A decade ago, the bathroom may have been one of the more overlooked rooms of the house in regards to interior design. However, unless you live under a rock or don’t have an Instagram account, you are well aware that the sacred space is currently one of the dominating interior design fixations on social media.
While not all of us have the money to completely renovate our bathroom, there are many budget-friendly options to revamp and revitalize the space. We asked some of the top interior design experts for suggestions on ways to make your bathroom Instagrammable—and many are as simple as they are affordable.
Amp Up Your Lighting
Just like any other room in the house, the key to a perfect photo starts with the light. “A dimmer lets you shift the lighting from serviceable to sensual and installing dimmers is an easy and inexpensive upgrade,” points out Annie Selke, Founder & CEO of the Annie Selke Companies, including Dash & Albert and Pine Cone Hill. “I like to use bright lights for hair and makeup and dim lighting for a chill end-of-day bath.” Adds Casey DeBois: “In the bathroom, use sconces and overhead ceiling fixtures to have flattering lighting from different angles.” And of course, there is always that statement-making chandelier over-the-tub look we can’t get enough of.
Add a Statement Shower Curtain
Unless you are in college, a plastic shower curtain won’t get you any marks for style. An easy and inexpensive way to instantly transform your bathroom is with a stylish shower curtain. “It will give you the most bang for your buck and ideally make you smile every day,” says Selke.
Try A Unique Mirror
“A decorative and unique mirror is always an opportunity for setting your bathroom apart,” interior designer Caroline Brackett points out. “Don’t just think metals, but think textures with mother of pearl or driftwood.”
Work in Wallpaper
While wallpapering an entire bathroom can get quite expensive, you can delve into one of the newest interior design trends and simply paper the ceiling. “Adding vinyl wallpaper to the ceiling is another great way to make a big statement that doesn’t feel as permanent!” says Wolf. DeBois suggests creating an accent wall with wallpaper, which will not only add character to the bathroom, it can also serve as a great backdrop for selfies.
When deciding on a wallpaper, look for colors that work well with your skin tone and hair and eye color in the same way you would an article of clothing.
An easy way to add some life to your bathroom is by mixing up your finishes when it comes to lighting and bath fixtures, suggests Brackett. This shouldn’t be too hard, considering the variety of metals and materials we have to choose from.
Organize, Organize, Organize
One of the most important keys to having a presentable bathroom, is simply keeping everything in its place. “Keeping your bathroom clean and spa-like is always a great starting point,” explains interior design expert Chris Stout-Hazard. “Roll towels and place in stacks. Organize toiletries and keep soap, cotton balls, and other consumables in attractive glass containers.”
The bathroom is often overlooked when it comes to hanging artwork -- but it shouldn’t be. “Most bathrooms are sadly sterile – some funky, inexpensive paintings or prints go a long way,” suggests Hazard. However, he also suggests being careful with anything precious. “Bathroom moisture can cause damage to original art over time.”
Use Rugs Instead of Bathmats
Most Instagrammable bathrooms have one thing in common—their floors are covered with rugs instead of bathmats. “Try out a decorative and inexpensive runner instead,” suggests Barbie Palomino. “Style your bathroom with a colorful or patterned (or both) rug that draws the eye to your stylish new floor decor, instead of an eyesore.”
Pop in Some Color
Gideon Mendelson, founder and creative director of Mendelson Group, suggests livening up a neutral bathroom with conscious color. “You can incorporate a brightly colored hand towel or bath mat to add visual complexity to the design,” he explains. “You can also bring in color with fresh flowers, which make a space feel more striking, finished, and appealing.”
Or, Try A Bold Paint
Paint can transform any space but it can have an especially large impact on a small bathroom, according to Julie Ann Loftiss, senior project designer at HBA, the world’s #1 hospitality interior design firm. “Go outside your comfort zone and pick a bold color that will provide contrast with the color of your tile to create high-contrast values that really get attention.”
Liven It Up With Plants
There is no place in the home that is undeserving of greenery -- especially the bathroom. “Plants always add interest,” points out Loftiss. “Consider a hanging plant utilizing macramé holder, and you’ll double up on textural and visual interest.” If you have a gorgeous clawfoot tub with space behind it, you can always add a larger tree—like a Fiddle Fig—which will surely get you some likes.
Don’t Forget Candles
Burning candles are one of the easiest ways to add some ambiance to any bathroom. You can opt for just one, or fill your space with several different types of varying shapes, sizes, and textures for added drama.
Beautify Your Bathwater
Don’t even think about posting a photo of your bathtub unless it is filled with colorful bubbles. Bath bombs and bubble baths are both great options for adding a little aesthetic appeal to your water.