When it comes to decorating, we typically spend more time on our common areas and bedrooms, often neglecting our bathrooms. I have to admit that I hated our tiny bathroom when we first moved in (see before photo here). The tile on the floor is outdated and because they continue up onto the sides of the wall, peel and stick tiles were out of the question. I wasn’t motivated to put in the extra work, and while I could paint the cabinets and put marble contact paper on the countertops, I honestly did not want to put in the time or energy. So instead, I took a closer look at decor elements that are also renter-friendly.
Here are our 5 ways to freshen up any bathroom.
1. Let the light in or change the bulbs out to daylight bulbs
When we initially moved in, there was a huge branch outside our window that blocked most of our natural lighting. We worked around it by switching out the yellow light bulbs to daylight bulbs and it made the biggest difference.
Here’s an article explaining why you should consider switching to daylight bulbs. In short, daylight bulbs give a bright and fresh look to any room, imitating the daylight and works great for those who suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Yes, lighting can affect your entire mood!
Fortunately, a few months ago our landlord had all the trees trimmed and now we get this beautiful natural lighting in our bathroom. Lighting truly is key and waking up, walking into the bathroom in the morning, and seeing this lighting truly sets the tone for the rest of my day.
2. Use a runner instead of a regular bath mat
To deal with our outdated floor tiles, we opted for a long runner to cover up 80% of our bathroom floor. I actually saw this runner at my best friend’s place and bought a longer version for ours. While this runner is made for the bathroom, we still opted to put a plush bath mat underneath (cut to size) — securing the two with command strips so they don’t move around. I love how the runner ties the entire bathroom together and it’s machine washable.
3. Add plants!
When in doubt, add some greenery. We are lucky to have great natural lighting in our bathroom so we have a few pothos, a philodendron, and a snake plant living in there. If your bathroom doesn’t get sufficient lighting, you can always opt for faux plants. There are some really great options out there and less maintenance required.
One thing you can get, regardless of lighting, are dried eucalyptus. Have a fresh bunch on your countertop as decor or hang them in the shower for that luxe feel. Read this article for how to hang eucalyptus in your shower.
4. Don’t forget the toilet area
The main feature of every bathroom is the toilet, right? Well, it’s the reason why we often go into the bathroom and it’s the most neglected area. Adding a shelf over the toilet is an easy and simple way to add extra storage to your bathroom. We got our shelf from Ikea and decorated it with artwork, put extra toilet paper there for guests, and you cannot forget the PooPourri. This shelf changes quite often depending on my mood and is the easiest thing to continuously refresh throughout the year.
In addition, we have a cute rattan trash can that I bought from The Gilded Lily Thrift Co. She’s based in San Diego and has the cutest decor pieces for sale. These are finds from other thrift stores and estate sales, and a lot of the time, they are at really affordable prices!
We also put a cute wooden board on top of the toilet, which just has a faux plant and candle, which leads us to the 5th way to freshen up your bathroom.
5. Bring in the scents and cozy feels
I am a huge scent person. I have 4 Vitruvi’s throughout our apartment, one in each common area (dining room, kitchen, bathroom) and in our bedroom. I highly recommend getting a diffuser for that welcoming, on-going smell that all your guests will compliment you on. Especially if you have pets.
In addition to the Vitruvi, I have a candle on top of the toilet that I always light whenever we have guests. My favorite candles are from Nest, P.F. Candle, RX Los Angeles, and Makana. So why the diffuser and the candle? The diffuser stays on for either 4 or 8-hours a day, which gives the bathroom an on-going, fresh scent that’s light and not overpowering at all. The candle is closer to the bathroom door and when lit, it is what you smell immediately when you walk into the bathroom. It gives a cozier feel at night and so I usually will have the diffuser on throughout the day, the candle lit on certain nights.
Aside from scents, I love a good cozy bathroom and/or towels — including hand towels. All our towels are from Parachute. There are several styles and sizes you can choose from, but we prefer a towel set so that everything matches. Our shower curtain is also from Parachute. I love getting out of the shower and slipping into a cozy towel, don’t you?
Aside from the wall shelf above the toilet, everything else is completely renter-friendly and won’t have you risking your security deposit. Honestly, a few holes in the wall is a quick fix too so I say drill away.
From the smells of a diffuser/candle to the feel of the towels to the lighting in the bathroom and the additional greenery (whether it’s real or faux), you can create a bathroom oasis that you’ve been wanting. We already utilize the bathroom on a day-to-day basis so why not spruce it up too?
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