How to Decorate a Bathroom Countertop: Functional Ideas

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Does your bathroom space need a refresh? Try these simple ideas to decorate a bathroom countertop for the best function, organization, AND beauty!​

No matter your bathroom style or the size of your bathroom space, chances are it is the space in your home that needs constant attention.  Am I right?!  Since we have a young family, our bathroom spaces are rooms that need the optimal function.  At the same time, these rooms feel like they need deep cleaned and reorganized frequently.  If your bathroom space is in the same boat and needing a refresh, you’ve come to the right place today!  We are going to chat about some easy ideas to decorate a bathroom countertop, combining function AND beauty!

Reality Check.

I’ll start by sharing the very honest, very real truth.  The bathroom spaces in our own home have been need of some serious attention.  Specifically, the kids’ bathroom needs a bit more than a cosmetic refresh.

The good news is that paint, deep cleaning, and maintenance updates don’t have to be extremely costly or take a ton of time.  In a small bathroom like our kids’ bathroom, we can set aside half of a Saturday and greatly improve the overall look.

I share this because you may see the pictures in this blog and think that the bathroom in our home looks pretty perfect.  It’s absolutely untrue.  The truth is, however, that a cosmetic refresh is a great place to start and can definitely make everything feel clean and fresh while you wait for that weekend warrior project to update your bathroom.

A simple refresh with just a little effort was all I had time for in this space for this blog post.  Hopefully these bathroom ideas with a touch of style will give you just the inspiration you need for the perfect place to start with a quick refresh!

view of a beautiful neutral bathroom with a wood vanity and concrete countertop and small stool in the corner holding a basket of towels

How can I make my bathroom look nicer?

In a bathroom space, less is more.  In fact, almost everything you use to make your bathroom look nicer should also help your bathroom function better.  Even though function is the top priority for any space in my home, the bathroom is even more important for functionality.

Unless you have a really large bathroom, space is likely at a premium.  You want easy access to the many things you use daily.  At the same time, you are probably looking for bathroom countertop ideas that look pretty too.  Am I right?!

Maximizing storage, organization, easy access, and style all go hand in hand in this hard-working room!

These needs mean that function must come first.  A well-designed space has a place for everything you need while allowing for some small decorative moments too.  Over on this POST, I share how bathroom vanity ideas and how we designed our kids’ bathroom with double sinks and ample storage for the optimal function on a low budget.

However, you may have moved into a space with a pretty bathroom or even a renovated bathroom that is lacking in function.  Before you can really think about how to decorate bathroom countertops, you need to first evaluate the function of the space. 

In step one of this post, I’ll briefly share a few tips for organizing the bathroom space and some favorite resources that may inspire the best function for your bathroom space.

You can also browse my favorites for bathroom design, storage, organization, and simple decor, curated HERE on my storefront!

How to Decorate a Bathroom Countertop: Functional Ideas

Create function to decorate a bathroom countertop.

The best way to give a bathroom space new life is to create the best possible function for the bathroom storage and organization.

When I am ready to refresh the bathroom, I first begin with emptying the inside of the bathroom vanity.

Then, I deep clean and declutter  the space.

Next, if needed, it can be really helpful to utilize great organizers to gain the most functional storage spaces for organizing bathroom essentials.

In our kids bathroom cabinet, we added these clear drawers for things like sunscreen and skincare.  We also added this wonderful acrylic turnable organizer.  It is perfect because it utilizes vertical space and keeps the girls’ cosmetics, lotions, perfume bottles, and nail polish all organized.  This helped the overall aesthetic tremendously.  It also gives the girls easy access to those smaller items that can tend to get lost in the shuffle.

Especially in a small space, like my kids’ bathroom, utilizing every bit of functional space has gone a long way for helping to KEEP the bathroom feeling fresh and tidy.  A few, simple decorative items are the icing on the cake for bathroom style.  The real star of the show should be tidy, organized, functional moments!

We will chat about some specific ways to combine function and decorative items in this post too!  It’s a great way to make a bathroom look pretty while maintaining the best possible function too!

bathroom cabinet organized with acrylic drawers to hold hair supplies and a turning organizer for makeup and other beauty products

Stick to a simple color scheme to decorate a bathroom countertop.

There are so many wonderful options when it comes to a color scheme for decorating a bathroom.  Even a small space can become a cheerful spot of joy with some fun color or a spa-like retreat with soothing neutrals.

If you’ve been part of the Robyn’s French Nest community for long at all, you know I love my neutrals.  It is just my personal preference for my own home.  That being said, I do appreciate well-placed different colors in other homes!

For a bathroom, a neutral color scheme is a great way to create a timeless, simple style.  Then, you can add a pop of color here and there and even switch out decor with different colors while still keeping a cohesive look.

How can I make my bathroom more appealing?

Wallpaper is a fun trend right now.  Consider places to stick wallpaper for a focal point, such as behind the mirror or an open shelf.  This is another simple way to make a statement in a small space and add a fun accent to a white bathroom.

Speaking of a white bathroom and neutral colors, consider how the bathroom space will function maintenance-wise.  To me, there is something about a mostly white bathroom that feels very clean and fresh.  Some may say that white doesn’t hide dirt but to be honest, I really don’t want dirt hidden in the bathroom!  A mudroom, yes.  A bathroom?  I’d rather see the dirt and germs to help me keep it more clean!

All of that being said, a bathroom can be a fun space to play around with different colors for your accessories and accents.  Since it is a small space, you don’t have to spend a lot to make it feel brand new!

Pro Tip:  Keep permanent bathroom choices timeless and neutral.  Use fun and trendy colors and styles with accessories!

image of a bathroom vanity with wood drawers and cabinets that also serve as a step stool and concrete countertops

Use bathroom essentials to decorate a bathroom countertop.

How do I make my bathroom counters look organized?

You’ve heard me say it so many times, but functional items that are also beautiful make the very best decoration.  This is especially true in rooms like bathrooms or kitchens where we need the space to function really well for everyday use.

​Unless you have a really large bathroom, you probably don’t have room to put ALL of your essentials in pretty containers on the bathroom countertop.

First, you’ll want to decide which bathroom essentials should be within easy reach.  Next, also consider smaller items that may fit the best on a countertop space.

small vintage locker basket on top of a bathroom vanity holding wash cloths and room spray

How do you organize a messy vanity?

Here are some smaller items that are easy to store in pretty containers to decorate a bathroom countertop:

  • Cotton balls
  • Perfume bottles
  • Cotton swabs
  • Makeup
  • Hand towels
  • Bath salts
  • Tissues
  • Extra toilet paper
  • Toothbrush holder
  • Soap dispenser
  • Hand soap

Pro Tip: To create more surface space in a small bathroom, add a stool or bench by the tub.  

Not only does it give a spa-like feeling, but it also provides another opportunity for functional and beautiful items.  By the kids’ bathtub, I placed an old farm stool that I got at a yard sale.  It is the perfect size for a basket that holds all of their bath towels.  This is another way we save cabinet and drawer space while also using essentials to add texture, color, and style to the small bathroom.

​Next, my personal preference is to put away tooth brushes in a drawer or cabinet.  However, there are nice toothbrush holder options out there if that is something that needs to be out in your bathroom space.

Then, there are also such pretty soap dispenser options.  However, there are so many nice hand soap bottles too and I find those to just be more convenient.  Either way, hand soap is a necessity so invest in something that looks nice and has a cohesive style with your bathroom countertop decor.

Lastly, one of my favorite ways to decorate a bathroom countertop is to fold or roll hand towels and wash cloths and place them in a pretty basket.  To keep with the industrial vibe in my kids’ bathroom, I use a vintage locker basket.  It holds all of their hand towels and wash cloths, which saves cabinet space for things that are less aesthetically pleasing.

white shelf with holes in it screwed to the inside of a bathroom cabinet to hold hair tools

Use pretty containers to decorate a bathroom countertop.

How can I make my small bathroom look luxurious?

Once you’ve determined the bathroom essentials that will be the most helpful to have easy access to, you can think about the containers that will work the best and blend with the cohesive style of the bathroom.  My favorite way to corral these smaller items to create a counter vignette is to use a decorative tray.  On the tray, you can place a grouping of helpful containers and even add some other decor or bathroom accessories too.

A small canister or set of coordinating glass jars (even mason jars) can be perfect storage for things like cotton balls.  You can also store smaller hair accessories or clips in these kinds of containers. THESE rattan boxes would be perfect for makeup or jewelry.  You could even use them to hold skincare products!

If you like to use bar soap, invest in a gorgeous soap dish to elevate a boring bar of soap and turn it into decor!

​A plain box of tissues can become decor with a nice tissue box cover that blends with your other bathroom accessories.  Especially if you have a shelf, this is a great way to fill the shelf space with function, yet beautiful, items.

Pro Tip: Consider mixing and matching bathroom accessories rather than a full set of accessories that are all the same.  

This is a simple way to bring in more texture and interest to decorate a bathroom countertop.

image of a bathroom vanity with a small plant in a cute vase and a pretty soap bottle

Bath linens are a great option to decorate a bathroom countertop.

You need bath linens in a bathroom, right?!  Of course!  Bath mats, a shower curtain, wash cloths, hand towels, and bath towels are definitely essentials.  These items can take up a lot of cabinet or drawer space.  If storage is at a premium in your bathroom like it is in our kids’ bathroom, consider some pretty ways to display bath linens for everyday use.

The vintage locker basket in the middle of the bathroom counter space holds all of the wash cloths and an extra set of hand towels.  I also tuck in my favorite product for a bathroom, THIS room freshener. 😉

A thrifted stool by the bathtub is practical spot for a basket to hold all of the bath towels.  However, the stool brings in a warm wood tone and the basket adds extra texture.

Pro Tip:  When working through your bathroom decor ideas, make sure to consider every possible opportunity to bring in color, texture, pattern, and mixed materials in practical ways!

a wood stool with a basket on top holding towels next to a shower and a small metal bucket next to it for decor

Use a tray to decorate a bathroom countertop.

How do you accessorize a small bathroom vanity?

Now that you’ve gathered your bathroom essentials and some pretty containers, it is time to decorate!  Next, I highly recommend using a tray to style your counter vignette.

Chic trays are some of the easiest ways to help a bathroom feel styled and curated.  A decorative tray is helpful because keeps the essentials from spilling over onto the entire countertop space.  A small tray can also be another opportunity to add different colors or textures to your bathroom counter decor.

For example, we have concrete countertops on our bathroom vanities.  To mix in a different material and texture, I added a small wooden bowl to hold decorative bars of soap.  It is so simple but adds a little spa-like moment without cluttering up the countertop.  A wooden tray, like this, would give a similar look!

Pro Tip:  Try using a decorative tray that is a different material than your countertop.

How do you dress up a countertop?

Even if your bathroom is a small space, bring in a small tray to hold basic items.  I love THIS small marble tray to hold a soap dispenser, hand lotion, and a small candle or diffuser for a guest bathroom or even a cute powder room.

Tiered trays are a great option to get even more function.  I found THIS tiered tray that would be so pretty in a bathroom.  It could hold a diffuser and rolled up wash cloths on the top tier.  Then, on the bottom tier, you could store small glass jars with bathroom essentials.  This is an easy way to free up some drawer or cabinet space and add bathroom counter decor at the same time!

Chic trays don’t need to be expensive!  Check out thrift stores and antique malls for a small slab of natural stone, a vintage brass dish, or a wooden tray that you can sand to the natural finish or repaint.

cozy bathroom vanity with a cozy candle burning and greenery hung on the wall behind

Add life to your bathroom counter decor with a small plant or fresh flowers.

How can I make my bathroom look nicer?

No matter if you have a small bathroom counter, try to find a way to tuck in a little greenery or florals.

You can imagine that the kids’ bathroom is a VERY busy space and there simply isn’t capacity for small items of extra decoration.

However, the small space between the bathroom mirrors presented a great option for adding a cute vase.  In the glass vase, I can quickly and easily add a pop of color with fresh flowers or even faux flowers.  Often, I add a simple seasonal greenery stem.

I’ve had my wall vases for many years now, but you can get a similar look HERE or HERE!

industrialized metal wall decor with glass jars holding stems of faux greenery for wall decor

​Wall art is a simple way to bring decor into a bathroom.

Bathroom counter space and even floor space are often at a minimum.  If there is ample space, you certainly don’t want to clutter it up with a lot of non-essentials.  However, the bathroom walls can be a great option for adding a decorative touch.  

Personally, I don’t want to have to clean a lot of extras in a bathroom, so I avoid shelves.  However, your bathrooms may not be quite as busy of places as ours during this season of a young family.  Haha!  If not, shelves can be a really pretty option for a decorative touch and store bathroom essentials too.

Even if wall space is at an absolutely premium, a row of statement piece hooks can become a gorgeous focal point.  At the same time, they are a great choice to double as storage for bath towels!

Every bathroom needs a mirror, right?  Use your mirror as another chance to bring interest into your space with a decorative element.  Consider investing in a mirror that adds a unique texture, shape, or material to the bathroom space.  You can even add a pop of color to a crisp, white bathroom with a statement piece kind of mirror!  You can shop our round mirrors HERE!

In the kids bathroom, I added couple of thrifted road signs for a vintage feel.  Not only are they easy to wipe down and clean, but they keep the cohesive style with the black and white and have a fun play on words.

Since most of the bathroom has very straight lines, we chose round mirrors to add more interest.  Then, the wall vases provide a fun little decorative moment and touch of elegance in the middle of this hard-working space!

vintage street sign matching the bathroom hung above another black and white sign

Add a scented candle or diffuser to decorate a bathroom countertop.

I keep some small candles on hand to tuck into a counter vignette when I know we are going to have guests.  Even a bathroom space should feel welcoming and a pleasant scent is the perfect way to do that!

In the kids’ bathroom, I don’t keep one lit for just regular days, because, well, kids.  Haha!  However, it’s a great idea to keep a couple on hand when you need to give the bathroom space an instant refresh!

Pro Tip:  If you only have two minutes, swipe up the dirty linens, wipe down around the sink and toilet, replace the hand towel, and light a candle.  Instant refresh!

A bathroom design is the perfect place to have fun being your own interior designer and expressing your personal style.

Since it is a smaller space, you may be able to splurge a little more to invest in pieces that give you the optimal function while still adding a cohesive style to your home.  You can also add some fun and even quirky elements, like the vintage road signs we added for wall decor, to give a personal touch to the space.

You can shop my favorites for bathroom design, decor, storage, and organization, carefully curated HERE on my storefront!

If you combine simple, functional, and beautiful, you can’t go wrong in creating a bathroom design you love!

cozy candle and plant styled next to a locker basket holding washcloths

I’d love for you to follow me on social media!  You can find my home decor inspiration on Instagram, Pinterestand Facebook!  











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