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Wednesday, September 4, 2019


I have a big house project that's been on my "to-do" list every year for as long as I can remember... the Master Bathroom.  We're finally tackling that this Fall, but we decided to squeeze in a "quick" kids' bathroom makeover too!  And I quote "quick", because what I thought would be just a quick and simple refresh turned into pretty much a full fledged bathroom makeover!  We didn't go down to the studs or move anything around, but short of that everything is getting freshened up.  Our kids share a Jack and Jill bathroom between their bedrooms, which is the only other tub/shower in the house, so we decided to knock out their makeover while finishing up the planning for the Master. We're all sharing the Master/Powder Bath in the process, so soon it will be our turn to share their nice, fresh, pretty bathroom when it's finished and demo on the Master Bath starts!  But let's back up and today I want to share our starting point- the before photos- and where this bathroom is headed- the design plan and inspiration!

We actually did some updating to this bathroom when we moved into the house 12 years ago. I wish I could find a photo of how it looked when we bought the house, but picture dark navy wallpaper with small flowers (if I remember correctly), shiny brass vanity lights with the glass tulip shades, shiny brass fixtures, and a carpeted floor!

Here's a pretty, styled photo that I did for a project last year...

but here's pretty much real life (minus the various products that are usually strewn across the counter)...

I spy a Jeff Gordon switch plate and Jimmy Johnson nightlight that have probably been there for 10 years... ha!

Working on a bare bones budget, we tore the carpet(!) out of the bathroom and put in a tile floor, stripped the wallpaper and textured the walls (how I wish sometimes that I had left them smooth so I could easily put up new wallpaper!), and replaced the light fixtures and faucets.  It's all pretty neutral and has been functional for the kids for all of these years.

The only source of natural light is one small window in the shower/toilet room.

It's not terrible, but the choices I made 12 years ago are definitely not the choices I would make now.

So, with this makeover, I'm ready for functional AND unique and filled with some personality!  I wanted to keep the big, expensive, main components (tile, counters, fixtures, etc.) very classic and traditional.  As much as I love looking at bathrooms where beautiful tile makes a statement, I kept it simple here and decided to let the accessories add in the color and make the bold statements.  Since my son has moved to college and his room will likely transition to more of a guest room some day, I felt a bit more freedom with the design to choose what I wanted for this bathroom rather than trying to make it work for a boy and a girl together.  My daughter's only request was that it be light and bright!

A few things that are staying... the tub, big linen cabinet, sink vanity, and the mirror.  I've debated back and forth replacing the mirror, but it's custom, has a beveled mirror frame, and I think it's fine... I didn't think it was worth the money to spend replacing it.  The wall to wall mirror really helps open up and enlarge the space as well.

The walls and trim will get fresh coats of white paint.  I'll paint the existing vanity a gorgeous cobalt blue, and the floral print will be the shower curtain.  I just "kind of" liked it until I saw the scale by searching photos online, it's large and I loved it!  It will make the shower curtain a dramatic, focal piece.  The fixtures and hardware will all be brushed/satin brass and we'll have some gorgeous new white quartz countertops installed.  (I'll source everything I end up using for you in an upcoming post.)

This project is a mix of DIY and hiring out.  I've never had the desire to bite off learning to lay tile, so we're hiring someone to do that, the plumbing, and the countertop company will install those.  I'll be taking on everything else, though! 

That's as far as I've made it with the accessories, I still have lots of those to pull together and am just waiting until inspiration and creativity strike for those.  I'll likely add in another fabric pattern or two.  I have some vintage towel rings that I've been saving for years that I'm excited to use, but need some cute monogrammed towels, artwork, bath towel hooks, vanity accessories, etc. I'm still playing with rug possibilities and also thinking on another design element or two for the room.

Here are a few images that inspired some additional possible decorative elements in the room-

So what do you think?  We're working on this room while getting the Master Bath makeover planned and ready to start on next... whew!  Stay tuned to watch the design board come to life, I hope to give you updates each week until it's finished.   I've already shared a few peeks of the progress on Instagam, join me over there if you're not following along! 

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Would you like to comment?

  1. Love it! Before I even read the blog post, I wondered if you’d bring in color on the vanity. Excited to see the finished project!

    1. I've wanted to for years! Excited to get everything underway!

  2. Can't wait to see it! I'm sure it will be colorful and beautiful!

  3. I love that you are keeping the design simple and traditional, but bringing personality into the more temporary items. Smart move!

    We are planning to do our boys' bathroom. We would like to keep the tub, similar to you. This is our first renovation though and I'm not sure how you know whether it's a good idea to keep the tub or not. How did you decide if it is in good enough shape to keep? I'd love to avoid the waste and cost if we can keep it. But fear we'll redo everything and it will look like it's in worse shape than I think it is!


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