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Apartment Bathroom Decor | How To Transform Your Rental Bathroom

by on Dec 28, 2023

Are you tired of the bland and generic look of your apartment bathroom? Want to add some personality and style without breaking the bank (or the rules)? 

Look no further! 

In this blog post, we’ll be sharing some budget-friendly apartment bathroom decor ideas that will transform your space into a stylish and welcoming oasis. 

Say goodbye to those plain white walls and boring fixtures and hello to a bathroom that truly reflects your personal taste and style. 

Ugly apartment bathroom solutions: From moldy caulk lines to ugly shower doors, here's one renters take on how to deal with an unsightly restroom.

Let’s dive into the world of apartment bathroom decor and see how simple changes can make a big impact.

Understand Your Rental Agreement

Before you get your creative juices flowing and start your bathroom makeover, it’s critical to get acquainted with your rental agreement. 

Know the dos and don’ts of alterations in your space. Landlords often have different rules when it comes to making changes in a rental property. 

While some may give you a green light on minor updates, others might keep a tight lid on substantial modifications. 

If the agreement doesn’t make things crystal clear, don’t hesitate to have a conversation with your landlord. It’s better to clarify any ambiguities upfront rather than deal with a potential conflict later. 

Remember, your stylish bathroom isn’t worth a breach of contract. So, understanding your rental agreement is your first step towards a budget-friendly bathroom transformation in your rental space.

Start With a Deep Clean

Kickstart your bathroom makeover journey with an intense cleaning session. 

This initial step can work wonders, turning your bathroom into a spotless space that’s ready for some decor magic. 

Get your gloves on and begin with the shower, making sure every tile shines bright. Don’t overlook the sink and toilet – these everyday items deserve some attention too. 

Buy a new toilet seat

There are some things that aren’t worth cleaning, and a used toilet seat ranks pretty high up there. While this change may not do much visually, it’ll make you feel better emotionally.

If you want to feel better emotionally and physically, you can’t do better than an over-the toilet bidet. They’re affordable, a cinch to install, and will change your life forever. (Bruno has written about this at length)

Deal with the gross, moldy caulk

The corner of a bathtube before and after cleaning.

Of all the issues that I’ve dealt with living in rental bathrooms, this is the most consistent. There is always mold in the shower, and it’s always nasty. There are lots of solutions for dealing with black mold or mildew, but using bleach is generally the quickest and most thorough method.

A hand holding a glue gun is spreading the glue on the wall.

If the caulk is too far gone, you can always pull it all up and replace it. This renovation will take a few days between drying and curing, so set a good chunk of time aside before you start. 

Mirrors and windows need a thorough wipe down to reflect your future beautiful bathroom. 

And don’t forget about the floor. A good mop will make it gleam, creating a fresh base for your decorating endeavors. 

Yes, deep cleaning might seem like a basic move, but trust me, it sets the perfect stage for your budget-friendly bathroom transformation.

Choose a Color Scheme

Diving into the world of color is your next stop on this bathroom transformation journey. 

Your chosen color scheme will become your decor’s guiding light, effortlessly merging all your elements into a visually pleasing haven. 

Don’t worry if your walls are a standard beige or white in your rental – there are many creative ways to add color.

Imagine your bathroom adorned with a delightful blend of 2-3 complementary hues. It’s not necessary to have everything in the same color. Instead, envision it as a captivating dance where every shade complements and enhances the others.

Picture soft blues playing off crisp whites for a refreshing coastal vibe. 

Or warm earth tones creating a cozy, grounding atmosphere. 

Or perhaps a punch of vibrant teal making a splash against a neutral backdrop for a contemporary twist.

The key is to find colors that you love, and that work well together. 

From shower curtains and towels to soap dispensers and artwork, the chosen palette will guide your decor selections, creating a unified look. 

So, grab those color swatches and start envisioning your perfectly hued bathroom oasis.

How do I choose a color scheme that will make my rental bathroom feel larger?

The key to creating the illusion of a larger space lies in the color scheme. 

Light and neutral shades such as whites, creams, and pastels reflect light, making your bathroom feel airy and open. 

Stick to a monochromatic palette to create a seamless look, with minimal contrast to enhance the perception of space. 

Consider incorporating shades of blue or green, known for their calming and space-enhancing properties. 

Mirrors can further amplify the effect by reflecting light and color, making your bathroom feel expansive. But don’t let this limit your creativity. 

You can still inject pops of vibrant color through accessories or textiles. Just remember, in a small space, less is more. 

So, choose a limited palette and stick to it. The simplicity and continuity will create a spacious, relaxing haven that belies its actual dimensions.

Use Removable Wallpaper or Decals

Apartment bathroom solutions: Contact paper is your friend

Craving for a bold statement without a long-term commitment? The solution lies in removable wallpaper or decals. Removable peel-and-stick wallpaper is fast becoming everyone’s new favorite DIY.

It’s a fantastic way to introduce a pop of color, texture, or even an element of surprise to your bathroom without the hassle and expense of traditional wallpaper or paint jobs. 

Imagine a dramatic floral pattern setting the tone for a chic, feminine retreat or a geometric print adding a modern twist to a minimalist space. 

For an even subtler touch, consider decals. From whimsical motifs to sophisticated patterns, they can instantly elevate your bathroom’s aesthetic appeal. The best part? You can change them whenever you fancy a new look. 

In the rental decor world, removable wallpapers and decals truly are a game-changer. They are budget-friendly, easy to apply and remove, and, most importantly, leave no trace behind, keeping your landlord happy. 

It’s an opportunity to express your style and add personality to your rental bathroom with zero regrets!

Swap Out Your Shower Curtain

Were you aware that a shower curtain can be installed even if your rented bathroom comes equipped with shower doors? It’s a practicable, style-forward change!

Apartment bathroom problem: Ugly shower doors? Hide them with a shower curtain and tension rod.

Installing a shower curtain over the existing shower doors is a straightforward process. 

You’ll just need a tension rod, which is adjustable to fit your shower’s dimensions, and your chosen shower curtain and hooks. 

This alteration is completely temporary and leaves no permanent mark, making it an ideal option for renters.

Your shower curtain occupies a significant chunk of visible space in your bathroom. 

Swapping it out can dramatically transform your bathroom’s vibe without putting a dent in your wallet. 

The market offers a variety of designs to match your style and color scheme. 

Are you aiming for a minimalistic look? Opt for a curtain with a subtle, soft hue or a simple pattern. 

Feeling a little adventurous? Why not choose a curtain that features a bold, vibrant design or an intricate geometric pattern? 

The key here is to keep your color palette in mind and pick a curtain that harmonizes with it. But don’t let that restrict your creativity. 

Sometimes, an unexpected splash of color or a daring design can turn your shower curtain into a focal point that adds a whole new dimension to your bathroom decor. 

So go ahead, explore your options, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box when selecting your next shower curtain.

Hang a curtain under a pedestal sink to hide ugly pipes and create more storage

Curtains aren’t just for the shower, either. With a bit of velcro, you can hang a curtain under your pedestal sink to hide ugly plumbing, or to create more storage room. 

Accessorize with Style

Breathing life into your bathroom decor doesn’t require splurging on pricey items. All it takes is a few stylish accessories that reflect your personality. 

Consider adding a trendy soap dispenser or a chic toothbrush holder that complements your color scheme. From a quirky bath mat to a beautifully scented candle, these small additions can make a big impact.

Have a piece of artwork you love? Why not showcase it in your bathroom? 

Hanging a painting or framed print can instantly elevate your space. Just remember to choose artwork that can withstand the humidity.

Invest in fluffy towels that match your color palette and add a touch of luxury. 

A woven basket can double up as a storage solution and a decor piece, especially when filled with rolled-up towels or pretty toiletries.

Get a plant (or two or three) 

Rental bathroom solutions: Plants make everything better

Nothing makes a room feel more welcoming than a bit of greenery. If you have a window in your bathroom, awesome! Find a house plant that likes humidity (orchids, air plants, ferns, etc.) and you’re good to go. Low light? Try a snake plant, rubber plant, or pothos. If you’re nervous you can’t keep even the heartiest of house plants alive, opt for some fake greens instead.

Remember, the small details help tie your bathroom’s look together. So, be bold and let your style shine through the accessories you choose. Let your bathroom reflect you, making it a place you enjoy spending time in. So go ahead, and start accessorizing your bathroom with style!

Don’t Forget About Storage

Ugly apartment bathroom decor: Use matching storage to hide all your toiletries

Storage: the unsung hero of bathroom decor.

This crucial element often gets overlooked, but in reality, it plays a significant role in the aesthetic and functionality of your space. 

Especially in a small apartment bathroom, every square inch counts. It’s not just about finding a place to stash your stuff, but doing it in style!

Think of your storage solutions as part of your decor. For example, chic wicker baskets can be used to store toilet paper or rolled-up towels, adding a touch of rustic charm. 

Sleek glass jars are perfect for cotton balls or bath salts, while decorative hooks on the wall can hold your bathrobe or towels. 

Don’t be afraid to get creative and repurpose items. An old ladder can become a towel rack, and a wine rack might transform into a towel holder.

If your bathroom lacks space, look to the walls. Floating shelves are great for displaying pretty toiletries or decorative items. 

Over-the-door organizers can be lifesavers for keeping things neat and within reach.

Remember, well-thought-out storage not only helps maintain order but also contributes to your bathroom’s overall aesthetic. 

It’s all about marrying form and function, making your bathroom an organized sanctuary.

*If you want to line your own baskets, this video tutorial will walk you through the entire process.

Play With Lighting

To top off your budget-friendly bathroom transformation, let’s delve into the world of lighting. 

Perhaps changing fixtures isn’t in the cards, but who’s to say you can’t experiment with varying bulbs? 

Explore different hues and intensities to find the perfect fit that complements your decor and sets the mood you’re after. Perhaps a warm, soft glow to enhance the soothing sanctuary you’ve created or a bright, crisp light to illuminate the vibrant hues you’ve incorporated. 

And don’t forget about candles. These small but mighty decor elements pack a punch when it comes to casting a soft, relaxing glow. Not to mention, they’re a perfect way to infuse a touch of spa-like luxury into your bathroom. 

Experiment with scented candles that enhance your bathroom ambiance with delightful aromas. With a touch of creativity, the right lighting can indeed play a pivotal role in elevating your bathroom aesthetic while sticking to your budget.

What are some affordable ways to update the lighting in a rental bathroom?

Changing the ambiance of your rental bathroom might be as simple as switching out the bulbs. 

Daylight or cool white bulbs create a bright, crisp atmosphere, perfect for makeup application or close shaves. Soft white bulbs, on the other hand, can provide a warm, cozy ambiance. 

For a more glamorous touch, consider installing a plug-in vanity light above your mirror. If your rental agreement allows, you might even replace the existing light fixtures with budget-friendly ones that suit your style. 

Another cost-effective option is to introduce a couple of table lamps. While not traditional for bathrooms, they can add a unique, homey touch. 

If you have counter space, a small lamp can create a beautiful, soft glow. Finally, remember the power of candles. 

Not only do they provide soft, romantic lighting, but they also infuse a lovely aroma, enhancing your overall bathroom experience. 

With these tips, you can dramatically transform your bathroom lighting without a big investment.

Apartment bathroom solutions: Use contact paper to dress up ugly shelving

Final Thoughts on Apartment Bathroom Decor

Transforming your rental bathroom into a stylish sanctuary doesn’t have to be an expensive or daunting task. With a dash of creativity and a sprinkle of budget-friendly decor tricks, you can breathe life into your space without breaking the bank or your rental agreement. 

Remember, it all starts with a deep clean and understanding your limitations based on your rental agreement. Once that’s sorted, let your imagination run wild with color schemes, stylish accessories, smart storage solutions, and creative lighting ideas. 

Don’t shy away from experimenting with removable wallpapers or decals, and remember the impact of a new shower curtain. 

Ultimately, the goal is to create a bathroom that reflects your personal style and becomes a space you truly enjoy. 

So, embrace the journey of transforming your rental bathroom, and soon, you’ll have a space that not only functions well but also feels like a true extension of your home.

Apartment bathroom solutions: Don't fight what you can't fix. Learn to work around the quirks in your bathroom.

My best piece of advice for having a nice apartment bathroom is just to keep it clean.

You may not be in love with the space, but you’ll definitely appreciate it more if it’s sanitized and sparkling. A clean bathroom is a dream bathroom – just think back to your last road trip!

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