10 Pieces of Decor Every Bathroom Needs
Ensure your bathroom makes a good first impression.
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.
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.
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.)
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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).
Bold + Bright = Beautiful
Small bathroom color palettes don't have be limited to whites and grays. In a small space, you can use bright, bold colors and patterns that might be overwhelming in a larger room. This small bathroom from Dabito of Old Brand New is bursting with rich colors, quirky patterns and geometric shapes.
Go Small or Go Home
Small bathrooms unfortunately call for smaller fixtures. Instead of overwhelming your bathroom with a large sink and bulky vanity, choose a smaller, vintage-inspired sink. This piece serves its purpose while allowing extra room underneath to stow two small step stools.
Choose a Petite Tub
Yes, you can make a tub work in a small bathroom! This otherwise cramped enclosure is the perfect spot for a small soaking tub. From bright, tribal pattern flooring to towel hooks that double as fun art, this is a great example of a small bathroom that gets everything right.
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. In tiny powder rooms like this one, small, medium and large wallpaper patterns work well. In larger powder rooms and bathrooms, wall coverings featuring small patterns can look cluttered.
Pick a Patterned Floor
Patterns look great in small bathrooms. Try a quirky patterned floor and see how the small square footage actually works in your favor. For another decor trick that adds interest to your bathroom without taking up space, try brass or gold fixtures instead of more common chrome.
Welcome to the Jungle
A small space, like this powder room, can be a fun place to try out bold colors or patterns. Here, green leafy wallpaper gives the space jungle fever and is imaginatively contrasted by the reds and yellows of the rug.
Or, Think Horizontal
Adding long, uninterrupted horizontal planks to a small bathroom is also a great way to make it seem larger than it actually is. In this small bathroom, the shiplap walls maximize horizontal space and keep the room from feeling closed in.
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. Sparkling damask wallpaper creates a stunning setting for a pair of contemporary pendant lights and golden sunburst mirror in this ultra-glam bathroom.
Kick Up the Color
Sometimes bold color is all you need to make a big statement. Although this space is small, the bold salmon-pink walls give it fresh personality. A simple white vanity and sleek fixtures balance the vibrant color.
Keep Clutter Controlled
While you'd never want clothes lying all over the floor even in a palatial bathroom, it's especially important to keep things neat and tidy in a small bathroom like this one from the HGTV Dream Home 2017. The rolling wire laundry basket shown here is a great design choice that blends function and style.
Bring On the Charm
Go for Glass
Walk-in showers are far from your only option for high-style bathing. This bathroom features a subway-tiled tub married with a barely-there glass enclosure. The use of glass keeps the full expanse of the room visible for a spacious feel.
Take a Trip to the Country
A yellow, footed tub framed by yellow, floral curtains create a cozy, French country-inspired bath. A wood cabinet, antique door with glass handle and a blue, distressed footstool complete the aesthetic. Design by Sarah Richardson.
Make Shelving Matter
Small bathrooms can't afford to be cluttered. If your bathroom doesn't have space for large amounts of storage, the storage you do have should pull double duty as an accent piece like these sleek natural wood shelves with well-placed essentials and decor pieces.
Lose the Rug
Besides a bath mat, small bathrooms don't necessarily need rugs. Take a tip from this bathroom that's not much bigger than a corner and decorate your floor with a cheeky tile design instead. The message adds spunk without taking up space.
Skirt the Issue
Careful attention to design ensured that this already-small bathroom would not feel closed in. Wine boxes add beautiful, warm color and create easy storage. A skirt for the sink provides extra storage underneath, and the pages of an old book are taped to the wall for inexpensive and effective decoration.
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. For example, give a builder-basic vanity a trendy cottage-style update by stripping the paint or stain down to the natural wood, then adding a coat of whitewash.
Install a Large Mirror
It's a well-known design truth that mirrors can create the illusion of more space. The floor-to-ceiling mirror shown here is a perfect example of this tactic. The floating marble vanity and soft, clean color scheme further complete the posh, airy look of this bathroom.
Quirky, colorful book cover wallpaper makes a major statement in this small bathroom. Simple decor, like thin brass wall sconces, a retro mirror and white marble vanity, balance the bold paperback pattern.
From the mesmerizing floor tile to the slanted ceiling, this bathroom is nothing but first-rate design inspiration. One of designer Emily Henderson's tactics for decorating this small bathroom (photographed by Tessa Neustadt) was to match metals, from towel bars to faucets, for a more cohesive appearance.
Light It Up
Try a bold, dark ceiling color in your small bathroom, such as the black ceiling in this room from Sarah Gibson, designer and blogger at Room for Tuesday. The dramatic shade also helps expand the height of this small bathroom by drawing the eye upwards.
Show Off Your Shower
Fish scale tile is a hot bathroom trend and using it on a small shower accent wall is a great way to elevate your bathroom in a very subtle way. Bonus: Having less wall space to cover also means you'll spend less on this crave-able tile. Finish off the shower with a sleek glass door to strut your shower's new style.
Try Open Shelving
Any kind of enclosure or barrier in a room can divide it up and make the space feel smaller. While that might be desirable in some spaces, it's not what you want in a small bathroom. In this ultra-modern bathroom, the shower has no enclosure at all, which lends a roomier feel.