15 Best Small Bathroom Updates to Make on a Budget

Small bathroom updates


If we're being honest, sprawling bathrooms easily wow guests, but decorating a small bathroom impeccably takes some serious style sense. When you lack square footage, every corner, nook, and cranny are on display—so every element must bridge the gap between form and function.

Whether you have a tiny powder room or a single shower stall, any small bathroom can benefit from a refresh. If you're looking to do a full redesign or simply add a few personal touches on an evening-in, we have 15 updates so good you'll forget how small your bathroom actually is (most of which you can do on a dime).

01 of 15

Don't Shy Away From Accessories

small bathroom updates


We love a less-is-more moment, but you can benefit from some slight overaccessorizing when you're working in tight quarters. A bold wallpaper, statement mirror, pair of sconces, exposed piping, greenery, and a Turkish hand towel all come together to distract you from a few missing square feet.

Try shopping at secondhand stores and outlets for budget-friendly buys.

02 of 15

Work From Wall to Wall

small bathroom updates


If your sink is positioned in a nook, don't waste a single inch with open, unused space on either side of your vanity setup. This powder room makes excellent use of the sink area, extending from wall to wall with the counter space, under-the-sink shelf, and mirror ledge. 

03 of 15

Introduce Living Art

small bathroom updates


Greenery has a way of instantly opening up a space—and it's not just because of their natural air-cleansing abilities. Staghorn ferns, like the two in this bathroom, are our favorite wall-friendly plants. They're sturdy and grow vertically in a way that looks like it's sprouting from your wall—and the best part is they bring so much more life to your space than most expensive works of art.

04 of 15

Put That Baby In The Corner

small bathroom updates

KATIE LeClercq

If your bathroom is teeny tiny, consider positioning an appropriately sized sink in the corner. It will surely be functional for you and your guests but won't eat into precious bathroom real estate.

05 of 15

Work Your Windows

small bathroom updates


Small spaces only look smaller when they're dark and cavelike. Let the light in with the addition of more windows. As this small bathroom is proof, one window is great, but two windows just can't be beaten. 

06 of 15

Prioritize Storage

small bathroom updates


Perhaps the biggest con of a small bathroom is the lack of much-needed storage space. If space for your beauty products, toiletries, and cleaning essentials is a top priority, invest in a vanity that boasts plenty of storage.

This three-drawer vanity provides plenty of space for towels, toiletries and more without looking out of place in this contemporary space.

07 of 15

Take Tile to the Next Level

small bathroom updates


A stunning tile job is a surefire way to make even the smallest bathroom look like a million bucks. We are obsessed with the composition of this scalloped tile that utilizes a range of pinks and corals on the bottom half of the walls and a bright white extending to the ceiling. And the best part means less square footage means you can save a few bucks on materials.

08 of 15

Create a Coastal Retreat

Small bathroom updates


The light and airy textures, soft color tones, and wide-open feel of the coastal style have a way of opening up tight spaces. The blue and cream color palette in this bathroom creates the illusion of a larger, more open space.

To implement the coastal theme in your bathroom, incorporate light blue and white patterns, linens, jute touches, and fresh greenery.

09 of 15

Choose Details Wisely

small bathroom updates


When creating the small bathroom of your dreams, don't get caught up on the square footage—bigger doesn't always mean better. This small powder room vanity boasts big-time style, from the classic wainscoting and vintage light fixture to the marble sink and gorgeous wallpaper. Flea markets and antique shops are perfect for thrifting stunning pieces on a dime.

10 of 15

Work Your Angles

small bathroom updates


Unconventional spaces can be intimidating, but you can make those awkward angles work for you rather than work around unwieldy lines. If you're working with an awkward nook or an odd-shaped powder room, do yourself a favor and embrace it. You can even accentuate it with bold wallpaper and play up the angles with equally angular pieces like a hexagon vanity mirror and pyramid-shaped sconce.

11 of 15

Design Up on a Pedestal

small bathroom updates


If storage isn't a priority, opt for a pedestal sink over bulky vanity drawers. Leaving the space under your sink open will visually expand your square footage making your floor look more open and your bathroom look wider.

12 of 15

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

small bathroom updates


Dark colors have a reputation for being claustrophobic, but contrary to belief, painting your walls black can actually open up your small space. Incorporate shiny surfaces and metallic patterns to bounce light around the room and make it feel larger, airier, and more open. For budget makeovers, consider making over existing décor with a can of metallic spray paint.

13 of 15

Master the Art of Minimal Maximalism

small bathroom updates


At first glance, this seemingly muted powder room looks simple and clean. But upon further inspection, this visual stunner of a bathroom incorporates various design elements you usually see in maximalist spaces, i.e., the wallpaper print, contrasting tile and grout, a bowl sink, and brass fixtures. However, the achromatic color palette allows those special touches to shine without looking too overwhelming to those who like things streamlined. 

14 of 15

Make It Monochrome

small bathroom updates


An extended color palette is fabulous, always, but there's nothing that catches your attention like a floor-to-ceiling monochromatic paint job. In a lot of ways, incorporating a single hue feels a million times cooler, especially a rich tone like this sapphire blue. Who knew a can of paint could be so impactful?

15 of 15

Things Are Looking Up

small bathroom designs


No matter what room you're decorating, a general interior design rule of thumb is to incorporate pieces to draw the eye up. Doing so elongates the room, giving the illusion of taller ceilings and a bigger space. This bathroom aces the test with a tall mirror positioned above the bathroom sink and sconces placed high up.