How To Make Your Bathroom More Aesthetically Pleasing

From decor to function, and with the right eye for detail, your bathroom might just become the most beautiful room in your house.

By Greta Waldon5 min read

There was a point in my life several years ago when I decided if an object wasn’t beautiful, it wasn’t worth having. Sometimes, that means the object functions beautifully – not everything can be made of mother-of-pearl, blown glass, or hand-thrown porcelain, after all (or can it?). Whenever possible, though, we should consider whether the things we’re putting in our space are elevating the aesthetic, lifting our mood, and inspiring us with their inherent beauty. 

The bathroom is no exception to this rule. In fact, bathrooms can be one of the most rewarding places to cultivate an atmosphere of beauty – it is, after all, where you cleanse and renew yourself each and every day and where you practice your own beauty and self-care rituals. What are some ways that we can organize and decorate our bathrooms with the intention of creating the most gorgeous space we can, without compromising on function? 

Pick a Color Scheme You’ll Always Love

For me, there’s nothing like a green and pink bathroom with cream, gold, and black accents. Someday, I’d love to have a pink lily stained glass window to fully complete the look, but for now, I have to settle for decorating with soft shades of pink and green. Are there two colors you adore together? Or one color that especially makes you feel clean, refreshed, or invigorated? Depending on your personality, as well as whether you’re redoing your own bathroom or renting, you can go all out with the color scheme and tile every wall in saturated tones, or you can opt for a neutral base and add pops of color with your towels, floor mat, and decor. 

Here is a bathroom that dives into pink in a big way with crane wallpaper and a matching pink ceiling.

Once you have your colors, pay attention to how even the smallest details are contributing to the overall picture. You might enjoy matching your soap to your towels or your shampoo bottles to your area rug. This bathroom, for example, has a neutral base of white and cream but still reads pink because the towel, loofah, and flowers all match.

I also love how this blue and red bathroom even matches the toothbrush to the mirror and shower curtain trim. 

Be Mindful of Branding, Labels, and Products

Now that we’re looking at the details, start to notice whether the branding of your bathroom products is elevating the look or not. Luckily, a lot of brands know how important aesthetics are, so you can find plenty of super cute shampoo and conditioner sets, soaps, and lotions. These pink shampoo and conditioner bottles, for example, blend perfectly with this bathroom.

However, if there’s a product you love but the branding just isn’t cutting it or the color of the container is throwing off the vibe, do not despair! You have options. One thing you can do for certain products is transfer them to a reusable dispenser of your choice. This can work great for liquids like soap, shampoo, or conditioner. You can also tuck things like floss or cue tips into attractive dishes or canisters that hide their labels but keep them easy to find, and you can use a tissue box cover so your tissues always match the room. Finally, you can remove labels if the color of the bottle itself doesn’t bother you, as long as you can get that sticker off neatly enough. 

The hand soap in this bathroom looks like it uses the last trick. If you look closely, it’s just a white plastic bottle, but the color totally works with the overall flow of the room. The perfumes, candle, and other products on the floating shelves have branding that both matches and elevates the look.

Organize with Baskets, Bins, Trays, and Dishes

A great way to make things look both beautiful and organized is to store them neatly in or on a basket, bin, tray, or dish. This way, you can keep things out and accessible but not have them start to look messy or chaotic. If your skincare routine is a line that passes your branding tests from above, you could consider keeping the full set out on a gorgeous tray if there’s space on a shelf or sink. This bathroom does something like that and also organizes little rolled hand towels into an attractive basket. 

I personally use a lot of dishes and things in our bathroom. We have two antique milk glass dishes, one that holds little metal things like tweezers and nail clippers and one that holds my colorful scrunchies and other hair binders. These are both high enough up on a shelf that you mostly see the dishes themselves, and the pop of color from the scrunchies. We have handmade ceramic cups that hold our toothpaste and toothbrushes as well as one for my makeup brushes. And the list goes on! You can have a lot of fun exploring estate sales or thrift stores with your bathroom storage in mind. 

Include At Least One Handmade Item

In a room where there’s bound to be a fair amount of plastic, balance out the texture and quality with at least one handmade object. This could be a lovely handmade ceramic soap dish, a hand carved wooden tray for jewelry, or a handmade vase for flowers. Whatever it is, the fact it was made with love by human hands will give your bathroom more visual interest and personal meaning to you. Things that were made by hand feel and look different, and are often more beautiful. This bathroom has a ceramic vase and soap dish that complement the elegant white and gold color scheme. 

If you’re loving the ceramics, keep an eye out for pottery sales in your area. A lot of pottery studios or artist groups have annual sales where you can explore work by a variety of artists and find that perfect piece. You can also find a lot of artists’ work online, whether they have a personal website or an Etsy shop. 

Make Use of Standing and Floating Shelves

Floating shelves, like the ones we saw above when we talked about branding, are a fun option because they help you create visual vignettes and really tell your aesthetic story. If your space has standing shelves, those are wonderful as well. This gorgeous white bathroom makes use of a glass cabinet as well as built-in shelving. The towels have crisp, clean lines, and the cabinet holds things you might use regularly that are beautiful enough to be on display. 

This green bathroom, on the other hand, uses a single ledge above the bathtub to create a shelf that both adds character and charm as well as function for the bather.

If you have a medicine cabinet, that’s also a great little hidden shelf to tuck away products that aren’t as attractive but are necessary to have on hand. No matter what kind of shelving you’re working with, see it as an opportunity to maximize both the look and the practical flow of your space.

Add Purely Aesthetic Touches

While function may be your priority in the bathroom, adding a few things that are just there to look beautiful is still important. This is where your own story can really come through, as you include souvenirs from your travels, art handed down from your grandparents, or something that reminds you of someone you love. This bathroom features a vase for both fresh and dried flowers, as well as some antique art on the wall opposite the mirror. 

This one has a variety of lanterns, candles, flowers, and plants, plus two minimalist flower drawings over the tub. 

In our own bathroom, I hung different art prints that I’ve thrifted over the years in matching gold frames. I’m all about the knickknacks, so our floating shelves have everything from a little ceramic lion from Chinatown in Chicago to shells from Malibu to a little butterfly wing in a jar and two in a tiny frame (don’t worry, no butterflies were harmed in the decorating of this bathroom – I found them on the forest ground). Whether you’ve got a lot to say with your aesthetic touches or you say a lot by only showing a little, these personal things will really bring your space to life.

If You Have Kids, Apply These Rules to Their Things As Well

Lastly, if you have kids, try to apply all of these rules to their things as well. Have a system for keeping bath toys clean, accessible, and organized and their various washcloths and hooded towels handy but not messy feeling. We keep our toddler’s bath toys tucked into the bottom of our built-in shelf, which is open at the front so they get plenty of airflow after bath time. We also picked a non-slip rubber mat for him that matches the colors we already have in the room, and his washcloths are so cute that I don’t mind seeing them draped over the shower curtain rod drying each morning. If you create good systems and buy cute products, kids’ bathroom things can actually add even more charm, whimsy, and beauty to your space.

Shopping Recommendations

I’ve already mentioned that thrift stores or art sales can be a great place to find a lot of decor and organizational elements for your bathroom, but sometimes you just really need to find the exact right color, product, or piece. Here are some ideas to get you started. 

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