It involves a few tasks including moving the door's hinges to the opposite side of the opening. With the right tools, it's a doable one-day project for experienced do-it-yourselfers. This tiny apartment bathroom by Sweeten packs a few more space saving ideas.

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    How to Fake Wallpaper Without a Stencil

    Fake wallpaper in a small bathroom

    Mix and Match Design

    This bright and airy powder room was once a colorful purple disaster. Amazingly, it took only a few simple tweaks, fresh paint and new shades for the sconces, to make it so much better. No, we didn't forget to mention the wallpaper. That's because the graphic wall was painted freehand. Mix and Match Design created this budget bathroom makeover.

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  • 16 of 21

    Add Drama to a Bathroom Using Art

    Art-filled small bathroom

    Hillary Thomas Interiors

    Eye-catching artwork hung on a wall painted a bold shade, will distract the eye away from the ugly in a small bathroom. Bathroom designed by Hillary Thomas Interiors. ​

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  • 17 of 21

    Turn a Funky Bathroom Into a Boho Oasis

    Bohemian small bathroom


    How do you turn a bathroom remodeled during the Eisenhower administration into a bohemian oasis?

    Several boho-inspired essentials renewed this Brooklyn bathroom including a macramé toilet paper holder, medallion print shower curtain and of course lovely green houseplants. 6sqft has more photos of this plant-filled apartment.

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  • 18 of 21

    Pick the Perfect Shelves for Your Space

    Beautiful bathroom storage

    Oh So Beautiful Paper

    Two insanely simple decorating tricks increased this tiny bathroom's storage space. 

    Thick floating shelves were swapped out for thin shelving. The latter makes the wall appear less cluttered while creating more room for stuff. Next, updating the wall-mounted medicine cabinet with a much bigger one also created extra storage. Oh So Beautiful Paper updated this 1920s bathroom.

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    Transform Your Bathroom With Art and Grout Paint

    Bathroom gallery wall

    Sylvan Park Life

    Is your brown and beige bathroom stuck in the 1980s? An injection of art and color will bring it up-to-date.

    Here, black paint created the backdrop for a gallery wall that plays down the beige tile. To brighten things up the bathroom's brown grout was painted white.

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  • 20 of 21

    Give an Old Bathroom the Gold Treatment

    Bathroom with gold details


    So you don't have a luxurious marble bathroom. You can still make things glamorous with gold accents. Features and fixtures from a glitzy shower rod to a golden faucet, which are both typically a cinch to install and later remove on moving day, are available in a broad range of styles and prices. See the rest of this apartment on Sweeten.

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    The Best DIY Bathroom Ever

    Small bathroom with grey and white details

    Go Haus Go

    This project from Go Haus Go may be the most satisfying DIY bathroom ever.

    Here's a breakdown: Black paint and new cabinet knobs renewed the old school vanity. The original medicine cabinet, which was a nasty mess was swapped out for a new one with oomph. But the topper that made this bathroom internet famous is the removable, ostrich print wallpaper.