17 Before and After Small Bathroom Makeovers

See how DIY-ers took their small bathroom from 'blah' to 'spa'

Small bathroom with white tile walls and blue shower curtain.

Turnervisual / Getty Images

Small bathrooms come with big potential for these DIY designers. From modest makeovers to complete remodels, these “before” and “after” small bathroom transformations are totally stunning—and totally inspiration-worthy.

Whether you’re considering a bathroom makeover yourself or just love looking at impressive DIY designs, here are 17 small bathrooms that went from blah to spa with a big dose of creativity (and plenty of hard work). 

  • 01 of 34

    Before: Dark and Cramped

    Small bathroom with dark gray walls and white pedestal sink.

    Design Fixation

    Faith Towers Provencher of Design Fixation started with a small bathroom that had lots of natural light but still managed to look overly dark and enclosed. 

  • 02 of 34

    After: Bright and Open

    Updated bathroom with geometric tile flooring and light gray walls.

    Design Fixation

    By lightening up the room with paint, fixtures, and tile (subway-style for the walls, marble geometrics for the floor), Faith was able to add more brightness—and the illusion of more space. 

  • 03 of 34

    Before: Basic and Boring

    Small bathroom with cream walls and white fixtures.


    Lela Burris, an organizing pro and the founder of Organized*ish, had three words to describe her original bathroom: “Boring. Boring. Boring.”

  • 04 of 34

    After: Bold and Modern

    Updated small bathroom with black painted walls and geometric tiled floors.


    Lela went bold with her redesign, opting for black walls and unique geometric accents. She also removed the bulky storage cabinet in favor of some simple, streamlined shelving, which ended up being a useful tradeoff for opening up the space. 

    Continue to 5 of 34 below.
  • 05 of 34

    Before: Builder-Grade

    Outdated builder-grade bathroom with bathtub and shower.

    A Home For Design

    For Katja Kromann of A Home For Design, there wasn’t necessarily anything wrong with her small upstairs bathroom, but there wasn’t anything special about it either.  

  • 06 of 34

    After: Designer-Made

    Updated bathroom vanity in remodeled bathroom.

    A Home For Design

    This quick makeover didn’t require too much—just a new counter top, some new paint, and a couple new pieces of decor. But as you can tell from the "after" picture, a little bit certainly went a long way. 

  • 07 of 34

    Before: Plain and Muted

    Small bathroom with blue-gray walls and no art.

    Live Pretty On a Penny

    Erin Marshall of Live Pretty On a Penny is no stranger to quick, budget-friendly makeovers. And that’s good news, since that's just what her powder room needed.

  • 08 of 34

    After: Fresh and Welcoming

    Updated powder room with shiplap on walls and dark blue vanity.

    Live Pretty On a Penny

    Erin took on the “One Room Challenge” and the results speak for themselves. In addition to painting the vanity and adding vertical shiplap to the walls, she also put up textured wallpaper and a focus-grabbing circular mirror. Her advice for doing it yourself: “Start small, but start.” 

    Continue to 9 of 34 below.
  • 09 of 34

    Before: Too Teeny Tiny

    Small, narrow bathroom with toilet and multiple shades of blue on the walls.

    Boxwood Avenue

    Chloe MacKintosh, city-to-country transplant and founder of the Boxwood Avenue blog, felt there was a lot left to be desired in her small and dark bathroom. 

  • 10 of 34

    After: Modern Beauty

    Remodeled powder room with white walls, black floor, and floral art.

    Boxwood Avenue

    In addition to swapping in bright and contemporary details, Chloe moved the bathroom itself, taking up part of the hallway to reposition the space in a way that flowed better with the rest of her home. 

  • 11 of 34

    Before: Straight Out of the ‘80s

    Light pink outdated bathroom vanity and wallpaper.

    In My Own Style

    For In My Own Style founder Diane Henkler, color is a good thing—but not when it’s pink wallpaper reminiscent of decades past. 

  • 12 of 34

    After: All Up To Date

    Updated bathroom with blue and white wallpaper and marble topped vanity.

    In My Own Style

    Color still reigns supreme in this bathroom, but this time it’s a bright and timeless blue that takes the space right into the 21st century. 

    Continue to 13 of 34 below.
  • 13 of 34

    Before: Humdrum Neutrals

    Boring builder-grade bathroom with brown tile in shower.

    Pillow Thought

    There wasn’t much to see in Lindsey Marlor’s original first floor bathroom. Marlor, the founder of lifestyle blog Pillow Thought, knew it needed a new approach—and some cozier vibes. 

  • 14 of 34

    After: Blissful and Relaxing

    Updated bathroom with subway tile walls, wood details, and lit candles.

    Pillow Thought

    Who wouldn’t want to take a soak in this spa-like space? Lindsey installed new wall tile and brought it up to the ceiling for added height. She also added in new flooring and contemporary décor for a completely updated look. 

  • 15 of 34

    Before: Stoic and Simple

    Small full bathroom with wood floors and cream walls.

    Domestic Blonde

    Like a lot of DIYers on this list, Kelly Lynn of Domestic Blonde didn’t have anything outwardly wrong with her small bathroom, but she was still eager for a change. 

  • 16 of 34

    After: Updated and Inviting

    Updated bathroom with gray vanity, white walls, and wood floor.

    Domestic Blonde

    With a fresh coat of paint and an eye for cozy details, Kelly was able to transform this small space into a room her family actually wants to use. 

    Continue to 17 of 34 below.
  • 17 of 34

    Before: Black Tile

    Bathroom with black tile floor and outdated fixtures.


    Jamie-Lee Burns of the blog Mademoiselle wasn’t a huge fan of her bathroom’s design, or the fact that it wasn’t watertight. 

  • 18 of 34

    After: Marble Elegance

    Updated bathroom with gray marble floor and large circle mirror above double vanity.


    A contractor was brought in for this project, since water issues required it be torn down to its studs. That gave Jamie-Lee the chance to go all out with her makeover, which included a modern vanity and new marble tile. 

  • 19 of 34

    Before: Simple But Suitable

    Small bathroom with beige tile.

    The DIY Playbook

    Casey Finn of The DIY Playbook felt her guest bathroom could use some work to bring it up to her speed and style. 

  • 20 of 34

    After: Chic and Current

    Standup shower with marble floor and subway tile walls.

    The DIY Playbook

    There’s a lot that Casey did in her small bathroom transformation, but our favorite part is the new shower, which included ditching the tub and opting for a standup space with floor-to-ceiling subway tiles.

    Continue to 21 of 34 below.
  • 21 of 34

    Before: Drab and Dated

    Dated bathroom with pink walls and pink vanity top.

    Pink Little Notebook

    For this small primary bathroom, Sabrina Scrivo of the blog Pink Little Notebook required some major creativity to make up for her limited budget.

    About This Term: Primary Bathroom

    Many real estate associations, including the National Association of Home Builders, have classified the term "Master Bedroom" (or "Master Bathroom") as discriminatory. "Primary Bedroom" is the name now widely used among the real estate community and better reflects the purpose of the room.

    Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge to make The Spruce a site where all feel welcome.

  • 22 of 34

    After: Clean Dream

    Bathroom with black vanity with marble top and large wood trimmed mirror.

    Pink Little Notebook

    Your first thought looking at this amazing reveal probably isn’t “budget-friendly,” but Sabrina managed to get this look by purchasing just a few pieces and using what she already had for the rest. Her work-arounds included white paint she had leftover from another project, plus $6 worth of wood trim around the existing mirror. 

  • 23 of 34

    Before: Blank Slate

    Powder room with white walls and fixtures.

    The Sweetest Dig

    The Sweetest Digs founder Gemma Bonham-Carter wasn’t originally planning to update this basic bathroom, but a larger house renovation left lots of damage and a slant in the ceiling—plus some inspiration to do something a bit more exciting in the space. 

  • 24 of 34

    After: Eye-Catching Details

    Small bathroom with gray tiled floor.

    The Sweetest Digs

    The first pick for the bathroom transformation was the pretty patterned tile, which Gemma then paired with updated, clean lines and a thrift store mirror that she painted herself. 

    Continue to 25 of 34 below.
  • 25 of 34

    Before: Brown on Brown

    Old bathroom with brown details.

    The Zhush

    When you look at this “before” image of Sue De Chiara’s bathroom (founder of The Zhush), you’re hit with a muted palette of brown, brown, and more brown. 

  • 26 of 34

    After: Cheery Changes

    Bathroom with blue and white wallpaper and white vanity.

    The Zhush

    Goodbye brown, hello blue! This bathroom upgrade brings in new pops of color and totally new vibes, with custom wallpaper and a spruced up vanity, among other bright and shiny details. 

  • 27 of 34

    Before: Falling Apart

    Dark and outdated full bathroom.

    House Becoming Home

    The crumbling vanity was the least of the worries of Angie Wilson, founder of House Becoming Home, when it came to her kids’ shared bathroom. 

  • 28 of 34

    After: All Coming Together

    Bathroom with subway tile walls and updated features.

    House Becoming Home

    Angie DIY-ed nearly every detail in this impressive re-do, which included adding subway tile to the walls, painting the tub, and replacing the previously drab flooring. 

    Continue to 29 of 34 below.
  • 29 of 34

    Before: Stained and Outdated

    Old and stained master bathroom.

    Thrift Diving

    Serena Appiah, the founder of Thrift Diving, felt anything but relaxed in her not-so-spa-like primary bathroom. 

  • 30 of 34

    After: A Private Oasis

    Updated bathroom with wain scoting, marble floor, and pink and lavender details.

    Thrift Diving

    Three and a half months and a lot of DIY-ing later, Serena created for herself a serene space with romantic details and calming lavender and pink accents. 

  • 31 of 34

    Before: Bland and Impractical

    All white narrow bathroom.

    Noting Grace

    Jen Fancher of Noting Grace had $1,000 to totally revamp this narrow space, which was no longer suiting her family (especially her son, who at 6’6” was struggling with the too-low vanity counter. 

  • 32 of 34

    After: Perfectly Proportioned

    Bathroom with industrial black fixtures and raised bathroom counter.

    Noting Grace

    Yep, this gorgeous space clocked in at just $1,000! Jen fixed the counter problem by removing the top completely and raising the cabinet base (plus adding in some trim to hide the addition). She also painted the walls, added in new hardware, and put up some textured wallpaper to bring variation to the space. 

    Continue to 33 of 34 below.
  • 33 of 34

    Before: Frozen in Time

    Dark and dated full bathroom.

    This Hiatus

    Ask Lindsey Elliott of the This Hiatus lifestyle blog how she felt about her original guest bathroom and she’ll tell you it was dark, crammed, and a little bit scary. 

  • 34 of 34

    After: Calm and Classic

    Bathroom with cedar vanity and subway tile walls.

    This Hiatus

    Aside from the window, Lindsey and her husband Tommy ripped out and replaced every detail of this small bathroom, bringing in new stunners like a homemade cedar vanity and contemporary hexagonal tiling.