It may seem obvious, but the bathroom is one of the first things you see when you wake up in the morning. As such, how you see your bathroom might set the tone for your whole day. Your bathroom should make you smile, bring you joy, or at the very least –  not make you cringe. A few updates that you can do yourself will make your bathroom feel new again.

1. Change out the lighting.

You’ll see your bathroom in a whole new light if you change out a dated light fixture for something that’s new and dramatic.  Turn the ceiling into a focal point by installing a medallion and an elegant hanging fixture. If installed over a tub be sure there’s at least 8 feet of clearance from the tub rim to the bottom of the pendant for both your safety and to comply with electrical code.

2. Use Water-Resistant Wainscot

Add architectural interest to a basic bath with beaded board. Thriftier than most wall tile and less maintenance than wood, beadboard paneling made from cellular PVC stands up to water and never needs to be painted. Eight-inch-wide panels come in white or blue.

3. Hang something pretty on your windows.

Plantation shutters provide privacy as well as light, a roman shade can bring a splash of color. Or if you like more drama a full-length curtain may be your speed.

4. Replace your shower curtain liner.

When was the last time you did this? Need I say more?

5. Add a decorative curtain on your shower.

Hanging a long curtain floor to ceiling will add some romance to your bathroom. Pair fabric panels with a clear plastic shower liner to block splatters.

6. Paint!

A surefire way to update your bathroom is with paint. A gallon of paint will cost you less than $30 and if you feel adventurous you can do it yourself. If you do, make sure to clean your walls first.

Since the bathroom is so humid, a mildew or moisture resistant primer will help seal the paint.

7. Freshen the Hardware

Bathroom fixtures including hooks, handles and soap dispensers can be quickly and easily replaced and will give the space an updated feel. Most bathrooms look their best when all of the metals match in color and finish.

8. Replace a Bathroom Faucet

You deserve to wash your hands and brush your teeth without cringing at a crusty old leaker of a faucet from the ‘80s. For a full spigot upgrade, all you need is a couple of hours and a shiny new fixture.

The sink faucet should generally coordinate with the shower and bathtub faucets; cabinet pulls, hooks, shelving brackets and towel racks also should have a similar style.

9. Add a lamp. Atmosphere is everything. Having a soft light on when you enter the bathroom creates a welcoming environment.

10.   Recaulk Around a Tub

Brown, cracked, and mildew. If this is an accurate description of your bathtub caulking, it may be time for a re-sealing. Look up a tutorial online before beginning.

11. Paint that old vanity with a fresh coat of paint.

If the one you have offers a good amount of storage, nice lines and is in sturdy condition, give it new life. Some sanding, primer and paint will make it feel new again. Ask the paint store for tips on what will work best with the materials on your specific vanity.

12. Boost Cabinet Efficiency

Add pullout shelves to deep cabinets to keep necessities in order and viewable. Equipping cabinet interiors with these sliding surfaces helps you avoid digging around in the dark or buying more of the things you already have on hand.

13. Update your medicine cabinet.

Does yours have chips? Does it look like it came with the original house? Time for an update.  Yes, it should go with your light fixture that you just replaced.

14. No medicine cabinet?

Frame your bathroom mirror with some molding or buy a trim kit from the hardware store. Presto! A new mirror!

Regina DiLauro-Fay has over 15 years of design experience. Her company, DF Designs, specializes in Interior Design, Home Staging & Color Consultanting. She can be reached at (843)906-9663 or