Design Mistake – Matching Bathroom Decor

I started my Design Mistakes series many years ago. It began as a way to showcase some of the mistakes I made around my own home while helping others learn the dos and don’ts when it comes to home design. Well, it quickly turned into my most popular series here on the blog!

Here are some fan-favorite posts from the series. Or you can peruse them all right here.

Bathroom Decor – The Design Mistake

Avoid this bathroom decor mistake, matching accessories

Today’s design mistake is a minor one, but it’s incredibly common. Picture this, you’re finishing up a new bathroom space and you need a toothbrush holder, soap dispenser, tissue box cover, and a shower curtain! You head to the store and just buy an entire matching set. Boom, you’re done.

Avoid this bathroom design mistake

This matchy-matchy bathroom decor isn’t doing any favors to your new gorgeous bathroom. Your small space instantly looks generic. It’s very similar to this past design mistake where I discouraged the use of traditional bedroom sets.

If you want your home to feel high-end, well-designed, and collected, matching everything is not your best bet.

The (Very) Easy Fix

Now, you’re probably looking in your bathrooms and thinking, “Dang it, Casey! I don’t want to have to buy all new stuff for each bathroom in my house. This fix is going to cost a lot of money.” I totally get it. The good news is that there’s a very easy fix.

Simply switch things around with the other bathrooms in your house.

Wallpaper in a small bathroom

Move one soap dispenser from here to there. A tray from this room to that room. You won’t need to get rid of anything and you can change up each space to feel a little different. These quick updates will go a long way to improve the look of your bathrooms.

My Bathroom Decor Formula

My mom's main bathroom renovation
My Mom’s Main Bathroom

When I style a bathroom countertop, I usually like to include a soap dispenser, toothbrush holder (if needed), tray, and some sort of secret storage for the vanity. Those are my go-to bathroom essentials.

We do have a few tissue boxes around the house (These are my favorite covers!), but I don’t necessarily style them in a bathroom.

Brushed nickel faucet
My Mom’s Guest Bathroom

Let’s take a look at all of the bathrooms in my home and how I’ve styled them so things aren’t matching, but instead, they coordinate.

Our Main Bathroom

Our main bathroom renovation reveal
Tour Our Full Space Here

Our bathroom countertop features decorative items that are all functional. We have a double-sink vanity, but that doesn’t mean that we have two of everything.

Using an amber colored soap dispenser for my bathroom decor ideas

On Finn’s sink, we have our soap dispenser. I went with this amber-colored glass bottle for a traditional style. These are some of my favorite soap dispensers to use around the house because they go with just about any space.

Gray beadboard in a bathroom

In the middle, I have this sleek black tray. I’m a big fan of trays on a bathroom vanity because it’s a great way to corral smaller items and make them look neat. On here, I have a faux plant, Finn’s cologne, and this little container for q-tips.

This container is actually a votive candle holder, but it works great for q-tips too! It’s also amber-colored but doesn’t quite match the soap dispenser because it has a ribbed texture.

Black and gold vanity in a bathroom

Then, I have this black marble container to hold cotton balls. It’s nice to have these in an easy-to-reach place and they look chic out on the sink. So again, we want each piece to complement each other instead of match.

Checking in on my 2022 home goals

I like how the black and amber colors pair with the gold vanities and white marble countertops. I then added a wicker trash can to add some texture to the space.

The Kids’ Bathroom

The cutest kids' bathroom reveal
Tour The Kids’ Bathroom

In the kids’ bathroom, the decor is a bit more casual. In fact, I don’t even have a fancy soap dispenser!

The soap in our kids' bathroom

Instead, I just use this plastic soap dispenser with their favorite soap. It’s lightweight and non-breakable, so it works well for a kid-friendly space.

Our kids bathroom reveal

To complement the navy vanity, I went with a navy toothbrush holder. Yes, this is a kids’ space, but there’s no reason to go over-the-top with a theme or color scheme. The shower curtain in here is white with some navy tassels.

One of my favorite bathroom decor ideas is to use a tray on your vanity to corral smaller items

I also utilize a tray (similar) in this space. This time it holds a plant and a small jar for floss sticks. The jar is black and white striped and I loved the little pattern on it.

My favorite bathroom decor ideas

In this space, I also use this wicker trash can. I’m a sucker for textured wastebaskets, can you tell?

Our Basement Bathroom

Our new dark green bathroom in our basement
Small Bathroom Makeover

The basement bathroom is my most recent makeover and I had a lot of fun using new and old bathroom decor for this DIY project. I wanted the decor to coordinate with the moody interior and make the space feel luxurious.

Use silicone caulk when working in a bathroom space

No toothbrush holder is needed down here, so I just needed a tray, soap dispenser, and other decorative elements to bring it all together.

How to add decorative elements to your bathroom space

In this small space, I used both black and gold metals. I went with this simple matte black towel ring along with my fave Turkish towels. These are the best!

My best tips to style a bathroom vanity

On the countertop, I have this marble black tray with my go-to amber-colored soap dispenser. (It’s a repeat offender around here!)

The lighting near the vanity

Then, I just have a candle in this glass holder, this small match container, and a faux plant. These all pair nicely with the gold bathroom faucet and gold light fixtures.

Our First-Floor Bathroom

The decor on our first-floor bathroom
Tour Our First Floor Bathroom

Finally, our first-floor bathroom. This one is tricky because we just have a pedestal sink in here, without any countertop space. Because of that, I installed this wall soap dispenser. Our old soap bottle was constantly falling into the sink and this prevents that from happening!

Adding bathroom art to my small space

I then have a few decorative items on this shelf, over the toilet, that I found at a thrift store. I added a tray, candles with matches, and a plant. You can’t go wrong with potted plants in your bathroom!

My Favorite Bathroom Decor Ideas

If you’re walking around your home and thinking that it’s time to make a few decor swaps, I’ve got you covered. Here are some of my favorite bathroom decor items for your space.

bathroom accessory round up

Q-tip & Cotton Ball Holder // Towel // Tissue Box Cover // Ring Tray // Trash Can // Tray // Soap Dispenser // Vase // Stems // Toilet Tank Basket

Using some of these small items will make a big difference in your space. Even if you don’t have the bathroom of your dreams you can bring new life to the room with these bathroom decor ideas.


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.