If you ask me, the only thing you need to worry about when it comes to your bathroom is how easy it is to clean! Yes if you happen to have the luxury of a huge home with your own private bathroom complete with its own sunroof and garden then sure, go crazy cause you can afford it. But for the everyday mom, the bathroom is most likely the most digusting germ infested room in the house. One rule, keep it clean. You also don't want to overcrowd the little counter space you have in there. Stay away from all the ceramics and candles. A few are fine to give it some appeal, but don't overdo it.
I try to give my bathroom a fresh makeover every two or three years. Nothing too wild and certainly not expensive, but just enough for a change. I think I do this because its the easiet and cheapest room to do a quick overhaul on. I can't exactly change my living room or dining room 5 times a decade. .
The best way to get the biggest change on a small budget is of course by painting. It will completely change the bathroom and make it look clean and new. Once you have that glorious new color on the walls, you need to accessorize with that color. New shower curtains. New towels and hand towels. Again don;t overdo the counter accessories, a few things will help minimize the echo a bathroom can make, but too much and its just clutter. All of these things can be bought on the cheap, but I'd open up my purse a little more when it comes to the shower curtain. You don't want a thin piece of plastic, its worth opting for a nice fabric here, not only will it simply look a million times better but it will also add to aiding in that echo I mentioned earlier.
As for wall decor, again, keep it minimal. Please don't overcrowd your walls with too many bears going potty or kittens wrapped in toilet paper. Use the space wisely. An extra towel rack for the kids, or some decorative shelves to ease the clutter from the counter are two great ideas.
Now, once its all done, draw yourself a bath and enjoy it for those brief 15 minutes before the family gets in there and ransacks it!!