Renter-friendly small bathroom refreshes — 5 quick ideas designers love

Our designers love these renter-friendly small bathroom refreshes — and so will your landlord

Black and white bathroom with wall art, wall plates, a toilet, and a sink
(Image credit: Styled by Storms / Aimee Ryan)

Finding renter-friendly small bathroom refreshes will help you get the most out of your space without damaging your home or upsetting your landlord. 

We've spoken with interior designers who have plenty of tricks up their sleeves to find out what they do to add sparkle and shine. Vintage touches and bright artwork are just some of the ways they bring in personality.

Even if you're renting, you can find small bathroom ideas that are super gorgeous and will still make the space feel like yours.

Renter-friendly small bathroom refreshes

From cute small bathroom decor to stylish solutions, there are lots of ways you can refresh your rental bathroom without losing out on your valuable deposit.

Our experts have also handily recommended products here and there, so we’ve found matching ones for you to shop.

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article.

1. Hang up wall art

A black and white bathroom with wall art, wall plates, a toilet, and a sink

(Image credit: Styled by Storms / Aimee Ryan)

Don’t be afraid to liven up those rental walls by adding artwork — just be sure to use removable strips (we always recommend these Command Strips on Amazon).

“With small bathrooms, even in a rental, you can go big with personality and fun,” says Sarah Storms, interior designer and founder of Styled by Storms.

A picture of Sarah Storms, a blonde woman wearing a denim jumpsuit
Sarah Storms

Sarah Storms is the interior designer and founder of Styled by Storms. Her unique background in fashion and editorial point of view allow for her creative passion for interiors, textiles, color to shine through every project. These have included refreshing renter bathrooms.

She adds, “I like adding a plate wall above the toilet — these could be vintage plates or modern whimsical options.”

As well as this, Sarah is also a fan of going for oversized art pieces in the bathroom for a maximalist, juxtaposed effect.

2. Add vintage pieces

A blue bathroom with wallpaper, wall art, a mirror, a sink, and a toilet

(Image credit: Allito Spaces / James Furman)

Instead of splashing out on brand-new pieces, you can make your small space look refined by adding sparkly finds no one else will have

“Small bathrooms are a great place to add some vintage finds, as they will add soul to any basic rental bathroom,” says Allison Garrison, interior designer and founder of Allito Space.

A picture of Allison Garrison, a woman wearing a green shirt and jeans next to a black cabinet
Allison Garrison

Allison Garrison is the owner of Allito Spaces. She is the importer of color, pattern and global style into Southern California beach bungalows, cottages and modern residences. This includes refreshing rental bathrooms.

She continues, “It doesn't matter if you own it or rent it — you don't want your bathroom to feel cold, and vintage is one of the fastest ways to warm up a space.”

Some of Allison’s favorite options include vintage art pieces or handmade pottery, as they look beautiful and can easily be taken with you when you (eventually) move out.

3. Stick on peel-and-stick wallpaper

A sink with black and white wallpaper, a pink towel, and black taps

(Image credit: Styled by Storms / Aimee Ryan)

Can’t add the best paint colors for small bathrooms to your walls? No stress — just hang up peel-and-stick wallpaper instead.

Sarah explains, “While I don’t use it often, peel-and-stick wallpaper was made for rentals and is a great way to add a fun pattern to a typically basic space.”

The beauty of it is it won’t leave your walls with any damage, so you can try out different styles and switch up your bathroom’s vibe without having to worry.

4. Move your shower curtain up

A white bathroom with a shower curtain, window, toilet, and sink

(Image credit: Maren Baker Design / Annie Garner)

If you want to make your small bathroom look bigger, moving your shower curtain further up (we like this Charlton Home Sawicki Shower Curtain from Wayfair) is definitely a smart move.

"Switch out the shower curtain and move the shower pole as high as you can in the bathroom,” says Maren Baker, interior designer and founder of Maren Baker Design.

A picture of Maren Baker, a blonde woman wearing a brown top sitting on stairs
Maren Baker

Maren Baker is an interior designer and founder of Maren Baker Design. She works with clients to take their home beyond the expected to inspire delight and create a unique sense of place. This includes refreshing rental bathrooms.

She adds, “From here, you can either have one custom-made to fit the space, or you can buy an extra long one.”

Shower curtains can add a dramatic statement in a small bathroom, so it’s a good idea to make the most out of yours.

5. Use freestanding furniture

A blue bathroom with a white freestanding cabinet

(Image credit: Maren Baker Design / Sen Creative)

You might not be able to change up the units in your rental — but nothing is stopping you from adding your own.

Maren explains, “You could add a small chest, shelving cabinet, or even a little side table you can add a candle, reed diffuser, or other small (useful) accessory onto.”

Furniture pieces can switch up the whole feel of the bathroom, without having to undergo any renovations at all.

Just because you might not own your home, it doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with the style of it. Be bold and showcase your personality, as this will not wow your guests, but will also make you feel more at home in the space.

If you want to take your bathroom to another level, learning how to make your small bathroom look luxe will also elevate the look and feel of it.

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.