The 30 Best Bathroom Makeovers We’ve Ever Seen

published Nov 27, 2020
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For a room you don’t actually spend all that much time in, your bathroom is a surprisingly important area of the home. There’s nothing quite like dingy, dark surroundings to make a quick bathroom break or shower feel, well, dirty. Conversely, a bright, airy space can actually make routine tasks feel like a welcome respite from everything else on your to-do list. 

Unfortunately, making over a bathroom is often one of the most expensive home projects you can take on. Because of this, it’s important to nail it the first time. If you need a little inspiration before you dive in, turn to these awe-inspiring renovations. There’s even plenty of examples of budget-friendly fixes that don’t require any special considerations, like reconfiguring plumbing or swapping out tile.

Below, 30 of the best bathroom makeovers Apartment Therapy has ever seen.

1. Bathroom Gets Brightened & Brassy Remodel

Though the original bathroom looks sufficient enough, there’s no denying what a difference just a few upgrades—like more neutral paint, ample shelving, a vintage vanity, and gorgeous new light fixtures—make in this space.

2. A Former Beige Bathroom Goes Botanical

A slight reconfiguration does wonders to make a small bathroom feel less cramped. But the real star of the show? The decor. Vibrant wallpaper and pastel-colored trim coupled with white accessories give this space an enviable vintage vibe.

3. A Boring Bathroom Gets Some Dark Drama

You might think that a dark paint color, like black, would make a small bathroom feel even more cramped, but this reno proves the opposite is true. When paired with stark white tile and trim, the dark color actually makes this space look much bigger than it is.

4. A Cabin Bathroom Gets Classy

What once looked like a bathroom in a neglected hunter’s cabin now looks like something right out of a chic ski lodge, thanks to plenty of white paint, sophisticated forest green textiles and light fixtures, and brass accents.

5. Dated Powder Room Gets Some DIY Pow

There was nothing inspiring about this blah beige bathroom until the homeowners installed faux molding and paintable textured wallpaper. Now the space is dark, moody, and truly exquisite.

6. A Bright New Look for a Dated Bathroom

While nothing changed layout-wise in this bathroom, there’s a stark difference between the dark, dingy before and the bright, airy after. It’s all thanks to clean new tile and more modern, sharp lines.

7. New Life for a Crumbling Clinton Hill Bathroom

Many years of water damage made this bathroom a space you’d never want to set foot in, so the owners took things down to the studs for a much-needed revamp that included lively green tile, a granite countertop, and ample storage.

8. A Bathroom Transformation for a Good Cause

In this reno, peeling linoleum, an unfinished bathtub, and strangely mismatched wall finishes give way to new lighting and shiny white and black tile that makes the bathroom feel like “a place you would actually get clean in.”

9. Simple Solutions for a Seriously Small (& Sort Of Scary) Bathroom

You would never in a million years recognize this bright bathroom from its—frankly—scary before. To make the space usable and beautiful, a weird, cramped bathtub gave way to a glass enclosed shower and a sleek floating vanity.

10. A Truly Amazing Tile Turnaround

This bathroom reno shows just how dramatic a color switch can be. In the before, tan tile only serves to make this big bathroom feel smaller and dated. But a little white paint (yep, on the tile!) does wonders for the space.

Credit: Submitted by Amanda
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11. A Drab Master Bath Turned Modern Retreat

There’s only a small window in this master bathroom, but a brighter color palette and a reconfiguration that allows the sun to shine through the glass-enclosed shower helps turn the space into a bright, modern retreat.

12. A Truly Tiny Bathroom Realizes Its Potential

Could you ever have imagined that that sad little bathroom could look this good? White subway tile, brass fixtures, and a seriously stunning wallpaper make this one tiny bathroom you’ll never want to leave.

13. A Balcony Becomes a Bathroom

In order to maximize usable space, this family turned an underutilized and uninspired balcony area into a much-needed bathroom.

14. A Mauve Toilet Meets Its End

The owners of this bathroom weren’t sorry to see their scuffed mauve toilet, periwinkle walls, mauve sink, pebbled glass shower door, and yellowed shower stall go—especially because it was replaced with a super clean and modern black and white bathroom from an entirely different era. 

15. This Bathroom Went from Boring Builder Grade to “Wow”

These homeowners used a clever trick to make their bathroom make instantly less cramped: They traded a bulky vanity for an open concept alternative. (Don’t worry, there’s still a shelf for storage.)

16. A Boring Beige Bathroom Is Now a Glam Retreat Thanks to Stunning (Removable!) Wallpaper

For proof that you don’t have to own your home to add dramatic style to your space, take a look at this renter-friendly upgrade that hinges on bold, bright patterned removable wallpaper and pretty accessories.

17. A Boring Builder-Grade Bath Becomes Positively Spa-Like

This bathroom had all the makings of an enviable space—a big tub, a shower, and even some shelving—but it lacked inspiration and felt a tad too retro. But a little reworking that included a freestanding tub and a floating vanity coupled with whitewashed wood planks and vertical elongated subway tiles fixed that fast.

18. A Brown, Bland Bathroom Got a Wheelchair-Friendly Update

This reno was about more than aesthetic fixes—the owners needed to open up the space to make it more wheelchair-accessible. The result is a brighter, happier space that functions just the way they need it to.

19. A DIY Overhaul Made This Old, Dirty Bathroom Totally Unrecognizable

After 20-plus years of housing renters, this bathroom was in dire need of an upgrade. White subway tile installed with black grout, a regal paint color, and brass accessories did just the trick.

20. A Long-Awaited Master Bath Makeover Was Worth the Wait

Though there wasn’t anything inherently wrong with the original bathroom, it did feel a bit dark, cluttered, and all over the place. To fix that, the homeowner traded the patterned paper for sophisticated paneling and swapped the retro shower for a truly stunning freestanding copper tub.

Credit: Rebecca Hatfield
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21. This High-Impact Powder Room Overhaul Cost Just $65 (!!!)

Burgundy paint made this bathroom feel even smaller and darker than it was. To brighten it up and add some much-needed spunk, the owner leaned on paint, painting the walls, the vanity, and a freehand accent wall. The total cost? Just $65.

22. This Dated Powder Room Makeover Is Fantastic and Full of Ideas for Renters

This small bathroom provides the perfect inspo for renters, as all “fixes”—a bold paint color, wall decals, a new mirror, and more modern fixtures—are affordable and totally reversible.

23. This New Bathroom Is Straight Out of a Fancy Hotel

Though so many bathrooms hinge on white subway tile to add an air of modernity, this cool space proves you can go the opposite route and achieve the same. In this case, a full wall of dark subway tile adds drama, and a walnut vanity and brass fixtures add warmth. The result is a bathroom that looks like it’s straight out of a five-star hotel.

24. It’s Hard to Believe This Dramatic Bathroom Redo Cost Just $800

It’s hard to believe you can pull off any complete bathroom reno for $800, let alone one this dramatic. So how did the homeowners do it? With some creative paint work in a graphic black and white color palette, plus more modern accessories.

Credit: Provided by Sarah Chastain
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25. A $5,000 DIY Master Bathroom That Looks 10 Times as Expensive

While it is one of the more expensive renos on this list, you’d think the project cost way more. In this DIY (yes, really!), the homeowners opened up the space by tearing down the enclosed toilet room, pulled out ’80s-inspired overhead lights, and installed a clawfoot tub they found on Craigslist with a chandelier above.

26. An Empty Space Turned Stylish Bathroom for Just $1000

What was once a utility and storage room is now a much-desired extra bathroom with a stunning aesthetic that includes matte black hex tile, horizontal wainscoting painted a mossy green color, and a brush stroke-printed wallpaper.

27. A ’90s-Era Powder Room Gets a High/Low Patterned Makeover

To totally transform a dark, 25-square-foot powder room that came with heavy finishes and ’90s-style textured walls, this homeowner stripped the walls and re-plastered them, and then added wallpaper, molding, and a mix of high- and low-cost decor pieces for a super refined look.

28. This Boho-Happy Bathroom Redo Shows How Far $160 Can Go

Yes, you read that grand total right. A boring bathroom—think: white vanity, a white sink, cream walls, a cream floor, and a cream shower curtain—gets a  new lease on life thanks to a patterned wallpaper, a fresh coat of paint on the vanity, new drawer pulls, a splashy new mirror, and a DIY shelf.

29. A Dingy 1920s Bathroom Gets a Statement-Making Revamp

To create a cleaner, brighter space that feels luxe yet inviting, these homeowners swapped bright green walls for more sophisticated extra large, green subway tile, a patterned floor, and installed brushed brass fixtures there and throughout the room.

30. A £250 Redo Turns a White Bathroom into a Colorful Plant Haven

Though the all-white bathroom was perfectly comfortable, it definitely lacked personality. But that’s nothing a little yellow paint couldn’t fix. A smattering of plants brings the whole look together, while adding a covetable spa-like vibe.