By Becky Harris | Houzz
In a rental bathroom, you’re stuck with the tiles, fixtures and faucets — trying to improve it can seem like a lost cause. But it’s not. There are easy and inexpensive ways to take the focus off 1970s harvest gold tile, a shower-tub combo past its prime, dated countertops and ho-hum floors. If you accept what you have, adjust your negative attitude and enjoy meeting a design challenge, your formerly blah bathroom can become a favorite sanctuary.
1. Look at the room with fresh eyes. There may be some inherent charm in a bathroom that’s been untouched for a while, but because it’s so far from your dream bathroom you may be missing it. For example, this 1926 patterned tile floor is a gem, but without the bright accent colors it might have been overlooked or appeared dingy.
Accept and embrace what you’ve got to work with — a funky vintage pedestal sink, a mirrored medicine cabinet with a razor slot at the back, tile in colors they don’t make anymore. When a friend of mine was stuck with pink tile, toilet, tub and sink from the 1960s, she thought, “This perfectly matches the pink in my favorite Elvis stamp poster,” and went with an entire Elvis theme that made her happy. Try to figure out what you like rather than what you hate about the room and adjust your attitude before you get started.
2. Splurge on a shower curtain you love. A shower curtain can make a big impact on your bathroom. After all, when pulled fully closed, it’s a 36-square-foot canvas that you have full control over. That’s huge. This canvas can divert the eye from and make up for all kinds of bad bathroom design elements. Shop for Stylish Shower Curtains on Houzz.
In this case, that 36-square-foot canvas is white and ruffled. Along with the bright green rug, it tones down the overall color palette and takes the focus off the oh-so-pink tile. In fact, it turns the tile into something worth embracing.
By the way, pink tile gets a bad rap. It’s very embraceable; it just served as the poster child for dated bathroom decor for a while.
3. Lay down an unexpected rug. There are many options beyond typical shaggy bath mats. Oriental, tribal, striped and geometric patterns are just a few ideas for rugs that can transform the look of a bathroom. If you dislike your floors, go bigger than the standard 2-by-3-foot bathroom rug. Cotton in flat weaves can handle water well. Also, be sure to add a gripping mat or rug tape to the bottom to prevent slipping.
4. Bring in a cute hamper. In addition to being something nice to look at, it will keep the dirty clothes off the floor.
5. Choose towels that improve the scheme. This includes hand towels and bath towels. If there’s already too much going on colorwise in your bathroom, white towels are best. But if your bathroom is mostly white, go for something more eye-catching, like this Turkish towel, which adds lively color and pattern. How to Add Color to Your Rental – No Paint Required!
6. Skirt a sink. This can hide a multitude of sins such as ugly plumbing, the plunger and the toilet brush, as well as increase your bathroom’s storage capacity.
7. Hang artwork. The right print can take all the attention away from tired tiles or a dated countertop. Just be sure to talk to your landlord about what you might have to do later regarding any nail holes you put in the walls.
8. Sprinkle in stylish accessories. A small tray is a lovely place to corral your pretty accessories like perfume bottles, candles and a vase. Clear glass jars are great for soaps, cotton balls and swabs; a julep cup or an old trophy will bring much-needed shine. And add some plant life, whether it’s just one rose, a few sprigs of eucalyptus or a palm leaf. Store Soaps in a Shower Caddy or Prop Up a Book for Some Light Bath Time Reading.
9. Switch out cabinet hardware. This is an easy way to add personality to a bland vanity. You can easily change the hardware
back before you move out. Just be sure that when you remove the existing pulls and handles you put all of them, along with the washers and screws, in a plastic bag and stash it somewhere safe. That useless space in the vanity underneath the P-trap is a good spot for this.
10. Make the extra rolls of toilet paper a design asset. This one may sound silly, but the blah state of many apartment bathrooms can make you give up and stick a four-pack of Charmin still in its plastic packaging on top of the toilet tank. Don’t do that. A pretty basket, funny holder or vintage bucket can turn these simple rolls into a little design element.
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