10 DIY small bathroom ideas to give yours some love this weekend

Upgrade your space with DIY small bathroom ideas from floor tiles to wallpaper

Small bathroom with large plant and white countertops
(Image credit: Caesarstone / Madeline Harper / @FinnFamilyFarm)

It may be time to update your space with DIY small bathroom ideas. Decorating doesn't have to be a challenge - we spoke to professionals who shared easy projects to do at home.

If you love a bit of DIY then our ideas are for you as they can all be achieved in a weekend and won't break the bank. The advantage of a small bathroom is that you can create an impactful space by only making small changes. 

From a lick of paint to fancy wallpaper, we've got you covered with small bathroom ideas approved by design pros. 

Fabulous DIY small bathroom ideas 

Whether it's a quick paint refresh or a tiled backsplash, our DIY small bathroom ideas will inspire you to give this key space of your home a makeover. A small bathroom upgrade may be just what this tiny space needs for a fresh look.

Prices were correct at the time this article was published.

1. Upgrade your floor tiles

Bathroom with blue and white stripe wallpaper, white basin, shiplap, plum and white check floor tiles, rattan mirror, wall lights, towel rings

(Image credit: Otto Tiles / @overdale_house / Darren Chung)

Giving your floor an upgrade can be a quick and easy job depending on what application you choose. There's painting old floorboards, using stick-and-peel tiles, or of course, going the whole hog and adding new bathroom floor tiles in an exciting colorway or layout. 

"A great way to update a small bathroom is by adding pattern and color to the floor. With a small bathroom, especially a secondary or guest bathroom, you really have the opportunity to have fun, creating a space that will surprise and delight each and every time," says Damla Turgut, founder of Otto Tiles & Design US

It's also an opportunity to play with tile layouts, Damla adds, "Checkerboard patterns have taken over the world of fashion and interior design in recent years and this classic bold pattern is certainly here to stay. Whether you prefer a traditional black and white scheme or a more modern color combination, a checkerboard pattern for a small bathroom floor can add a beautiful, graphic touch and it’s certainly proving to be one of the hottest surface and tile trends within bathroom design this year." 

Damla Turgut, owner of Otto Tiles
Damla Turgut

Damla Turgut turned her passions for art, design, and her homeland into a career, launching Otto Tiles & Design in 2015. Her London-based company has three showrooms and the tiles she designs are handmade in Turkey by skilled artisans using traditional methods. She remains creative director at the helm of Otto Tiles & Design, now trading via a new US website.

2. Wallpaper your walls

Pink bathroom with pink basin, pink wallpaper, mirror, wainscotting painted white

(Image credit: Divine Savages)

The advantage of a small bathroom is that you can most likely afford that fabulous wallpaper you've yearned after for so long but is too pricey for another room. And if you're DIY savvy then papering a bathroom is a great weekend job.

"You’ll likely only need a couple of rolls to make that big statement.  It will be seen by, and impress all your guests so it’s the perfect opportunity to have fun and embrace bold pattern and print," says Jamie Watkins, co-founder of Divine Savages

Although wallpapers have come on leaps and bounds these days, some still worry about how they'll fair in a bathroom, Jamie explains, "One of our top design secrets, and what will become your new DIY best friend, is decorators varnish. The decorator’s varnish (check out SamaN waterbased varnish available on Amazon) provides a highly durable, clear finish that protects against finger marks, water, stains, scuffing, and color fading. You simply apply it over the wallpaper using a brush or roller to ensure your bathroom wallpaper stays fresh and fabulous for years to come."

Jamie Watkins
Jamie Watkins

Divine Savages specialises in creating exquisitely crafted wallpapers, fabrics, accessories and limited edition art prints for the brave and bold. It was founded by husbands Jamie Watkins and Tom Kennedy in 2017.

3. Make a shower curtain

Bathroom with pink shower curtain, checked floor, painted, pale grey walls, artwork

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Love a spin on the sewing machine? Then whipping up a pretty shower curtain will give your bathroom a new look in no time. The standard size is 72 x 72 inches and you'll need some hooks and a fabric of your choice. A polyester mix is often what they're made from, but you could use a mid-weight cotton or a linen mix too. 

Ruffles are a big trend now, so if you're good a sewing then add some to the bottom as a trim. . 

4. Add warm tones

DIY small bathroom ideas, coral painted bathroom with walk in shower, glass doors, towel radiator on wall, wood vanity unit

(Image credit: Dalrymple Studio / Dean Hearne)

If you currently have a pale neutral or white bathroom that quite frankly feels a little 'cold' then warm it up with a fresh coat of paint in a pretty shade. 

Paint is a great way to instantly change the look of a small bathroom and coral is one of the colors of this year. Warm and cocooning, it will most definitely create a sanctuary-style feel (for a similar shade take a look at Lick's Orange 05 Matt)

"Keep the color palette elegant and calm but combining textures. Painted vanity units against a natural stone floor and colored wall tiles are our favorite combination. In small bathrooms, use different materials on the floor and walls but ensure the colors blend with each other," advises Amy Dalrymple, creative director at Dalrymple Studio

headshot of Amy Dalrymple
Amy Dalrymple

Founded in 2018 by husband and wife team Amy and Hewie Dalrymple, Studio Dalrymple creates timeless interiors full of texture and warmth, inspired by a shared love of nature, art, and photography. The London-based studio has designed private homes across the UK and internationally.

5. Give your tub an update

Blue/green bathroom with wallpaper, peg rail, mirror, painted bath tub, wood stool

(Image credit: Little Greene)

If you're happy with your walls and floors but still fancy an update then consider painting your bathtub. 

It's a relatively easy job and won't take up much paint. For the best results you do need to use the right paint finish and the surface needs to be squeaky clean first.

6. Utilize a ladder

Stone bathroom with corner of basin, black ladder with white towels

(Image credit: The White Company)

When space is tight clever storage solutions need to be sourced and keeping the essentials off the floor where possible is key. Using a ladder up against a wall is one of our favorite options. 

"Declutter and decant should be your bathroom mantra. No one can relax in a messy space. Make sure you have enough storage and keep a fresh supply of soft towels on a ladder so you have more floor space," says Mark Winstanley, chief creative officer at The White Company

It could be a vintage ladder sourced from a flea market or a purpose-built one like these three ideas below. 

headshot of Mark Winstanley
Mark Winstanley

As chief creative officer for the past twelve years, Mark Winstanley is the creative custodian of the business and the driving force behind bringing the brand to life working across all platforms of the business from print to online to retail and international expansion.

7. Add a striking backsplash

Bathroom with navy blue square wall tiles, basketweave floor tiles, trad basin, gold mirrror, wall lights,

(Image credit: Lapicida)

Tiling a backsplash is a great DIY small bathroom idea and you can cover the space behind the sink, or take it further to create a statement depending on how much you love tiling!

If you're renting you could paint old tiles in a new color, or use peel-and-stick options like Smart Tiles backsplash tiles in blue, available from Wayfair.

8. Pop up some shiplap

Wood and white bathroom with shiplap walls, white countertop, mirror, wall lights

(Image credit: Caesarstone / Madeline Harper / @FinnFamilyFarm)

We love shiplap bathrooms here at Real Homes HQ – it's charming, versatile and practical. It can create the illusion of extra height due to its vertical lines, making it ideal of your ceiling is low and it can be painted in any color. 

Most shiplap is easy to fix and can be installed over a weekend. Keep it white for a fresh appeal or give it a coat of color for a vibrant look. 

For super quick weekend fix, apply Target's textured shiplap wallpaper in white

9. Craft a fabric skirt

Blue bathroom with double floral basins, blue walls, blue fabric skirt, blind, pale blue walls,

(Image credit: London Basin Company)

Love cottagecore? Then this is one of the cutest DIY small bathroom ideas going around. 

Before fitted kitchens and bathrooms were around fabric skirts were used to hide things from sight, and they still can be used for that especially if you want to hide under sink bits and bobs. For cohesion, match the fabric to a blind and pick out colors from the fabric to use for accessories. 

This pack of floral fabric available on Amazon is ideal for a cottagecore style fabric skirt. 

10. Upgrade your mirror

Driftwood style bathroom with wide basin, black mirror, wall ights, basket, coastal feel

(Image credit: Kate Marker Interiors)

A simple DIY upgrade like adding a mirror can literally transform a small bathroom in minutes. 

"Mirrors are essential in small bathrooms as they create an illusion of space by reflecting light and surroundings, enhance lighting, serve practical grooming purposes, add aesthetic appeal, provide depth perception, and can be strategically placed to highlight beautiful features in the bathroom," explains Kate Marker, principal designer and owner of Kate Marker Interiors

For a similar style to this design have a look at Anthropologie's Perla Mirror – it's fitted with a ready-to-hang D-ring and is bathroom-rated. 

headshot of Kate Marker
Kate Marker

Kate Marker, hailing from the deep Midwest, has cultivated her distinctive, fresh, and timeless design aesthetic over a career spanning more than two decades. Based in the Chicago area, her portfolio now encompasses projects across the nation, reflecting her commitment to creating inviting, comfortable spaces.

If you're looking to upgrade a super-small space, some half-bathroom ideas like color-drenching and floating vanities can be really helpful. Just be sure to avoid these small bathroom layout mistakes so it's as functional as possible.

Sophie Warren-Smith

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 22 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor of indie magazine, 91, Sophie trained to be a florist in 2019 and launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for the modern bride.