How to Update Your Bathroom’s Look: 11 Easy Ideas

Saffron Marigold - Updated: August 7, 2022

Wondering how to update your bathroom’s look? There’s no need to call your local contractor just yet. We’ll share some easy bathroom updates here from modernized light fixtures to luxury shower curtains. With a little bit of planning, shopping, and imagining, you can transform your bathroom in a few easy steps. Here are 11 ways to begin your bathroom makeover.

How to update my bathroom without remodeling?

When we say easy bathroom updates, we really mean easy. Remodeling refers to a complete overhaul, and it often requires tearing down walls, installing new plumbing, and reconfiguring electrical wiring. The room’s purpose is changed after a remodeling, and this route is not so easy.

By contrast, renovating maintains the purpose of a space. A bathroom remains a bathroom, and the adjustments are often superficial. New paints, new flooring, new furnishing. While a renovation can include structural changes, this type of project is often quick and simple.

In this guide, we’ll cover even easier bathroom updates such as decor swaps, DIY tiling, and cleaning tips.

1. Hang up a beautiful new shower curtain

Number one on our list of easy bathroom updates is a new shower curtain. This prominent panel covers a large surface area, and the eyes are naturally drawn to this decor element when we enter a bathroom. Whichever pattern you choose, you want your shower curtain to be a proud expression of your style. A colorful fabric curtain elevates your bathroom’s look—no remodeling required.

2. Swap out cabinets and your vanity

As much as we love the idea of repainting old cabinets and going the DIY route, sometimes older furnishings are just too cumbersome to justify keeping them in place. It may be time to say goodbye to ’80s bathroom cabinets that are making your bathroom look dated. Embrace fresh colors like light, misty green and classic, crisp white.

Home Depot

Vanity in Antique Light Cyan with Marble


White Free-Standing Cabinet

3. Cover an accent wall with waterproof wallpaper/tile

No need to lay down the tarp and tape the walls when you can order a pack of waterproof peel-and-stick tiles instead. Create a unique and colorful accent wall using prints and patterns that match your shower curtain and wall paint.


Vinyl Peel & Stick Field Tile


Peel and Stick Mosaic Shell Backsplash Tile

4. Replace your mirror

Your mirror may be a reflection of your bathroom’s age, holding you back from a contemporary space. Don’t shy away from colorful options such as tile-framed mirrors. But, modern options like LED-backed and frameless mirrors do wonders to update your bathroom’s look.


Kuykendall Indigo Morroccan Tile Framed

Home Depot

Single Frameless Bathroom Wall Mirror

5. Upgrade your rugs and mats

Another easy bathroom update is bringing in new rugs and mats, preferably in bright, cheerful tones. Coordinate these floor accents with your towels and curtains, and you’ve got a harmonious color scheme brimming with personality. You might also consider discarding your fabric toilet seat and tank cover, which could be making your bathroom look antiquated.

West Elm

Organic Angled Modern Bath Mat

Holistic Habitat

Shine On Bath Mat

6. Incorporate plants

Allow your bathroom to breathe with potted and hanging plants gracing your floors and walls. Even those of us with no magical green thumbs can appreciate some greenery with faux vines. For a tropical feel, try low-maintenance statement plants that thrive in humidity. Dragon trees, palms, and Birds of Paradise are favorites among easy-care varieties.


Artificial Hanging Plants with Wood Board


Bamboo Palm

7. Find your light

One dead giveaway for an outdated bathroom is its light fixture. Upgrade your bathroom vanity light with something more modern for an instant metamorphosis. Single-unit fixtures such as metal finish shades and slender LED lights are great substitutes for bulb strips and frosted glass shades. The pinnacle of a stylish bathroom is one where artificial light and natural light work in tandem to provide a comfortable experience.


July Modern/Contemporary Transitional Light


Nordic Modern LED Mirror Light

8. Remove (or hide) clutter

Make necessities available such as extra toilet paper rolls, cotton balls, hand soap, and hand towel. Anything else should be stored in a cabinet, drawer, or toiletries tray. Clunky cabinets may be replaced with over-the-toilet organizers, wall-mount shelves, and narrow freestanding shelves.

Source: Unsplash

9. Update your bathroom accessories

Restore furnishings by treating them with new hardware such as metallic pulls and handles. You might also trade in your ancient soap holders and toothbrush stands with contemporary sets. A sophisticated ombre painted set or a textured ceramic collection add a touch of opulence sans renovation. Don’t forget about updating your trash bins, plunger cover, and shower caddies.

Pottery Barn

Brass Pearson Bath Hardware Set of 4


Urbana Green Bath Set

10. Deep clean everything

No new decor or furnishing will make as much of a difference than sparkling clean surfaces. Get down and dirty to clean between tiles and behind cabinets, or get in touch with a professional cleaning service to eliminate unyielding stains and hard-to-reach areas.

Source: Unsplash

11. Keep it short and sweet with a valance curtain

Bathroom windows are often small, and ensuring your privacy is easy with a set of valance curtains. These practical and stylish window treatments can be paired with other coverings such as roman shades, blinds, and screens. Coordinating your window curtain with your shower curtain is a smart move for a cohesive look.

How do I upgrade my bathroom tiles without replacing them?

Good news is, there are a few ways you can bring new life to your tiles without removing them.

  • Paint your tiles
  • Power wash between tiles to clean grout, or go in with a brush and some bleach
  • Install peel and stick tiles over existing tiles
  • Use rugs and mats to cover up imperfections
  • Coat the tiles with epoxy coating (Note: It may be best to contact a professional for this option to ensure your flooring is smooth and even.)

How can I make my bathroom look more modern?

Modernize bathrooms using organic silhouettes, non-fussy color combinations, and enduring materials like marble. Matte paint, glass, and semi-glossy finishes are also characteristic of a modern bathroom. Take a look at our guide on how to create a blue and white bathroom a la modern decor style for more ideas.