8 Easy Bathroom Refresh Ideas You Can Do in an Hour or Less
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Bathrooms are, at their core, spaces designed for practicality. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy your time there. If you’re looking around your bathroom and thinking it’s a less-than-inspiring space, consider it time for a refresh.
Now, let’s get one thing straight: A “refresh” doesn’t mean that you need to devote entire weekends or hundreds of dollars to the pursuit. You can create a noticeable impact by keeping your changes small. Skeptical? Take a look at these eight smart bathroom refresh projects, all of which you can do in the scope of an hour. Whether you want to give your bathroom an energizing jolt of color or turn it into a serene, spa-like retreat, there’s an idea here for you.
Give your shower curtain a lift.
“Go big on the shower curtain!” says Jen Muratet, professional organizer and carpenter. “Switching your standard-height curtain for one that goes nearly floor-to-ceiling will give the illusion of a larger space.”
Since most curtains are 72 inches tall, Muratet explains, there’s a gap between the curtain and the ceiling. “That means that your curtain rod is going to visually cut off the room at a lower level,” Muratet explains. “If you can find one that’s 84 or 96 inches, you can hang your rod closer to the ceiling and give the space a more luxurious feel.”
Make the linens match.
Sometimes making a bathroom feel brand new is as simple as replacing the bathroom rug. Switch up any bath mats or rugs, the shower curtain, any window curtains, and towels and linens, says Kat Christie, licensed contractor and founder of She Fixed That LLC. “If you are looking for a modern-refreshed hotel feel, pick one color scheme and keep everything in that same hue and tone,” she says.
Bring in some plants.
Greenery always adds life to a space, and many plants do great in warm, humid bathrooms. Sometimes all it takes is getting a decorative pot and placing plants in a bathroom windowsill, but you can also install hanging planters to make more room for greenery. Plants that thrive in bathrooms include pothos, spider plants, and snake plants, because they do well in low light and humidity.
Add a gallery wall.
“We tend to overlook the bathroom when it comes to gallery walls, but there are no rules when it comes to art,” Christie says. “Have fun hanging a gallery wall in the bathroom, and to keep it under an hour, I like to create ‘imperfect’ gallery walls, so you can just eyeball where you want the frames to go and have fun with it,” she says.
Christie adds that the project is even easier if you shop your home. “This is a great way to use up old frames you have sitting around the house, or hit up the thrift store for a fun array of new frames for very cheap,” she says.
Swap out vanity hardware.
This refresh can take less than ten minutes, Muratet says. Updating your hardware can be a major change to a dated space, and it’s like changing out the jewelry to the bathroom, she says. To make this project super easy, make sure to measure the current configuration of your vanity and buy knobs or pulls to match those measurements — that means you won’t even need to get out any tools for the install.
“Big-box hardware stores have a lot of great options now, but if you’ve got more room in your budget for something fancy, look at Rejuvenation or Anthropologie for a next-level upgrade,” Muratet says.
Spiff up tile floors.
Replacing your tile floor is… not a one-hour project. Nor is it a cheap project! But if you’ve only got a little bit of time, you can do the next best thing and give the grout a refresh. That’s as easy as grabbing a grout pen and drawing over the grout lines, says Farwa Moledina, a DIY influencer on TikTok and a member of Apartment Therapy’s DIY Collective. In a video she posted to her channel, Moledina shows how she used a grout pen to color over the space between her tiles (a straight edge helped her keep the lines extra neat). After what she says was 20 minutes of work, the once grungy white grout now looks fresh in a dark gray color that makes the same old tile pop.
Paint or wallpaper a wall.
You don’t have to paint or wallpaper a full space to make an impact. For a truly mini paint job, grab a sample paint color at your local hardware store and create an accent shape around a mirror or piece of art. Or go all-in with a full wall of color. You can also skip the paint entirely and do an accent wall of peel-and-stick wallpaper for a pop of pattern.
If you have an afternoon and are handy with a drill, adding shelving can not only help with clutter and organization, but it can add a beautiful aesthetic to your bathroom. Using vertical space helps increase your bathroom’s storage capacity, says Briana Spruille, a professional organizer and founder of Just BE LLC. “Add a caddy or adhesive shelves in the corner of the shower to hold necessities. And decorative hooks or a towel rack added to the wall or behind the door keeps the floor clear while adding style,” she says. Floating shelves on the wall can also hold daily necessities so they’re within reach but not taking up any counter space.
Add under-the-sink storage.
If you’re looking for other ways to sneak in storage, don’t neglect the area under the sink. “Many vanities have faux drawers right under the sink, because there has to be room for the plumbing there,” says Muratet. “However, you can buy a tip-out kit like this one that makes that drawer useful to you. This requires a little bit of measuring and drilling, but the kits come with templates and it’s an easy job.”
The tip-out drawers are a great place to hide toothpaste, toothbrushes, and other small everyday items. You can even use them as you might in the kitchen and store a sponge there so it’s easy to grab when it comes time for bathroom cleanup.