7 Things to Do to Make Your Kitchen & Bathrooms Look More Beautiful

These seven small changes make a surprising difference and will help make your kitchen and bathrooms look more beautiful – today!

A couple of years ago I had one of those epiphanies about my house. You know, the ones that you never thought of before and you can’t believe you didn’t think of earlier?

I was in the kitchen at the sink and noticed what was next to it for maybe the first time ever.

Bright yellow sponge. Orange Palmolive bottle with a bright green label. And both of these were simply sitting on the counter. Not even a pretty container or spot for them to rest. 

Until then I had just accepted that those things come in garish colors and that’s that. They never bothered me. To be honest, I never gave it much thought. But on that day I realized that while I was spending time decorating and accessorizing my home, I was ignoring these small things that could really use some improvement.

So I decided that I would make an effort to change up all the little, everyday things that were ugly. You know that saying by the famous decorator Elsie de Wolfe?


“I will make everything around me beautiful – that will be my life”


That’s what I decided I would do.

Because why shouldn’t the small things in our lives be pretty? Do sponges and soap bottles have to come in bright neon colors? And why does every toothbrush look like it belongs to a 5 year old?!

These things clash so much with the rest of a pretty home, and yet they don’t have to! Today I’m sharing 7 easy things you can do today to make your kitchen and bathrooms look more beautiful – starting with those sponges!



1. Change out your sponges!

The first step in making my kitchen look more beautiful was to swap out my sponges. I set about trying to find sponges that were either white or neutral. I found some simple white ones at Target (that’s the one above). But I also like and have used these natural colored ones – they’re also a little thicker and more durable. While you’re at it, add some natural bristle scrub brushes for doing dishes.

Also be sure to find a beautiful bowl or container to hold the sponge. My little marble bowl is a vintage piece I found, but there’s lots of small, pretty bowls to be found. Or how cute would this marble tray look sitting on the counter?

I also transfer my hand and dish soaps into pretty glass containers. I have my hand soap in this one above, and my dish soap in this larger size (not shown). There are also double sets where you can have hand and dish soap or hand soap and lotion in matching refillable containers.

Not only do they look better than a bright bottle of Palmolive, but they’re also much more earth-friendly as they’re refillable. I love the Mrs. Meyer’s soaps. My favorite is the Basil but I also love the Lemon Verbena and the Lavender. They come in all kinds of yummy scents, they’re affordable and they have large refill bottles, too.

This whole spot looks so much prettier than it did when I had the glaringly bright sponges here!


2. Corral cooking items with trays

Over on the stove side I’ve corralled some cooking items on a vintage bread board. Salt, pepper, olive oils or vinegars all look better if they’re grouped together in a basket or on a tray. Much like the dish soap, I like to decant salt and pepper into pretty vessels.

This little ‘salt’ jar looks so much better than the previous large box of kosher salt that used to sit here! (similar here) Likewise olive oil looks better in a glass dispenser with a spout, and it’s much easier to use, too.

I also adore my new brass pepper mill! It’s seriously the best pepper mill we’ve ever owned and I love the look the brass adds to the kitchen.

And while you’re at it, add a candle. This line above is one of my favorites and they’re very reasonably priced. I love the Espresso scent, but the Sweet Cinnamon is also really yummy. I buy them in bulk so I always have some available!

Scented candles make your house smell so much better, and they’re especially great for getting rid of cooking smells (just be sure to blow them out before you eat as they can interfere with taste buds).  


3. Use cute brass chip clips

So this might be my favorite ‘prettifying’ tip ever. When I discovered these brass chip clips, I was giddy! They look pretty and sophisticated and so much better than the bright colored chip clips I used to have! 


Now these pretty brass clips hold our coffee closed as well as chip and pretzel bags. And they’re much sturdier! It seems every week one of the plastic ones was breaking. Whereas I’ve had these a couple of years now and they’re still going strong.


I also have a clip set from the same brand that includes a coffee scoop.

Another pretty option for closing bags is plain wood clothespins. I do have some of those as well and much prefer that look to the plastic versions!


4. Use pretty covers for your tissue boxes

Though I’ve had some tissue box covers before, none of them really spoke to my taste for a simple yet classy style until I found this linen cover. It’s so pretty, works with any decor in any color bathroom, and makes a great gift, too!

My linen cover has unfortunately been discontinued, but I found a great option from Ballard Designs. that’s actually less than I paid for this one!


5. Change out those toothbrushes

It is beyond me why toothbrushes that are allegedly for grown-ups look exactly the same as the toothbrushes that they make for kids! So just like with the sponges, I set out to find either all-white or natural colored brushes that would blend more with our home.

I found these white and gray options above. They are soft bristled (that’s all we buy) and come in packs of two. One is light gray with white bristles and the other is white with gray bristles. This is great since my husband and I share a bathroom, and handy for kids who are sharing, too. 

Another option are the natural-colored bristles with bamboo handles. We’ve also used these and I like them too – some even have numbers so it makes it easy to tell them apart!


6. Decant your soap or buy one in a pretty glass bottle

As I mentioned above, in the kitchen I decant both the dish and hand soaps into glass containers and I’ve done the same in the bathroom. However, I recently found this soap that comes in a beautiful glass bottle and it’s the most amazing scent! It’s by Thymes which makes my favorite holiday candle so it’s no surprise their soaps smell so good.

I love this one above, Washed Linen. But I’ve also tried their Eucalyptus and it’s also great! I’ve linked the larger size because I love that it comes in a glass bottle and can be refilled. But if you want to try the scents in a smaller, less expensive size first, you can find most most of them on Amazon

And for a less expensive option, again I love the Mrs. Meyer’s scented hand soaps!


7. Use pretty boxes to store things you don’t want visible

I love to use baskets or pretty boxes to hide things I’d rather not have out, or that just aren’t pretty. Above, I used a cute little vintage basket to hold all of our TV remotes. Not only does it look prettier and neater, but it also keeps them from getting misplaced!


Not a pretty picture, I know, but this box is beautiful and now holds the toilet wipes. My whole family loves them, but I didn’t love the package sitting out – especially in the powder room and guest bathrooms. Pretty box to the rescue!

This box is Mother of Pearl and came in a set of two, but there are so many options these days. If you want to do the same thing, just measure the container of whatever you need to hide. Another favorite? This cute marble jar that holds matches in another bathroom but would be perfect for so many things!

You might also notice my cute Hearth & Hand room spray – another small improvement over the previous version, haha! Not only does this look decent sitting out, but it smells so good


Bonus tip: Decorate with Flowers & Fruit – Always!

One sure way to pretty up your kitchen is to display your produce. Using fruits or vegetables as decor is not only beautiful to look at, but it adds color and freshness to the space, too. 


And of course, I’m sure it’s no surprise to you how I feel about fresh flowers! 


No matter the mess or dust or lack of perfect styling, fresh flowers will always make your kitchen – or any space in your home – feel prettier. It’s probably the single easiest way to bring some sunshine to any room! For more flower tips be sure to check out my post all about Decorating with Flowers on a Budget


It doesn’t always take a lot of money to make a big difference in the appearance of our homes. In fact, sometimes small, inexpensive changes can have a big impact. By simply swapping out some of these unattractive but necessary household items, you can make your kitchen and bathrooms look more beautiful!


Shop Beautifying Favorites 





If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out these other ones below:

Decluttering: 30 Things to Get Rid of in the Next 30 Days 

My Five Favorite Organizing Hacks 

Favorite Cleaning Tips: How to Keep Your Home Clean Everday



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  1. Theresa Speicher says:

    Hello Sheila. Love your blogs. They never disappoint. I just walked around my house and could see places and little things I could change. Tomorrow I begin. Thanks.

    1. Aww I love that Theresa – yay!! I’m so glad! Nothing warms my heart more than when someone finds a blog post helpful. Good luck to you!


  2. Debbie Laferla says:

    I LOVE your style! I found your blog 1 year ago while I was searching for a French country chandelier. I had just returned from France and was certain that I wanted to keep decorating with a French country style, even though I live in a beach town. I found your blog and loved it. I saw that you also live in Southern California and maintained your decorating style despite a more modern decorating style emerging at RH, Arhaus and everywhere else in California. I marveled that we had some of the same items in our homes! You do a great job sharing your home and ideas with us all. Today, as I saw your article on having beautiful containers…once again, we had the same marble tray and soap dispenser on our counter. I live in San Clemente and I think you live in Los Angeles/Westwood….if you ever are in San Clemente, I’d love to have you over for lunch. (I’ll set the table with some of my favorite china that I think you would love)

    1. Aww Debbie what a lovely comment to wake up to!! I so appreciate it and I love that you’re a fellow California girl! And yes, stores here are VERY modern as you know so it’s a struggle sometimes, but we do our best! 🙂

      Thanks again for your kind words – I’m so glad you found me. (and I’d love to have lunch if I’m ever there!)


  3. Great reminder Sheila – and your marble accessories are so beautiful! I’m going to look some of those up! Thanks for the inspiration, once again!

    1. Aww thanks so much Barbara, I so appreciate it!


  4. Sheryl Robbins says:

    Your blog is seriously amazing! Thank you for all the great inspiration and ideas!

    1. Thanks so much Sheryl! Thanks for stopping by!


  5. Sheila, Thanks for the great ideas all in one place! This is a different subject but if you have a Hobby Lobby near you have you seen their cute, framed art? I would be curious to see what you think. In the decor area they have lots of small, framed pictures that can be used on shelves, etc……………….Thanks for your beautiful blog. Marjorie

    1. Hi Marjorie! I actually don’t have any Hobby Lobby stores near me – I’ve sadly never been in one! Sounds like they have great things though!

      Thanks so much for your kind words and for stopping by!


  6. Oh Sheila I love the marble items! Where can I find the marble stemmed bowl with birds? My mouth just dropped! It is all in the details. Thank you!

    1. Aww I love that! It is a vintage piece I found at an antique shop. I’ll try to find some and add them in if I can!

      Thanks for the kind words Sheryl!


  7. Cecilia Iori says:


  8. These are great ideas! I like the white sponge Birdbath you purchased is so cute!

  9. All great ideas. We’re moving to a new home soon and I’m looking forward to implementing your ideas.

    1. Oh yay – love hearing that Janet! AND you’ll be starting off pretty! Good luck!


  10. Great post! I too keep basics in pretty jars, baskets, trays, etc. I love the linen tissue cover idea you shared. Have you noticed the only ones available (from my searches) are cube shaped? Have you seen any rectangular ones? I buy my tissues in rectangular boxes. I’ve made some from fabric in the past and currently use a silver deep casserole dish which I just lay the tissues in. It’s oval shaped and the tissues don’t quite lie flat but it looks better than the manufacturer’s box.

    1. Hi and thanks Char – so glad you enjoyed it! The Etsy shop I bought from does rectangular too – here is a link


      She has several styles so if you don’t like the one above just click on her shop name and go to her shop and search “rectangle” and you’ll find them all there.

      Hope that helps!


      1. Lovely ideas, Sheila! I started doing most of these things years ago but I love seeing someone else’s take on beauty in the kitchen. I especially like the marble petal tray and bird bath soap holder. Clean, crisp, white, and clear containers are always beautiful!

        1. Thank you Sharon! And I agree – I love seeing what other people do to ‘beautify’ their spaces!

          Thanks for stopping by!


  11. Pretty decanters! They look so much better than those plastic bottles. Great ideas!
    I do wish they’d make a room spray that is safe for dogs to be around. I do find that I can put a bit of vanilla or lavender oil on my lamp bulbs and it will scent the room..and my pups can’t lay on or in it:0)
    I’m off to find something to put my liquid dish soap in to get it out of the cupboard. Inspired!

    1. That’s a great idea Lori! We’re actually using this as a bathroom spray so for that I need a spray bottle obviously. But for room scenting that’s a great idea!

      Thanks for your kind words and for stopping by!


  12. I love your aesthetic and ideas. Just a teeny suggestion to maybe use an opaque bottle for your olive oil because it is sensitive to light and degrades. Perhaps a milk glass type? Have a beautiful day!

    1. Hi Elaine! Thanks so much for the kind words – so glad you enjoyed the post! And yes you’re right for permanent storage of olive oil. But I’m an avid cook and cook every night so my glass bottle is refilled every few days. I store the dark, opaque bottle in the pantry and just fill it about half way and that way it’s not in the bottle long enough to be susceptible to the light. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!


  13. I checked out the price of the liquid hand soap. $28. for 15 oz. That’s ridiculous. I’ll pass.

    1. You’re right Brooke, those large glass bottles are definitely a splurge! As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I always include different price points in my posts. The Thymes soap comes in smaller plastic bottles that are much cheaper, and the Mrs. Meyer’s soaps that I love and linked are very inexpensive. I like to give options for those who have different budgets. In addition, I will refill this bottle for months or even years which helps to even out that cost. But try the Mrs. Meyers – they’re great and reasonable!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  14. Irene Kelly says:

    I recently purchased 2 glass holders for lotions but only one worked with one of my hand lotions so very disappointed. Will you recommend what glass soap/lotion bottles you use. Tks.

    1. Hi Irene! I myself haven’t transferred lotion to glass pump bottles but that’s a great idea! I think you may have run into more problems due to the fact that the lotion is so much thicker going through the pump than soap would be. I would check out some on Amazon or Target and read the reviews. Also those two stores are easy to return to if something doesn’t work. Here’s a double one below that might work – and you can do the soap and the lotion side by side which is cute!