Bathroom Decorating Ideas

The bathroom is often overlooked when it comes to decorating, yet giving it a fresh new look can be easy, fun and relatively inexpensive. You don’t have to undertake a complete renovation — even simple changes like new light fixtures or an updated shower curtain can take your space from drab to divine. Here are five great bathroom decorating ideas to consider:

1. Paint

Nothing changes the look of a room like a fresh coat of paint. Keep things soothing with soft neutrals and pale pastels or go bold with rich, dark hues — there are no rules! Because of their smaller size, bathrooms are also a great place to experiment with decorative paint techniques like stripes or an all-over stencil. Powder rooms, especially, can become mini showstoppers with an unexpected punch of color or graphic wallpaper. Whatever you do, take the time to try out different swatches in the room at different times of day. It will make finding the right color easier and help you avoid costly mistakes.

2. Lighting

Good lighting in a bathroom is critical. Not only does it help you perform detailed tasks like applying make-up or shaving, it also adds shimmer, sparkle, even a touch of glamour. If possible, layer your bathroom’s lighting for maximum efficiency. Provide broad illumination with a ceiling fixture in whatever form you prefer, be it sleek and flush-mounted or a dramatic crystal chandelier. Build on that look with complementary vanity lights or sconces to provide a more directed glow. Then finish things off with task and ambient lighting such as lighted mirrors and small lamps that amp up the room’s function and mood. And don’t worry about all the pieces matching exactly — similarities in finish, shape, or style will be enough to keep the look cohesive.

3. Fixtures

Old fixtures can make an otherwise fine bathroom appear tired and dated. Swap out worn, rusty or just plain unfashionable pieces with shiny new towel bars, soap dishes, and robe hooks to make your bathroom glisten again. Replace the builder-grade mirror with a gorgeous framed one that reflects your personal style. Update the knobs and pulls on the cabinets — even the smallest touches can make a big difference in your room’s design.

4. Soft Goods

Perhaps the simplest way to freshen up your bathroom is with new soft goods. Changing out your towels, rugs, shower curtain, and window treatments will quickly turn a utilitarian space into a restful retreat. Get creative with colors and patterns or achieve spa-like serenity with classic white — the options are endless. And don’t forget the details!  Custom elements like monogramming on towels and accessories or a vanity stool upholstered in your favorite fabric will make the room uniquely yours.

5. Furniture & Accessories

Functionality in a bathroom is paramount, and space is often at a premium. That means furniture and accessories may have to pull double-duty, offering up much-needed storage with a splash of style. Bring in an elegant etagere to hold towels and decorative accents. Keep visual clutter to a minimum by corralling small items like perfumes and beauty products on an eye-catching tray. Incorporate a bit of vintage charm with apothecary jars to store cotton balls and bath soaps, and add textural interest by stashing magazines or extra toilet paper in natural woven baskets. Layer in items like wall art, a potted plant or some candles to complete the look, then all that’s left to do is soak in the beauty of your new sanctuary.

Have other bathroom decorating ideas? Leave us a note in the comments below.

Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.


  1. Reply

    N. Hurst

    March 11, 2017

    where can I find the shower curtain in the first photo, looks like burlap with a print? Thanks!

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      March 13, 2017

      Unfortunately this shower curtain is discontinued! I’m so sorry!

  2. Reply

    Bette B.

    January 25, 2017

    What is the paint color used in the photo highlighting the Valencia 3 light sconce?

    • Reply

      Annika Dupree

      June 8, 2017

      Unfortunately, we do not have color information for that room. We shoot in real houses so that was a color chosen by the owner of that house and not by our team. So sorry!

  3. Reply

    Danni Black

    November 16, 2016

    I really like your 4th tip “soft goods.” I think that those really make a difference when it comes to decorating your bathroom! My husband and I have been wanting to redecorate our master bathroom and I think that these tips will really come in handy! Hopefully, it will turn out the way that we want it to. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Reply

    terry Mahana

    April 30, 2016

    DOES Benjamin Moore paint have primer in it..I a trying to cover Tropical Dust in my dark bathroom

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      May 2, 2016

      There are some paint formulas that do have a built in primer. Ask your paint store about which formula will cover Tropical Dusk best!

  5. Reply

    Lee Bryant

    March 25, 2016

    Where do you find the shower curtain – the burlap one?

    • Reply

      Annika Dupree

      June 12, 2017

      Unfortunately, we do not have that exact burlap style shower curtain anymore!However,we do have this burlap style available which is similar and can be monogrammed if you like!

  6. Reply


    February 6, 2013

    I have a post & beam house(pine and alder wood), so i want to keep the natural feel but i want classics too. Had stacked stone installed over sinks, around and on front of tub, granite tops and sinks in cream,grey, tan with pale grey-blue walls. Finding the “right” blue is tough so I’m mixing my own shade.I can feel the serenity already! Ballard is always an idea source for me.