Would-be home sellers have been facing quite a conundrum for the past few months. Sky-high mortgage rates and inflation have kept homebuyers from coming in droves like they did last year, and that, in turn, has caused homeowners to consider one crucial question: Should I list now or wait until the real estate market cools?
If you’re choosing to sit tight and refocuse your efforts on home improvement, we suggest you invest your time and money in your bathroom. Like the kitchen, the bathroom holds a lot of value, and updating it is likely to pay off if and when you do put your home on the market.
“After hitting the one-year mark in your home, the first places that I’d update are bathrooms, especially a powder or guest bathroom used often by visitors,” says Jay Jeffers of JayJeffers in San Francisco.
Your bathroom can be easily and affordably improved without the need for a gut renovation. Here are a few smart ideas.
1. Upgrade the faucet
Is your sink faucet looking a little dated? Replacing it doesn’t have to be expensive.
“For budget-minded DIYers, upgrading bathroom faucets is an easy weekend project that can instantly elevate the look of the space,” says Laurie March of Laurie March Home in Los Angeles.
If your aesthetic skews modern traditional, March recommends the new Bellera single-handle bathroom sink faucet from Kohler, which she describes as timeless and affordable.
For a faucet with a little more style and versatility, March recommends Kohler’s new Riff faucet.
We also like this reasonably priced faucet option from Moen.
2. Install a new countertop
Nothing opens up a bathroom like brand-new countertops.
“New countertops always fall in my ‘worth the investment’ category,” says Young Huh, an interior designer in New York City. “New surfacing can completely transform the space—especially when you carry the material up the wall as a counter splash. It adds instant luxury and drama.”
For a moody look in your bathroom, he recommends going with a slab of Eternal Marquina from Silestone. If light and bright is more of your vibe, Silestone’s Ethereal Glow is the countertop for you.
Huh says both stones are zero-maintenance and have the appropriate durability for a primary bathroom.
Watch: How To Repair 5 Common Toilet Problems
3. Up your storage game
No one likes a messy, unorganized bathroom. If you’ve been feeling the clutter crunch, it’s time to dedicate an afternoon to upping your storage game.
There’s no need to reconstruct your bathroom. All you need to do is stock up on some organizational products, clean out the toiletries you no longer use, and put it all back in a tidy fashion.
“To gain more access to your toiletries, you can easily add a tip-out tray or a pull-out shelf under the sink,” says Steve O’Hara, director of product development and training at ShelfGenie.
Some of the most useful products that will keep your bathroom organized are under-sink shelves, turntable organizers, an over-the-shower caddy, and apothecary jars.
“Beauty and hair styling tools like hair dryers and curling irons can be stored in a hair dryer caddy under the cabinet to help maximize space on your countertop,” says O’Hara. “This helps ensure your bathroom is an uncluttered, functional space.”
4. Modernize your mirrors
Some bathroom mirrors look like an afterthought and lack any sort of style.
“An easy way to transform a bathroom from sterile to chic is by swapping in an artful mirror,” says Jeffers.
We love the geometric look of the Torino mirror from Jeffers’ collection with Arteriors.
In search of something simpler? Try this rectangular metal mirror that’s available in a variety of colors.
5. Make a statement with wallpaper
One of our favorite ways to add visual interest to any room of the home—the bathroom included—is to install wallpaper.
Tamara Day, designer and host of Magnolia Network’s “Bargain Mansions,” says peel-and-stick wallpaper in the bathroom is one of the quickest and most affordable ways to revamp your space.
“When working with a bathroom specifically, it’s important to use products that can handle moisture,” says Day.
She recommends RoomMates Decor’s peel-and-stick wallpapers since they are durable and provide a barrier to humidity.
“This makes them perfect for the bathroom. You don’t have to sacrifice great design for performance and functionality,” says Day.
Grab this tropical-themed wallpaper from Day’s collection with RoomMates and apply it to one wall of your bathroom to create a statement feature.