Small guest bathrooms are not always open to a ton of creativity, but with my first bathroom I remodeled years ago being 5'x8' and doing remarkable things with that, I knew when we returned to city living there were a few basic things we could do to make this room go from sterile to inviting.
Again with the real-estate-white! Oy. I get it, the bathtub surround wasn't easy to work with, but dang! It was not a comfortable room to walk into. The original bathroom for this 1950 home we bought, with a toilet area (not shown) that is eerily reminiscent of the spaciousness of an airplane lavatory, I knew we needed to do SOMETHING - but without tearing the room up.
The walls: This was the easiest. Zero-VOC paint in a shade of indigo I had leftover after (I'd bought for the living room thinking it was bluer than it really was -as you can see, it definitely leans in more purple). By the way, a lot of paint can be acquired in the "free" section of Craigslist - I highly recommend it!
The sink: The design of the pedestal sink. Problem? It was what I refer to as a "shorty sink". Having made that mistake once at the farm, I wasn't going to, as a 5'8" female with a 5'10" husband, be hovering over it like I'm in a kindergarten washroom. So I sold the semi-antique on Craigslist and used the funds to snag a wee vanity online for the same price...with storage and an updated WaterSense faucet to boot!
The bathtub surround: This was the biggest challenge. Do I just close the shower curtain and will it to disappear? Then I started the online searches - was it possible to cover it up? Install tile over it? Paint it? Everything was in good working condition so it didn't need a fancy refinishing job. Then I remembered how in Portland we had a window in our shower that we painted with marine (yep, boat) paint to waterproof it and it'd worked like a charm. BAM. Done. They do have some super strong smelling sprays you can use as well, but this brushed on so well, and cost about $25 at the hardware store...and rocked.
So there ya go. That and my husband's beloved Sharon Jones framed concert poster, an updated towel bar for $15 at the big box, and we were good to go. The mirror and lights remained (photographing this light fixture proved impossible - the 'before' pix are from the original listing), as did the neutral flooring.
Fifty bucks? Not bad.