Published on October 10, 2019

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Photography by Heather Moore

Upgrading a rental comes with its fair share of challenges, but revamping the bathroom is an entirely different story. With budget constraints and building restrictions, there’s a limit on what you can do to zhoozh it up—and hanging eucalyptus in the shower only gets you so far.

Short of having to throw your hands in the air and call it an ill-fitted compromise, we have a few clever solutions to get you the perfect bath (or something close to it). The decorative changes you’d make to just about any other area of a home apply here, too, and most of them don’t even require permission from your landlord. Ahead, six easy and affordable ways to make an impactful change.

Paint a Statement Wall

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Better Homes & Garden Mirror; Bath Accessory Set; Neu Home Bath Collection Glass Shelf with Towel Bar Photography by Heather Moore

We always find ourselves hesitant to sacrifice a Saturday to a painting project, but the annoyance of months spent staring at the same white walls soon outweighs the slight inconvenience of the work itself. To make the task go even quicker, designate a small section of your bath to be the focal point, instead of taking a brush to the entire room.

DIY a Medicine Cabinet

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Better Homes & Garden Marble Covered Jar; Makeup Brushes and Towel Photography by Heather Moore
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Thick & Plush Solid Textured Bath Towels; Apothecary Jar Photography by Heather Moore

Some bathrooms come without one. It happens. And we’re left to wonder where our toiletries will live. Relegating all of your everyday essentials to the edges of the sink isn’t practical—or if you’re dealing with a pedestal version, all that possible. 

Your best bet? Install a wall-mounted shelf, preferably with a built-in towel rack, to house everything from toothpaste to room spray. 

Make Your Storage Work Harder

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Mainstays Nonskid Turntable; Rope Storage Baskets; Stacking Shelf; Apothecary Vanity Jar; Bronze Covered Jar Photography by Heather Moore

Corral your bulkier products, like skincare or hairbrushes, into specific zones with the help of a uniform set of trays that can live on either the vanity or in a shelving unit. Use clear vessels within them to keep staples visible—plus, they look a whole lot better than your average packaging. 

A few small woven baskets will conceal unsightly items, like toilet paper or your body lotion collection.

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Bring in Unexpected Decorative Accents

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Drew Barrymore Flower Home Vase; Kate and Laurel Sylvie Alpaca Black and White Portrait  Photography by Heather Moore

Vibrant flowers (they’re not just for the dining table) and cheeky wall art make for quite the dynamic duo. Pair the two near a less-than-exciting spot—the top of the toilet immediately comes to mind—for a much-needed dose of character.

Add in Finishing Touches

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Better Homes & Garden Shower Curtain; Square Tapered Water Hyacinth Photography by Heather Moore

Cue the soft goods—these are the little touches that can speak volumes. Mix and match colorful bath and hand towels, then anchor them with a stripey shower curtain, cool prints, drapes (if you have a window), and a patterned shower curtain. Prop a vibrant living plant in a basket and consider your personal oasis found. 

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Easy, Affordable Swaps That Will Transform Your Rental