If you’ve been using the same bathroom for a while (or even if you haven’t), it might be time to freshen things up. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a full remodel when there are plenty of little things that can be done to make your space feel new again. Here are some simple tips for making yours look like it’s off the pages of Architectural Digest:
Paint the cabinets
A quick way to make a bathroom feel fresh is to paint the cabinets. You can choose a color that will make the room feel bigger, or one that will make it feel lighter. If you want to go with something more modern, try using white or grey paint.
When deciding on the color for your cabinets, remember that lighter colors allow for more light in a room and make it less cluttered. Darker colors can also help close off an area from other rooms of your home, making it seem more private and intimate!
Painting the walls can easily give your bathroom a new look. The best color for this is a neutral one, like white or beige, which will allow you to change the feel of your room with accessories and furniture. If you want something brighter, consider using gray or brown tones instead.
Using a roller for large surfaces and a brush for small ones will make it easier to cover every inch of wall space with just one coat of paint; two coats are usually necessary unless you’re working with high quality paint that covers well on its own.
To prime those areas where stains or imperfections might show through, use an oil-based primer before applying your paint. It’ll give your final product extra durability and longevity while also protecting against moisture damage over time—a win-win!
Add new hardware
The best way to create an updated look is by replacing old hardware. If you have cabinet doors that are worn, cheap looking or damaged, replace them with new ones. If your cabinets have old-fashioned handles, get rid of those and replace them with modern hardware in the same style as your bathroom fixtures (i.e., brushed nickel). The same goes for cabinet knobs and pulls—if they’re chipped or scratched up from years of use, replace them with new brass ones that match your faucets and other bathroom accessories.
Switch out the lighting fixtures
- Replace the light fixtures. Changing out your bathroom’s light fixtures is a great way to make it feel more modern, especially if you’ve got a dated or unattractive ceiling fan.
- Add a task lamp. You can also pick up new lighting from places like Target or Ikea, but if you’re feeling crafty and want to save some money, consider making your own floor lamp out of an old one that still works!
- Get a dimmer switch for those late-night baths (or just for mood lighting). Dimmers are actually pretty simple devices that allow you to control how bright or dark your lights are in any given room—and they’re surprisingly affordable!
If this all sounds like too much work for you (or if you don’t have the time), check out our guide on how to install a ceiling fan yourself!
Refresh caulk in the shower/tub
If your bathroom still has an old-fashioned tub, it’s time to replace the caulk. This is one of the easiest ways to make a big improvement in the appearance of your bathroom. Caulk is a sealant that covers any cracks or gaps in the joints between walls and fixtures, so it keeps water from leaking out and helps prevent mold from growing. Some newer mattresses have built-in waterproofing materials that do all this work for you, but if not, then caulk is definitely needed!
Plants add life to any room, and they’re especially great for bathrooms since they help purify the air by absorbing pollutants from it. You can also put plants near windows that aren’t too close to direct sunlight (plants need access to both light and water). If you have a lot of windows in your bathroom, consider adding plants there instead of inside the shower stall or tub area where they might not get enough light or water over time (and be sure not to let them sit in water).
Update towels, rugs and decor
- Replace towels with a lighter color that is a more natural match for your bathroom’s décor.
- Choose rugs that have a similar hue and pattern as the flooring, but don’t make this too matchy-matchy. A rug should be just big enough for its space and no larger; if you have to walk around it, it’s too big!
- Add decorative touches such as baskets, vases or wall art to add visual interest without being too overwhelming in an old bathroom.
- Use small rugs in front of toilets for added comfort while sitting on the toilet seat because they can get cold and hard when they’re not covered by fabric (you’ll thank us later).
Add smart features
Your bathroom doesn’t have to be boring. If you’re looking to upgrade, consider adding smart features like a heated towel rack, useful smart toilet or automatic faucet. These products aren’t just convenient — they also help reduce water usage and increase safety for those who may not be able to reach certain areas of the sink or shower independently (like older adults).
Add a vintage mirror
If you want to add some personality to your bathroom, a vintage mirror is just the thing. Vintage mirrors come in all shapes and sizes, and can be found at antique shops, flea markets and online. If you’re lucky enough to find one that’s the right size for your bathroom at an affordable price, treat yourself! Or if you have time on your hands or are feeling crafty, refinishing it yourself is easy and fun (and will save money).
We hope this guide has offered you some inspiration on how to make your bathroom look more modern and stylish by making use of the space you have. Whether you have the resources to renovate your entire bathroom or just want create a few small design changes, there are plenty of practical (and fun) ways to breathe new life into smaller spaces too.