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Whether you live in a rental, a fixer-upper, or your dream space, chances are there’s a room or two in your home that can use a decorative upgrade. While areas such as a bedroom or living room are relatively easy to change up—swapping in new throw pillows or a rug can go a long way—there are a few other rooms that require just a bit more effort.

But not that much more. For instance, a bathroom often falls short of any sort of major decorative change because it can seem intimidating, but we’re here to tell you that doesn’t always have to be the case. In that spirit, we compiled a list of easy ways you can upgrade your bathroom without spending a fortune. Here’s how.

Upgrade the Basics

When it comes to decorating, there are only a handful of opportunities for making changes in a bathroom—especially if you’re working within a small space—and a toilet paper holder is one of them. Consider swapping out your landlord special in favor of a more statement-worthy alternative, like the one above by James Shaw. Wall-mounted holders are fairly easy to install and they instantly impart even the most compact of spaces with a rich and stylish accent.

Mind the Vanity

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for outdated bathroom cabinets, but if you’ve already got IKEA ones, it can be a breeze to add new fronts via brands like Semihandmade and Superfront. Both offer style-focused facades, custom-made to fit any cabinet from IKEA’s expansive collection. Short of that, you can also simply replace the existing knobs on the cabinet doors to give an instant facelift.

Invest in New Textiles

Never underestimate the power of a bold textile. And yes, that applies to the bathroom as well. For renters who find themselves at a loss for making decorative upgrades that may skew toward the permanent side, textiles are an ideal way to add a burst of color to an otherwise monochrome space. And because painting a bathroom is a project few of us are willing to take on in a rental, it’s an alternative we can definitely get behind.

Deck the Walls

Another easy way to elevate walls? Utilize art to instill a cozy vibe fueled by decorative thought and intention. Even if you have room for only one piece of wall art, it can make quite a statement against bland, bare walls. And if your space and rental constraints permit, bring in an intricate wallpaper to establish a fresh aesthetic. Consider it a simple way to introduce a major dose of color and pattern to an otherwise monotone space.

Experiment With Tiles

Statement tile is at the top of this year’s leading trends, and with good reason. While a complete gut reno can typically err toward the expensive side of a budget, implementing a wall accent with a chic tile display is one way to get around it. Not only will you save on not having to buy tile for the entirety of the bathroom, but you can splurge on a more expensive tile you would otherwise consider to be out of your budget.

Get crafty with an eclectic assortment of tile, and don’t be afraid to filter in mixed materials. Case in point? This beautifully curated vignette from designer Jessica Hansen’s Portland, Oregon, home, filled with Popham tile.

Rethink Metallics 

Swap out existing fixtures and hardware to invite a refreshing element. Opt for a matte black faucet to impart your vanity with a mod upgrade or even a lustrous brass showerhead for a luxe finish. Take things a step further by bringing in an array of potted greens to implement an element of liveliness—a bonus and a must for a bathroom that lacks windows or natural light.


Even the most tired and outdated spaces can be instantly elevated with the addition of a bath caddy—but not the ones you lugged to the shower in college. Be it for function or purely for form, a caddy not only provides extra storage in small spaces, it invites the addition of decorative accessories. Add a luxe upgrade to your tub by pairing it with a chic caddy topped with potted greens, a candle, and your bath-time essentials.

Think Details

For those looking to make a handful of low-commitment changes that require little effort or money, swapping out smaller accessories can go a long way. Bring in a new wastebasket, replace existing canisters and jars, or splurge on luxe soaps and bath goodies. Filling your space with items that excite you will help transform your bathroom into a mini oasis you can look to for the ultimate R&R session.