10 Pieces of Decor Every Bathroom Needs

Ensure your bathroom makes a good first impression.

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No matter what size or style bathroom you have, there are a few decor essentials that every bathroom needs to make a good first impression. Here are our 10 bathroom styling go-tos.

1: Artwork

Classic and Modern Small Bathroom

Classic and Modern Small Bathroom

Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

If you don’t currently have any art in your bathroom, this is usually an easy one to start with. You can really bring some personality and color into your space by adding a pretty piece of artwork or two. Depending on how much wall space you have, you can even try bringing in a bunch of pieces and doing a gallery wall. Just make sure any artwork you hang in your bathroom is properly framed under glass so that the steam from your shower won’t mess it up.

2: Greenery

Bathroom Vanity with Accessories

Bathroom Vanity with Accessories

Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

A plant is another easy must-have decor piece for your bathroom. If you happen to have a windowsill in your shower, that’s always a great spot for a plant. And even if you don’t have enough counter space to add a plant, consider putting a small succulent on a shelf or on top of your toilet. (You could even add a hanging plant in an open corner.)

3: Candles

Aromatherapy Display in Spa Bathroom

Aromatherapy Display in Spa Bathroom

Displayed on white quartz countertops, aromatherapy soaps and candles add to the spa-like atmosphere in the master bathroom of HGTV Smart Home 2014.

Photo by: Jason Kisner ©2014, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Jason Kisner, 2014, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

A candle is a great way to keep things smelling fresh and clean in your bathroom. They’re also a lovely touch to add around a bathtub. When you find one you love that’s in a pretty glass container, you know you have a great candidate for your bathroom decor. I always like to keep three or four of my favorite candles on hand so I know I’ll never run out. And don’t forget to make sure you have some matches nearby for guests!

4: Hand Soap Dispenser

Black and White Country Bathroom

Black and White Country Bathroom

Kelly and Co. Design

Photo by: Jane Beiles

Jane Beiles

Kelly and Co. Design

Sometimes hand soap comes in not-so-pretty bottles. Purchase a nice dispenser and transfer your liquid hand soap inside. Make sure that whatever you have sitting on your sink looks snazzy enough that you’ll be proud to show it off to your guests.

5: Basket for TP + Extra Towels

Slipper Tub Surrounded by Marble in an Elegant, Traditional Bathroom

Slipper Tub Surrounded by Marble in an Elegant, Traditional Bathroom

This gorgeous traditional bathroom turns a dormer window into a striking architectural detail by covering the barrel walls in Calacatta marble tile. A slipper tub nestled in the nook is a sunny spot to enjoy a long soak.

Photo by: Mark Williams

Mark Williams

There’s nothing worse than being in a guest bathroom and not knowing where the extra towels or toilet paper are. I always like to make sure that extras of everything are easily available in a pretty basket or container. But don’t be afraid to get creative with these! I use a big glass vase to store extra rolls of toilet paper and a large planter bust with an open head to store extra towels. (Isn't she pretty?)

6: Storage Containers

Relaxing Master Bathroom With Storage

Relaxing Master Bathroom With Storage

With smart technology, a relaxing color scheme and exceptional storage options, the HGTV Smart Home 2015 master bathroom is quite possibly the best room in the house.

Photo by: Eric Perry

Eric Perry

Another way to add a bit of design style to your bathroom is by taking some of your essentials and putting them into pretty storage containers. Cotton balls and cotton swabs look great in glass containers, makeup can be stored in acrylic boxes and hand soaps can be stored in jars. You could even use unusual items like cake stands to hold everything.

7: Fab Hand Towels

Small White Tile Bathroom

Small White Tile Bathroom

Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

This is another super easy way to amp up the style game in your bathroom: add some colorful hand towels. If you’re not a big fan of color, choose some fun, patterned towels. Try to add something to your space with a bit of texture and interest. And don’t forget to get three or four extras when you find something you love.

8: Laundry Solution

Pocket Door Into Small Yet Bright Bathroom

Pocket Door Into Small Yet Bright Bathroom

Paige Morse

Photo by: codyulrich.com


Paige Morse

Speaking of laundry, it’s a good idea to have an attractive solution in your bathroom to deal with the inevitable piles of laundry. Beautiful baskets are always a great option, and they work with so many different design styles. I like baskets with covers so you’re always able to keep your "dirty laundry" under wraps.

9: Tray

Sleek Bathroom With Smart Storage

Sleek Bathroom With Smart Storage

This sleek sink still offers a spot for toiletries and tissue, while a mirrored medicine cabinet stores all other bathroom necessities.

Photo by: Laura Bohn

Laura Bohn

A tray is a great piece to add to your bathroom to help things feel a bit more pulled together. They come in various sizes, styles and shapes, so you can really make them work no matter how big or small your space is. You can collect things such as candles, toothbrushes, soap or other necessities inside. A small arrangement of flowers is another nice addition for a chic tray.

10: Quirky Item

Modern Master Bathroom with Floral Floor Pattern

Modern Master Bathroom with Floral Floor Pattern

This master bathroom has a high window allowing light and privacy and a contrast of modern cabinetry with classic subway and decorative concrete tile. A floral floor pattern brings life into the all white modern design.

Photo by: Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

I always like to add one or two small quirky items to mix things up. This small "men's" room sign is a fun accessory that doesn’t take away from the overall design of the space. Other ideas include an old postcard, vintage magazines or an old bathroom key (like the ones we had in elementary school).

More Quick Design Ideas for Your Bathroom

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Break the Rules

"Powder rooms are usually where I really go all out, break all the rules and use materials that might look 'over the top' in larger spaces," says interior designer Melissa Miranda. Dark colors or bold patterns, like this graphic lattice wallpaper, add dimension and a bit of fun. Design by Jennifer Jones

Go Big

An advantage of small bathrooms? Smaller prices. "Since the space is usually so small, you can get away with using higher priced materials as you need so little of them," says interior designer Melissa Miranda. Designer Shelly Reihl David paired a hand-carved marble sink with a modern metallic damask wall covering, gold gilded mirror and amber crystal wall sconces to create this impactful space.

From: Shelly Riehl David

Make Built-In Storage Part of the Design

Design blogger Layla Palmer maximizes the storage space in her small bathroom with a custom floor-to-ceiling built-in shelf for storing bath-time necessities.

©Layla Palmer

Kick Up the Color

As this 6-foot-by-7-foot Atlanta bathroom demonstrates, sometimes bold color is all you need to make a big statement. Although this space receives no natural light, the bold kelly green walls give it fresh personality. The ultra-white floor and wainscoting counterbalance the green's intensity.

Give an Illusion With Glass

Glass shower enclosures give the illusion of space in a small bathroom by allowing you to see from one end of the room to the other. Design by Sarah Richardson

Indulge Your Vanity

The vanity is typically the only piece of furniture in a small bath so it should make a big impact. Furniture-style vanities have been popular for quite a while and this timeless look is still going strong. There are many pre-made versions available or you can make your own with basic woodworking skills and an old buffet or dresser. Our step-by-step instructions will show you how.  

Choose Small-Scale Fixtures

In this urban bathroom, designer Vern Yip selected compact, sculptural fixtures to maximize floor space and match the apartment's streamlined vibe.  

Photo By: EP

Bring On the Charm

Wood paneling and a chair rail add formality to this charming powder room. Design by Thomas A. Conway

Go for a Saturated Shade

Small bathrooms or powder rooms are a great place to try ultra-dark shades you might be scared to use elsewhere. "I had a lot of natural light in the powder room so I didn't hesitate in choosing black as the main color," says designer Melissa Miranda. Miranda chose ceiling-reaching "Woods" wallpaper from Cole & Sons to emphasize the height of the room.

Add Floating Storage

In this small bathroom designed by Jordan Iverson, a floating vanity takes up less visual space without compromising style. A pocket door, instead of a standard swinging door, lends privacy to the bathroom while freeing up floor space.

Make Organizing Fun

Make stashing your stuff a little more fun by adding an unexpected splash of color to the inside of your vanity using paint or just a brightly colored adhesive paper.

Declutter Countertops

Store makeup, prescription items and any personal grooming tools out of sight. Style your countertop with fresh flowers and sweet-smelling lotion or soap.  

Add Spa-Style Extras

Luxury can be found even in a small space. This bathroom has just a standard-sized tub, but the tile, oversized shower head and accessories turn it into a retreat.

Photo By: Brandon Barre; brandonbarre.com

Try Open Shelving

Floating shelves provide storage space for style-boosting accesories and bath necessities while making the room appear bigger by allowing you to see all the way to the wall.

DIY Your Way to a Fresh Look

No matter how small your bath, gutting and replacing fixtures is an expensive undertaking. Save money by updating what you can yourself. Here, design blogger Layla Palmer gave a builder-basic vanity a trendy cottage-style update with a quart of gray paint and a little distressing with sandpaper.  

Add Color With Accessories

Even a minimal splash of color in a small space will add a big dose of fun. Stick to a soft neutral or white color palette for the walls and fixtures to maximize light then mix in just the right amount of color with the shower curtain, towels or accessories.  

Put It on a Pedestal

In this bright and cheery basement bathroom, designed by Sarah Richardson, a classic pedestal sink creates the illusion of extra square footage while a bright-white palette keeps the teeny-tiny space from feeling cramped.  

Skirt the Issue

Pedestal sinks are ideal for tight spaces but often show exposed plumbing and offer no hidden storage. An easy-to-sew sink skirt will solve both problems, providing style and function to a bathroom. Learn how to whip one up with our step-by-step instructions.  

Add Style Underfoot

The lack of square footage is a good thing when it comes to purchasing new flooring. Even a pricey pick, like this black, gray and white marble hexagonal tile, won't set your budget back too much.  

Change the Floor Plan

A cramped floor plan and outdated finishes prompted the remodel of this small master bathroom. Relocating the toilet to the rear wall and adding a wall-mounted sink maximizes the space. The glass mosaic tile feature wall adds movement and draws attention to the high ceilings and skylight. Design by Jennifer Jones

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