Staging the Bathroom
DIY Home Staging Tips
for a faster, more profitable home sale

Pretty bathroom vignetteCreate a pretty vignette in your bathroom. Photo by Pottery Barn

Staging the bathroom before you show your house can often make the difference between a sale or a rejection in the real estate marketplace.

Home buyers will be looking for at least one bathroom in the house with great storage, a place to relax and take long soaks in the bathtub.

The spa-like look is still greatly desired and isn't hard to create, even in a small bathroom. It’s all about cleanliness, light, color, textures and accessories. 

After your bathroom is decuttered, cleaned, and all repairs have been made, you should be ready to add some home interior design to entice reluctant home buyers. Follow the bathroom decorating ideas below to sell your house fast and for more money.

For home staging tips to make small bathrooms appear more spacious, see small bathroom design ideas.

The master bath

Beautiful spa-like bathroom interior design picturesAlthough this elegant bath is painted in a dark neutral color, the natural light, sparkling accessories and bright white accents make a nice contrast. Photo by House Beautiful

Create a spa-like ambience when home staging a master bathroom. 

  • Paint walls with a semi-gloss paint in pale neutral colors like; aqua, turquoise, sage, cream, tan, warm pale yellow, or white. See interior colors for home staging.
  • Paint all trim work and doors white to freshen the space and add a contemporary look.
  • Decorate the bathroom with crisp white towels and a white fabric shower curtain. 
  • Roll fluffy towels and display on bamboo mats, in baskets or wooden bowls. Rolled towels make a bathroom look elegant.
  • If you have room, place a comfortable chair in the bathroom to create a sense of relaxation. 
  • Fill a basket with sea sponges, bath brushes or pretty soaps and set by the bathtub or corner of the vanity.
  • Fill tall clear jars with cotton pads, Q-tips or bath salts.

Hanging artwork and mirrors in the bathroom

Leaning art in the bathroomDisplay artwork on shelving by leaning it

When staging the bathroom for sale, keep artwork simple and neutral; no personal photos. See depersonalizing your home.

Unify artwork by common features; color, frames, subject matter, and so on. The pictures in the photo on the right are all black and white and feature nature, for instance. 

Don’t clutter the bathroom with too many small pieces of art. Hang a large piece of art above the toilet or towel bar.

Hang pictures so that the middle of the artwork is at least 60 inches high.

The best place to hang a mirror is where it will reflect light, like opposite a window with a great view or a sparkling lighting fixture. This will bounce extra light around the room, creating the illusion of more space. 

Mirrors add depth to a room by seemingly extending the room through the glass. 

Be careful of what the mirror reflects in the bathroom; you don't want to hang it where it reflects the toilet!

See hanging artwork and mirrors.

Hanging towels

Arrange your towels artfully on a towel rack by folding a bath towel lengthwise into thirds. This keeps the edges from showing. Hang a hand towel over it in the same color, a coordinating or accent color. Wrap a piece of raffia or ribbon loosely around the towels to make them look special. Wrapping the towels will also keep the family from using them.

Hang a towel folded into thirds and drape it over the edge of the bathtub. Layer a folded washrag on the towel, then place a beautifully wrapped bar of luxury soap on top.

Watch the video below by curbNotes for unique towel folding and hanging ideas for home staging.

Bathroom decorating ideas for home staging

Rolled bathroom towelsRolled towels impart a feeling of luxury

A fresh new shower curtain will make a huge difference when staging the bathroom.

Select a shower curtain in a white or neutral color, or select one with a geometric pattern to add a contemporary flair to the space.

Leave the shower curtain open 2/3 to reveal the interior of the shower or bath. This will give the bathroom more visual depth, as well.

Visually increase the size of your bathroom by replacing a shower curtain with a clear glass door. This will extend sight lines into the bath, making the space appear larger.

Install a frameless glass shower door to make the bathroom look even bigger! 

Here's a quick bathroom renovation idea! Swap out ugly dated cabinet hardware with new fixtures that are sleek and modern. Be sure to match the hardware with other metal finishes in the bathroom.

  • Place battery-operated votives in pretty jars around the bathroom. Or lay out a row of votive candles along the bathtub or windowsill.
Bathroom vignetteCreate a lovely bathroom vignette
  • For winter viewings, stage the bathroom with dark, rich colors. In the spring and summer, lighten up the bath with fresh light colors. When in doubt, fluffy white towels are always a winner. 
  • Although pedestal sinks can be lovely, most home buyers would prefer to have a closed vanity because of the storage.
  • If your pedestal sink has seen better days, swap it out for a bathroom cabinet with drawers. 
  • All metal finishes, (faucets and sink assemblies, tub, shower fixtures, towel bars, and toilet paper holder) should match. Keep light fixtures in the same metal tones as well.
  • Keep floors clear to maximize the square footage of the bathroom. Remove the garbage can for home viewings.
  • Crack the bathroom window to let in fresh air.
  • Create enticing vignettes in the bathroom using objects from nature like sea shells, star fish, sea sponges, lovely soaps in jars and bottles. 
Bath accessories in a basket
  • Fill attractive containers or jars with Q-tips, cotton balls, beach glass, bath salts, and tiny soaps. Be sure to use odd number groupings and vary the heights of accessories when creating arrangements. See art of accessorizing for home interior design tips.
  • Here's a really quick fix, (right before a showing) for removing soap scum in sinks, tubs, showers and countertops; Place your hand in a glove, grab a dryer sheet and wipe the scummy areas clean with the sheet.
  • Place a luxurious new rug next to the shower or bathtub.
  • Soften corners with LIVE green plants, but don’t overdo it. If you brush up against a plant as you walk through the bathroom, remove it. It will take a beating once prospective buyers start going through your home.
  • If you have one of those ugly builder's grade mirrors hanging over your vanity, you might consider swapping it out for two framed mirrors instead. For directions on removing large mirrors from the wall, see removing a glued on mirror.

What Not to do in the bathroom!

Fluffy toilet seat cover and bathroom matFluffy bathroom accessories are outdated
  • Don't use fluffy matching toilet rugs, toilet seat covers and rugs! 
  • No fake flowers or plants, anywhere...
  • Avoid creating a themed bathroom, like tropical or beachy themes. Use just a few accents instead to give an idea of a theme without going overboard.
  • Stay away from brass and ornate gold bathroom fixtures. These are out-dated and home buyers will only be thinking about how much it's going to cost to replace them. (As a former real estate agent, I can vouch for this!) Good choices are nickel, chrome and bronze. When in doubt, go with a satin nickel finish, as this has the most universal appeal at this time.
  • Don't hang a plastic shower curtain for staging. Instead, use a neutral-colored cloth shower curtain.
  • Remove pink ruffles, knick knacks, and cutesy items, like crocheted toilet paper holders and towels edged with tatting. Keep things gender-specific.
  • Don't leave the toilet seat up! Keep the lid closed...always.
  • Throw out the old ratty towels and remove old bathrobes from the back of the door, as they'll create a bad impression. Believe me, buyers WILL judge your home by the furnishings within.

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