5 Simple Bathroom Upgrades That Really Pay Off

No professional needed. 

Sometimes a room is practically begging for a total overhaul, complete with all the bells and whistles: new flooring, spruced-up fixtures, and modern furniture. However, often times rooms are better served by a mini update: a punch of color here and a well-placed shelf there can give your space an entirely new vibe, or add polish to an already established design scheme.

Nowhere is this more true than in the bathroom—since they’re typically light on the square footage, a change that you might ordinarily think of as minute can have real impact. So stop scanning Yelp for contractor reviews, and check out what a difference you can make with one of these simple, fresh updates.

1

Add a Spa-Worthy Shelf

shelves-foot-bathtub-towels
Photo by Rob Melnychuk/Getty Images

Bathroom or makeshift resort? For some of us, a luxurious soak is the closest we get to a spa treatment, so we need to make it count. For many homeowners, this means installing an open shelving system with a minimalist feel at the foot of the tub for faster access to extra washcloths, facial scrubs, candles, and that very necessary glass of vino. Swap out any ratty or threadbare towels for plush new ones in bright, luminous white that will make it easier than ever to pretend you’ve been swept away to a Caribbean resort—at least until your kids find you.

2

Install a Unique Vanity

Bathroom vanities are really coming into their own these days, and that means you can take some liberties with yours, especially in a small bath or powder room that could use an eye-catching statement piece. Ideas for a one-of-kind sink stand? Retrofit an antique dresser or bureau with a countertop and basin, press a galvanized wash tub into service as an offbeat sink, or upcycle a flea market find into a whimsical wash station you won’t mind refinishing. There are tons of different options, so let your imagination run wild.

3

Update Your Vinyl Floors

Suffering through a previous owner’s poor flooring choices? We know the feeling—but redoing the floors in your master bath can be a costly time-suck. However, if you’re dealing with ugly vinyl or linoleum tile, you can use this shortcut to breathe some life into your bathroom surfaces: simply repaint them. Yes, you can actually paint vinyl and linoleum—just make sure to select a type that’s rated for porches and floors, and prime them with two coats of all-purpose interior primer before painting.



4

Personalize Your Tub

We tend to think of our tub’s function over its form—and no wonder: a comfortable, easy-to-clean model is worth its weight in gold. Still, this often overlooked surface can be the perfect canvas for a simple, elegant note of color that brings a classy, Parisian vibe to a bath. Dingy, scratched, or just plain boring tubs can take on new life using a tub and tile refinishing kit—you can even go the whole nine yards and use them to help out an unattractive tub surround or less-than-new ceramic tiles.

5

Hang Mirrors That Reflect Your Taste

Sometimes it’s hip to be square, but in the case of your bathroom mirrors, opting for an unexpected circular or unique oval shape can help perk up otherwise staid decor. However, if you think a rectangular shape better fits your room’s flow, you can still give yours a little help by performing some DIY mirror 9-1-1: a frame customized with the molding (and color!) of your choice. It’s as simple as following the steps in this tutorial.