Sunday, February 13

Bathroom Overhaul

When I bought my house there was only one room that I knew I couldn't stand. Check it out:

Bland, huh? With that white color palette not only did the room feel like it belonged in a hospital, but check out that ugly magazine rack/toilet paper holder in the wall. I'm pretty sure it used to be a space heater (my grandma has them in the bathrooms at her house), but when I moved in it was just an eyesore.

Features you can't really see in the picture are the cheap wood cabinets (they match the ones in the kitchen) and the over-sized cabinet that was hanging about the toilet. It didn't reach the walls, but only left a couple inches on either side between the edges of the cabinet and the walls.

That mirror is awesome though. When I was still house-hunting Spencer would sometimes come with me, even though we weren't planning to room together at that time. One of the houses I looked at had this decorative mirror in the bathroom. It gave Spencer a great view of his midriff, but if he wanted to see his face he was out of luck. My mirror takes up an entire wall and even tilts in a bit on the sides. I love it.

First Step: Color
My first step with the bathroom was to give the room some color. I painted the walls a sage green. I love the color green, but I went through about four wrong shades of green before picking the current color.

I discovered that people weren't kidding when they said bathrooms are the hardest rooms to paint. Luckily the room wasn't big, but the tight space made it difficult to maneuver with a ladder. I ended up asking my brother to paint some of the areas I couldn't reach. I think the color really made the room pop though.

I also bought some black metal paint and went to town on that magazine rack. Once I finished painting I actually thought it was kind of cool.

*Sidenote: I made sure to tape the border and metal rods really well, I wanted to keep the contrast of the chrome against the black and green.

Tying it Together
The next struggle I had was choosing a color scheme to tie the room together. My towels from college were a solid blue, I bought a few more at Kohl's that had the same blue in stripes. Then I went through three shower curtains before I found the perfect one.

Pictures of all three:
Curtain #1
My parents gave me this one.
It hadn't been used in so long that I don't
even remember it ever being used.
Curtain #2
My grandmother bought this
one for me. I love the design,
but ultimately decided it
didn't go with this room.
Curtain #3
Final choice!
I'm so proud of my final choice. The iridescent blues and greens really tie the walls into the rest of my color scheme for that room. I bought the curtain and bathroom set at Kmart, thanks to my mom. I was actually a little surprised they had something I liked, in general I'm not a big fan of Kmart. I feel like you can't rely on them to have what you need from visit to visit, their merchandise changes a lot. My mom loves them though and dragged me along on one of her shopping trips.

That visit was definitely a success. Not only did I find the bath set, but I also found the perfect bath mats! For some misguided reason I actually thought white bath mats would be a good idea at first. Then I tried blue. The final winner were these awesome green mats from Kmart.

Simple Additions
Sometimes the simple touches are what completes a room. My dad surprised me with these pretty shower curtain hangers, which are just perfect. I would have just used the cheap plastic ones I already had if he hadn't found them. Wouldn't that just be sad?

I also replaced the original shower head. I bought a low flow detachable shower head because the one that was originally installed was too low for me. Any time I find something that is too low or tight for me I decide it's a no. If someone who is 5'3" thinks a shower head is too low, a mirror too small or the backseat of a car too cramped (Read about my awesome car here! Note that the car I chose is comfy for anyone, even in the backseat.), I figure it would be nearly impossible for 90% of the population. Plus the detachable shower head is more convenient.

Finishing Touches
I had to take down that oversized cabinet in order to paint. My final step to the bathroom overhaul was to sell that cabinet on craigslist and buy a smaller shelf that fit the space better and to add another towel bar (the only one in the bathroom was in the shower/tub).

I chose a shelf in the same silver throughout the bathroom and with glass shelves. It's awesome for displaying some of my perfume bottles and art.

Not Done Yet!
Despite loving the changes that I've made I still have some plans for that room.
  • The tall cabinet actually only has two shelves, once my dad has time to help me cut the wood to the right size I plan to add a couple more shelves. That cabinet could offer so much more storage than it does now.
  • I've also considered painting the cabinets. Either the whole area, or just the doors. I think a metallic paint in the center of the doors or replacing them with frosted glass would look cool.
  • Another thought I've had is replacing the bath mats with a nice hallway runner. While I love how the mats look, they won't last forever. I read an article that said rugs are more durable since they are designed to withstand more traffic. I think a nice hallway runner in the right colors would look awesome in the bathroom, and last longer.
When I moved in my neighbor (also a plumber) warned me that the tub was porcelain and would chip/scratch if I used abrasive cleaners (same with my kitchen sink). Despite my best efforts I still have a few nicks in the tub. Anyone have suggestions on how to get this fixed? I'm not even sure who I would call or if it can be fixed.

What rooms were disasters when you moved into your house? How did you fix them?


  1. When we bought the home the owners had painted the main living room and dining area lime green...not sage, not moss green LIME green. Oddly enough it somehow worked with their furniture but it definitely didn't work with ours. Our first night in the house we ordered pizza, drank champagne and painted walls. There are still tons of things I want to do in the house but that one had to go asap!

  2. That sounds like an awesome painting party! No matter how much I love the color green I can see how a lime green room might be a little overwhelming.

  3. Wonderful. I love it. Our whole house needed updating. We gutted it. The only left that we didn't touch was the master bath. We tried but can't make it work for the rest of the house so what do we do, well we take it off the house and ADD ON. Yup, we started the process and the brick and siding are gone. Let the demo begin! Check in often to see the progress!

  4. That's awesome! I have to be careful about jumping into really big projects because my budget is limited, but there is so much I would love to do around my place.


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