8 Updates to Give Your Bathroom Designer Style

Award-winning interior designer Kerrie Kelly gives you easy tips to update your bathroom to make it look and feel more luxurious. 

QDT Editor
3-minute read

Your bathroom is probably the best room in the house for a mini makeover. When you realize how dramatically, quickly, and inexpensively you can completely update the space without an actual renovation, you'll wonder why you've waited so long.

See also: How to Keep Your Bathroom Clean Without Cleaning


Before you dive in, just take a minute to consider what you're going for in terms of style. We'll take care of the functional aspects in a moment, but you also want your bathroom to be a peaceful, relaxing space. Are you more soothed by rich, dramatic tones, or are you going for a more simple and serene spa-like space?

Once you know what you want, try these 8 simple tips for getting that bathroom upgrade you've been dreaming of:

Tip #1: Paint

This is definitely the place to start, since doing it yourself results in such fast and dramatic change. For the simple and serene look, choose soft, soothing tones to give you a greater sense of space and light. If you're looking for a rich, dark hideaway, choose warm saturated tones to strike the right mood.

Tip #2: Hardware

Now choose drawer pulls that keep the style makeover moving forward. They're available in all styles and at all price points, and this is another big change you can make on your own. Typically, a nickel or stainless finish goes best with the spa look, while oil-rubbed bronze tones will add the richness you're looking for in a sophisticated atmosphere.

Tip #3: Storage

Because our bathrooms are also spaces that our guests may see, keeping them clutter-free is important. A quick and functional fix here is simple storage cubbies. Stash toiletries, make-up and other beauty and grooming equipment in small caddies that you can pop out and put away easily. Check out Domestic CEO's episode 10 Tips for Organizing Open Bathroom Shelves for more.

Tip #4: Lighting

Good grooming requires good light, but when you're just looking to slip into the tub and relax, you want something softer.

Start your lighting makeover with a simple dimmer switch. Replacing the vanity lighting fixture is easier than you think, too. To keep the job simple and quick, choose vanity lighting that covers the same space as the original fixture. You can maximize your options if you take care of the lighting when you do the painting. To take it up one more notch, consider a piece of statement lighting such as a chandelier or pendant that adds a sense of style and indulgence.

Tip #5: Shower, Sink, and Tub Faucets

Now we're moving into the updates that really make the space feel new. Look for sink fixtures that offer a little more height over the bowl for the most functional effect. Then, indulge in a new showerhead that makes your morning feel anything but routine. A hand shower that ties into the shower arm and can extend from the wall via a hose is another luxurious and functional option.

Tip #6: Mirror and Medicine Cabinet

Most standard medicine cabinets are not much to look at, but there are now plenty of modern options to replace your current cabinet. A simple beveled mirror version with a plastic wipeable interior is a great update, but another simple fix if you don't want to replace the whole cabinet is to build a picture-style frame right over your basic wall mirror. Choose the frame according to the style you're going for and make sure that the surface is moisture resistant

Tip #7: Towel Warmer

Even if you don't have the most spacious bathroom, this is an amenity worthy of serious consideration. In case you think you just can't spare the space, you'll be glad to hear that they also come ready to plug in or hard wire and hang on the wall.

Tip #8: The Final Touch

New towels and a fresh bathmat can change the appearance of your bath space with little effort. Pick a monochromatic color scheme to dry off in style or go all-white for the spa-like aesthetic. For a little added detail, consider monogramming your towels with your initials or "his" and "hers" or "guest." This added touch will make all your efforts well worth the time and consideration of your bathroom update.

We'd love to hear your own ideas about how to make your bathroom a more special space! Post your comments below.


Award-winning interior designer Kerrie Kelly writes about makeovers and other décor projects for Home Depot. Kerrie's bathroom styling tips focus on DIY projects that homeowners can enjoy doing while sprucing up the room. A collection of bath hardware, including towel warmers, can be found on the HD website

Images courtesy of Kerrie Kelly.