Small bathrooms present a unique opportunity for creative expression and personalization. In this article, we dive into various tips and design ideas to infuse character, charm, and style into even the most compact of spaces!

Shelf decor in the bathroom.

In the year 2023 my first big project was to add some personality to our half bathroom. You can see the mood board here and all my thoughts on what I was going to accomplish in that room.

I am so happy to say I am officially finished with that space almost a year later! Let’s take a look back to what this space looked like when we moved in, and the after.

The Before

The After


Shopping List & Details

Shopping List

How To Add Personality To A Small Bathroom

There are tons of ways to add personality to a small bathroom! And this is exactly what this bathroom needed. Despite its limited square footage, a small bathroom offers a unique opportunity to experiment with bold designs, vibrant colors, and accessories.

Add Wall Features For Texture

In small bathroom design, wall features emerge as a game-changer for adding depth and texture without compromising on space. This was the thing I was most excited about when making over our powder room.

I wanted to go bold, moody and vintage in here! With it being a small space but, having a very big window for this room I knew I could get away with about anything. For my wall feature I went with a beadboard accent wall and vintage wallpaper on the other three walls.

These wall features not only enhance the aesthetic appeal but also cleverly draws the eye up, making the bathroom appear more spacious and dynamic.

Install Ceiling Treatments

I may have lied! Adding my wood plank ceiling was by far the most exciting part of this makeover. It is often overlooked in small space design to do anything to the ceiling.

The ceiling holds untapped potential to elevate a small bathroom from ordinary to extraordinary. Adding a ceiling treatment whether that is vibrant paint colors or wood planks it introduces an element of surprise and personality!

Just adding wall treatments in this room made it seem bigger but when I installed the wood planks the room felt like it grew upwards of 2 feet extra! If your bathroom is slightly bigger than mine you could even add faux wood beams. I so badly wanted to add some but, with how little my bathroom is and the shape I couldn’t figure out a way to make it work.

Paint A Small Space A Bold Color

Painting a small space a bold color is a daring yet rewarding design choice! Doing so can make a compact room feel more intimate and cozy, rather than cramped, by adding depth and character.

I will say I was really scared to do this! I haven’t used much color and when I did I had no clue what I was doing. (You don’t want to see those photos! Or do you?!) But, I figured it was a small space with a lot of light so I went for it.

I went with the color retreat by Sherwin Williams. I knew I wanted a dark color and originally I thought maybe I would do Peppercorn like my fireplace but I NEEDED color other than black/grey!

Another thing that is really popular right now that you could do in a small space is color drenching. It’s where you paint the whole room including the doors and ceiling the same color. I know scary right?!?! But, trust me it looks really really good!

Fall decor in the half bathroom.

Add New Wall and Window Trim

Adding personality to a small bathroom or really any room can be done by adding new baseboards and window trim. Before adding custom trim we just had your basic Ryan Homes builder grade trim and no window trim at all!

For the window trim I added just a classic farmhouse trim around the window. You can see the process in this article: Easy DIY Farmhouse Style Window Trim.

Since I wanted a more vintage feel in this room I went to the store and piece together 3 seperate trim pieces to come up with this combo! I wanted thicker trim that gave this room the feel it had been there longer than the house!

For the new baseboard I got 11/16-in Traditional Primed Pine Base Cap Moulding for the top part of the baseboard. Then a 1-in x 6-in x 8-ft Primed Spruce Pine Fir Board for the body of the trim. To finish it off I liked the look of quarter round so I just added new instead of reusing the old.

For this bathroom I opted to use all wood trim. You can read my article MDF vs wood baseboards and that explains more of why I’m trying to switch over to wood.

Plus the more experience I gain in this DIY world the more I have learned that the mdf trim gets dinged up way to easily.

New custom baseboards.

Update Fixtures And Vanity

If you haven’t figured it out already this was is a builder grade home. So we orginally had a generic pedestal sink with chrome fixtures. From the get go I opted to swap out the sink for this vanity sink combo from Lowes!

Then I upgraded the toilet paper holder, towel holder, faucet, mirror and light fixture as well!

Doing something as simple as changing out these fixtures can make a world of a difference. I always suggest if you can’t or don’t want to mess with the hassle of a full makeover, change out something small like your mirror or the vanity light. You will be amazed at how different things will look!

Upgrade The Flooring

Upgrading flooring can be a transformative step in adding personality to a small bathroom.

Changing out the builder grade cheap LVP was the very first thing we did when upgrading our half bathroom. Just a month into settling into our new home, we wasted no time and upgraded our floors to this Pergo Timbercraft LVP flooring in the color Wheaton Oak!

Spoiler Alert: We have had them for 3 years now and they are the best at holding up to water, kids and dogs!

Swapping out the flooring in a space can drastically change the vibe. There are many ways to do this. Some examples are:

  • Peel & Stick Tiles
  • Painting Existing Tiles
  • LVP or Laminate Wood Flooring

If you have tiles in good condition and want to avoid the hassle of demolition, consider painting them! There’s specialized tile paint available, and you can even use stencils to add a playful pattern. Alternatively, if you prefer a simpler approach, you can opt for peel-and-stick tiles with fun patterns to effortlessly transform the space without the stress of painting.

New floors.

Bathroom Makeover Frequently Asked Questions

Would you recommend pre-pasted wallpaper to someone who hasn’t handled wallpaper before?

Yes and no! I know that isn’t very helpful but it really depends on what room your doing it in. I think pre-pasted wallpaper was easy to work with but if your doing a tiny space like I did it makes wallpapering very hard!

In such a small space I was having the wallpaper stick to the toilet, sink, ladder and the door! Talk about frustrating. But, other than that I think it would be doable in a larger room for sure!

Where can I get free plans for the bathroom shelf you built?

You can head to my article DIY Simple Corbel Shelf: With Free Plans. Here you can find a detailed step-by-step tutorial and free plans!

What finish of paint did you use in the bathroom?

For the beadboard wall I used the color Retreat and used the Emerald line called Interior Acrylic Latex in the sheen satin by Sherwin Williams.

The baseboards, window trim and the back of the door I used the same color but I used the Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel in the sheen satin.

Final Thought

Adding personality to our small bathroom to reflect my style was so fun and I’m glad I went out of my comfort zone to try new things! Everything about this bathroom reflects something that I love from the horse art, to the tree wallpaper and wood plank ceiling.

Sometimes it’s hard to lock down a style but in the end just go with the flow and use pieces that represent you!

Simply DIY Home Logo.

[Safety is of great importance when working on DIY projects. Always follow proper safety guidelines, wear appropriate personal protective equipment, and adhere to local building codes and regulations. READ MY FULL DISCLAIMER HERE.]

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