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12 Bathroom Upgrades That Renters and Homeowners Can Both Love

A bathroom renovation sounds pretty nice, right? Maybe you’re feeling a little fed up with your space after spending so much time at home lately, or maybe you’re just craving a little more ambiance or inspiration from your home. Either way, freshening up the feel of your bathroom can really help.

But doesn’t a bathroom redesign mean ripping out fixtures and tile? Not necessarily! There are plenty of ways to redo the bathroom without any construction at all. Here are some tips that will get you a totally new vibe with minimal time/effort/money. Best of all, these concepts work just as well for rental apartments as they do for houses.

The plant and pot add such personality to the space.

Tier One: Lazy and Loving It

Not up for a big project? No problem. Everything in this category takes seconds to implement (and remove, so it’s not a big commitment). This stuff will move easily to your next home, so it’s not just a temporary upgrade – these are small investments that you can actually use for years to come.

Replace shower curtains, bath mats, towels.

  • We’ve already written up a list of our favorite curtains and mats. These are awesome because they pack a ton of style in a small package. You’d be surprised how swapping out a shower curtain makes it feel like a different room.

  • Get some plush new towels… you deserve it! I did this not long ago, and no joke I get out of the shower feeling like I’m in a luxury hotel. We both love Italic for products like these that are simple but really well made. It’s impossible to regret this purchase!

Add storage with some visual flair.

Use Command strips to put up art.

  • If you’re not allowed to make holes in your rental’s walls, or if you’re intimidated by the prospect of having to patch them up later, this is the option for you!

  • Pro tip: Use the velcro strips. This is even more conducive to rehanging, and it allows you to adjust the placement if you’re not super confident in your leveling skills.

Add life to the space (literally) with plants.

  • Some plants need a good window, but others can live off light bulbs! And to make life truly simple, you can always go faux.

  • No clue what plants to choose? Oh yeah, we wrote a post all about that.

Fancy up your bathroom accessories.

  • Want some classier bathroom finishes the really easy way? Bring them in via accessories. For example, if you wish you had marble countertops, some marble trays and canisters will give you that vibe in a more compact form factor. Again, being able to bring these to your next home is a major advantage!

Shelves can make a huge difference in terms of storage and aesthetics.

Tier Two: Feeling Kinda Handy

Ready to do a bit more work to get a more custom feel? These changes make a big splash with a very small amount of effort. Roll up your sleeves and try these out:

Add some removable wallpaper or floor stickers.

  • We recommend this to clients often because they COMPLETELY change the space. They’re totally temporary (so great for renters) but they can also withstand a humid bathroom environment for quite some time.

  • I absolutely love Kate Zaremba’s wallpapers. I dare you to look at these different options without immediately wanting them all.

  • Check out this before and after with temporary bathroom floor tiles. You can see the dramatic difference that these can make! We also spell out the pros and cons with this particular product.

Get your DIY on with a shelf or some custom art hanging.

  • This one is so pretty! We’ve used it in client projects and it’s been a hit every time. It’s easy to put up and gives you a space to build a really cute decorative space with a candle, plant, etc.

  • If you’re afraid to make holes in the walls… don’t be! It’s really easy to patch up and repaint if you move out or change your mind.

Replace the showerhead.

  • This is surprisingly easy! You might need a wrench (or access to one) to get the fitting fully tightened, but many can actually be done by hand.

  • This can make a difference in both looks and functionality. I would always recommend adding in a removable head. It makes cleaning your tub so much easier! And if you need to bathe a pet or baby, this couldn’t be more useful.

Tier Three: The Fearless Renovator

These are the elements of a full-on makeover. This is how you get the bathroom of your dreams! If you own your home, these can add some value; if you’re renting, you may need to revert these changes before moving out but I still believe they’re 100% worth it.

Replace light fixtures or vanity mirrors.

  • Once again, this is probably easier than you think. You don’t have to be a licensed electrician to change out a fixture, but it’s always good to have a helping hand for this kind of project.

  • We love the colors available for this mirror.

Switch up your bathroom hardware.

  • Anything is fair game here: sink faucets, toilet paper holders, cabinet pulls, etc. A lot of the standard options are uninspiring (or just plain ugly!) so you can make a big stylistic impact by replacing them.

  • I suggest doing some research on Amazon – there are lots of affordable options there for any aesthetic.

Repaint the walls.

  • I cannot overstate how big this is. Simply painting the walls white, if they’re not already, can make the bathroom so much cleaner and nicer to be in.

  • I’ve done this as a renter, and it was absolutely a great decision. For all the details, check out this blog post.

So there you go. No matter your comfort level with design improvements, whether you’re a renter or a homeowner, I hope you can find some ideas here to spruce up your bathroom. Even just one or two of these upgrades can make the space so much more pleasant, so don’t be afraid to start small and you can always keep going!

Want more practical design tips?

We have a guide dedicated to renter-friendly design improvements that you can make RIGHT NOW. Check it out and make your space exactly what you want it to be.


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