Thursday, July 17, 2014

The renter's bathroom: 6 tips for de-uglying your apartment bathroom

Most of the rooms in an apartment are hard to fuck up. The landlord decides on the paint color and the flooring, and that's about it. But the bathroom (and the kitchen too) is where their bad taste can take over. They get to make too many decisions: sink and vanity, towel bars, lighting, tile, fixtures. Every time I've gone apartment hunting and walked into a potential home's bathroom, my eyes search for the things I can change without losing my deposit. Fortunately, there are plenty of not-terribly-expensive, temporary changes a renter can make to unfuck their bathroom.

Double up on mirrors

Your average apartment bathroom already has a mirror above the sink, but consider hanging a few more to increase the reflected light and feeling of space in your bathroom – it can also help you make sure your sassy updo looks good from the back! (The side mirror in the pic above is mounted on hinges so it can even swing to get all the angles! Amazing!)

Speaking of mirrors…

Most apartment mirrors are either in ugly medicine cabinets, or just held to the wall with plastic clips. By using either a pretty picture frame or pieces of moulding, you can create a frame that will make your reflection look like a classic portrait. Use 3M Command Strips so you can remove it when you move out.

Vertical, open shelves

If you're a product addict like me, you have three hair products for days you wear your hair curly, another three for straight-hair days, plus countless masks, dyes, sprays... Get all that clutter off of the counter by installing shelves, and maximize that storage space by installing shelves all the way up to the ceiling. Less-frequently used products can go on the higher shelves near the ceiling; keep everyday products within easy reach. Open shelves keep things light and airy, but if you're worried that your collection of bottles looks messy, corral them with baskets or trays.

 Swap out your shower head

"What's something I can buy for under $100 that will drastically improve my quality of life?" is a question often posed to the readers of the "Ask Reddit" page on Reddit. Along with things like "good shoes" and "a nice chef's knife," a new shower head is almost always mentioned. It's such an easy fix, and it can take your shower from "high school locker room" to "spa" in a few minutes. Be sure to save the old shower head so that you can replace it and take the new one with you when you move out. Bonus tip: For a super-spa experience, tie some eucalyptus branches to your shower head. The steam from your shower will help release a great, fresh fragrance. Extra bonus tip: Don't leave it in there so long that it gets moldy. Trust me on this.

Set the stage

Double the glamour of your bathroom and use two shower curtains instead of one to frame your bath. You'll get a feeling of symmetry plus an extra dose of whatever color and pattern your curtain brings to the room.

Throw away those boxes and bottles

Keeping products like soap, lotion, cotton balls, and Q-Tips in matching containers cuts the visual clutter of cheap, clashing packaging. As much as I love Target, I don't want to live in one of its aisles! Dump your products in glass canisters, wooden boxes, repurposed tins – and if your containers don't match, a coat of paint will help them feel like a set, even if they're different shapes and sizes.


  1. How about ideas for the classic kitchen at one end/dining at the other end, with glass patio doors room??It is so dreary I can't stand it.

    1. Try separating the rooms visually, or decorate the patio for a better view :)


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