After seeing countless photos of dreamy bathrooms with fancy faucets, gorgeous tile and, of course, plenty of storage space, it’s pretty easy to hate the cramped old bathroom in your rental (thank you and curse you Pinterest and Instagram).

But you don’t have to keep living with the horrible. Trust us: With your landlord’s permission, a few simple changes – no renovations required – will improve things without draining your checking account. And, lucky for you, we’re not short of tricks for adding color, patterns and even handy storage. Here are 21 decorating ideas to freshen up small bathrooms.

01 – Bathroom makeover without paint

If your landlord forbids you to paint or if you think the task is too cumbersome, it’s time to get creative with peel-and-stick vinyl. Options that withstand moisture and condensation work best in bathrooms.

This update of Brian Patrick Flynn’s powder room is a fantastic example. The gray leather veneer is actually (surprise!) removable vinyl wallpaper.

There are other types of peel and stick products that make bathroom decorating a breeze. For example, you can duplicate the striped bathroom wall we shared here using self-adhesive vinyl stripes. A favorite is Tempaper Mini Stripes. It is available in four-inch wide rolls.

02 – Installing a temporary dressing table

Can’t stand that old oak cabinet in your bathroom? Or maybe you’d like your wall-mounted sink to have built-in storage space? Whatever the case may be, consider changing it for a sink that suits your tastes and needs. When your contract ends, take it back. However, obtain your landlord’s written consent before installing it.

New sinks, such as IKEA’s GODMORGON/BRÅVIKEN, which retails for $329, come with a sink and cabinet. Some different options sold at major home improvement stores also include a faucet. An example designed for small spaces is the Maelynn from Home Decorators Collection for $209. This bathroom vanity tutorial by Hej shares how to install.

03 – Decorate your bathroom with plants

Add a touch of pizzazz to a dull bathroom by going to your local garden center. A few houseplants adapted to the unique conditions of your bathroom (think natural light and room temperature) will brighten up the space with color and texture. See how Homme Maker has decorated this bathroom in three more ways.

04 – Freshen up an outdated bathroom with paint

When it comes to decorating, paint is a silver bullet for the ugly. In this case, its magical powers turned a beige bathroom into an elegant powder room. But our favorite idea from this transformation of The Makerista has nothing to do with painting. See the beautiful round mirror? It was glued on top of the original with double-sided adhesive tape.

05 – Make a rustic wall

What to do with that big bare wall? Turn it into a decorative element with removable peel-and-stick tiles. You will need to use vinyl material that resists water and moisture. Home Depot and Lowes offer different options in a wide range of textures, colors and sizes that resemble real wood and luxury stone. The Weekender shares how to fake this rustic accent wall.

06 – Quick, reversible fixes for ugly bathroom floors

Disguising an ugly bathroom floor is much easier than you think. Interior designer Kerra Michele disguised hers with a water-resistant vinyl fabric that she cut to size.

You can also use interlocking rubber tiles. They are available in many colors, and the type with raised dots resembles round ceramic tiles. To fix them in place, use carpet tape. Find more bathroom ideas by Kerra Michele on Apartment Envy.

07 – Modernizing an old bathroom with black accessories

Add dramatic contrast to a white bathroom with black fixtures. FYI, installing a new faucet is usually an easy upgrade and also reversible if the new fixtures fit into existing holes in the sink or countertop. See more of this perfect bathroom from Homepolish.
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