The most-used room in a home is also the most overlooked – the bathroom. Since this space is often small – especially in an apartment – it can present a real challenge for decorating. But don’t let this little corner of your place be neglected – there are things you can do to increase storage space, make it feel larger, and make it a beautiful space – even on a budget.
Even if you don’t paint any other room in your apartment, consider painting the bathroom – it will only take about a gallon of paint, it’s quick and easy, and when you decide to move, it won’t take a lot of money or effort to put it back to its original color (many apartment complexes will let you paint as long as you repaint the room its original color when you move out – find out your apartment community's policies before doing any painting).
If you want to follow trends, gray is the color of the season for bathrooms, and it looks great. I prefer a bolder color in the bathroom – I once painted a very small bath a dark plum with sleek, modern silver accents. Since it is such a small space, don't be afraid of color – if you decide you don't like it, you can always repaint. If you aren't sure if you want the entire bathroom a strong color, just paint one wall as a focal point.
"Green" is the new black – so to speak. And it isn't just fluorescent bulbs that make your space green. Choose organic cotton towels, recycled products, and eco-friendly shower curtains. The new trend in "green" products is to celebrate nature, so choose designs that show off nature's beauty -- patterns with flowers, birds, or rocks and stones add an outdoorsy feel to your décor.
Mirrors are another great way to make your small bath appear larger, so use
them to your advantage – instead of just a small mirror over the sink, consider adding small mirrors of varying sizes and shapes on a blank wall. You'll instantly create a beautiful focal point, you'll brighten up the bathroom, and the space will appear larger. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), a once-forgotten item is making a huge comeback – the medicine cabinet. Not only do these offer a great mirror, but they add an essential element to a bathroom – storage space.
Speaking of storage space, it can sometimes be difficult to find in a small bathroom. You can create storage space in a variety of ways. Add a "skirt" around the sink to hide items stored below, or stack wicker baskets in the corner. Crates can make interesting shelves, and an antique wooden ladder makes a great towel rack. If you don't have the budget to purchase cabinets for your bathroom, browse garage sales and thrift stores until you find the right piece – a skinny bookshelf can be used in the bathroom and looks great with rolled towels and small baskets adding color and interest.
Go ahead and get a little fussy in your bathroom décor! This is the perfect space for it. My mother replaced her standard apartment light fixture with a beautiful chandelier. She added lace edging to her towels, and she placed a small, flat-screen TV in a corner cabinet. Small antique dishes hold pretty decorative soaps, and a collection of candles sits on the vanity. It's a great little space for those who like frills – I may borrow a few of her ideas for my own home (especially the chandelier).