Staging the Bathroom

For a faster, more profitable home sale

Create a pretty vignette in your bathroom.Create a vignette in your bathroom with pretty colors and textures. Photo by Pottery Barn.

Staging the bathroom before you place your house on the real estate market can often mean the difference between a fast home sale or having it linger on the market place for months.

Buyers will be looking for at least one bathroom in your home with a luxurious soaking tub, decent sized shower, great storage and good lighting.

A spa-like bathroom is still greatly desired in today's home market and it's easier to create than you may think, even in a small bathroom.

It’s all about creating the right atmosphere, by using the right colors, lighting, texture and accessories. 

After you have decuttered, cleaned and made any necessary repairs in your bathroom, you should be ready to move on to the fun part of staging.

Keep reading for bathroom decorating ideas that will entice home buyers to make an offer on your home.

How to stage a master bath in a spa-like manner

Of course you can design ANY bathroom to have a spa-like atmosphere. Size or location really doesn't matter.

Use the right colors

Master bath with large mirror.The mirror in this bathroom gives the feeling of another room. Hang a mirror where it will reflect a light fixture or the outdoors.

When designing a spa-like bathroom, it's important to select colors that are restful and soothing.

Note that color will also be present in artwork, plants, accessories and bathroom fixtures.

  • Select a semi-gloss paint in a pale neutral color like; white, tan, gray, aqua, turquoise, sage, cream, even brown!
  • Paint trim work and doors white to freshen the space and give it a clean, contemporary look.
  • For a tiny master bathroom, swath the entire room, walls, trim work, ceiling and door, in a single pale color, (white is best!) to make the space look larger.
  • Be sure that light and electrical outlet switch plates closely match the light wall color in a small bathroom. The goal is to prevent color "breaks" that will keep the eye from moving.
  • Decorate the bathroom with fresh white towels and a white or neutral colored fabric shower curtain. 

Bring some some nature into the bathroom

Bathroom storage shelf by wayfair.comDisplay a potted plant on a shelf. Shelving unit by

Bringing some greenery into your bathroom will add greatly to that tranquil feeling you are aiming for.

Potted plants can be displayed in a windowsill, on a countertop, shelf, floor, or hanging from the ceiling.

Here are a few plants that do well in a bathroom:

  • Orchid - The elegant orchid always adds a touch of sophistication; 
  • Boston Fern - A lush boston fern will bring a freshness to the space; 
  • Bamboo - will add a nice vertical element;
  • Aloe Vera - they just look really cool;
  • Begonia - This versatile plant will add texture and color.

Stage the bathroom with artwork and mirrors

Leaning art in the bathroom.Unify art by using like colors.

Don’t clutter the bathroom with too many pieces of small art.

Ok, maybe it's not a good idea to have a picture on the bathroom counter. But I like the black and white theme going on!

Hang a single large piece of art above the toilet or towel bar.

An extra mirror will add depth to a room by seemingly extending the room through the glass.

The best place to hang a mirror is where it will reflect light, like opposite a window with a great view or a sparkling light fixture.

Mirrors are great for bouncing extra light around the room, creating the illusion of more space. 

Be careful of what a mirror reflects; you don't want to hang it where it reflects the toilet.

How to hang towels for home staging

Smallbathstorage.winerackKirklandsFind this rack at smallbathstorage.winerackKirklands
  • Roll your towels for an elegant look.
  • Display rolled fluffy white towels on a bamboo mat, a basket or a wall-mounted towel rack. 
  • Arrange towels artfully on a towel rack by folding a bath towel lengthwise into thirds. This will keep the edges from showing.
  • Hang a matching, or color coordinated hand towel over the bath towel in a layer, also folded in thirds. 
  • 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.
  • Change your bathroom towel colors according to the seasons.

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

Ideas for accessorizing your bathroom

Rolled bathroom towels create a sense of luxury.Rolled towels impart a feeling of luxury.

When staging the bathroom, you want everything to look fresh and new.

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

When buyers are on the way over, be sure to leave the shower curtain 2/3 open to reveal the interior of the shower or bath. This will give the bathroom more visual depth, making it feel bigger.

Visually increase the size of your bathroom by replacing a shower curtain with a clear glass door. A frameless glass shower door will make the bathroom look even bigger! 

  • Place battery-operated votives in pretty jars around the bathroom. Or lay out a row of votive candles along the bathtub or windowsill.
  • For winter viewings, stage the bathroom with towels in rich, dark colors. In the spring and summer, lighten up the bath with fresh light colors. When in doubt, fluffy white towels are always a winner.
Create a lovely bathroom vignette.Create a lovely bathroom vignette.
  • Buyers love storage, so swap out a pedestal sink for a bathroom vanity with cupboards and drawers. 
  • For a quick renovation, swap out dated bathroom fixtures for new ones that are sleek and modern. If you don't, buyers will only be thinking about how much it's going to cost to replace them and may negotiate the price of your house down. 
  • Match the fixtures if you can, especially in a small bathroom. 
  • Light fixtures can match, as well, though it's not really necessary. I prefer to mix in a few unexpected textural elements. 
  • To be safe, stick with a satin nickel, bronze, or chrome finish, as they appeal to most people. 

  • Keep floors clear to maximize the square footage of the bathroom. Remove the garbage can and laundry hamper for home viewings.
  • Crack the bathroom window to let in fresh air.
Bath accessories in a basket.Bathroom vignette in a basket.

    When staging the bathroom, create a pretty vignette, using objects from nature like sea shells, star fish, sea sponges, or lotions.

  • Fill a glass container with Q-tips, cotton balls, beach glass, bath salts or tiny molded soaps.
  • Use a base, like a flat wicker basket or silver tray, to display toiletries, pretty soaps, etc.
  • Be sure to use odd numbered groupings when arranging your bathroom vignettes, and vary the heights of accessories when creating arrangements.
  • Place a luxurious new rug next to the shower or bathtub. Or hang the rug on the edge of the bathtub.

What Not to do in the bathroom!

Fluffy toilet seat covers with matching bathroom mats are outdated.Fluffy bathroom accessories are outdated.
  • Don't use those outdated and matching toilet surround rugs and seat covers. 
  • Stay away from fake flowers or plants.
  • Avoid a themed decor, like a tropical or beachy theme. A few decorative accents are all you need to give an impression of a theme without going overboard. Buyers will not want to remove tropical wallpaper or paint over bright orange walls. 
  • Avoid hanging a plastic shower curtain for staging--they just look cheap. Instead, use a neutral-colored and/or textured cloth shower curtain.
  • Remove pink ruffles, knick knacks and cutesy items, like crocheted toilet paper holders and towels edged with tatting. Keep things gender-neutral.
  • Don't leave the toilet seat up...EVER! Close the lid for viewings. 
  • Don't leave a soggy bar of soap by the sink or in the shower.
  • Remove any damp towels and used bathrobes from the back of the door.

A recent real estate survey revealed that a soggy, melting bar of soap, damp towels and a toilet seat left up were the biggest buyer turnoffs for most people!

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Updated 10-6-2022