10 Minutes to a Room You’ll Love:: Part 3 Bathroom

bathroom storage

This is a repost from February 2009, the third post in a series where we are exploring all sorts of quick and easy ways to spruce up your home. The idea is to focus on a few things that you can change right now to make the room just a little more inviting. Check out Parts 1 and 2, Family Rooms and Master Bedrooms. At the end of the series we will have a Mr. Linky party so you can show us any changes you have made; so don’t forget to take some photos! As usual, all the photos in this post were taken by me in my own houses over the last few years. Hope it’s not too confusing.


Ahh, the bathroom. It’s so much more than the place to do your business of number 1, 2, or 3 {my boys informed me that number 3 is vomiting–geniuses they are}. Yes, your bathroom is the place where you make yourself beautiful and take a nice hot shower to get rejuvenated and long soak to relax.

no sew window treatment

Have you noticed the bathrooms in nice hotels and spas? They are soothing, relaxing and luxurious. How do they get that feel? I have the boringest, drabbest, builderest beige-y-est bathroom around. But, it finally feels grown up. Here’s how I did it:

1. Hide the Crest. Have you ever walked through a nice house for sale and then you go in the bathroom and see their cruddy toothpaste and toothbrush, Head and Shoulders, Preparation H and nail polish remover all sitting out “neatly” on the counter? That does not say spa. I put our toothpaste in a dish and simply put all our weird bodily products under the sink in baskets.

no sew vanity skirt

2. Fabric. Bring fabric in with a no sew shower curtain. I hang it high and that makes a huge difference and somehow makes the room feel bigger. If I had a window I’d mistreat that and I always have a rug to keep our toes warm on cold winter mornings.

Feather and Nest arrangement

3. Something pretty. I’ve moved this arrangement from room to room but it works best in the bathroom. It’s thin and takes up little room but has a huge impact. I was shocked at how grown up and finished the bathroom looked after I simply added in this piece.

Nesting Place bathroom

4. Spa it up. I love getting gifts of big fat soaps and pretty packaged lotions and potions. Instead of hiding them I load them up on on this whatchamacallit. I’m not afraid to use this stuff and I’ve been known to fill up an empty pretty container with stuff from an ugly container. Sounds like trouble but it really does make a difference!

bathroom lamp

5. Lighting. See if you can somehow work a lamp into your bathroom. The soft filtered light is so welcoming. I hide the cord behind that two tiered watchamacallit and we use the light as a nightlight.

Read Part 4:: Kitchens

Winner of the Family Room Kit Giveaway:
Crazy Train

What tricks do you use in your bathroom?


  1. wonderful ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love the ideas! Thanks. Our master bath is BORING and I look at it, think I need to do SOMETHING (but what?) and walk away. This gives me a few nice ideas.

    Have a great weekend.

  3. I think you are the only blogger who can re-post an old entry and I get just as excited to read it! I took your suggestion to heart and moved my plate server to the bathroom. I loooove it – even my DH commented on it, which is *big* news, Nester!

  4. I love big, old baskets for hiding things in any room, especially the bathroom. We use a long planter box for the girls to put their things like straightening iron, hair dryer, etc. Easy to get in and out and pretty, too.

    Love that you’re revisiting this series!

  5. So pretty….with littles using our only main floor bath, and still wanting a lamp, we used a wall mounted shelf and glued the base to it. Leaves more counter space, less likely to get knocked over, and serves as a little ring ledge when folks are washing hands. Now if I could just get them to put away the Crest….

  6. This post came at the perfect time… as I am slowly working on the bathrooms! Thanks for all your hints and helps!

  7. I have a super simple and tiny master bath. I recently did a little blog post about not skimping out on decorating a room even though it’s basic, small and not very pretty. A cute shower curtain, a spa like rug, some shells and some animal print hand towels? That’ what I’m talking about ;)


    You’re bathroom is gorgeous! I’ve toyed around with having a little lamp in that bath, but it ends up looking too cluttered because I barely have space for even the toothbrushes. I thought about the back of the toilet but the back of our necks would hit even the tiniest little lamp! Make do with what you have, right?

  8. Dear Nester, I am new to your blog – I love it! I got inspired to declutter and redecorate my kitchen yesterday – and today my bathroom :). Greetings from Norway!

  9. Number 3 – vomiting — hahahahahahaha!

  10. Love your accessories, and it really does help to make even the most simple bathroom look luxurious. Love it. Hugs, Marty

  11. Love this!

    My friend is giving me her brass chandelier from her dining room as soon as she finds a new one. I’m going to paint it black and hang the big thing in my bathroom above the tub. I can’t wait.

    (at least this is the plan-it may be too big, but I’m going to try!)

  12. I love the use of the plate holder, usually used in the kitchen or dining room, in the bathroom. It makes great use of minimal counter space.

  13. I loved re-reading this post. So many good tips! And I do appreciate your genius sons’ remarks.

    And it’s fun to see that arrangement that’s now for sale on your mom’s eBay!

  14. I could not agree with you more about hiding all your personal products! The past few rental homes I’ve lived in I’ve purchased countless under the counter storage bins, baskets, etc to hide these things. I’m so thankful that our new home that we rent not only has a great storage cabinet under the sink, as well as a linen closet AND a great medicine cabinet. (Although it’s a bit dated but with all the updated fixtures and the fact that it’s a rental, I’ll deal with that).

    I wish the medicine cabinet didn’t stick out so far – I have been dying to get a lamp in there for more light. I love all of these suggestions.

    Note: I even hide my toilet paper in cute baskets over the toilet. I love the lack of clutter and feel this gives the bathroom.

    I always look forward to these posts – keep up the great work.

  15. How funny you posted this today because this morning I decided to tackle my master bathroom. The counter tops are looking a little cluttered and in need of some revamping. I love enjoying the spa type bathrooms at nice hotels.

  16. It didn’t even occur to me to use my tiered plate stands and “entertaining” platters as decorations for other rooms. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas; you are incredibly inspirational.

  17. We have the most un-spa like bathroom EVER! We have two full baths, but only one is upstairs with the bedrooms. This means we have to share with a preschooler and a toddler. Did I mention it’s the size of a postage stamp? Nothing says “calm, serene spa” like an Ariel bath toy and a plastic cell phone in your old 1970s size bathtub. Yeah….

  18. I love your ” whachamacallit” s (and i think that’s way more expressive than “cake stands”!! ) I have been hunting high and low for them over here in Scotland but they are just way too pricy !! GORGEOUS !!!

  19. Oh my goodness, am I ever guilty of ugly bathrooms. Well…I do a satisfactory (not excellent by any stretch) job at the guest bath, but our own bath and the kids’…not so much. I have been to a couple of the fancy-shmancy-celebrity-frequent-spas here (only because off season they offer cheap, cheap deals for locals) and you are so right…their bathrooms are soothing, luxurious and relaxing. And here you show how to do it cheap and easy-like! I don’t want to leave those bathrooms, whereas I can’t wait to get out of mine! Gotta run…I got some cleanin’ to do! :)

  20. Love these ideas…especially b/c when it comes to home decor, frankly, I’m challenged. But I do know what I like and it’s always, soft, vintagey, pretty and kinda lived in. I notice that kind of look in your ideas! Found you through the In Courage network. Love your blog!

    Following you via Twitter.

  21. So I’m all over this no-sew shower curtain. Thing is… I got 404’d. And searched. Nada. Any thoughts? I’m having my semi-annual decorating bug bite. MUST ITCH IMMEDIATELY.

  22. Nester,

    I have to say that I just think you are the best darn writer! I know you’ve raved about your talented sister (and she is good) but you are a very natural writer who has a fresh and funny way of communicating! I am a writer and I would be hard-pressed to write as naturally as you do….I still occasionally have a real snort over your post about how to get a chandelier hung (marry a man and bear his children! Profoundly funny!)

    Oh, and I also love your practical help as you inspire those of us who are “decorating impaired” to make our homes more beautiful for those we love.

    From a mom of eight in the drippy but beautiful Pacific NW

  23. I love these ideas, I can’t wait to incorporate them into a new powder room for guest! THANKS!

  24. Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

  25. this blog was helpful — thanks! and I love #3 ;) photo especially
    have a lovely weekend! ;)

  26. Feathers, dear, I love the feathers. :) Anyway, I also wanted to say thanks for the post about the way you make money on your blog. My blog is an extension of my business as well and I am about ready to take the leap into making it profitable. This was very helpful. Keep doing what you do!

  27. I remember this. You have so many great ideas.

  28. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay cuteness!

    m ^..^

  29. Susan in San Antonio says

    Just wondering – which bathroom does your HUSBAND use? Because I can’t get my hubby to stash his shave cream, foot spray, mouthwash, GYM CLOTHES that he drops next to MY sink in the double vanity, etc etc etc. I keep my side picked up, but he doesn’t seem to notice the clutter he creates. And I don’t see him learning to stash his stuff in attractive baskets!

  30. This has nothing to do with 10 minutes to a room… But I went to Feminar this weekend and heard Lysa Terkeurst speak and I couldn’t help but think about when you posted the pictures from your garage sale and she was there. I came very close to walking up to her and saying, “I read the Nester’s blog and you guys are like friends!” Ha!!! Hello weird girl!

    Lysa’s passion, testimony, and genuine heart was so encouraging! I thoroughly enjoyed listening to her! :)

  31. Great tips to remember and those little details make all the difference!!

    Thank you for sharing!

    Art by Karena

  32. Thank you Thank you Thank you for posting about the exchange you hosted last year!! I have had it on my mind since you wrote about it and I FINALLY did one myself!! I kept waiting for the “perfect” moment and last Sunday it hit me – JUST DO IT!! So I invited all the teen/college age girls from church to come to my place last night and there ended up being 7 of us in total last evening bonding over our junk ;)
    It was a beautiful time together and such a lovely way for me to reach out to the girls and get to know them better. Thanks for the inspiration!!
    Some pictures of our evening are here http://paulsbride.blogspot.com/2010/02/accessory-exchange.html


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