Interior Bathrooms Bathroom Design

11 Ways to Decorate Your Bathroom for a One-of-a-Kind Look on a Budget

Bring personal style to the bathroom with these inexpensive updates that will transform your space from simply functional to fabulous.
Kristen Mosier Avatar
Green bathroom with green tiled walls.

Photo: CommomyDecor via

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It’s easy to get caught up with popular trends and advice when designing a bathroom. Rules like “Keep it neutral so you don’t tire of it in years to come” or “Be sure to include spa-like accents” can make shoppers feel like there are parameters to their design ideas. So, it’s important to pause and ask if the space feels like a reflection of its users. When it comes to approaching a bathroom facelift, consider ways to add in personal touches without breaking the bank.

“Achieving a unique look in the bathroom is all in the styling,” says Courtney Cole, an interior designer for Australia-based TileCloud. She says, “Accessorizing a bathroom doesn’t have to be expensive to be impactful.”

Get started by adding in small accents. “Pick items that represent your personality,” says Artem Kropovinsky, interior designer and founder of New York City-based design firm Arsight. These 11 ideas should help get the creative juices flowing.

1. Fixtures and Hardware

Bathroom with gold fixtures and pink stone sinks.
Photo and Design: C&K Concepts. Tile Design: TileCloud

Cole advises, “Start with elements that can add instant chic to a space, like swapping out generic hardware for something with character and charm.” For instance, an old vanity can get a second life with new and unique knobs, like these Solid Brass Fingerprint Pulls by LBFEEL at Etsy.

Fixtures shine in the bathroom, so switching them up can make a big difference. Cole advises, “When it comes to hardware and fixtures, think outside the box.” She says, feel free to mix metals for depth and a modern touch. “Even small details like unique towel hooks or a stylish soap dispenser can make a difference,” she says.

2. Wallpaper

A claw foot bathtub sits in front of wallpaper with a green and orange medallion pattern.
Photo: FunkyPaperCo via

“Wallpaper can be a great method of sprucing the interior of the bathroom,” says Kropovinsky. He says this addition can bring texture, color, and design to infuse personality, with looks ranging from daring to calm. Kropovinsky recommends choosing a waterproof vinyl wallpaper made explicitly for the bathroom to withstand the humidity and moisture in the area. He suggests coordinating the wallpaper with other bathroom décor elements, such as towels and bath mats. While it doesn’t have to match, he says, “Having a consistent palette or theme really pulls the look together.” Peel-and-stick paper wipes clean and is ideal for a temporary update. We like this Pink Floral Wallpaper by FunkyPaperCo at Etsy.

3. Paint

A bathroom is painted in everglade deck paint color on walls and trim.

A coat of paint is a simple and inexpensive way to change a space’s look dramatically. Use it to incorporate a favorite shade or create stripes or another DIY design with masking tape. “Paint is an agent of transformation,” says Kropvinsky. “New paint in an audacious or unpredictable shade will instantly liven up any room.” He recommends milder tints for a calming atmosphere and lively colors for “an explosion of strength.”

4. A Statement Mirror

An asymmetrical mirror hangs over a modern floating vanity in a neutral bathroom.
Photo: MirrorHomeDecorArt via

Gone are the days of basic medicine cabinets. Today’s selections lend shoppers more personalized style choices, with mirror upgrades such as backlit and smart mirrors, as well as uniquely framed and shaped versions like this Italian Style Asymmetrical Home Mirror by MirrorHomeDecorArt at Etsy. “A statement mirror can change the dynamics of the room, making a focal point and an enhancer of the light,” says Kropovinsky.

5. Textiles

Bathroom with large graphic shower curtain.
Photo: CrazyCatDesignz via

“Do not underestimate the influence textiles, shower curtains, towels, and bath mats in exciting textures or fun patterns can have on changing the mood of the space,” says Kropovinsky. Consider additions such as an art-inspired shower curtain like this Pop Art Chick Shower Curtain by CrazyCatDesignz at Etsy, monogrammed hand towels, a fabric planter, or a colorful rug.

6. Wall Moldings

A white bathtub sits next to a wall with marble top and wainscoting half wall.
Photo: DekorosHomeDesign via

“A simple wall treatment can elevate the entire ambiance of a room,” says Cole, who suggests choosing options that marry style with simplicity, like these paintable Half Wall Molding Frames by DekorosHomeDesign at Etsy. Integrating wall trim and panel moldings as a DIY project can be an easy and affordable way to spruce up a plain wall. Combine panel moldings on half the wall with wallpaper for a bigger impact.

Shiplap is a fantastic choice for adding texture and a coastal or farmhouse feel to a bathroom,” she says. “It’s incredibly versatile and can be painted to match any color scheme.” She recommends beadboard or wainscoting for half baths and powder rooms to bring in “classic elegance.” If a more modern look matches the decorator’s style, she says, “Try geometric moldings or a patterned wallpaper for a striking focal point.”

7. Tiles

A bathroom has a freestanding tub and a wall of handmade tiles.
Design: Copper Sky Design + Remodel. Photo: Marc Mauldin

Adding tile behind the vanity or along one wall can offer a dramatic facelift to a bathroom when a renovation isn’t in the budget. Consider handmade or imperfect tiles, like zellige versions, which are highlighted in the 2024 U.S. Houzz Home Design Predictions as another trend to watch this year. For the budget-conscious homeowner or renter, peel-and-stick options, like these stylish Fish Scale Peel and Stick Tile by CommomyDecor at Etsy, make tile simple to incorporate. Tile stickers, like these by SnazzyDecal at Etsy, can transform surfaces for those with existing tiles that feel dated.

8. Plants

White bathroom with plant in clear vase.
Photo: Artem Kropovinsky

A vase with cut flowers from the garden can take a simple bathroom vanity from bland to beautiful. “Well-placed plants or a pair can bring life and calmness,” says Kropovinsky, who recommends choosing unusual planters to give character to the space and fitting them with plants that do well in humid conditions. “Vintage tea tins or colorful mugs would be a good idea for smaller spaces,” he says, “or DIY macrame plant hangers for a bohemian vibe.”

9. Artwork

A painting by Jennifer Boswell of three cherries shows brush strokes.
Photo: Jennifer Boswell via

Artwork in the bathroom can instantly elevate the décor. “Art objects, even small pictures or framed photographs, contribute character and color,” says Kropovinsky. Consider postcards, pressed flowers, or downloadable prints. Find vintage framed art, canvas reprints, and even signed original artwork at Etsy, like this Original Cherries Painting by Jennifer Boswell. Have an artistic friend? Ask them to share a favorite drawing or photo.

10. Light Fixtures

A contemporary black and brass bathroom vanity light hangs over a mirror.

Think of the best bathroom lighting—sconces, pendants, over-mirror, or ceiling lights—as more than functional, but an opportunity to infuse style into the space. “A dramatic light fixture not only illuminates the space but also serves as a piece of art,” says Cole. “It’s a blend of functionality and statement decor, showcasing personality without compromising the room’s overall aesthetic.” She says in bathrooms, it can serve as the centerpiece around which all other elements harmonize. The Possini Euro Planetary Black and Brass LED Bath Light at Lamps Plus makes a statement and is energy efficient.

11. Shelves

Two wooden rainbow shaped shelves hold vases.

Bathroom shelves are perfect for housing small personalized accessories, handmade items, plants, or unique baskets for storage. Shop at a local thrift shop for unusual items to display, such as small vases and whimsical figurines. The shelves can also be a focal point, like this set of two Tatuo Wooden Rainbow Wall Shelves at Amazon, which serve as a backdrop for your decor and add texture to a neutral color scheme.