21 Game-Changing Bathroom Ideas for Any Apartment or Small Space

A small bathroom with forest green cabinets, a wooden mirror, and a shelf-lined window

Design: Emily Henderson, Photo: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

An apartment bathroom may seem like a tough thing to decorate. After all, apartment bathrooms can get pretty small. And when space is limited, it feels like your options are, too. Plus, if you’re renting, it’s not like you can gut-renovate the place. 

But you’re not as hemmed in as you think. When you’re decorating a small bathroom, it’s easy to make an impact. By simply hanging some art or switching out your towels, you can transform the entire room. And sure, you probably can’t install a new bathtub or retile your showers. But since peel-and-stick options abound, you can spruce up your space without wrecking your budget—and without violating your lease.

To help you take your bathroom from standard to statement-making, we’ve rounded up some truly transformational apartment bathroom ideas. These design tips are suitable for any small bathroom—and since none of them require a remodel, they’re decidedly renter-friendly, too.

01 of 21

Paint the Room a Fun Color

A small navy bathroom decorated with art, a printed rug, and a wooden mirror

Amy Bartlam

The easiest way to transform your bathroom? Repaint it. And don’t be afraid to choose a bold color. Striking shades are great in small doses. So pick a playful hue that will transform your space—and repaint your walls white when it’s time to move out.

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Hang a Sleek Shower Curtain

A bathroom with light gray tiles, gold hardware, and a white pom-pom-lined shower curtain

Mindy Gayer Design

A shower curtain isn’t just a necessity—it’s also an excuse to dress up your space. So take full advantage of the decorative opportunity. Snag a shower curtain that’s colorful, printed, or packed with texture, and switch it out any time your bathroom needs a refresh.

03 of 21

Revamp Your Backsplash

A bathroom with wooden cabinetry, a modern mirror, and a gray tiled backsplash that covers the wall

Cathie Hong Interiors

Your backsplash is the perfect place to make a statement in your bathroom. And revamping it doesn't have to mean a full-blown renovation. With peel-and-stick tiles, you can upgrade your backsplash— or any other part of your bathroom. So find a set of adhesive tiles you love, and peel them off when you’re ready for something new.

04 of 21

Line Your Walls With Art

A white bathroom decorated with light gray cabinets, a woven pendant light, and two framed art prints

Pure Salt Interiors

Art may seem like an unusual choice for a bathroom. But your bathroom walls deserve as much love as the rest of your home. So stock up on water-insensitive pieces—like glass-framed prints and illustrations—and turn your bathroom into a bonafide art gallery.

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Snag a Plush Bathroom Rug

A bathroom with white walls, a metallic tiled shower, and white floors covered with a pink printed rug

Sarah Fultz Interiors

Retiling your bathroom floors isn’t the only way to customize them. By snagging a plush bath mat or a pretty printed rug, you can soften your floors and dress up your bathroom in one fell swoop.

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Sneak in Storage Where You Can

A small bathroom with forest green cabinets, a wooden mirror, and a shelf-lined window

Design: Emily Henderson, Photo: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

Storage space is a hot commodity in any small bathroom. So sneak it in anywhere you can. Turn your window into a cupboard by lining it with shelves—and top those shelves with the prettiest toiletries in your collection.

07 of 21

Switch Out Your Cabinet Fronts

An all-white bathroom with glass-front cabinets and fluted drawers

Mindy Gayer Design

Want to refresh your cabinets without totally replacing them? Switch out your cabinet fronts. Stock up on cabinet doors that are strikingly textured, and snag drawer fronts to match. The swap will give you renovation-like results—without the mess (and expense) of a full-blown gut job.

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Spring for a Statement Mirror

A small bathroom with gray cabinets, a pink printed rug, and an ornate gold mirror

Sarah Fultz Interiors

A mirror is a natural focal point in any bathroom— so pick yours out with care. Ditch the plain ol’ mirror that came with your bathroom, and replace it with a statement mirror that makes the whole room feel fancier.

09 of 21

Cover Your Walls With Wallpaper

A small bathroom decorated with pink printed wallpaper and a woven light fixture

Mindy Gayer Design

Printed wallpaper makes any bathroom look and feel more luxe. And since peel-and-stick options abound, there’s no need to mess with paste. So keep an eye out for a pattern you’ll love looking at every day—and don’t be afraid to take a risk. Even in the worst-case scenario, you can always peel off the wallpaper and start again.

10 of 21

Hang Some Pretty Window Treatments

A bathroom decorated with pink tiles, framed art, and a printed black and white Roman shade

Katie Hodges Design

Blinds get the job done in any bathroom, giving you the privacy you need during showers and baths. But if you want your space to feel next-level special, consider other window treatments, instead. A patterned Roman shade will give you the same coverage and flexibility as a set of blinds—while also adding a dash of printed style to your space.

11 of 21

Customize Your Drawer Pulls

A small bathroom decorated with framed art prints, a woven light fixture, and white cabinets with leather door knobs

Pure Salt Interiors

Upgrading your cabinetry is easy: Just switch out your door knobs and drawer pulls. By customizing the hardware on your bathroom cabinets, you can give your space a bespoke feel—without spending a small fortune.

12 of 21

Invest in a Really Great Bath Tray

A bathroom with a white bathtub, a wooden bath tray topped with toiletries, and a woven pendant light

Pure Salt Interiors

One simple way to spruce up your bathtub? Buy a really great bath tray. The shelf will immediately upgrade bathtime, giving you an easy place to keep candles, drinks, and toiletries. And since you can line it with decor, it’ll dress up your bathtub—even when you’re not actively using it.

13 of 21

Trade Your Shower Curtain With a Glass Door

A small bathroom with printed floors and a white shower flanked by a glass door

Mindy Gayer Design

Want to make your bathroom feel bigger? Ditch the classic shower curtain, and replace it with a glass door. The swap will open up your bathroom, letting you see every square inch of space you have.

14 of 21

Repaint Your Cabinets

A bathroom with white walls, blue cabinets, and blue and white printed floors

Sarah Fultz Interiors

Your walls aren’t the only part of your bathroom that deserves a refresh. With a quick coat of paint, you can take your bathroom cabinets from simple to statement-making. And with the right pop of color, you can add a welcome dose of contrast or cohesion to your space.

15 of 21

Pick Towels That Double as Decor

An all-white bathroom with woven accents and blue striped towels

Jessica Nelson Design

When your bathroom is small, every piece inside it makes an impact. So don’t just stock up on standard towels—snag a set that’s genuinely stylish. The pretty necessities will dress up your towel rack, adding function and form to your space.

16 of 21

Snag a Sleek Bath Stool

A shower decorated with black hardware and a small wooden bath stool

Katie Hodges Design

Low on storage space? Snag a sleek bath stool. The low-profile find will expand your storage set-up, giving you another place to keep toiletries and decor. And since it’s so small, you can put it just about anywhere—in a bare corner, next to your vanity, or even inside your shower.

17 of 21

Fill Your Space With Plants

A bathroom decorated with plants and framed plant drawings

Pure Salt Interiors

Plants make a welcome addition to any space—your bathroom, included. So fill your space with lush greenery, and make it feel like an idyllic getaway you can’t wait to escape to every day.

18 of 21

Upgrade Your Light Fixtures

A bathroom with printed floors, gray cabinets, and a white beaded chandelier

Amy Bartlam

Lighting sets the tone in any space. So if the fixtures in your bathroom leave something to be desired, replace them. Sure, rewiring a light fixture is no small task - especially if you’re renting- but by replacing a stale fixture with a statement-making pick, you can transform your entire bathroom without changing anything else.

19 of 21

Build Shelves Above Your Toilet

A small bathroom with tiled floors, navy millwork, and an above-the-toilet shelf topped with decor

Margaret Wright

The space above your toilet is easy to overlook. But instead of leaving it undecorated, install a small shelf. The addition will give you more storage space to work with—and it’ll make an ideal place to put some bathroom decor.

20 of 21

Streamline Your Hardware

A shower lined with small blue tiles, large beige tiles, and gold hardware

Pure Salt Interiors

Want to make your bathroom feel custom without completely redesigning it? Streamline your hardware. Upgrade your faucets, handles, and hinges—and replace your towel rack and toilet paper holder, too. Color-coordinate the pieces to make your bathroom feel bespoke, or mix and match metals to make the space more dynamic.

21 of 21

Decorate Your Countertops

A bathroom decorated with a framed art print and a small vase full of branches

Amy Bartlam

When decorating your bathroom countertops, you don’t want to go overboard—but that doesn’t mean leaving them bare. With a vase full of branches or a pretty potted plant, you can dress up your vanity without cluttering your countertops.